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The Underworld

Routes Sorted
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8th Sin, The S 
Cerberus S 
Dark Angel, The S 
Deal with the Devil (Open Project) S 
Devil Wears Prana, The S 
Mark of the Beast S 
Roof Crack Project T 
Satan's Glory T 
Tiers of Satan S 

The Underworld Rock Climbing 

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Submitted By: American Dankster on Jun 4, 2010
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The Underworld cave sits just below Sunshine Point on the Gold Coast/West side of the Linville Gorge. It is also across from The Tarantula Ledge (between the NC Wall/Amphitheater). Rediscovered by Ben Sachs in the summer of 2009, the crag had one established route from the 80's, but had seemingly been abandoned. Along with a few others, we established several new climbs during Winter and Spring 2010. Welcome to the steepest sport routes in the High Country.

Getting There 

1) Drive Kistler Memorial Highway on the west side of the gorge. Continue on Kistler HWY past Wiseman's View. Keep driving 1.3miles to Conely Cove Parking. Other options do exist.

2)Take the Rock Jock Trail from Conely Cove to Sunshine Point Trail. This is directly south of Moonshine Canyon, a prominent drainage across from the Prow (roughly). There is a 4-trunked tree of the east side of the RJ trail just north of the intersection. At this intersection there is a black stick (charred rhodo) with a pink flag on it when to turn onto sunshine point from the Rock Jock.

3)Several pink marker flags have been put up to guide to the end of sunshine point by an unknown source. You will get an excellent view of the NC Wall, Tarantula Ledge, The Amphitheater, etc.

4)Once you make it to Sunshine Point there are two ways to descend into The Underworld. The first is setting up a rappel from the easy to find rap anchors on the left side of Sunshine Point. You will need at least a full 60m rope to do this in one rappel, but there is an intermediate station. Otherwise start walking left from sunshine point along a faint trail on the rim. After walking 100ft or so (from rap station) you will see a large Hemlock trunk with a static line tied around it. Hand over hand down to the bottom. Follow one of two muddy slab down-scramble options to the climbs. Both trails bring you to the route Cerberus.

Climbing Season

For the Linville Gorge area.

Weather station 7.9 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Underworld

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Underworld:
The Devil Wears Prana   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   
Satan's Glory   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad   
The 8th Sin   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport   
The Dark Angel   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport   
Mark of the Beast   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 60'   
Tiers of Satan   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Underworld

Featured Route For The Underworld
Rock Climbing Photo: The left bolt line is Mark of the Beast.  Cerberus...

Mark of the Beast 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  North Carolina : Linville Gorge : ... : The Underworld
This route has great variety. A crimpy face leads to a tough, steep roof. Sequential climbing on the headwall leads to pumpy jugs. This route is fun and sustained with good flow on great rock. It has some technical steep face climbing, a bit atypical for the cliff. A personal favorite. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in North Carolina

Photos of The Underworld Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben on Tiers of Satan, The Underworld.
Ben on Tiers of Satan, The Underworld.
Rock Climbing Photo: Map of the area, for those of us who don't kno...
BETA PHOTO: Map of the area, for those of us who don't kno...
Rock Climbing Photo: Crag topo, Appoarch and De-approach
BETA PHOTO: Crag topo, Appoarch and De-approach
Rock Climbing Photo: The Underworld is at the top left.  For perspectiv...
BETA PHOTO: The Underworld is at the top left. For perspectiv...
Rock Climbing Photo: The upper parts of DWTD Project, 8th Sin, Dark Ang...
The upper parts of DWTD Project, 8th Sin, Dark Ang...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Underworld
The Underworld

