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Moving to Atlanta


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Vic Davalos · · Rhode Island · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 5

Hey, MPers


So it looks like the lady and I are moving from Rhode Island down to Atlanta so that she can start grad school beginning in mid-May.  We're both super active climbers (in the roped domains), and while we're excited for the adventure and experiences moving to a new part of the country brings, we're definitely sad to give up our easy access to places like the Gunks, Rumney, Cathedral, Farley, and the oodles of stuff sprinkled throughout Connecticut.  Additionally, we've been blessed to have been part of a close-knit community of climbers of all ages here in RI.  These amazing men and women have been friends and mentors to us, and it's definitely bittersweet to say farewell.  So while things wind down for us here in RI and we send those unfinished projects (i'm looking at you, Cuttlefish), we are beginning to plan for the move down south.  Of course we are curious as to what the climbing is like down there.


Sooooo, what's the deal with being a climber living in Atlanta?  


Where do people go for day trips, weekend trips, afternoons/evenings after work?  What's the climbing community like down there?!  We'd love to find other climber friends in the area and integrate into the community in Georgia/Tennessee.


Thanks!

-Vic

Alex (spellstrike) Palmiter · · Duluth · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 21

Gym: Stone summit Atlanta http://www.ssclimbing.com/stone-summit-atlanta/ (Best Gym I've ever been to out of about a dozen or two that I've visited)

Local rock: Boat rock (bouldering)

day trips: Sandrock Alabama (No approach lots of great routes 2hr drive)/ Yonah (1hr drive 1hr hike) / other alabama crags / chattanooga TN crags/ rocktown bouldering /stonefort bouldering

weekend trips: North carolina (more run out, consider purchasing a stick clip), or the red, or take a plane somewhere as it's ATL.

Climbing group: facebook.com/groups/1865503…;

Jason Eberhard · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 66

Stone Summit is my favorite gym in the Atlanta area.  There's a multi-gym membership that will give you access to the original one in Chamblee, the slightly bigger one in Kennesaw, and the new bouldering location downtown.

Sand Rock (Cherokee Rock Village) in Alabama and Foster Falls in Tennessee are the closest dense sport locations.  Both have a lot of nice 9-11s.  Rocktown in NW GA is the best close bouldering IMO.

Dan Knisell · · Townsend, MA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 2,598

Stone Summit is a fantastic gym. Rocktown and Stone Fort aren’t that far away and hold some of the best bouldering in the south. Boatrock offers bouldering on granite but it’s city climbing. The metro Atlanta area has a few small spots here and there. The palisades has a hard V10 problem called the marietta mangler as well as some other stuff. Check out a guide book called Chatt Steel if you’re looking for sport routes around the Chattanooga area. Be prepared for the worst traffic. 

Max Koenig · · Athens, GA · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10

Hey Vic, welcome to the south!

My girlfriend and I moved to Athens a couple years ago from the northeast and we were nervous to say the least about leaving the rock up there. However, I have come to appreciate the southeast a ton, there is lots of stellar climbing to be done and you can get out 12 months a year. The downside to being down here is the lack of local areas. The drive to Chatt is not insignificant but it is worth it. On a rope,  I wouldn't bother with North Georgia climbing with the exception of Tallulah Gorge, your time is better spent driving to better climbing. As others have said, stick clips are pretty much de rigueur and both Chatt Trad and Chatt Steel are great guidebooks.

Will Maness · · Carrboro, NC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 35

Laurel Knob and Whiteside Mountain are both within striking distance! North Carolina adventure climbing at its finest! 

Chuck Parks · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 2,150

Atlanta has a very large, very active climbing community. You won't have any problems finding people to climb with.

Not much to do after work -- even the local boulder field (Boat Rock) can be hard to reach due to the infamous Atlanta traffic. There's a lifetime's worth of climbing a day trip away. Day trips to Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina are all viable options. Weekends you can explore deeper into Tennessee and North Carolina, and long weekends can get you as far as the Red River Gorge or New River Gorge.

The Atlanta Climbing Club has monthly meetings that are free and open to the public. Stop by a meeting once you're in town. It's a great opportunity to meet like-minded climbers, and maybe enjoy a beer or two as well.

