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North Carolina  


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Location: 35.6037, -79.2773 View Map  Incorrect?
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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

1,761 Total Routes

['4 Stars',228],['3 Stars',741],['2 Stars',543],['1 Star',180],['Bomb',4]
['<=5.6',116],['5.7',87],['5.8',143],['5.9',165],['5.10',361],['5.11',348],['5.12',171],['5.13',25],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',49],['V2-3',143],['V4-5',71],['V6-7',45],['V8-9',17],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',4],['>=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
North Ridge   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Linville Gorge : Table Rock
The Great Arch   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Stone Mountain : Stone Mountain South Face
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
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
Rat's Ass   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Looking Glass Rock : South Side
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
Hyperbola   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, 4 pitches, 550'   Looking Glass Rock : Nose Area
Shredded Wheat   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Rumbling Bald : Cereal Buttress
Cornflake Crack   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Looking Glass Rock : North Side
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
Pitch 1

Invasive Species 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  NC : Cedar Rock : Cedar Rock - North
This is a high quality route that is probably as good as just about anything else at Cedar Rock. The first pitch starts on "Native Dance" before the two lines diverge ("Native Dance" climbs the lower angle left diagonaling crack).P-1Climb the short easy corner to the easy face. Gear protects the face that leads up to a line of 3 bolts ("Native Dance"). At the 3rd bolt move up and right past an optional shallow #0 TCU (out right) to gain the left facing crackless corner (see picture)@SEM...[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

Photos of North Carolina Slideshow Add Photo
Happy Log...
Happy Log...
James Ruth on FA of Illusion of Careless Flight  - some secret NC place
James Ruth on FA of Illusion of Careless Flight -...
A nice view of the south face with several climbing parties making ascents.  The Great Arch is prominent on the left.
A nice view of the south face with several climbin...
KK Gregory pulling hard on the perfect sandstone at Lost Cove, Boone, NC.
KK Gregory pulling hard on the perfect sandstone a...
Hwy. 64 Whitesides Overlook in October
Hwy. 64 Whitesides Overlook in October
Tim leading the classic crack five ten 'eh at Ghost Town.  Currently closed but the CCC is working with Chimney Rock to gain access to this stellar crag.
Tim leading the classic crack five ten 'eh at Ghos...
Doc Bayne on one of His Serious Adventures First Ascents with myself on Cool Carolina Granite!
Doc Bayne on one of His Serious Adventures First A...
somewhere in Pisgah Forest
somewhere in Pisgah Forest
Tim climbing a sweet roof crack at Gost Town in Hickory Nut Gorge.
Tim climbing a sweet roof crack at Gost Town in Hi...
Near the top of Grandmother Mountain, Boone area <br /> <br />(scan)
Near the top of Grandmother Mountain, Boone area

...
Marvin pulling the crux of Tunnel of Love (Sams Knob).
Marvin pulling the crux of Tunnel of Love (Sams Kn...
Big Green 09/08
Big Green 09/08
rest day activity
rest day activity
bountiful backcountry crags
bountiful backcountry crags
Did somebody say granite?  NC.
Did somebody say granite? NC.
winter sunset
winter sunset
Somewhere near Linville.
Somewhere near Linville.
This climb is a mirror of what exists on the other side, an abundance of momentary perfection. <br /> <br />King of Swing, Chimney Rock State Park NC <br /> <br />
This climb is a mirror of what exists on the other...
Close up from wolf/cedar rocks
Close up from wolf/cedar rocks
near whitesides.
near whitesides.
FA at secret crag early 1990's
FA at secret crag early 1990's
Big Green 09/08
Big Green 09/08
Josh Bittner taking the new way up p2 of Hindu Kush at Ship Rock. Dubbed "Senseless Appearance". Hawks Bill and Table Rock in the distance.
Josh Bittner taking the new way up p2 of Hindu Kus...
Rare route 300' right of Starshine
Rare route 300' right of Starshine

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