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The Dark Side
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Black Bear Buttress 
Cougar Crag, The 
Desperado Wall 
Eagle Rock 
Main Wall, The 
Mini Cougar, The 
Survivor Wall, The 
Un-named wall - - Right of Desperado (middle wall) 

The Dark Side 


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Page Views: 44,091
Administrators: saxfiend, Edward Medina, Ryan Williams, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Sean Cobourn on Oct 1, 2007
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Cougar Crag (far left) Main Wall (left)
Desperado ...
  • Temporarily closed.
  • 2013 Closures MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Most southern climbers are familiar with Rumbling Bald, one of the best winter areas around due to its low elevation and south facing aspect. The cliff seems to stretch on for a mile or more when viewed from the tourist meccas of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. However, the other side of the mountain has just as much rock and is climbable in the summer when the south side is a blast furnace. 99% of routes were done in ground up style. Let's keep it that way please.
    I like secret places. I am not posting this stuff due to ego. The north face has no publicly documented history. Since most of this rock will be in the newly formed state park I felt it important to finally document areas so we could show the powers that be that there is a long rich history of climbing here and that climbing should be an allowed activity once the management plan is in the works.


    Getting There 

    Currently there are limited ways to get there. Either know someone who lives in the gated Fairfield golf community at the base of the walls or hike around or over the top from the south side. This situation should change over the coming years as this area will be inside the newly created Hickory Nut Gorge State Park.


    93 Total Routes


    ['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',39],['2 Stars',27],['1 Star',12],['Bomb',0]
    ['<=5.6',5],['5.7',1],['5.8',12],['5.9',11],['5.10',33],['5.11',25],['5.12',3],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['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 The Dark Side:
    Silent Spring   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   The Main Wall
    Lucky Streak   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 180'   The Main Wall
    Black Slabbeth   5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Desperado Wall
    Metal Meltdown   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Desperado Wall
    Brain Damage   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Desperado Wall
    Reckless Criminal   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 175'   Desperado Wall
    Thunderstruck   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 6a     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Desperado Wall
    Browse More Classics in The Dark Side

    Featured Route For The Dark Side
    Bruce and Andrew starting the second pitch.  Photo compliments of Dennis M.

    Hocus Focus 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a  NC : Closed : ... : Desperado Wall
    P-1 (5.10+/A0 or 5.12a) Climb past a pin and bolt via large patina type holds to a diagonal line of bolts. There is an A-0 move at the 5th bolt that now goes free and involves some thin terrain and use of a small crystal. Continue up to a short crack that leads to a thin face, passing 2 more bolts to the anchor.P-2 (5.11) Climb straight up to a good slot, which is perfect for a pink tricam. Continue up past 2 more bolts (crux) to easier terrain. Move right a bit, and follow the line of least ...[more]   Browse More Classics in NC

    Photos of The Dark Side Slideshow Add Photo
    part of The Main Wall from the Cougar Crag.  Eagle Rock is in the background.  There are six more areas between the two cliffs.
    part of The Main Wall from the Cougar Crag. Eagle...
    Cougar Crag (left) Main Wall (center) <br />Desperado Wall (right)
    Cougar Crag (left) Main Wall (center)
    Desperado Wa...
    The Dark Side
    BETA PHOTO: The Dark Side
    Comments on The Dark Side Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Nick Stayner
    From: The Magic City
    Oct 1, 2007

    I was wondering when somebody might post up on this. I've heard rumors...

    By Sean Cobourn
    From: Gramling, SC
    Oct 1, 2007

    The rumors are true.....

    By BHMBen
    From: The Deeper South
    Nov 22, 2007

    How would this place be in January? Good work on all the new climbs.

    By Sean Cobourn
    From: Gramling, SC
    Dec 4, 2007

    Thanks Ben. Answer is... pretty darn cold. This is a spring/summer/fall area. Sun does not hit it in winter. Go to the other side.

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

    Any word on when this area will be open and whether or not there will be vehicular access?

    By David Barbour
    From: Charlotte, NC
    Feb 27, 2013

    Is this place closed or do you just need to hike in from the other side?

    By nbrown
    From: western NC
    Feb 27, 2013

    Unfortunately it's still closed. Bummer since it's an excellent face climbing destination...