Steve Ritchie · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 0

If you love the Gunks, check out Sunset Park in downtown Chattanooga and The Tennessee Wall on Signal Mountain outside of Chattanooga. You won't be disappointed.

Vic Davalos · · Rhode Island · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 5

Hey, thanks everyone.  You've definitely given us a lot to look into and to be excited about.  Maybe leaving New England won't be so bad, haha.


I can honestly say I won't be missing these Nor'easters either!

James Lee · · Mobile, AL · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 20

Get yourself a copy of "The Dixie Cragger's Atlas" for Alabama and Georgia. Lots of stuff less that two hours away. I have to say Sandrock/Cherokee Rock Village, AL. has lots of routes and the park has stellar camping. All single pitch though. 

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

You are going to be very pleased with what the SE has in store.  LIving in RI, you were 3 hours from Rumney, 2 from Farley, 3.5 from Cannon and 4 from North Conway.   Wait until you see how much is within that radius from Atlanta.  Chattanooga, which is less than 2 from Atlanta, is probably one of the best rock climbing towns in the country.  Then, when you start exploring NC for other rock types and styles, you are going to be blown away.   I love the Gunks and I love New Hampshire, but as a climber in the south you are going to be STOKED!

Vic Davalos · · Rhode Island · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 5
Russ Keane wrote:

LIving in RI, you were 3 hours from Rumney, 2 from Farley, 3.5 from Cannon and 4 from North Conway


Haha, yeah, we're definitely no strangers to early sat/sun mornings.  


The climbing down in the SE sounds great!  I was able to pick up a couple of guidebooks, including Chatt Steel and that other one with the green text on the cover (I'm forgetting the name).  Is it worth picking up a guidebook for Obed?  


It's good to know there is a large and active climbing community in the area.   I've only been leading trad for one season, up to 5.8, so hopefully we'll be able to connect with some other more experienced climbers.  We're definitely planning to get in contact with the Atlanta Climbing Club once we get settled in.

ViperScale . · · McMurdo Station, AQ · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240
Vic Davalos wrote:


Haha, yeah, we're definitely no strangers to early sat/sun mornings.  


The climbing down in the SE sounds great!  I was able to pick up a couple of guidebooks, including Chatt Steel and that other one with the green text on the cover (I'm forgetting the name).  Is it worth picking up a guidebook for Obed?  


It's good to know there is a large and active climbing community in the area.   I've only been leading trad for one season, up to 5.8, so hopefully we'll be able to connect with some other more experienced climbers.  We're definitely planning to get in contact with the Atlanta Climbing Club once we get settled in.

Obed is great area and worth grabbing a guidebook and has a nice campground and micro brewery for drinking at night after climbing. All the climbing is less than 10min drive from the campground and has bouldering, sport, and a little trad. http://www.lillypadhopyardbrewery.com/

The red is a massive sport climbing area and the guidebook for it is 2 volumes both like an inch thick. Miguels has a campground that alot of climbers stay at and some of the best pizza in the US. You can also get a pass and go camp all over the place if you want to be off on your own (we camped on the sand next to a creek onetime). https://www.miguelspizza.com/ 

Most of the climbing in NC is either trad or sport that will help you grow a pair. If you get into trad table rock / linville gorge is a great area with really nice free campground. 

HP 40 isn't bad place to visit for bouldering but will likely piss you off with the grading, they come out with a new guide version every few years to decrease the grade of all the problems. It is worth at least one trip though really cool area. http://horsepens40.tripod.com/ 


Matthew Campisi · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 46

The Atlanta climbing community is a great bunch of people. As others have mentioned, Stone Summit is the place to hook up with other serious climbers. I'm typically there 4 times a week, myself, and it's where I have met all of the wonder folks I've had my outdoor adventures with in the 1.5 years I've been climbing. I like to plan at least one outdoor climb a month. We typically do either day-trips or one-nighters to Sand Rock, Alabama where they have a mix of Sport and Trad climbing on fun sandstone pockets and flakes from 5.6 to 5.12. Palisades Park, Alabama has been another favorite. It's all Trad, but the crag is short with everything from 5.4 and up to practice on. Other than that, Foster Falls is a gorgeous area with great camping and a swimming hole, although the approach is a bit more treacherous. I haven't been to some of the farther-out crags that others have mentioned yet, but they are on my list. Maybe we can meet up! I'd be happy to introduce you to the various groups at the gym as well as have another partner for getting outside. Cheers!

