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Driving East to West coast - YOU DECIDE where I get to climb


Original Post
Geordi Alm · · Mesa · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

This is my first post, so let me know if I'm doing this wrong!

I'm taking a few weeks to drive from Hampton, VA to Arizona (my base) on April 4th. I'm native to Arizona, so I'm not very familiar with the climbing areas on the east coast. I'm looking to find the best climbing locations to stop along the way to make a killer trip. Once I have these locations I can post in the regional forums to find partners! If anyone has any recommendations I would greatly appreciate it!

I have gear for sport and top rope routes, and I'm not that into bouldering. I usually climb 5.12 in the gym, so I don't think I can handle anything too terribly hard.

(I am already planning on going to Red Rocks Nevada, and The Pit in Flagstaff, AZ.)

Thanks guys! Have a nice night :-)

Weavers Needle Spire - Superstitions, AZ

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,989

When were you thinking? Should people assume Virginia is your base and you have already climbed in the states nearby or will be returning and doing that?

Geordi Alm · · Mesa · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

Sorry, I should've cleared that up. I'm native to Arizona, and I've only been to Great Falls park outside of Washington D.C. on the East Coast. I'm looking to leave Virginina April 4th!

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,989

I would think the Red River Gorge would be a no brainer then. Right on your way to start, incredible sport climbing and you should be able to find partners easily. You might not want to leave though!

Steven Groetken · · Durango, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 390

I hear the climbing in Kansas is breathtaking.

Pit Fall hardcore

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 176

If this is your proposed routing I make a few suggestions with a little deviation.

Pilot Mountain State Park, NC - Great climbing community out of Winston-Salem.
Stone Mountain State Park, NC - Smearing
Grab the Blue Ridge Parkway and head toward Boone/Blowing Rock NC, stay at Julian Price State Park, lots of nearby climbing, Grandfather Mountain is awesome.
Linville Gorge is worth a look.
Yonah Mountain near Helen, GA is a nice two day stop.
Off to Chattanooga Look Out Mountain.
After that we didn't find anything of note until Horseshoe Canyon, AR.
We also liked Mt. Magazine, AR - but not sure it's worth the side trip.
Now comes the hard part, south or north. North you could still be in snow at some locations, south it may be getting pretty warm.

Possible Route

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 176

Almost forgot, pick up a copy of "Rock and Road". it's a Falcon Guide Book to climbing areas in the USA. Our copy is a little dated, and it doesn't have a lot of detail. But it is one of the first references we look at when scoping out a new area.

Geordi Alm · · Mesa · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

Hey Dallas, I actually ended up going through Kansas. I'm about to hit Colorado tomorrow. I'll be in CO for about two weeks. If you know of any aras that I ABOSOLUTELY should not pass up, let me know! I want to make the most of these two weeks. Thanks! - Geordi

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 176

We only spent a few days in the Boulder/Ft. Collins area so don't qualify for good information. Lots of climbing so you shouldn't have a problem getting hooked up with locals.

We just left Maple Canyon near Ephraim, UT. Climbing conglomerate was a little weird, but a lot of fun.

We will be in Moab until the 19th.

City of Rock will be next, followed by Smith Rock State Park May and June.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346
Dallas R wrote:Almost forgot, pick up a copy of "Rock and Road". it's a Falcon Guide Book to climbing areas in the USA. Our copy is a little dated, and it doesn't have a lot of detail. But it is one of the first references we look at when scoping out a new area.
That thing sucks. It does not differentiate between sport and trad or in any other way other than star rating. It's a $50 waste of money IMO. Use Mountain Project. It's free and has FAR more detail.
ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Moore's wall (200-300ft, zoo view is still one of my favorite climbs) but also some of my favorite boulering for the V4-V6 range.

I would skip pilot (climbpilotnc.us/) and go there if you had to pick but they are close and could hit both.

Stone (500ft) isn't bad for some runout slab.

Boone could be difficult if you don't know the area, very little in the form of guide books.

Linville gorge is great, their campsite is nice too if you hit up table rock side, nice 200-500ft climbs.

New River gorge.

Red River gorge, lots of options for camping around there and some of the best pizza I have had in the US.

Laurel knob is probably not worth a east to west trip due to the approach.

Rumbling bald.

HP 40 if you enjoy getting your ego crushed (some decent trad climbing at steele which is 15mins away also).

When you are out at red rock do some night climbing if the weather permits, likely get to see some ring tails.

Zion.

Yosemite has tons of nice relaxing long climbs if you are dead by the time you make it out to the west coast.

dano72 · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 5
Geordi Alm wrote:Hey Dallas, I actually ended up going through Kansas. I'm about to hit Colorado tomorrow. I'll be in CO for about two weeks. If you know of any aras that I ABOSOLUTELY should not pass up, let me know! I want to make the most of these two weeks. Thanks! - Geordi
Go to Shelf Road.
Dylan B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 50

If you jaunt north j st a bit after Tennessee you can hit up Jackson Falls in Southern Illinois. It's a great sport climbing area, but not if it's too hot.

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 176
20 kN wrote: That thing sucks. It does not differentiate between sport and trad or in any other way other than star rating. It's a $50 waste of money IMO. Use Mountain Project. It's free and has FAR more detail.
True enough, but I sometimes go to places with no internet. So it is useful in planning next leg in our journey.
Jen Shriber · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 20

If you want to do a lot of sport climbing in the southeast, I'd definitely hit the New (WV), the Red (KY), the Obed (TN), and Foster Falls (TN). Foster Falls is right outside Chattanooga, which has some awesome bouldering as well. You're also going early enough to avoid the sweltering humidity in the summer.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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