Comments on The Underworld Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 11, 2016
By Ben Sachs
Jun 24, 2010
This crag never sees the sun and catches any breeze that might be around. Some routes stay dry in the rain. PM me for alternate heinous approach that shaves a little time.
By nbrown
From: western NC
Jan 8, 2012
The "heinous" short cut trail is not so heinous anymore and is listed on the main gold coast page under directions.
By Ben Sachs
Mar 1, 2012
That is awesome!
By Ben Sachs
Jun 13, 2012
Blog posts about the crag with more pics:
By Taylor Roy
From: Midvale, UT
Aug 19, 2015
Got lost trying to find the underworld. Could anyone provide detailed approach instructions? We parked a Conley Cove and hiked for an hour on the Rock Jock Trail. The only pink marker we saw was about 5 minutes into the hike where Conley Cove Trail intersected with the Rock Jock Trail. Are the markers still up? What milage do you park at for shortcut approach? Landmarks? Assume I know nothing about the names of canyons, trails, etc. Would really like to find this place. Thanks!
By nbrown
From: western NC
Aug 19, 2015
This pic of the Gold Coast shows the northern "canyons". The Underworld is just a bit south (left in picture) of what you can see in this photo. The best approach takes the shortcut shown here on the left side of the pic (down from the high ridge), and those directions are posted on the main Gold Coast page. Just be prepared for a potentially raging bushwhack if no one's been through there lately. Once at the RJ trail walk south for maybe 5-10 minutes (haven't been there in a while so don't know the conditions) and you should find your path on the left just past a major drainage (Moonshine Canyon).
Rock Climbing Photo: Northern Gold Coast
Northern Gold Coast
By Mike Nevko
From: Currently Charlotte
Aug 24, 2015
I did a little exploratory hiking during the rain this weekend and wanted to second that the description on the Main Goldcoast for the "Drain Ditch" is spot on. Thanks Nbrown for all the necessary info.

You can follow the trail through the undergrowth pretty easily if you pay attention. It looked like it had be travel recently but the greenery grows back pretty quickly. Upon hitting the Rock Jock Trail, there is large stone at the intersection. Hiking on this took about about 10 min to reach the sunshine point cutoff (its a faint sand trail with some logs on its side). This trail is alittle overgrown now too (I couldn't locate any moonshine canyon trail off this). Just follow this down hill till you reach and obvious vista.

Taking our time, the hike-out in the rain took us about 50-mins from the point. Sunshine Point to Car is about 1000ft elevation change. I am sure doing it again, not in the rain, and knowing the way, it'll can go much faster.

This place as a really cool alpine feel to it.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunshine Point
Sunshine Point
By Taylor Roy
From: Midvale, UT
Nov 11, 2015
Wrote a blog about our efforts to find the Underworld. Includes details and pictures on how to find this area.
By William Fdez
Jul 15, 2016
A small group of us Nevko, Bennett, Ashley, caleb and myself recently started work to revitalize the underworld. The trails were lost and the fixed gear was rotton. We cut back the original short cut trail along with the final hike in trail to the rap anchors and down into the underworld. We also started replacing some of the fixed gear and left some draws hanging where the gear still needs to be replaced.

As of 7/14/16
Devil wears Prana 10- has no fixed gear but bolts are in great shape this route can be easily climbed on lead and cleaned by a follower on top rope.

8th sin 11d has all new red slings to the final chain draw and chain anchors.

Work is still in progress so if you do decide to climb here please keep in mind for anything but the routes listed above you my need to place your own quick draws or replace fixed slings on lead.
By American Dankster
From: Chattanooga
Jul 18, 2016
Thanks William Fdez for your work. I have not been back in 6 years. Glad to hear people are psyched. I will be back someday. Definitely knew that junk would have to be replaced one day.
By William Fdez
Jul 27, 2016
Satan's glory 11d is also open to climbing no fixed draws needed but you will need a light rack for access and belay. You will also want to place gear before first bolt.
By Eric Sorte
From: Albuquerque, NM
Sep 11, 2016
We tried for 3 hours to find this area this weekend, to no avail. The turnoff onto Rock Jock Trail from Connoly Cove Trail is obvious and well-marked. After that, nothing is. There is no indication of where Sunshine Point Trail might be and no pink flags anywhere. We searched for the 4 trunk tree, but couldn't find it. We took every side trail we could find, but eventually had to give up. On the way out, we ran into a park ranger who told us that these trails are not marked on purpose as they are "unofficial", whatever that means. He did let us take pictures of his map, which I posted. At least knowing where Moonshine Canyon is might help the directions on the front page make some sense. It's possible we just didn't hike far enough...but I don't know. Good luck finding the area; I'm sad I couldn't get there. Sounds like a lot of fun. Another time, perhaps.

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