Elevation: 1,609 ft
GPS: 35.449, -82.214 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 736,928 total · 4,388/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Nov 28, 2006 with 1 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

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.

411 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Rumbling Bald

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
 97
Crescent Crack
Boulder
V4 6B
 96
Dime Crack
Boulder
V5-6 6C+
 51
Rotator Cuff (SDS V6 Stand V5)
Boulder
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 110
Bear Cub
Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 333
Fruit Loops
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 148
Comatose
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 206
Granola
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 201
Frosted Flake
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 87
Drivin' and Cryin'
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 109
Gunboat Diplomacy
Sport 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 67
Zydygo
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 73
Breakfast of Champions
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
 88
Whisky For Breakfast
Trad 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 139
Shredded Wheat
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 66
Southern Boys Don't Wear Plaid
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Crescent Crack Rumbling Bald B… > W Side Boulders > Devil Boulder
 97
V2 5+ Boulder
Dime Crack Rumbling Bald B… > … > Trailside Area > Trailside Boulder
 96
V4 6B Boulder
Rotator Cuff (SDS V6 Stand V5) Rumbling Bald B… > W Side Boulders > Cave Boulder
 51
V5-6 6C+ Boulder
Bear Cub Flakeview Area
 110
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Fruit Loops Cereal Buttress
 333
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Comatose Comatose Area
 148
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Granola Cereal Buttress
 206
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Frosted Flake Cereal Buttress
 201
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Drivin' and Cryin' Flakeview Area
 87
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Gunboat Diplomacy Flakeview Area
 109
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport 2 pitches
Zydygo Screamweaver Area
 67
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Breakfast of Champions Cereal Buttress
 73
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Whisky For Breakfast Cereal Buttress
 88
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Shredded Wheat Cereal Buttress
 139
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Southern Boys Don't Wear Plaid Screamweaver Area
 66
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
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