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getout87


Jun 2, 2008, 8:02 AM
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Western NC easy/moderate recommendations
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Hey everyone, I'm a new trad leader looking to find some climbs close to me that are day-trippable. I live in upstate SC, so western NC is about the extent of my day trip abilities, as well as my gas-money funds. That intro aside, I'm looking for some easy to moderate trad routes that I can get on. Probably single pitch to start with, and some multi-pitch as long as it only requires one rope (as in walk off descent or a one rope rap, if that even exists). I've heard (faintly) about some routes at Crowder's, Rumbling Bald, Looking Glass (south face), and thats about all I've heard about. If some more experienced WNC climbers can fill me in, that would be great. Thanks in advance.


dutyje


Jun 2, 2008, 8:16 AM
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getout87 wrote:
Hey everyone, I'm a new trad leader looking to find some climbs close to me that are day-trippable. I live in upstate SC, so western NC is about the extent of my day trip abilities, as well as my gas-money funds. That intro aside, I'm looking for some easy to moderate trad routes that I can get on. Probably single pitch to start with, and some multi-pitch as long as it only requires one rope (as in walk off descent or a one rope rap, if that even exists). I've heard (faintly) about some routes at Crowder's, Rumbling Bald, Looking Glass (south face), and thats about all I've heard about. If some more experienced WNC climbers can fill me in, that would be great. Thanks in advance.

Edge of a Dream at Ship Rock is a very soft 5.7 that protects extremely well. You can get up and down with one rope. Right next to it is Lost at Sea (5.8).

Table Rock East Face has some good stuff, and you can climb to the top and walk off.

Stay away from Crowder's for trad. The rock is very fragile. That's a great place for top roping, and there is some sport as well.

If you can get someone to lead you up to the tree ledge at Stone Mountain, the Great Arch is a wonderful place to throw in tons of pro. But try to do it on a weekday to minimize the crowds and give yourself enough time to focus on placement.

Fruit Loops at Rumbling Bald is another good one, and I believe you can get up and down the first pitch with one 60M rope.


Partner j_ung


Jun 2, 2008, 8:22 AM
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Re: [dutyje] Western NC easy/moderate recommendations [In reply to]
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I'll add the west end of Looking Glass. Check out the the first pitches of The Nose (5.4) and Sundial (5.6). Both have ring anchors, so you can rappel easily. (You need a 60m rope for the Nose.) Also, if you walk around left from those, you'll see a nice low-angle apron. You can find routes from 5.3-5.6 there, with a tree ledge to belay from at the left side of the slab.


munky


Jun 2, 2008, 8:34 AM
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The Mummy (5.6) and the Daddy (5.5) are great moderate classics located in Linville Gorge.


knieveltech


Jun 2, 2008, 8:41 AM
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munky wrote:
The Mummy (5.6) and the Daddy (5.5) are great moderate classics located in Linville Gorge.

I second that. Incredible setting, great climbing. I'd suggest doing the 5.8 direct variation of the Daddy to avoid route finding weirdness.


getout87


Jun 2, 2008, 9:35 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I have done the first pitch of fruit loops, it was my first lead, and I've lead the first and third pitches of the nose. I want to go back to the nose and maybe sundial, but a its hard for me to wrangle up a part of three so unneccessary rope back-strappage can kept to a minimum (ie none). How is the approach and descent from the mummy and the daddy. Also, what about the prow? Does anybody know about how far away Linville Gorge is from Greenville, SC?


dutyje


Jun 2, 2008, 11:06 AM
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getout87 wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I have done the first pitch of fruit loops, it was my first lead, and I've lead the first and third pitches of the nose. I want to go back to the nose and maybe sundial, but a its hard for me to wrangle up a part of three so unneccessary rope back-strappage can kept to a minimum (ie none). How is the approach and descent from the mummy and the daddy. Also, what about the prow? Does anybody know about how far away Linville Gorge is from Greenville, SC?

Approach to the Mummy, Daddy, and Prow are the same. The approach is a very difficult trail. I find myself exhausted by the time I get down there. Take a break, grab some water and a snack, then go. Plan to climb with your pack so that you can hike out (also difficult).


getout87


Jun 2, 2008, 12:05 PM
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I would love to do the ones at Linville, but my second, who will be my girlfriend, will not really want the hard hike and the job of climbing with the pack on. Any suggestions for getting around this, besides racking up at the car and slogging it out, which wouldnt be too fun?


