After a year stuck inside, we are all itching to get out and embrace the world. Luckily there is no better way to do so than a journey to a good rock climbing destination. Today we are looking at great places to rock climb, particularly in the south-eastern United States. Let us know your favorite spots and any we may have missed in the comments section below.
- New River Gorge, West Virginia: Not only is the NRG beautiful, but according to Outsider Magazine it “maintains a much sleepier vibe, making it inherently radder.” I don’t know about you, but I’m always up for some rad climbing. It has the Mango Tango and Proper Soul climbs, which “are two of the prettiest sport climbs in the Western Hemisphere.” Tough to compete with that!
- Rocktown, Georgia: Try your hand at sandstone bouldering atop Pinnacle Mountain in the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area. There are over 500 established routes with unique climbs like The Orb, which is for top level climbers only. You need a hunting or fishing license to visit the area, but if you do, camping is free. Why not make a weekend of it?
- Horse Pens 40, Alabama: This is a privately owned park on top of Chandler Mountain, near Birmingham. However, it only costs $10 to enjoy for a day, and you can have great fun on the sandstone boulders that REI calls, “the best bouldering fields in the country.”
- Blowing Rock Preserve, Florida: Florida isn’t exactly known for its mountains, but if you can get there at low tide and low swell, it provides some of the best climbing opportunities around. Plus, you can get incredible pictures hanging off a rock with the ocean in the background. Such a view will never be forgotten!
- Rumbling Bald, North Carolina: This 3,020 ft. mountain is chock full of both traditional and bouldering routes. It sits inside Chimney Rock State Park and has at least 1,000 documented problems (traverses). According to REI: “Southern exposure and warmer temperatures make this one of the best winter climbing destinations in the Southeast.”
Speaking of staying warm, there are lots of strategies that can help climbers stay warm without adding bulk during a climb. Grabber hand warmers, for example, can be a great addition to your chalk bag and help keep your fingers warm and nimble while climbing.
Stay warm and happy climbing!