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Rumbling Bald

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Cave, The 
Central Boulders 
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Hanging Chain 
Hickory Nutcracker Area 
Kennel, The 
Lakeview Area 
Left Field 
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Test Pilots Buttress 
Tower Of Power 
Wall of Solitude, The 
West Side Boulders 

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Rumbling Bald 


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Location: 35.449, -82.2143 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 507,533
Administrators: saxfiend, Edward Medina, Ryan Williams, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: saxfiend on Nov 28, 2006
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Description 

With all the breakfast-sounding names associated with Rumbling Bald (Hickory Nut Gorge, Cereal Buttress, Frosted Flake), you might think the place was a theme park dreamed up by General Mills. In fact, Rumbling Bald is an excellent winter climbing destination in North Carolina, featuring a mix of granite/gneiss crack and friction climbs, trad and sport styles.

The history of climbing here is a little hazy, but the first ascents were apparently done in the early 1970s in what’s now known as the Flakeview Area. In the mid-70s, route development began at the Cereal Buttress, with first ascents like Shredded Wheat being made by Jeep Gaskin. Other RB pioneers include Grover Cable, Don Hunley and Sean and Shane Cobourn. The 80s were a time of big growth at areas like Hanging Chain Wall; the 5.12b route of the same name was at one time the hardest line in North Carolina.

In the 90s, Rumbling Bald was closed for several years due to access issues with neighboring landowners. In the late 90s, however, the crag was reopened, with bouldering gaining a predominant popularity among climbers. Most recently, Sean Cobourn and partners have been busy exploring and establishing new routes on Rumbling Bald's north face. At present, land purchases by the Carolina Climbers Coalition, combined with state plans for a Hickory Nut Gorge State Park, make the outlook excellent for continued access.

Camping is not allowed at Rumbling Bald, but there are private campgrounds nearby in the Chimney Rock area. The town also hosts B&Bs and motels for those not wanting to camp, along with good places to eat along the scenic Broad River. And if you get bored with climbing, you can join the tourists across the river at Chimney Rock Park (there is actually climbing in this state-owned park, but only if you hire an authorized guide service).


Getting There 

Rumbling Bald is located just outside the town of Chimney Rock. From points west (Asheville, etc.), pick up US 74A and go east to where 74A combines with US 64 and SR 9 near Bat Cave. From points east (Charlotte), exit I-85 south of Charlotte for Kings Mountain and US 74; follow 74 west to Forest City and veer off on US 74A west to Bat Cave.

From Bat Cave, follow the signs for Chimney Rock Park and pass the park entrance as you go through the town of Chimney Rock. Not quite a half mile past the park, turn left on Boys Camp Road (SR 1305). Follow this for about a mile and a half to a dirt access road on the left; take the dirt road to one of two parking areas for Rumbling Bald.


286 Total Routes


['4 Stars',48],['3 Stars',116],['2 Stars',92],['1 Star',27],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',10],['5.7',10],['5.8',20],['5.9',19],['5.10',48],['5.11',50],['5.12',25],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',1],['V2-3',37],['V4-5',31],['V6-7',25],['V8-9',7],['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 Rumbling Bald:
Silver Platter   V2 5+     Boulder   East Side Boulders
Dime Crack    V4 6B     Boulder, 15'   Trailside Area : Trailside Boulder
The Northcarolinian   V5 6C     Boulder   East Side Boulders
Kung Fu Grip   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   West Side Boulders : Cave Boulder
Brackish Water   V8 7B     Boulder   East Side Boulders
Patio Roof   V8 7B     Boulder   West Side Boulders : The Terraces
Fair-Weather Friend   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Cereal Wall
Fruit Loops   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   Cereal Buttress
Comatose   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Comatose Area
Granola   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Cereal Buttress
Frosted Flake   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Cereal Buttress
Flappin' In the Breeze   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 300'   Flapping.../Nuclear arms ar...
Sly Truths   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 100'   Hanging Chain
Short but Sweet   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 50'   The Wall of Solitude
Shredded Wheat   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Cereal Buttress
The Timanator   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 75'   The Wall of Solitude
Wild Hickory Nuts   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   Cereal Wall
Walk This Way   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 150'   Hanging Chain
Screamweaver   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Screamweaver Area
Spry Look   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 100'   Hanging Chain
Browse More Classics in Rumbling Bald