Partner j_ung


Jun 2, 2008, 12:26 PM
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getout87 wrote:
I would love to do the ones at Linville, but my second, who will be my girlfriend, will not really want the hard hike and the job of climbing with the pack on. Any suggestions for getting around this, besides racking up at the car and slogging it out, which wouldnt be too fun?

I suggest you stay clear of the Amphitheater and NC Wall altogether. The three routes mentioned have easy climbing, but finding them isn't easy and all three are committing, all-day affairs for the fledgling leader. None of them have easy routefinding. If you've just started leading and you're the most experienced person in your party, then IMO, you'll be an epic waiting to happen. A better idea is to partner up with someone who's done them before and can share leading duties, then go for it.


getout87


Jun 2, 2008, 12:36 PM
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I agree, that was another of my reasons to try to avoid them at the moment. So basically, its looking like the few moderates at Rumbling Bald such as Frosted Flake, Bear Hunt, Granola, and select climbs at the Glass. Anything else?


saxfiend


Jun 2, 2008, 4:05 PM
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getout87 wrote:
So basically, its looking like the few moderates at Rumbling Bald such as Frosted Flake, Bear Hunt, Granola, and select climbs at the Glass.
None of the above "moderate" (hahaha!) RB routes are ones that I'd recommend to a new leader! I consider myself a pretty solid 5.9 leader, but still haven't gotten up the nerve to lead any of these. If you're going to be at Rumbling Bald, the ones I'd recommend would be The Gift (5.7) and Gift Certificate (5.8); not exactly beginner leads, but at least they have some bolts to help you along.

If you don't mind travelling just a little farther, you should consider Moore's Wall up near Winston. There's great stuff there for novice leaders: Wailing Wall (5.6); Easy Hard (5.5); Head Jam (5.5); Washboard (5.6); Sentinel Buttress (5.5). If you cruise these, you could up the ante on Golden Earring/Almost Seven (5.7).

knieveltech wrote:
munky wrote:
The Mummy (5.6) and the Daddy (5.5) are great moderate classics located in Linville Gorge.

I second that. Incredible setting, great climbing. I'd suggest doing the 5.8 direct variation of the Daddy to avoid route finding weirdness.

Sending a new leader out on the Mummy or the Daddy?? You guys are killing me!!

JL


dutyje


Jun 2, 2008, 4:24 PM
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saxfiend wrote:
If you don't mind travelling just a little farther, you should consider Moore's Wall up near Winston. There's great stuff there for novice leaders: Wailing Wall (5.6); Easy Hard (5.5); Head Jam (5.5); Washboard (5.6); Sentinel Buttress (5.5). If you cruise these, you could up the ante on Golden Earring/Almost Seven (5.7).

The scariest part about Wailing Wall was getting down. After topping out, we found a 3-piece anchor over the amphitheater with a couple loops of cable and a couple rap rings. I wouldn't consider myself a seasoned or skilled trad leader, but only one of those pieces seemed fall-worthy to me - and it's oriented more for pull in the opposite direction of the rap. And when you do rappel, only one of the three pieces is actually weighted -- the least bad of the two other horrible pieces.

I made my partner go first, and I unclipped from the anchor until he was down. Laugh


saxfiend


Jun 2, 2008, 5:40 PM
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Re: [dutyje] Western NC easy/moderate recommendations [In reply to]
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Yeah, I remember not being too enthused about the anchor on Wailing Wall, but I don't recall them being that scary. Wasn't there a tree involved in that rig?

JL


munky


Jun 2, 2008, 5:55 PM
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It sounds like you are kinda new to the sport and looking to put some miles in, with your girlfriend along for the ride. After second thought and reading your later entries i think you should wait on linville gorge. i would suggest heading up to the New River Gorge. Tons of moderate trad lines and sport routes. Throw in some great swimming at Summersville lake, Pizza at Pies and Pints, breakfast at Cathedral Cafe and you have all the makings of a great climbing vacation for you and your girlfriend. Check out Orange Oswald for fun, easy sport routes. Junk Yard and the Bridge area will also have some easier trad lines. The classic 2 pitch Ritz Cracker at Fern Buttress should be on your list also. Have fun whatever you do.


dashclimber306


Jun 2, 2008, 6:37 PM
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Re: [dutyje] Western NC easy/moderate recommendations [In reply to]
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dutyje wrote:
The scariest part about Wailing Wall was getting down. After topping out, we found a 3-piece anchor over the amphitheater with a couple loops of cable and a couple rap rings. I wouldn't consider myself a seasoned or skilled trad leader, but only one of those pieces seemed fall-worthy to me - and it's oriented more for pull in the opposite direction of the rap. And when you do rappel, only one of the three pieces is actually weighted -- the least bad of the two other horrible pieces.

