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Cathey's Creek Crag

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White Twister
Quick little climbing loop through hot, dry pine forest. Near Clayton, GA
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Cathey's Creek Crag  


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Location: 35.2273, -82.8034 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 21,031
Administrators: saxfiend, Edward Medina, Ryan Williams, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: esingleton on May 31, 2012
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BETA PHOTO: The tree of life.

Tread lightly and carpool. Leave no trace! MORE INFO >>>

Cathy's Creek 

Cathy's Creek is quite the anomaly for Pisgah forest. It is overhanging and stays dry in a thunderstorm. The area is in the shade for most of the day. The climbing is powerful and gymnastic. A great resource for Pisgah climbers and those traveling through town. Please respect the wild and natural state of the area. Keep your dogs on a leash and pack out what you pack in.

Getting There 

Located above Cathy's Creek Falls. Please park sensibly and do not obstruct the forest service road. There is parking for 10 cars if you don't mind walking a few hundred yards up or down the road depending on where you park. CARPOOL CARPOOL CARPOOL.

Approach:
Zero your mileage counter as you get on Cathey’s Creek Road.
At 0.7 mark the road turns to dirt
At 1.4 you pass Kuykendall Campground
At 1.8 you pass first bridge
At 2.4 you pass second bridge and begin going up a long steep hill
At 3.4 you arrive at third bridge and the access to Cathey’s Creek crag

Enter the trail through the obvious trailhead by the concrete bridge just upstream of the falls. Follow the trail on the right that heads in the downstream direction. The falls will be within 100 yards or so on your right the whole time. The crag is approximately 10 minutes from the trail head and only a couple hundred yards up the hill from the creek.

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.7 miles from here

22 Total Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',13],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',2],['5.10',2],['5.11',8],['5.12',9],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Cathey's Creek Crag:
LNT   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Cave
Risk Radar   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 55'   The Cave
Junk Show   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   The Cave
Old Crow   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Cave
Jack in the Pulpit   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Gateway Wall
Cathy's Corner   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   The Cave
Crown Royal   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Sport Wall
Tree Hugger   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Cave
Browse More Classics in Cathey's Creek Crag

Featured Route For Cathey's Creek Crag
Eric Singleton at the crux of Shattered Glass

Shattered Glass 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b  NC : Cathey's Creek Crag : The Cave
Stand on top of large boulder to grab the starting jug. Move up face and first crux past 2 bolts. Climb throug black roof and up and right to small mini roof just left of the anchors on Cathy's Corner. Fire through the final compression crux to anchors just up and left of Cathy's Corner's anchors....[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

Comments on Cathey's Creek Crag Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 15, 2015
By andjoely
From: Menlo Park, CA
Jun 1, 2012
Most of the routes stay dry in the rain so it's one of the better spots in the area to climb on rainy days. It's definitely a high quality and locally significant small crag. I really enjoyed the incredibly pumpy climbing there.
By Mike Reardon
Apr 16, 2013
First off, thanks to Nathan Brown and Eric Singleton for making this place happen!
If interested... Check out grounduppublishing.com for a copy of your "Cedar Rock and Satellite Crags", outlining 200+ climbs the Cathey's/ Cedar Rock area. The book covers all 7 faces of Cedar in full detail, Victory Wall, Cathey's Creek, Pilot Rock, Fish Bowl Crag, and an abridged John Rock. You can order online or message me for a $23 copy. Enjoy!
By nbrown
From: western NC
Dec 12, 2013
mountainproject.com/v/dry-tool...

A relevant topic to this area which is apparently now being used for drytooling practice. I know the place has more than its fair share of choss, but there are a few worthwhile routes that deserve not to be ruined by this practice. I ask that those considering this to at least have enough imagination to create their own tool-friendly routes, and not destroy other people's hard work. Show some respect please!
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 16, 2014
It would be easier to enjoy this resource if the original poster had put more time into providing actual directions to the crag rather than sermonizing about climbing ethics.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 25, 2014
Mike,

I was able to find the falls after driving back & forth a bit, but the location of the crag was still a mystery & with the June foliage in full bloom and checking out a few dead ends it ended up being a waste of time. A few sentences of added details about the exact location of the crag would have really helped.

Having put up over 500 routes myself, I understand the work involved, but if you are going to post up a crag, at least give decent directions, or fair warning that a crag may be hard to find.

