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Areas in Ship Rock

Better Late Than Never Wall 7 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Lower Tier 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Main Tier 25 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 25
Upper Tier 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Elevation: 4,394 ft
GPS: 36.099, -81.782 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 78,822 total · 540/month
Shared By: Nick Stayner on Nov 16, 2006 with updates from Scott Phil
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry
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Description

Ship Rock is located on the Blue Ridge. It offers an excellent selection of routes at all grades, most of which are very high quality and quite protectable. Its northwestern exposure means that it comes into the sun late in the day, making it an excellent spot for the warmer months. Due to its number of excellent moderates and proximity to Appalachian State University, it's pretty popular. The rock is a bomber metamorphic (quartzite?) scored with numbers of awesome horizontals that make great holds and take excellent gear.
A "standard Shiprock rack" may consist of a set of stoppers, doubles on cams from 00 TCU-.75 camalot, and singles of #1/2 camalots. See individual descriptions for more info.

Getting There

Ship Rock is approached via the Rough Ridge parking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway, located ~2 miles north of the Linn Cove Viaduct. From Rough Ridge, walk south down the parkway for 1/3 of a mile. Cross a bridge, pass a roadcut, and look right. A trail should become apparent immediately after the roadcut.

42 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ship Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 143
Edge of a Dream
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 103
Hindu Kush
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 152
Boardwalk
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 97
Lost at Sea
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 108
Borrowed Time
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 62
Airlie Gardens
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 30
Maiden Voyage
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 119
Harpoon
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 80
Linn Cove Lullaby
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 53
KB Capers
Trad 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 43
BOG Man
Trad 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 36
Welcome to Watauga
Trad 2 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 52
Anguish of Captain Bligh
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 28
The Broach
Trad 2 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 42
Gumfighter
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Edge of a Dream Upper Tier
 143
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Hindu Kush Main Tier
 103
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Boardwalk Main Tier
 152
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Lost at Sea Upper Tier
 97
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Borrowed Time Main Tier
 108
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Airlie Gardens Main Tier
 62
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Maiden Voyage Upper Tier
 30
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Harpoon Main Tier
 119
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Linn Cove Lullaby Main Tier
 80
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
KB Capers Main Tier
 53
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
BOG Man Main Tier
 43
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
Welcome to Watauga Main Tier
 36
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
Anguish of Captain Bligh Main Tier
 52
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
The Broach Main Tier
 28
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 2 pitches
Gumfighter Main Tier
 42
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
More Classic Climbs in Ship Rock »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Nick Stayner
Wymont Kingdom
Nick Stayner   Wymont Kingdom
As of 3/7/07, the NPS is closing the clifftop of Shiprock. Everything above Anguish/Harpoon is off-limits, and all descents of the main tier must utilize the Boardwalk rappel. Go to carolinaclimbers.org for more info. Mar 27, 2007
John Braun
Hendersonville, NC
John Braun   Hendersonville, NC
Can dogs make it to the Upper Tier? Nov 5, 2013
     
They can, saw a couple last weekend. Tie them up if other people are around, though! Nov 5, 2013
bumbum  
Benandstuff
Winston-Salem, NC
Benandstuff   Winston-Salem, NC
This crag is without a doubt one of the best crags I have been to. The quality of everything- rock, climbing, approach, protection,setting- it's all either great or utterly fantastic. Highly recommend. Jun 5, 2017
Brian Payst
Carrboro,NC
Brian Payst   Carrboro,NC
EDIT - 2018 version

Per the Park Service, parking along the parkway is OK, just obviously not in the areas posted as no parking. All 4 wheels off the road and the paved lots should be the first choice to keep the impacts down.

Original 2017 version below (so subsequent comments make sense in context)

Friendly reminder - please do not park alongside the parkway. You can park in the Rough Ridge lot before you get to Ship (headed South) or at the Wilson Creek pull off just past the cliff. The approach is basically the same for each. Jun 12, 2017
Brian Abram
Celo, NC
Brian Abram   Celo, NC
FWIW, I've have asked park law enforcement about this, and I was told you can park on the side of the road anywhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway that does not have a No Parking sign except for the Asheville Watershed area, as long as all four wheels are off the pavement. That doesn't mean folks should not try to keep as low a presence as possible, but that is what I was told. And there is an argument to be made for climbers to not take up a bunch of parking at the often overflowing Rough Ridge trailhead lot Jun 15, 2017
Austin Goff
Winston-Salem, NC
Austin Goff   Winston-Salem, NC
This was my understanding, as well. It always seemed strange to me that climbers were held to a special parking standard that no other group on the parkway was required to obey. That being said. I am all for parking in a paved area where it makes sense. Jun 15, 2017
Scott Phil   NC
I'm speculating, but any restriction may be due to proximity to the viaduct or being on Grandfather Mountain. It is a fragile environment which is why the viaduct exists.

Even if there is no restriction, a concentration of climbers parking in the same area would quickly impact the road shoulder and lead to a formal restriction.

It's not that climbers are held to a different standard, but that we would all want to park in the same places. The policy of allowing parking on the shoulder is too encourage picnics, photography, etc. -- activities that tend to spread people out. Jun 15, 2017
Thomas Chapman
Sewanee, TN
Thomas Chapman   Sewanee, TN
Beta for camping at/near ship? Just pull off somewhere on the parkway? Jul 30, 2018
Benandstuff
Winston-Salem, NC
Benandstuff   Winston-Salem, NC
Thomas, don't camp on the side of the road on the BRP. You may be able to get away with sleeping in your car but this is generally frowned upon as well. I would hit up some of the legit camping areas nearby, like the Julian Price Memorial Park. Yes, you will have to pay. This is a popular tourist destination area. The closest free primitive camping I know of is on Linville Gorge pullout spots along Table Rock Rd., which is 30-40 minutes away. These are first come first serve obviously, and you may end up driving a good ways towards Table Rock before finding one (up to an hour away). There may be other free campsites that are closer that I am unaware of though. Jul 31, 2018
Brian Abram
Celo, NC
Brian Abram   Celo, NC
Thomas, the closest easy to find dispersed camping is probably at Little Wilson off 221 Aug 13, 2018
BaileyK Kirkland
Charleston, SC
BaileyK Kirkland   Charleston, SC
Headed to the area soon, but forecast is calling for light rain. Are there any routes that always stay dry or mostly dry? Sep 6, 2018
Steve Lineberry
Charlotte, NC
Steve Lineberry   Charlotte, NC  
I've climbed on Harpoon and Anguish of Captain Bligh shortly after a rain. Not long after that boardwalk was dry as well. Sep 7, 2018

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