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North Carolina  


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Location: 35.6037, -79.2773 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,519,874
Administrators: saxfiend, Edward Medina, Ryan Williams, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: saxfiend on Oct 14, 2006
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Hawksbill Mountain, Linville Gorge

Description 

You could probably make a strong case for North Carolina as the home of the best rock climbing in the south. No other southern state has the variety or sheer volume hosted here. From the multi-pitch quartzite of Linville Gorge, to the eyebrows and hard aid of Looking Glass, to the exposed granite scarefests of Cashiers Valley, North Carolina has it all.

In addition to great rock and lots of destinations, North Carolina has a reputation for tradition that is not to be trifled with. Most routes in the state were established with ground-up techniques using whatever protection the rock affords, placing bolts only on lead and only when absolutely necessary. Anyone unwise enough to rap-bolt a route will usually come back to find their work erased by the locals.

What this means, at least in anything above an easy-to-moderate grade, is that you need a good lead head if you’re going to climb in North Carolina. Long runouts between pro or bolts are taken for granted here, and even moderate and/or well-protected routes can be stout for the grade.

For beginners and new trad leaders, Table Rock is a great destination. Fun leads in the “easy” range (5.3-5.5) abound, and there’s good opportunities for toproping at the nearby Chimneys. More experienced leaders will enjoy the airy multi-pitch moderates at the neighboring Amphitheater in Linville Gorge, or the granite crack climbs of Rumbling Bald.

If you’re ready to raise the stakes, take a trip to Stone Mountain, a huge granite dome with great friction climbing and wild runouts. And for the ultimate in NC climbing, head for Whiteside Mountain or Laurel Knob; only the seriously adventurous need apply.

There are also numerous bouldering areas in North Carolina. Hound Ears , near Boone, is one of the hosts for the celebrated Triple Crown bouldering competition (unfortunately, that’s the only time it’s open to climbing).

Getting There 

The climbing in North Carolina is spread across the state and divided into several distinct regions. From the tobacco fields of the Piedmont to the dramatic gorges in the High Country to the granite walls of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains; if you are west of Raleigh you are probably close to amazing climbing. See individual areas for directions.

Access Issues 

The USFS temporarily closes many areas in North Carolina for Peregrine Falcon nesting. The Carolina Climbers Coalition does a great job of keeping their site up to date regarding closures.

Also, it seems that the CCC is always working on opening access to new climbing areas around the state. They have been invaluable in opening areas like Asheboro, Rumbling Bald, and Laurel Knob, just to mention a few. If you climb in North Carolina, think about donating time or money to the cause and/or joining the CCC.

Climbing Season



Weather station 12.1 miles from here

1,886 Total Routes

['4 Stars',244],['3 Stars',801],['2 Stars',571],['1 Star',188],['Bomb',3]
['<=5.6',124],['5.7',90],['5.8',146],['5.9',171],['5.10',387],['5.11',373],['5.12',180],['5.13',28],['>=5.14',2],['',0],['<=V1',52],['V2-3',154],['V4-5',83],['V6-7',52],['V8-9',18],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',5],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Carolina:
The Prow   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Linville Gorge : Amphitheater
The Mummy   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Linville Gorge : Amphitheater
The Great Arch   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Stone Mountain : Stone Mountain South Face
North Ridge   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Linville Gorge : Table Rock
Wailing Wall   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Moore's Wall : The Amphitheater
The Daddy   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Linville Gorge : Amphitheater
Second Coming   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Looking Glass Rock : South Side
Zoo View   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   Sentinel Buttress : Circus Wall
Fruit Loops   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   Rumbling Bald : Cereal Buttress
Maginot Line   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 300'   Linville Gorge : Shortoff Mountain
Sundial Crack   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 430'   Looking Glass Rock : Nose Area
White Lightning   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Linville Gorge : Table Rock
Groover (Gaskin Finish)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches, 900'   Laurel Knob
The Nose   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Looking Glass Rock : Nose Area
Dopey Duck   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Linville Gorge : Shortoff Mountain
Titties & Beer (aka "World's Hardest 5.8")   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Looking Glass Rock : Sun Wall
Frosted Flake   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Rumbling Bald : Cereal Buttress
Cornflake Crack   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Looking Glass Rock : North Side
Shredded Wheat   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Rumbling Bald : Cereal Buttress
The Glass Menagerie   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c PG13     Trad, 7 pitches, 900'   Looking Glass Rock : North Side
Browse More Classics in North Carolina

Featured Route For North Carolina
Alan Irwin seconding Merovingian Line

Merovingian Line 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  NC : Closed : ... : Black Bear Buttress
At the right side of the cliff is a big steep slab. At the left side of the slab is an obvious line. Climb past three bolts to the crack and follow it to a run out section with two far spaced bolts then up to a bolted belay right of a pine tree.The Merovingians were a Frankish dynasty that came to rule the region largely corresponding to ancient Gaul from the mid fifth to the mid eighth century. Merovingians were also claimed to be the descendants of Jesus Christ; this is seen as po...[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

Photos of North Carolina Slideshow Add Photo
Happy Log...
Happy Log...
A nice view of the south face with several climbin...
A nice view of the south face with several climbin...
KK Gregory pulling hard on the perfect sandstone a...
KK Gregory pulling hard on the perfect sandstone a...
James Ruth on FA of Illusion of Careless Flight  -...
James Ruth on FA of Illusion of Careless Flight -...
Doc Bayne on one of His Serious Adventures First A...
Doc Bayne on one of His Serious Adventures First A...
Tim leading the classic crack five ten 'eh at Ghos...
Tim leading the classic crack five ten 'eh at Ghos...
Hwy. 64 Whitesides Overlook in October
Hwy. 64 Whitesides Overlook in October
somewhere in Pisgah Forest
somewhere in Pisgah Forest
Did somebody say granite?  NC.
Did somebody say granite? NC.
Tim climbing a sweet roof crack at Gost Town in Hi...
Tim climbing a sweet roof crack at Gost Town in Hi...
Near the top of Grandmother Mountain, Boone area  ...
Near the top of Grandmother Mountain, Boone area ...
FA at secret crag early 1990's
FA at secret crag early 1990's
This climb is a mirror of what exists on the other...
This climb is a mirror of what exists on the other...
winter sunset
winter sunset
Rumbling Bald Rock Climbs guidebooks are now in st...
BETA PHOTO: Rumbling Bald Rock Climbs guidebooks are now in st...
rest day activity
rest day activity
Somewhere near Linville.
Somewhere near Linville.
Marvin pulling the crux of Tunnel of Love (Sams Kn...
Marvin pulling the crux of Tunnel of Love (Sams Kn...
Big Green 09/08
Big Green 09/08
bountiful backcountry crags
bountiful backcountry crags
Josh Bittner taking the new way up p2 of Hindu Kus...
Josh Bittner taking the new way up p2 of Hindu Kus...
Big Green 09/08
Big Green 09/08
FA on the Hebron Rock Colony Line! Slack Liner: Mi...
FA on the Hebron Rock Colony Line! Slack Liner: Mi...
Rare route 300' right of Starshine
Rare route 300' right of Starshine

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