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North Carolina Rock Climbing 


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Location: 35.6037, -79.2773 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ryan Williams, ShockSLL, Aaron James Parlier, 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

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 12.1 miles from here

1,994 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',248],['3 Stars',857],['2 Stars',610],['1 Star',196],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',129],['5.7',97],['5.8',155],['5.9',183],['5.10',407],['5.11',398],['5.12',188],['5.13',28],['>=5.14',2],['',0],['<=V1',53],['V2-3',166],['V4-5',87],['V6-7',53],['V8-9',20],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',6],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in North Carolina

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing 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
Fruit Loops   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   Rumbling Bald : Cereal Buttress
Zoo View   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   Sentinel Buttress : Circus Wall
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
The Nose   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Looking Glass Rock : Nose Area
Groover (Gaskin Finish)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches, 900'   Laurel Knob
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
Dopey Duck   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Linville Gorge : Shortoff Mountain
Frosted Flake   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Rumbling Bald : Cereal Buttress
Invisible Airwaves   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b A2     Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 240'   Looking Glass Rock : North Side
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 Rock Climbing Classics in North Carolina

Featured Route For North Carolina
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeep's Chimney, July 2007.

Jeep's Chimney 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  NC : Linville Gorge : ... : Lower Hawksbill
Jeep's Chimney climbs the most obvious feature on Lower Hawksbill - the large, acute, slightly left-facing dihedral. It's only a chimney because on how one climbs it - the crack in the back actually ranges from fingers to fists. The newest guidebook rates the pitch 10a; it certainly falls a bit more in the old school rating category. Climb the corner using stems, jams, creativity, and a few thrutches to a double-bolt belay hidden in the chimney at the top. Don't be afraid, especially n...[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

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

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