TZ
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 27, 2014
Not hardly a troll, just frustrated with trying to find what appeared from the description to be an easy to find crag. What exactly does "above" mean, up the hill on the north side of the valley, upstream, or uphill on the south side? Like I said, a few sentences about the exact location of the crag would really help. Something like X.X miles west of the intersection of Cathey's Creek Road and US 64 is a bridge across Cathey's Creek, park on the north side of the creek, a faint trail leads from ___ going ___, etc. (some details of the location relative to the falls or road or something). While it may all be plainly obvious during the winter when the leaves are gone, in the summer when the jungle is in full bloom, you could be 10 feet away from something and not see it. Despite my advanced age (climbed at Lookingglass in the 70s & did Peregrine 9 years before the FA), I still lead 5.12 and my teenage son leads 13, so I think we could climb the routes there. While it may be another 30 years before I make my way back there again, it would be a big favor to other visitors to add just a bit more details to the description for the crag location.
By esingleton
Oct 13, 2014
Will be correcting the bolts on Crown Royal to keep them from spinning. Second bolt on treehugger has an X so I will also inspect that and make the proper corrections along with replacing the missing hanger on Old Crow. 10/13/14
By JasonP
From: Clemson, SC
Dec 15, 2014
Approach:
Enter the trail through the obvious trailhead by the concrete bridge just upstream of the falls. Follow the trail on the right that heads in the downstream direction. The falls will be within 100 yards or so on your right the whole time. The crag is approximately 10 minutes from the trail head and only a couple hundred yards up the hill from the creek.

Now anyone with a basic sense of direction can find it.
By khoa
From: Tacomarado
Jan 2, 2015
I also couldnt find this right away, but in my defense i was scoping it out at night..

Start at the "pulloff" by the concrete bridge. There's big obvious log crossing upstream past the firepit... don't take that. Take the less obvious crossing downstream, where the 2 streams intersect. The trail should be pretty flat and goes downhill too. The road should be visible on your right for part of it too
By nbrown
From: western NC
Mar 10, 2015
A few days ago there was a report of two bolts pulling out at Catheys Creek Crag. Today I had a chance to go inspect and here’s what I found: ALL hardware intact and accounted for. I did not climb every route, but could easily count each bolt on every route, and they were all there. Short of someone putting the two pulled bolts back into the bolt hole and re-setting them (highly unlikely), or perhaps an undocumented obscure line off to the side (also highly unlikely), I found no issues of concern.

The only thing I found today was: Bolt 2 of “Treehugger” – the one next to the white X that someone had drawn with chalk – simply needed tightening but was otherwise solid. It was apparently mistaken for a dangerous bolt… Note: If you’re climbing bolted routes outside please take the time to educate yourself a little about how they work. It may prove helpful someday. And if you know a little about them, please feel free to tighten down a loose nut from time to time. Bolts, like every other piece of hardware are prone to wear, but they last much longer when the hanger is properly tightened.


Since we’re on the subject of stewardship (and while not an exhaustive list by any means) here are a few recent observations worth mentioning:

1.Hanger removed from Old Crow. This was probably due to the hanger getting spun counterclockwise, resulting in a loose nut. This would have been an easy fix with a wrench, but instead, the hanger was apparently taken home as a souvenir. It’s since been replaced.

2.Worn lower-off biners. The ones on Old Crow have been replaced at least once. The aluminum biners wear relatively quickly and need to be replaced occasionally. Please pony up a dollar or two and do your part when it’s time.

3.Someone has also left a miniature KEY carabiner on the first bolt of the aptly-named Shit Show as well. When I say miniature I mean I’m amazed that it held body weight long enough to lower to the ground.

4.The so-called tree of life was destroyed. Yes it was just a regular old tree but it was still pretty cool given its location.

5.Today I found a camp-style top rope string hanging on Old Crow. This was left so that someone could get their top rope up without actually having to climb it first. Please do not do this. In addition to very bad style (leaving lines hanging), this is very dangerous. Because of the steep angle and bad swing potential into boulders, top roping without directionals should not be done.

6.Lastly, many of the routes were originally done with mixed bolts and gear. Be aware of that and place gear as needed. Don’t depend solely on the spacing of the bolts to keep you off the deck -- at least one near miss happened a while back because of this.

I realize that this little crag isn’t much to speak of (some would say chosspile), but that’s still not a reason to treat it like an outdoor gym. It’s a fun spot in a very scenic place, and it’s worth treating with a little more respect. Let’s all do our part and try to instill a bit more stewardship in those that don’t know any better.
By arno
Mar 15, 2015
OK, I got horribly lost looking for the crag, but not because of the directions posted here. Rather, directions about where to stop on the road. I lost cell signal and stopped short of the correct bridge. So, here's the directions starting when you actually get on Cathey's Creek Road:
Directions to Cathey’s Creek:
Zero your mileage counter as you get on Cathey’s Creek Road.
At 0.7 mark the road turns to dirt
At 1.4 you pass Kuykendall Campground
At 1.8 you pass first bridge
At 2.4 you pass second bridge and begin going up a long steep hill
At 3.4 you arrive at third bridge and the access to Cathey’s Creek crag
By esingleton
Mar 15, 2015
Thanks Arno! This will be added to the directions. Hope you enjoyed your time here.
By Barrett Pauer
From: Brevard, nc
Mar 15, 2015
On my trip out today, there was a 50ft purple and white handline during the steep section of the trail. I packed it out with me. Please LNT!
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