Elevation: 4,451 ft
GPS: 35.08, -83.143 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 140,870 total · 868/month
Shared By: Jeff Mekolites on May 22, 2007 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

Whiteside Mountain, located between Highlands and Cashiers NC, is considered by many as the biggest, "baddest" cliff on the east coast. It offers stout free climbing routes, wild, run-out routes and aid routes all with tremendous exposure all around. Whitesides also has a reputation for loose rock, skimpy gear and unpredictable weather and because of this Whitesides remains among the most feared, respected and involved climbing areas in North Carolina and the Southeast. All the routes here required a level of commitment and seriousness because of the objective dangers and Whiteside's reputation as the "local flight school". As Thomas Kelley, author of The Climber's Guide to North Carolina, writes, "Whitesides is undeniably bold. Whitesides is immense, scary and the closest thing to big wall, run-out adventure climbing you'll find in the south. This is the place for you if you wish to avoid the crowds and soil your drawers." Eloquently put.  Route development at Whitesides began in the late 1970's with most of the development taking place in the last '80's and '90's with names like Bayne, Cartwright, Corbett, Gaskin, Ilgner, Lassiter, Rotert, Stegg, and Whittemore to name a few; names that read like a who's who of North Carolina climbing.  Whitesides is broken up into a couple of different climbing areas: the Southeast Face and the North Face (aka Devil's Courthouse).  The southeast face, about 700 feet in height, sees most of the traffic especially on the Original Route (aka Gom Jabber), (III/IV, 5.11a or 5.10c, A0) and Traditions (III/IV, 5.11c). There also many other considerable routes on the southeast face including The Matrix (IV, 5.12c), Warrior's Way (IV, 5.12c), Arm and Hammer (IV, 5.12a), Whipping Boy (III/IV, 5.11d) and Catholic Girls Direct (III, 5.11a) to name a few. The Devils Courthouse, visible from US 64, hosts a number of 2 - 4 pitch routes including Crystal Creme (5.11d) and Conquistador (5.11b).Other Details:

�Directions: From downtown Highlands, go east on US 64 for 5.5 miles to the Whiteside Mountain Road sign; turn right on paved road NC 1600 and go .6 mile; bear left at the Wildcat Ridge Road sign and go .35 mile; turn left into a gravel parking lot.

�Fee: There is a $2 fee.

�Facilities: Parking lot, toilet.

�Rock Type: Igneous rock commonly called "Whiteside granite", actually a quartz diorite gneiss.

�Hike: Visitors can hike part or the entire 2-mile loop trail to the 4,930-foot summit for a view of the valley floor, lying 2,100 feet below the surrounding mountains. The Whiteside Mountain Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail and is a component of the National Trail System.

�Seasonal Peregrine Falcon Closures: Typically from early January until late summer routes left of Traditions are closed for falcon nesting.

�Gear: A lighter version of a "standard" rack will typically do. Double check route descriptions for more details.

�Rating: Most routes ratings at Whitesides could/should have an R or X added to them.This is by no means a complete history of climbing or routes located at Whiteside Mountain, for additional valuable information pick up a copy of Yon Lambert & Harrison Shull's Selected Climbs in North Carolina or Thomas Kelley's The Climber's Guide to North Carolina or pick the brain of a North Carolina local.

Getting There

From downtown Highlands, go east on US 64 for 5.5 miles to the Whiteside Mountain Road sign; turn right on paved road NC 1600 and go .6 mile; bear left at the Wildcat Ridge Road sign and go .35 mile; turn left into a gravel parking lot.

69 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Whiteside Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 12
Save the Shrimp
Trad 6 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 7
Bat Shit Crazy
Trad 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 5
One Pitch Wonder
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
 76
Original Route (aka Gom Jabber)
Trad 10 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 14
Boulder Problem in the Sky
Trad 2 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 4
pussyfootin'
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 20
Traditions
Trad 8 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 4
Ramp Dinner
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 12
Whippin' Boy
Trad 6 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
 6
Flaming Lips
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 6
Arm and Hammer
Trad 7 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 5
X70
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 4
The Vaporizer
Trad
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 6
The Matrix
Trad 8 pitches
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 4
Warriors Way
Trad 9 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Save the Shrimp Left of main southeas…
 12
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 6 pitches
Bat Shit Crazy Southwest Corner
 7
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
One Pitch Wonder Left of main southeas…
 5
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Original Route (aka Gom Jab… Southeast Face
 76
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad 10 pitches
Boulder Problem in the Sky Southwest Corner
 14
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
pussyfootin' N Face > Catwalk
 4
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Traditions Southeast Face
 20
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 8 pitches
Ramp Dinner N Face > Catwalk
 4
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Whippin' Boy Southeast Face
 12
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad 6 pitches
Flaming Lips N Face > Catwalk
 6
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13 Sport
Arm and Hammer Southeast Face
 6
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad 7 pitches
X70 N Face > Catwalk
 5
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Vaporizer Southwest Corner
 4
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad
The Matrix Southeast Face
 6
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad 8 pitches
Warriors Way Southeast Face
 4
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad 9 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Whiteside Mountain »

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