Elevation: 365 ft
GPS: 35.604, -79.277 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 5,059,553 total · 29,775/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Oct 14, 2006 with 2 Suggestions
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry
Access Issue: Potentially Closed Due to COVID-19 - Please check for closures before going and DO NOT TRESPASS! / 2020 Raptor Closures on the Nantahala-Pisgah LIFTED Details

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.

Bouldering: There is an unbelievable amount of bouldering areas in North Carolina, some of which are world-renowned. The Boone region is host to myriad and historically established bouldering areas. Rumbling Bald has phenomenal bouldering and a wonderful Full Color Bouldering Guidebook . The Linville Gorge is loaded with boulders and Joey Henson's Linville Gorge Bouldering Map beautifully illustrates that. Hound Ears, near Boone, is host for the first leg of the celebrated Triple Crown bouldering competition (unfortunately, that is the only time Hound Ears is open to climbing). Along with these areas Moores Wall, Asheboro, and many other wonderful bouldering locations can be found scattered throughout the Old North State.

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.

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Classic Climbing Routes at North Carolina

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V4 6B
 98
Dime Crack
Boulder
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 296
The Great Arch
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 315
The Daddy
Trad 5 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 182
Wailing Wall
Trad
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 221
Zoo View
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 345
The Nose
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 173
White Lightning
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 115
Air Show
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 171
Dopey Duck
Trad 3 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 202
Frosted Flake
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 90
T & B (aka "World's Hardest 5.8")
Trad 5 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 99
Straight and Narrow
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 78
The Womb
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 139
Shredded Wheat
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 88
Quaker State
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Dime Crack 1. Southern Mou… > … > Trailside Area > Trailside Boulder
 98
V4 6B Boulder
The Great Arch 3. Piedmont Region > Stone Mountain > Stone Mtn S Face
 296
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 3 pitches
The Daddy 2. Northern Mou… > Linville Gorge > Amphitheater
 315
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 5 pitches
Wailing Wall 3. Piedmont Region > … > Moore's Wall (R… > Amphitheater
 182
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Zoo View 3. Piedmont Region > … > Sentinel Buttress > Circus Wall
 221
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
The Nose 1. Southern Mou… > Looking Glass Rock > Nose Area
 345
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
White Lightning 2. Northern Mou… > Linville Gorge > Table Rock
 173
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Air Show 3. Piedmont Region > … > Sentinel Buttress > Circus Wall
 115
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Dopey Duck 2. Northern Mou… > Linville Gorge > Shortoff Mountain
 171
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Frosted Flake 1. Southern Mou… > Rumbling Bald > Cereal Buttress
 202
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
T & B (aka "World's Hardes… 1. Southern Mou… > Looking Glass Rock > Sun Wall
 90
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 5 pitches
Straight and Narrow 2. Northern Mou… > Linville Gorge > Shortoff Mountain
 99
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
The Womb 1. Southern Mou… > Looking Glass Rock > N Side
 78
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 3 pitches
Shredded Wheat 1. Southern Mou… > Rumbling Bald > Cereal Buttress
 139
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Quaker State 3. Piedmont Region > … > Moore's Wall (R… > Amphitheater
 88
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
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