Featured Route For Rumbling Bald
Mary at the technical arete start

Focus 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a NC : Rumbling Bald : Test Pilots Buttress
This mega-classic is another Doug Reed ground-up testpiece.Climb amazing and crimpy face past 3 bolts and a gear placement to an intermediate anchor and lower off. 5.11 a/b. Or, continue up and right for the technical and well protected crux move. Move slightly right then fire straight up (5.9 R) to the top. Belay off a very healthy juniper tree....[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

Photos of Rumbling Bald Slideshow Add Photo
Problem w/ a BIG dyno swing move (V3?)
Problem w/ a BIG dyno swing move (V3?)
Moby Dick (V4)
Moby Dick (V4)
Classic Rumbling Bald sloping topout (V3)
Classic Rumbling Bald sloping topout (V3)
Kung Fu Grip (V5)
Kung Fu Grip (V5)
Willy trying the V5 campus problem @ the trailside area.
Willy trying the V5 campus problem @ the trailside...
FA'ing in fine style
FA'ing in fine style
Dime Crack (V4)
Dime Crack (V4)
my hot wife at Chimney Rock, with Cereal Wall in background
my hot wife at Chimney Rock, with Cereal Wall in b...
Alison Spatz climbs an obvious arete at the Breakfast Area on the East side.
Alison Spatz climbs an obvious arete at the Breakf...
aerial of Flakeview area and vicinity
aerial of Flakeview area and vicinity
on the drive in
on the drive in
aerial of Hanging Chain area
BETA PHOTO: aerial of Hanging Chain area
Aerial View of The Bald
Aerial View of The Bald
Cool boulder crack that is taller than it looks.  On ridge below the wall of solitude.
Cool boulder crack that is taller than it looks. ...
trail to the bald
trail to the bald
Eowyn slappa da bass
Eowyn slappa da bass
Comments on Rumbling Bald Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 16, 2013
By Jarred Cleerdin
Jun 11, 2010

What a spot! Must see for any climber. I consider this spot the hueco of the east.

By Dan Petty
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Nov 11, 2010

I'm relatively certain that the Lat/Long for the South-facing side of Rumbling Bald is: 35.45025, -82.21559

The one listed for this area is not off of Boys Camp Rd, has no north side, and is small in comparison.

By Dan Petty
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Nov 11, 2010

The road to the parking lot has also been improved and is no longer dirt.

By John-Michael Judson
Dec 22, 2010

it should be noted in regards to Dan's comment above, that "improved" means limited. The state (as far as i'm aware) stepped in to pave the road, but in doing so also put in posts which significantly limit the size of the parking area, and put in a gate barring access to the lower parking lot.

carpooling efforts should be stepped up if at all possible when visiting

By Brad Caldwell
From: Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Dec 27, 2010

Actually, there are more parking spaces than the old dirt lot, but there are exponential amounts of people now that it seems "more" accesible. If you want to guarantee your climbing access on the weekends, get there early (before 9:30) or else plan on going somewhere else. I usually go during the week and dont have any problems with parking, even on Fridays. Make sure not to park on the side of Boys Camp road or anywhere not allowed in the parking lot to ensure we dont have issues with the state park. Check out www.carolinaclimbers.org for up to date info on the Bald.

By russellHOBART
From: Davidson, NC
Feb 18, 2012

Is it kosher to boulder after hours here? And if so where do you park? Thanks

By Edward Medina
Administrator
From: Brighton, CO
Feb 18, 2012

Russell, the park definitely does not want people on the premises after the gate has been locked. Those who do so may be jeopardizing future access for others. Also, it should be noted that the Division of Natural Resources is keeping a chary eye on boulderers in particular as a user group that they consider to be 'high impact'

By Eric T.
From: St. Augustine, Florida
May 4, 2012

Anyone have any beta on free camping in the area?

By Brad Caldwell
From: Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
May 4, 2012

There is no free camping around the Bald...and please don't jeopardize access by camping at the Bald itself. If I were you, I'd climb somewhere else until the beginning of winter...Rumbling gets super hot in May and the flies and poison ivy get seriously bad in the boulders and on the cliff (flies not ivy). Head to the Highcountry, near Linville Gorge, during the hot months for a better NC hot weather climbing trip.

By Eric T.
From: St. Augustine, Florida
Jan 14, 2013

Can anyone help me figure out the best place to camp near Rumbling Bald?

By Brad Caldwell
From: Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Jan 16, 2013

Creekside up past Bat Cave might be your best bet.