I made my partner go first, and I unclipped from the anchor until he was down. Laugh

The Wailing Wall anchor is bomber. Those pieces were hammered in there with a sledge...

For the OP, I cannot believe that Table Rock has not been mentioned. There is mixed climbing there down to 5.4, single and multi pitch, with short approach and easy navigation (mostly). Go There. Ship Rock is another good option also.
Moores is good too but farther drive. The Bald is a blast furnace right now. New River is way farther than NC from SC


dutyje


Jun 2, 2008, 6:40 PM
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saxfiend wrote:
Yeah, I remember not being too enthused about the anchor on Wailing Wall, but I don't recall them being that scary. Wasn't there a tree involved in that rig?

JL

When I topped out, I searched quite a bit for enough trust-worthy rock to build an anchor. I wasn't thrilled with the options available, and had smoked just about all my gear on the climb.

I warpped my triplette and my last remaining slings around a BFT to bring him up, and that's when we moved over to the descent anchor, which is not above Wailing Wall, but something else in the amphitheater. The BFT was quite solid as a top belay anchor, and I had no problems with using it.


dutyje


Jun 2, 2008, 6:51 PM
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dashclimber306 wrote:
[The Wailing Wall anchor is bomber. Those pieces were hammered in there with a sledge...

We used it.. we survived Laugh None of the pieces so much as budged.

How long has that thing been up there? Did you put it in? I'm still not looking forward to getting on it again. Maybe I'm just a chicken.

And for the record, I mentioned both Table Rock and Ship Rock in my post Tongue


joshy8200


Jun 2, 2008, 7:09 PM
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Ship Rock...you can rap from the top of Board Walk with 1 60m rope (and probably only 1 50m rope). However, you'll be rapping to anchors that are mid-route and probably on top of other parties.

Moore's...I'm pretty sure that 1 60m rope is enough to rap from the top of Sentinel Buttress and is enough to get down at the Amphitheatre.

Also...at any of these areas, there are probably enough people around that you could ask another group if they want to leave their second rope and combine ropes at the top with you......maybe more trouble for another party than it's worth to them, but could be worth asking.

Crowders has some interesting rock quality, and only a handfull of routes that folks lead on trad. There is kind of a 'classic' moderate crack climb Ooga Chocka 5.8 that is pretty fun. Leading the middle route on the Middle Finger wall that's 5.5 is doable, but protection is pretty pschological only. And I remember leading some random 5.6 on Red Wall upto a tree ledge...

Everyone talks (and I think the guidebook makes mention) of being able to creatively rap at Stone Mtn with 1 rope...I've never done it. You may catch a few more days that are climbable there. But Stone will get very hot in the sun.

Same goes for Rumbling Bald and Crowders. Although you can chase some shade at Crowders. The backside of Middle Finger and the Fortress Wall stay shaded during the day. And the Practice Wall, Red Wall, and Davids Castle Wall get shade in the later afternoon.

Moore's stays cooler...relatively speaking since it faces north. But it's usually muggy and if you're in the sun higher on some of the climbs you'll cook.

Ship Rock has the most beatiful weather even through the middle of the summer. The temps and humidity will probably be the best of any climbing area east of the Mississippi....just a thought I had but it's probably one of the highest elevation climbing areas this side of the Mississippi.

Linville Gorge (including Amphitheatre, Table Rock, Hawksbill). Definitely some fun stuff on Table Rock and you can walk off very quickly no problem (remember to carry walking shoes up the route with you). Hawksbill has some fun stuff...probably in the slightly harder range though, but you can walk off. The Amphitheatre and NC Wall....probably a little more than you're ready for, definitely require a lot of searching for find and route finding on route. You're temperatures at Hawksbill and Table Rock will be a little more moderate. Neither area faces south so you can time them to be in the shade.

Climbing in the NC mountains in the summer you need to be prepared for afternoon storms too. I forget the statistics but by being climbers our odds of being hit by lightning are pretty ridiculously higher than non-climbers.


