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Routes in Black Mountain Range Alpine Climbs

Browns Creek Falls T WI4
Crescent T WI3-
Left Brain Right Brain T WI3- R
Left Wishbone T WI3-
Left Wishbone (Rock Scramble) T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Potato Hill Direct WI2- M1-2 R
Right Wishbone T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b WI3-
Royal Air T V-easy 3 WI4-5 R
Taj (Left and Right Variations), The T WI3- R
Y Gully T WI3
Elevation: 4,917 ft
GPS: 35.795, -82.247 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 20,226 total, 421/month
Shared By: Stephen Scoff on Dec 25, 2013
Admins: Ryan Williams, Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

Description

North Carolina's Black Mountain Range probably holds the best alpine snow and ice routes in the Southeast. These routes are huge with 3K+ elevation change, 1 to 4 hour approaches (and descents), humbling bushwhacking, and hundreds to a thousand plus plus feet of everything from steep snow to technical ice.
The remote and committing nature of these routes require a pre dawn start, map, compass, and/or GPS, and the knowledge to use them (i.e., waypoint your vehicle).


An accident up there would require a helicopter short haul and more than one party had to call the Yancy County Sheriff's Department for assistance...

Please give these routes and the range the respect they deserve.

Getting There

Trailheads and bushwhacking starting points are located off of roads accessed via highway 80 South of Micaville. See routes for specific approaches.

Please refer to the South Toe River, Mount Mitchell, and Big Ivy Trail Map (Pisgah National Forest).

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Classic Climbing Routes at Black Mountain Range Alpine Climbs

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI3-
Crescent
Trad, Ice, Alpine 5 pitches
WI4
Browns Creek Falls
Trad, Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
WI3-
Left Wishbone
Trad, Ice, Alpine 4 pitches
WI3
Y Gully
Trad, Ice, Alpine 10 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Crescent WI3- Trad, Ice, Alpine 5 pitches
Browns Creek Falls WI4 Trad, Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
Left Wishbone WI3- Trad, Ice, Alpine 4 pitches
Y Gully WI3 Trad, Ice, Alpine 10 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Black Mountain Range Alpine Climbs »

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Photos

Mitch,

For all these routes, the best options are two technical ice tools like BD Viper, Petzl Quark/Nomic, Camp Cassin X-all mountain. Most of this stuff is low angle thin ice with only occasional small steps of vertical ice, so you don't really need the most aggressively curved tools meant more for hard ice and mixed routes. People have also climbed these routes with two straight shaft mountaineering axes with wrist leashes, but that's also not the best option. Of course, you'll also need crampons with front points and appropriate boots to accommodate them. You'll need to be prepared to solo long exposed sections of low angle ice. Most people tackling these routes feel comfortable soloing WI2 grade and only rope up for the short steeper sections of WI3 or above. I hope that helps! Aug 28, 2017
Any recommendations on what tools or ice axes would be good for these routes? Aug 23, 2017
Brian Abram
Celo, NC
Brian Abram   Celo, NC
Robert,

Left Wishbone is for sure the most skiable, at least from the base of the obvious upper rock slab that I've never seen deep enough to be worth doing. Crescent sucks for skiing. Here is a pic of Crescent with skis:

instagram.com/p/BBE_YZWLgH9/ Aug 10, 2016
If someone had to provide guidance for most skiable slide - which would it be? Aug 6, 2016
george wilkey
travelers rest sc
george wilkey   travelers rest sc
this is great stuff Stephen. really appreciate you adding this to MP. Dec 25, 2013
Stephen Scoff
Columbia, South Carolina
Stephen Scoff   Columbia, South Carolina
More routes to follow.... Dec 25, 2013

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