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NC CLIMBERS: Best Guidebook for Stone Mountain?
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By Bob Ewing
From Arlington
Feb 18, 2014
I'm from DC and plan to make my first trip to Stone Mountain this spring. I'd like to get a good guidebook if possible. I've found two on amazon. The best seems to be Lambert's Selected Climbs of North Carolina (2002). amazon.com/Selected-Climbs-Nor...

There's also a guidebook by Thomas Kelley for NC, but it's from 1995 and costs $50 compared to Lambert's $20. Is the Lambert book the best guide available for Stone Mountain? And is there anything you'd recommend for a first timer? We plan to camp Friday night and Saturday night, and climb all day Saturday and half day Sunday.

Any help would be most appreciated, thanks!
Bob

bobewing@gmail.com

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By cfuttner
Feb 18, 2014
Selected Climbs is pretty much it for Stone. Some of the less traveled routes are not in it. The old Kelly book has some additional routes but if your only there for the weekend Selected Climbs will be fine. I have an old photo copied version of parts of Climbers Guide to NC.It's been out of print for some time.

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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Feb 18, 2014
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH
Bob, the Lambert guide should do the trick for a few days. I swung through last month and found the guidebook to work well for the day we were there. The descriptions are pretty spot on, and things on the South Face aren't hard to find in any case. The one thing we didn't find was the walk-off it suggested, so we ended up taking the tourist trail down which was longer than we were hoping for.

Come ready to get scared and you'll have a great time, enjoy!

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By Jonathan Dull
From NC High County
Feb 18, 2014
Edge of a Dream
I'm not aware of a guidebook specific to Stone Mountain. The Select Climbs guide book would be a great purchase. It will have all the beta you'll need for Stone Mtn., plus it has great information for all the other destinations in NC.

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By Bob Ewing
From Arlington
Feb 18, 2014
Wow, three great comments in 10 minutes! Thank you guys so much for the feedback and insights, I really appreciate it. I'll order the Lambert book now.

Thanks!
Bob

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By cfuttner
Feb 18, 2014
Walk off = tourist trail to climbers left. It is long. Rap off from the anchors at the top of Great Arch. 3 (or 2? it's been a while) 60m double rope raps get you back to the tree ledge via Storm in a Tea Cup which usually isn't busy.

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By Adam Paashaus
From Greensboro, North Carolina
Feb 18, 2014
After you get done climbing be sure to head up to the summit for sunset. Its only a 10 minute walk from the main wall. Don't forget your headlamp.
Got kicked off mid reply...since they seem to have it covered I wont elaborate. I will give a couple great recommendations however. If you are up for some runout (which im sure you are if this is a destination for you) I would highly recommend Grand Funk Railrad as one of the best full length routes at stone and Electric Boobs just to its left. Both lots of fun. Also Fantastic and Fleet Feet are great and offer some rare (to stone) crack climbing (I just do the 1st pitch of both). As far as accessing the tree ledge I prefer Block Route as it feels the safest and is fun. I did dirty crack a month ago or so because I heard it wasn't dirty anymore... mistake... seeping and muddy. If you are feeling brave ive also really enjoyed the great white way on a couple occasions but the 2nd pitch off the ledge is heady to say the least. Stone is quite a gem so come ready and have fun!

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Feb 18, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
cfuttner wrote:
Walk off = tourist trail to climbers left. It is long. Rap off from the anchors at the top of Great Arch. 3 (or 2? it's been a while) 60m double rope raps get you back to the tree ledge via Storm in a Tea Cup which usually isn't busy.

If you're going to the bottom, most people can walk down faster than they can make the raps.

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By cfuttner
Feb 18, 2014
Not sure I agree with the walk vs. rap being faster, but maybe we are just quick with our raps. If the tree ledge is a cluster f--k with people coming up than I agree with getting to the bottom although you can usually get down from the Capt. Crunch anchors pretty quick. Little harder to find though. Adam just named off all the routes I would suggest except one. Bombay Groove. Climbs along the top of the Great arch. Also The Purring if you can find it.

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Feb 18, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
cfuttner wrote:
Not sure I agree with the walk vs. rap being faster, but maybe we are just quick with our raps. If the tree ledge is a cluster f--k with people coming up than I agree with getting to the bottom although you can usually get down from the Capt. Crunch anchors pretty quick. Little harder to find though. Adam just named off all the routes I would suggest except one. Bombay Groove. Climbs along the top of the Great arch. Also The Purring if you can find it.

It's 4 raps from the top to the bottom. It can't be more than about a 30 minute walk down. Most parties of 2 probably can't average 7-8 minutes per rappel (I'm sure some can, but not many), especially if you encounter any traffic on the way down or on the Tree Ledge. It's been a while since I compared head to head, but i've timed both ways and raced my partners back down and the walk off has always been faster. That said, I do rap more often since I'm usually doing multiple routes off the ledge and will often finish up by doing laps of the first pitch of a route off the ledge. And I'm lazy and walking is work.

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By Bob Ewing
From Arlington
Feb 18, 2014
Thanks for all the advice! We were looking at The Pulpit too, are there any thoughts or recommendations on climbing The Pulpit?

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Feb 18, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
Bob Ewing wrote:
Thanks for all the advice! We were looking at The Pulpit too, are there any thoughts or recommendations on climbing The Pulpit?

Yes! Do it. The Pulpit is one of the best introductions to SM slab climbing. It is one of the easier routes and is relatively well bolted (by SM standards). And if the water streak is too hard to cross getting to the Pulpit (the feature, not the route) on the ?3rd? pitch, you can continue up/left to the rest of No Alternative or head straight up instead of going right into the pulpit.

