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Stone Mountain NC Great Arch/Son of Sam Adventure
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Jun 13, 2005, 9:35 AM
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Registered: Jun 13, 2005
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Stone Mountain NC Great Arch/Son of Sam Adventure  (North_America: United_States: North_Carolina: Central: Stone_Mountain_State_Park)
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This is a re post from rec.climbing. I wrote this TR back in Jan of 2001. After reading many enjoyable TRs on this site, I felt the need to contribute. Since I haven't been on any rock since the birth of my first daughter in 2002, I have to relive the past through the Internet.


The trip started out innocently enough. Friday afternoon at 4-5ish Mike
and I hit I-77 south. After about 7.5ish hours of driving we arrived at
the Stone Mountain Park entrance.

Now where were those directions to the campground outside the gate... Look for a small church and something that looks like someones driveway. Creep on back, and THERE'S SITE 4. We MUST be there!!

We scope out a spot away from the buzzing power lines. It's about 12:30AM at this point. In 20 minutes the tent is set up, and Mike realizes he left his Therm-a-rest in his car back at my house. Uh oh...

"Ahhh. I won't need it anyway. I've gotten by without it before."

"Mike, that ground is frozen. Look at all the frost." (Plus it's about 25
deg. F outside)


"So you're going to freeze your ass off if you don't have something
between you and the ground. Use your coat and, here. You can use mine

"I'll just use mine. It should be enough."

"Here. Take it."

40 minutes pass...

Bark, bark, bark. Bark, bark, bark.

2 God damned dogs belonging to the manager of the camp barked ALL night! Bark, bark, bark.

I think they did stop for a few minutes from 4-5AM. Then it's back to
bark, bark, bark. Bark, bark, bark.

7:30 AM can't roll around too quickly for me. Up and at'em! Bark, bark,
bark. And, now one of them is about 15 feet away. I yell at it to shut the
fuck up, and it does! Damn, if I had only known it was that easy!

We were the only campers, and I waited for someone to come riding out on a lawnmower like a rec.climber told me. No one... We ate breakfast and packed up, then drove to the trailer with the riding lawnmower in the
lawn. Now both dogs were going NUTS again. Bark, bark, bark. I was really getting the urge to grab my .44 from under the seat and start whacking people off. The dogs were really speaking to me!!!

No, wait... they weren't telling me to kill anyone after all. They were
telling me to LEAVE. So leave we did. No camping fee for Friday night.
Damn dogs.

We were the second car to park in the parking lot at Stone. We arrived at
the base of the mountain at about 9 AM, without another climber in sight.

I racked up. Time to pop my cherry. Even though this was my second trip to Stone, the first one was rained out after 1/2 a pitch. Up I headed on the Block Route to the tree ledge. Easy climbing to a stout set of anchors. I could have easily made it to the tree ledge, but since it was Mike's first
time on friction (and my second), I thought I'd stop there and make sure
we were working together on the same page. No worries.

I headed up the second pitch to the tree ledge. The tricky move stumped me for a while at the big block. Someone yelled up some beta from the bottom, and I made it over the large block. A few short steps and I'm at the ledge.

Mike sails up, moving so fast I have to tell him to slow down so I can get
all the slack up in the rope. The block move on top rope proves little
challenge for Mike.

We re-rack and relax. There are about 4-5 parties starting towards the
tree ledge at this point on various routes. The sun is now shining, and
it's quite warm in the direct sun. But the shade is nice and cool. And
there is NO WIND to boot. I couldn't ask for better weather! Time to
cruise up the arch!

I set out on my way. This is my first multi-pitch trad lead, and really my
first trad lead. I've set pro for anchors and in-between bolts
occasionally, but this is the real thing now.

I find the going at first to be a little slow. I take my time, but slowly
I gain my 'Stone Mountain friction feet' and figure it all out. The crack
eats up all my nuts and hexes and tricams. A tree here and there to sling.
Man, this shit is GREAT!

I reach the first belay anchors and get set. I yell down to Mike and he
starts up. He's pretty nervous at this point from the exposure. He decides
to lay back almost the first whole pitch. Man, was he tired when he got to
the anchors!

Mike took some time to relax while I re-racked my gear and got the rope
ready for the next pitch.

Another great pitch to a stout set of anchors. Mike follows and make it up
this pitch easier. He took my advice of trying the friction. After all, if
he fell it would be 2-3 inches. He was on top-rope after all!

One more easy pitch to the top, and then a walk up. Man, that was fun!

Since we only brought one rope we had to walk-off. Next time I'll make
sure to bring that extra rope we left in the car!

Pause for some summit photos (see­ank and click on the NC Trip link at the bottom).

I can't wait to get back now and try No Alternative. Another Stone 5.5
waiting for me to climb it! I would have done it on Sat, but the exposure
had Mike a little spooked, and he needed to take a break.

Sun we hit Crowders, and then Mon we stopped by Pilot on the way home.

Great fun, great times, great weather.

Climb on, Sam


May 17, 2013, 6:50 PM
Post #2 of 2 (1931 views)

Registered: Mar 23, 2013
Posts: 8

Re: [hasher] Stone Mountain NC Great Arch/Son of Sam Adventure [In reply to]
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I know this was posted years ago, but that guy still drives his lawn mower around Grisel Tail rd. I passed him last 4th of July and he had a trailer attached to it with his cooler in it. Those dogs would always come visit me when I fished for trout in that stream a few years ago, I imagine they're probably long gone now.

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