Matthew

Vic Davalos · · Rhode Island · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 5

Hey, Matthew, that sounds sweet!  For sure!


My girlfriend and I are each going to be looking for new cars once we get down to GA.  Her lease is set to expire just before we leave, and my 98 Saab will never make the journey down.  Coming from New England, AWD is pretty handy.  Obviously GA, AL, and TN don't get the kind of snow we get up here, but does AWD seem necessary to access any of the climbing areas?


Also, I imagine it won't be uncommon for us to leave for Chatt after work on Friday evenings, sleeping at the T wall.  Have things calmed down a bit in regards to break-ins, or are the theives still pretty active?  Regardless, we'll still keep everything out of sight/locked up, but I'm just curious.

Alex (spellstrike) Palmiter · · Duluth · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 21

Car break ins are certainly still a concern as many of the climbing areas are not very remote from civilization. Boat rock installed a gate to try to help with some of this but it's not just one area that has problems. AWD is probably not needed for the day trip stuff though I haven't been up to the red river gorge yet. Not sure if it would be useful up there.

stolo · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 191

Where in Atlanta are you moving? Living in the suburbs can also make trips to gyms a total pain because of traffic. 

Chuck Parks · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 2,150
Vic Davalos wrote:

Obviously GA, AL, and TN don't get the kind of snow we get up here, but does AWD seem necessary to access any of the climbing areas?

Almost none of the popular, documented climbing areas around here need 4WD or high clearance. My little POS Honda goes just about everywhere. Pendergrass-Murray at the Red River Gorge is the only area that might give you trouble. I've seen Priuses and little FWD cars make it up the hill coming out of there, but it's always on the bubble. There are tons of other places to climb at the Red though.

Ben F · · Benfield, Kolorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 370
ViperScale . wrote:


The red is a massive sport climbing area and the guidebook for it is 2 volumes both like an inch thick. Miguels has a campground that alot of climbers stay at and some of the best pizza in the US. You can also get a pass and go camp all over the place if you want to be off on your own (we camped on the sand next to a creek onetime). https://www.miguelspizza.com/ 


I'd like to add that the Red is also a massive trad area.  If you can break into 5.10, then you will rarely wait in line (as was sometimes the case for the sporty routes - some of which are really good).  Take the previous sentence with a grain of salt since I haven't been back to the Red since 2004.  Save the Red for fall and spring.  Its season is about over unless you like ticks and chiggers.

Head to NC in the summer, but expect rain.  Stuff above 3500' - especially if it's north-facing doesn't get too warm. The N face of the Glass is great for staying cool and dry in the summer, but you need to be leading at least 10s to appreciate it. Also, people mentioned Linville Gorge. One area there to hit would be Shortoff.  It has a few steep, but juggy trad multi-pitch moderates.  

Vic Davalos · · Rhode Island · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 5
Ben F wrote:

I'd like to add that the Red is also a massive trad area.  If you can break into 5.10, then you will rarely wait in line (as was sometimes the case for the sporty routes - some of which are really good).  


- Hey, that's the plan eventually!


 One area there to hit would be Shortoff.  It has a few steep, but juggy trad multi-pitch moderates.  


- Nice!


Chuck Parks wrote:

Almost none of the popular, documented climbing areas around here need 4WD or high clearance. My little POS Honda goes just about everywhere. 


- Sweet, good to know


stolo wrote:

Where in Atlanta are you moving? Living in the suburbs can also make trips to gyms a total pain because of traffic. 


- I guess it's a bit misleading to say we'll in Atlanta- we're actually moving to Avondale.

Jason Eberhard · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 66
Vic Davalos wrote:


- Hey, that's the plan eventually!



- Nice!



- Sweet, good to know



- I guess it's a bit misleading to say we'll in Atlanta- we're actually moving to Avondale.

If you're ITP you're in "Atlanta", even some OTP people are in "Atlanta".  If you don't know ITP/OTP just know that you're on the correct side in Avondale.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern States
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