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By Keen Butterworth
From Boulder
Feb 18, 2014
Bouldering on Rabbit Mtn. Photo by Forrest Weller
Just for historical sake, there used to be a devoted guidebook to Stone Mtn by Roid Waddle. It was pretty basic but it was a huge improvement over the Southern Rock guidebook at the time. It came out about the same time as Fires, both of which made Stone a much friendlier place. Who the heck was Roid Waddle? Was that a pen name for Thomas Kelly?
Dixie Crystals
Dixie Crystals

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By Scott Phil
From NC
Feb 18, 2014
Dixie Crystals was great for its time and still fun to dip into. I personally doubt that Roid Waddle is the same person as Thomas Kelly. In fact Kelly thanks Waddle in his acknowledgments--but that could be part of the subterfuge.

Edit: I had always assumed that R. Waddle was an alias for one (or more) of the early Stone Mountain masters.

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Feb 18, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
Scott Phil wrote:
Dixie Crystals was great for its time and still fun to dip into. I personally doubt that Roid Waddle is the same person as Thomas Kelly. In fact Kelly thanks Waddle in his acknowledgments--but that could be part of the subterfuge. Edit: I had always assumed that R. Waddle was an alias for one (or more) of the early Stone Mountain masters.

I think it's Bill Webster (the publisher), but I could be wrong.

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Feb 18, 2014
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumbling Bald.
csproul wrote:
It is one of the easier routes and is relatively well bolted (by SM standards).

I know what csproul means here and while it's technically correct, I think it's misleading, especially for someone making their first trip to Stone Mountain. The Pulpit has six or seven bolts in its five pitches, and four of those are on P1, so you definitely need a light rack. Also, as csproul hinted, the P3 traverse to the Oasis has no bolts and marginal opportunities for pro, though it's pretty easy ground as long as it isn't wet.

That having been said, I agree that the Pulpit is an excellent full-length line and highly recommended.

JL

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By nbrown
From western NC
Feb 19, 2014
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai
Keen Butterworth wrote:
Just for historical sake, there used to be a devoted guidebook to Stone Mtn by Roid Waddle. It was pretty basic but it was a huge improvement over the Southern Rock guidebook at the time. It came out about the same time as Fires, both of which made Stone a much friendlier place. Who the heck was Roid Waddle? Was that a pen name for Thomas Kelly?


Funny, I was gonna suggest the same book.

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By Mark Byers
Feb 19, 2014
Profile Pic
Stay away from Entrance Crack.

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By Bob Ewing
From Arlington
Feb 19, 2014
Thanks for all the excellent advice! If we stay away from Entrance Crack, how should we access the tree ledge?

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By Bob Ewing
From Arlington
Feb 19, 2014
Does anyone know how to get a copy of the old Dixie Crystals guidebook? I can't find anything for sale online.

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Feb 19, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
Bob Ewing wrote:
Does anyone know how to get a copy of the old Dixie Crystals guidebook? I can't find anything for sale online.

It's going to be hard to find a copy. Unless you go there a lot and don't intend on going anywhere else in NC, I don't see any reason to buy anything other than the H&S Select guidebook.

As a side note, I knew a person (Erica) who was working on a Piedmont guidebook that was to include Stone. I haven't heard much about it in the last year, so I do not know the status of the book.

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By Adam Paashaus
From Greensboro, North Carolina
Feb 19, 2014
After you get done climbing be sure to head up to the summit for sunset. Its only a 10 minute walk from the main wall. Don't forget your headlamp.
Entrance crack is a crazy route for the grade sure, but, its not all that bad. I actually recommend everyone do it at least once. But given the short time there I would recommend "Block Route" to access the ledge. Its much better protected (at crux) and the flop is quite a mind boggler until you just commit and... flop.

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By Scott Phil
From NC
Feb 19, 2014
The Block Route or, if it is dry, Dirty Crack are both great ways to gain the tree ledge. If you plan to do the Pulpit (recommended), you will be starting just to the right of Dirty Crack and can easily scope it out. There is something to be said for doing the Entrance Crack at least once. It is probably the best known 5.4 in NC.

Dixie Crystals was/is a small, soft cover pamphlet that could easily fit in a pocket. I suspect that most copies were used until they were worn out. Some libraries used to have a copy--if they still do you could borrow it through Inter-library loan. That said, for your purposes Selected Climbs will give you plenty to do at Stone.

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By Meme Guy
From Land of Runout Slab
Feb 19, 2014
Meme guy
I'm gonna write a free guide book to stone mountain one day. It will be filled with rants, but it will be the best guide book for stone.

I've also got an old copy of Dixie laying around my house somewhere. I'll try to locate it and maybe have a sisterhood of the traveling pants type deal. Maybe I'll give it to the information station at the entrance of the park for their museum because it's older than shit.

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By Dana Bartlett
From CT
Feb 19, 2014
csproul wrote:
I think it's Bill Webster (the publisher), but I could be wrong.


You're right; it was Bill Webster.

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By Mark Byers
Feb 20, 2014
Profile Pic
Use Block Route, U Slot, or Dirty Crack to access the tree ledge. Block Route is my favorite. Also the block move is a step up and not a flop. From the tree ledge do the Great Arch and/or No Alternative, and then if you're in the mood for a bit of runout fun, jump on Yardarm. Or skip the tree ledge and do the Pulpit.

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