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Where to Find Astonishing Rock Climbing Near Raleigh
By Parkcentral Admin - October 12, 2017
North Carolina is home to some of the best rock climbing in the southern United States. From the multi-pitch quartzite of Linville Gorge to the eyebrows and hard aid of Looking Glass to the exposed granite scarefests of Cashiers Valley, the state has it all. And best of all, many of the top climbing destinations in the region are within a short drive from Raleigh. Read on to discover eight of the top spots to go rock climbing near Raleigh.
Linville Gorge is a popular climbing destination for climbers of all experience levels. Located on the southeastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains between Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain, the gorge is large and features several fun routes ranging from easy multi-pitch to hardman sandbags. Hawksbill and Shortoff offer a more hardcore climb while Table Rock and the Amphitheatre are perfect for those looking for a more moderate workout. The gorge is heavily wooded with a lush hardwood and pine forest that is accompanied by dense rhododendron bushes.
Located just a short drive from Winston-Salem, Moore’s Wall is the premier climbing destination of piedmont North Carolina. Its beautiful quartzite rock and challenging descents make any climb here an adventure. Don’t expect to find convenient bolted rap stations at the topouts of most routes. Just finding the rap stations can require scrambling and downclimbing, so be prepared!
One of the most distinctive natural features in North Carolina, Pilot Mountain, dominates the skyline for dozens of miles in every direction. The mountain is a great climbing spot for short sport routes and top-roping thanks to the trails crisscrossing its face. The sport routes start in the Amphitheatre, where you can find a few high-quality climbs. There is also a nice mix of grades and plenty of shade, so you don’t have to worry about getting a sunburn or overheated in the warmer months.
Known by some locals as “Crowded” Mountain, Crowders Mountain is a state park and well-known crag outside Charlotte that is popular for weekenders, and not just for climbers. The rock quality is fairly good and offers something for everyone, from top-roping to trad.
Morgan Buff aka University Lake Boulders is a small bouldering area with several outcrops along Morgan Creek near the town of Carrboro. If you just have time for a quick workout, this area has just what you’re looking for, and not many know of it so you can climb in peace. The area is forested with some strong fine-grained monzonite boulder.
Cooks Wall is a large broken-up cliff line on the south end of Hanging Rock State Park. It is a good alternative to Pilot Mountain for wintertime cragging because the rock is generally better, and there are fewer crowds. You’ll have to take a long hike to reach the climbing area, but it’s well worth it! You’re in for steep, top-quality, mixed routes that range from 60-100 feet – but do use caution since Cooks is known for its small, loose rock in certain spots.
For a classic climbing experience, head to Ship Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The area offers an excellent selection of routes of all grades. The rock is quartzite scored with numbers of well-defined horizontals that make for great holds. The fact that its face isn’t bathed in sun until late in the day makes it a popular summer climbing spot.
Triangle Rock Club (indoor)
If you’re just beginning or looking to climb in a climate-controlled environment, Triangle Rock Club has a convenient location in North Raleigh with 13,000 square feet of state-of-the-art Eldorado Climbing Walls and 7,000 square feet of world-class bouldering terrain. The club also has a free-standing 30-foot-tall climbing wall with top rope and lead climbing terrain. Hone your climbing skills by signing up for their classes from beginner to advanced level climbers.
Where do you like to climb? Did we miss any of your favorite climbing spots in the state? We’d love to hear about your climbing adventures! If you’re looking for a new home in Raleigh, we hope you’ll stop by Park Central Apartments for a look at the first high-rise apartment community in the Midtown District of North Hills. Visit Park Central online at ParkCentralRaleigh.com to schedule a tour or call us directly at (844) 816-7095.
Hope to see you soon!
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