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Areas in Cooks Wall

Cookbook, The 1 / 16 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17
Devil's Chimney 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Lower Wall 22 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 28
West Walls 24 / 29 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 50
Elevation: 1,455 ft
GPS: 36.4, -80.26 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 46,706 total · 507/month
Shared By: S Tart on Sep 29, 2010
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry
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Getting There

Drive into Hanging Rock State Park and park in the back at the lake parking lot. Walk towards the lake and follow the Cooks Wall Trail (white diamond trail) to House Rock. From there follow the directions as listed on each 'area' page.


My friend, Nathan Brown, originally posted the Cooks Wall main page on MP, as he was one of the main developers for the area. Climbers asked him for info so he created the basic layout and has since turned the page over to me.
Here's part of his original post:

'This cliff is a good alternative to Pilot Mountain for wintertime cragging. The rock is generally better and the crowds are essentially non-existent. It is a large broken up cliff line on the south end of Hanging Rock State Park that requires a long hike in but for a good amount of climbing. The left side (west) of the mountain is generally referred to as The West Walls (aka Cooks Fin) and is subdivided into areas. The right side (east) of the mountain is large and broken but sports some very worthy routes like "Emla", a 5.13d put up by Howie F back in the 90's. Of special note: the cliff can be quite windy and as a result may be unbearably cold in the winter or reasonably pleasant in warmer weather. Pay attention to predicted wind conditions.'

This is a fun winter cliff that's broken into 4 primary sections:

1. Cookbook
2. Lower Wall
3. West Walls (aka Cooks Fin)
4. Devil's Chimney

The best concentration of hard stuff is on the east side (Cookbook) but the most popular fun area is the West Walls. The Lower Wall requires the longest hike in and the most strenuous hike out but for some quality routes. Devils Chimney is the smallest area but has the easiest access just off the main Cooks Wall trail and hosts a handful of excellent traditional routes in a unique secluded setting.

Cooks is not Moores although they are sister cliffs. They are not really even similar. The holds, the texture, even the shape of the cliff and formation of the individual walls are distinctly different from Cooks to Moores. They are each unique and have their own style and character. And although Cooks is more like Pilot and Sauratown, Cooks has not had the 15-20 years worth of steady traffic to clean up the routes, so always keep this in mind. A roughly 1 hour hike in has kept many at bay over the years and is largely to blame. But even to this day in 2017, Cooks has never been published or well documented so traffic has been minimal although the routes are pleasant and fun. But who can blame anyone: with Moores being world class, Pilot's access and Sauratown being the ultimate outdoor climbing gym, Cooks has not had its day. It is a very worthy endeavor though if you want an alternative to the norm and don't mind the hike. The routes are generally 60'-100', the angle is usually steep to really steep and the rock is predominantly good to great. Cooks is known though for it's typically small loose rock in certain spots so use caution and consider a helmet for the belayer in some areas or use one in general for safety. Bring a rack if you don't want to be limited, as many routes are mixed or predominantly gear but you can still climb a good bit with just quicks. And as Nathan stated above, Cooks can get somewhat windy so prepare accordingly.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cooks Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pepper Shaker
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Vertical Horizon
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Slice Of American Pie
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Grace Under Pressure
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
sleeping above the kitchen
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Great taste of tang
Trad, Sport
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Edge of Enlightenment
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
DC Crack
Trad, Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Spiritual Warfare
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Theater Of Pain
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Pepper Shaker W Walls > The Fin Area
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Vertical Horizon W Walls > DC Cave
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Slice Of American Pie W Walls > DC Cave
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Grace Under Pressure Cookbook > Emla area
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
sleeping above the kitchen W Walls > 'Tang area
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R Trad
Great taste of tang W Walls > 'Tang area
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Edge of Enlightenment Cookbook > Prow
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
DC Crack W Walls > DC Cave
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, Sport
Deceivious Cookbook > Emla area
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Spiritual Warfare Cookbook > Warfare area (Uppe…
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Theater Of Pain Cookbook > Emla area
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Cooks Wall »

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D B   Denver
Seth, thanks a bunch for putting up all of this info. Heading up there this Sunday to check it out, psyched! Mar 28, 2014
Winston-Salem, NC
Benandstuff   Winston-Salem, NC
Does anyone know what happened to the numbered topos to the west and lower walls that were put up here (as well as the corresponding numbers on the area pages)? They were poor quality and hard to make out but they were something. I can't find them anymore. Nov 29, 2017
S Tart  
Ben, they are gone because they were hand written photos that contained only a portion of the routes at Cooks, so the numerical sequence was off and a little bit confusing and unfortunately unalterable. The Cooks page is still a work in progress. Dec 12, 2017

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