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Climbing in North Carolina end of december
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Nora1906


Dec 10, 2010, 9:54 AM
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Climbing in North Carolina end of december
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Hi everyone,

Me and 2 of my climbing partners are planning a 5-day trip to North Carolina from December 26th to 30th. We'll be driving from Montréal, Canada.Since it's a long drive, I'd like to know if it's worth it.

My partners have been starting trad climbing but I'm still top roping sport climbing. I'd like to start leading some easy sport routes on this trip, but reading the posts about the area, I'm not sure this is the right place to do so.

Anyway, if anyone can tell me:

1- what can of temperatures we can expect by this time of the year
2-which crags could fit us (easy trad and easy sport)
3-places to camp (well, this might depend on the answer to question #1)

that would be more appreciated.

Thanks to all of you!!!

Nora


csproul


Dec 10, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Re: [Nora1906] Climbing in North Carolina end of december [In reply to]
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Nora1906 wrote:
Hi everyone,

Me and 2 of my climbing partners are planning a 5-day trip to North Carolina from December 26th to 30th. We'll be driving from Montréal, Canada.Since it's a long drive, I'd like to know if it's worth it.

My partners have been starting trad climbing but I'm still top roping sport climbing. I'd like to start leading some easy sport routes on this trip, but reading the posts about the area, I'm not sure this is the right place to do so.

Anyway, if anyone can tell me:

1- what can of temperatures we can expect by this time of the year
2-which crags could fit us (easy trad and easy sport)
3-places to camp (well, this might depend on the answer to question #1)

that would be more appreciated.

Thanks to all of you!!!

Nora
It's very hard to tell in advance what will be good, but here's a try:
Rumbling Bald, Stone Mountain, Looking Glass, Laurel Knob are all warm if it is dry and sunny and not real cold. Easy sport is probably not going to happen. Easy Trad may happen.

Rumbling bald has several easier trad lines and some sport lines that are generally 5.10 and above. I have always stayed at the Creekside campground, which will likely be cold.

Stone mountain is generally run-out bolted trad climbing. Expect most climbing in the 5.7-5.10 range. I have never camped there, but you can camp at Stone Mountain State Park.

You can pretty much cross off Laurel Knob if you are all beginner trad climbers.

Looking Glass is trad, with a mixture of cracks and eyebrow slab climbing. There is a good amount in the 5.7-5.10 range, but expect some runout potential if climbing the slabby routes. You can usually camp for free very nearby at road pullouts on the road to LG.

It may also be possible to climb at other NC venues (maybe Pilot), but these are the most reliable winter spots. I'd say Rumbling Bald would be your best bet. Or better yet, drive on and go to T-Wall in Chattanooga if you want a safer bet.


TarHeelEMT


Dec 11, 2010, 2:23 PM
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Re: [Nora1906] Climbing in North Carolina end of december [In reply to]
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Table Rock might fit the bill. Linville is an incredible place for beginner trad climbers, with a few routes that are very bolt-heavy, although hard to characterize as true sport climbs (though the first two pitches of Jim Dandy count in my mind, and the third is just run out 5.easy or 4th class).


charley


Dec 12, 2010, 8:34 AM
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Re: [TarHeelEMT] Climbing in North Carolina end of december [In reply to]
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weather link
http://www.weather.com/...thly/NCSPSM:13?role=

I do not have a guide book in my hand so some of this may be off a bit but; Stone has a day or 2 of easy trad. Entrance crack is 5.4r. First 75' is nice 5.4 hand or fingers crack that protects well. The second 75' is unprotected 5.4 slab. If you are used to 5.7 slab you could walk right up it. As a 5.4 trad leader it scared the crap out of me. u slot and block route are about 5.7, both 2 pitches. No alternative is 2 pitches of 5.4 or 5.5. There is a route not in the guides that you go about 15' up u slot then look up and right. There is a ramp that takes you across the next route to the right and on up to the tree ledge. It uses a bolt on the route it crosses. This is about 5.5 The great arch is 5.5
Looking glass should be good for a day or 2 also. Nose and sundial are 5.8's but the first pitch of each is 5.5ish. They don't get the sun to around noon. I think it's the south face where short mans sorrow is and there is a day or so of 5.4 to 5.8 trad there. I'd climb with highs in the 40's. Have a good trip. Chattanooga is further, warmer, and harder. I though table rock was colder. Pilot would be worth a day too.