MikeSaint


Jun 2, 2008, 7:18 PM
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In reply to:
The scariest part about Wailing Wall was getting down. After topping out, we found a 3-piece anchor over the amphitheater with a couple loops of cable and a couple rap rings. I wouldn't consider myself a seasoned or skilled trad leader, but only one of those pieces seemed fall-worthy to me - and it's oriented more for pull in the opposite direction of the rap. And when you do rappel, only one of the three pieces is actually weighted -- the least bad of the two other horrible pieces.

I made my partner go first, and I unclipped from the anchor until he was down. Laugh

Is this rap station near Golden Earing or closer to the right of Wailing Wall? The rap to the right is very exposed passing the roofs and into the forest shrubs/ trees?

My partner and I finished up Wailing Wall, went over the rock a bit and to the right maybe 50 feet or so to find a rap station that sounds close to your description. After having the 'Sentinel Experience' seeing that rap station near Wailing Wall was quite the eye sore Wink


joshy8200


Jun 3, 2008, 4:51 AM
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Re: [MikeSaint] Western NC easy/moderate recommendations [In reply to]
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MikeSaint wrote:
After having the 'Sentinel Experience' seeing that rap station near Wailing Wall was quite the eye sore Wink

The 'Sentinel Experience'?
TFisher: "There are 3, 1/2" bolts. The top and bottom are stainless 5 piece. Spacing concerns would be valid if you could load the bolts enough to load the rock. You can't. Or the rock was western sandstone with the consistancy of sugar. It isn't. I agree that it is not the most perfectly engineered anchor, but if any thing it is way overkill. It has been there for about 23 years and is kinda part of the place."
http://carolinaclimbers.org/...der=asc&start=30


dutyje


Jun 3, 2008, 6:09 AM
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MikeSaint wrote:
Is this rap station near Golden Earing or closer to the right of Wailing Wall? The rap to the right is very exposed passing the roofs and into the forest shrubs/ trees?

My partner and I finished up Wailing Wall, went over the rock a bit and to the right maybe 50 feet or so to find a rap station that sounds close to your description. After having the 'Sentinel Experience' seeing that rap station near Wailing Wall was quite the eye sore Wink

That's the one :)

See Joshy's link about the thing on top of Sentinel Buttress. I never had any problem rapping off that thing. It just makes you wonder what the heck it is and where it came from.


getout87


Jun 3, 2008, 7:00 AM
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Oh, and when I said frosted flake, I meant fruit loops, whoops. Thanks for all the info guys.


Partner j_ung


Jun 3, 2008, 7:14 AM
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dutyje wrote:
It just makes you wonder what the heck it is and where it came from.

It's a slip-static pulley. I like it fine. I just wish it were higher, so you don't have to boulder down to it. More than once, I've done the walk off instead.


MikeSaint


Jun 3, 2008, 7:41 AM
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j_ung wrote:
dutyje wrote:
It just makes you wonder what the heck it is and where it came from.

It's a slip-static pulley. I like it fine. I just wish it were higher, so you don't have to boulder down to it. More than once, I've done the walk off instead.

Aye, Im not a fan of doing that little shuffle to the pulley gizmo. I suppose its necessary to be that low so your 60M can have just enough stretch to the Crows Nest?

I wish the walk off got a little more traffic. With Sentinel and Zoo View the traffic going up and down gets congested at times.

Slightly OT:

On the second pitch of Sentinel is a fixed red C4 that clearly shows signs of abuse from folks trying to get it out. How long has that sucker been in there, and how long will it remain?


naitch


Jun 3, 2008, 7:49 AM
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MikeSaint wrote:
j_ung wrote:
dutyje wrote:
It just makes you wonder what the heck it is and where it came from.

It's a slip-static pulley. I like it fine. I just wish it were higher, so you don't have to boulder down to it. More than once, I've done the walk off instead.

Aye, Im not a fan of doing that little shuffle to the pulley gizmo. I suppose its necessary to be that low so your 60M can have just enough stretch to the Crows Nest?

I wish the walk off got a little more traffic. With Sentinel and Zoo View the traffic going up and down gets congested at times.

I think they are talking about the rap station at Golden Earring not Sentinel Buttress. I didn't find the one at Sentinel bad at all and I certainly didn't have to boulder down to it. However, the one at the top of Golden Earring I did, as I remember...YMMV

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