bootlegger


Dec 12, 2010, 5:17 PM
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Re: [Nora1906] Climbing in North Carolina end of december [In reply to]
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Good advice above. Temps this time of year can be highly variable, from high's in the mid 30's to highs in the lower 50's. Generally, though, if it's dry and you're on a generally south facing wall it's pleasant even in the high 30's.
If you're looking for sport climbing, North Carolina is not it - go to Red River Gorge in Kentucky for sport this time of year. There's plenty of outstanding moderate trad in NC and you can generally climb year-round on the south facing walls - these would include Rumbling Bald, south face (and the Nose area in the pm) at Looking Glass, and you can also find some nice winter moderate climbing at Table Rock. Stone is a great winter spot, but it is really run out slab (30-50 ft between bolts is normal), and not a place to test your limits - the crazy among us love it, others go once and swear never to return. Linville can get cold depending on where you're at, and Moore's is really cold in the winter. Pilot is south facing and has some sport and a lot of top-rope but the routes are short and I wouldn't exactly call it a "destination crag" but might be worth a day if you're in the neighborhood and you really, really want bolts/toprope. Laurel Knob is big time serious climbing for the experienced only. You can get a good 5 day trip in between Looking Glass, Rumbling Bald and either Table or Stone in the 5.8 and below multi-pitch trad range. But please be warned that North Carolina climbing in general tends to be more runout than many other places - if the guidebook says "R" down here, they really mean it.


guangzhou


Dec 13, 2010, 12:46 AM
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I have to agree, Rumbling Bald and Stone would be the two ost likely places that time of the year.

Looking glass, the Nose area might be good too, chance are you have to climb around the wet stuff, not to hard to do.


Nora1906


Dec 13, 2010, 6:49 AM
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Thanks to all of you for your answers! I'll discuss all of this information with my friends.

I also heard about Crowders Mountain, any insight about it? I surfed on their webpage and it looked like there was a bit of everything for everyone there.
Is it far away from all the places you mentionned (Rumbling bald, Table rock...)? Are the walls south facing?

Thanks again and I'll keep you posted about how the trip went.

Bye,


Nora


csproul


Dec 13, 2010, 7:13 AM
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Nora1906 wrote:
Thanks to all of you for your answers! I'll discuss all of this information with my friends.

I also heard about Crowders Mountain, any insight about it? I surfed on their webpage and it looked like there was a bit of everything for everyone there.
Is it far away from all the places you mentionned (Rumbling bald, Table rock...)? Are the walls south facing?

Thanks again and I'll keep you posted about how the trip went.

Bye,


Nora
Crowder does stay relatively warm...but (at the risk of offending Charlotte area climbers) I'd rather chew my own arm off than travel to climb at Crowders. Unless it was very close and I didn't have to drive very long to get there, my opinion is that it isn't worth the bother. Dixon School boulders are nearby and I have heard good things about them.


finnishsport


Dec 14, 2010, 10:47 AM
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Re: [csproul] Climbing in North Carolina end of december [In reply to]
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I go to UNCC and head down to Crowders around once every couple of weeks. I wholeheartedly agree, Crowder's is some of the sharpest, worst rock I've ever been on. Definitely my least favorite climbing destination. There are a few decent lines there but nothing at all to write home to your mother about.

Generally speaking, the routes don't get steeper or more dynamic as the grades go up(few exceptions). The grades only go up because the holds get smaller and sharper.

/end Crowders.rant

Rumbling Bald has some easy sport lines, contrary to popular belief. Check out Bear Cub (super easy intro to sport line), The Gift, and The Gift Certificate at the Flakeview area. There are also a couple of harder sport lines right around there. Bring a couple of cams for comfort on those last two, nothing extreme. There's also a really easy (5.6/7?) sport line at the wall that is below and to the left of Comatose (due to the beautiful nature of the NC guidebook, I can never figure out what wall that is).

The easy sport is there at Rumbling Bald, you'll just have to hunt if you're going anywhere but Flakeview.


(This post was edited by finnishsport on Dec 14, 2010, 10:52 AM)


Nora1906


Dec 17, 2010, 5:41 AM
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Ok guys, thanks again. I'll keep in mind your comments about Crowders. I think we'll write it off of our list.

Any interesting insight about Pilot and Looking Glass? Besides the ones above.

The trip gets closer!

Thanks again!

Nora


clemsonscooby


Dec 17, 2010, 6:10 AM
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I will agree with most of the Crowder's comments, but something is left out about the place. It is probably the best place to climb in the winter time immediately after a rain. No vegetation up top, so no seepage, and fairly high angled walls. There are some pretty classic sport climbs in the 5.10 and higher range. Everything below that can be questionable on lead.


finnishsport


Dec 18, 2010, 4:50 PM
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Looking Glass is all trad. The South Side has great winter climbing temps this time of year, the Nose is a bit chillier, and the North Face is frigid. Be aware that almost the entire right half of the South side of Looking Glass runs with water for a few days after a good rain. From Second Coming all the way to the left-most edge of the South Side tends to dry much quicker than the rest. That being said, there are some amazing, classic multi-pitch routes on the South Side if you have trad gear.


swoopee


Dec 19, 2010, 8:30 PM
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Stone Mtn, Rumbling Bald, and the south face of Looking Glass Rock are all great places to climb in the winter. Crowders is ok if you live nearby but not worth making a long trip. Weather in NC can throw anything at you from one day to the next, or even within a single day. Current forecasts are predicting snow for Christmas weekend, so it will probably be sunny and 90 degrees. Wink


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