North Carolina’s Top Quartzite Crags

Climbing - - NORTH CAROLINA -

MOORE’S WALL

This 200-foot cliff bursts from the hills of the North Carolina Piedmont. It’s gen­er­ally re­garded as a place for the ex­pe­ri­enced leader due to tricky gear and runouts.

Sea­son: Year-round. How­ever, at 2,579 feet and fac­ing north­west to north­east, Moore’s can be ex­cep­tion­ally cold in win­ter.

Lo­ca­tion: North, cen­tral Piedmont, ap­prox. 30 min­utes from Win­ston-Salem.

Camp­ing: Hang­ing Rock State Park. Camp­ing is not al­lowed at Moore’s Wall or in the climb­ing-ac­cess park­ing lot.

Re­stric­tions: All climbers must reg­is­ter at the climb­ing-ac­cess trail­head.

PI­LOT MOUN­TAIN

A pop­u­lar win­ter des­ti­na­tion with ap­prox. 80 routes and easy ac­cess. Can be crowded on win­ter week­ends.

Sea­son: Year-round, though sum­mer can be hot due to the cliff’s as­pect.

Lo­ca­tion: North, cen­tral Piedmont, ap­prox. 30 min­utes from Win­ston-Salem.

Camp­ing: Pi­lot Moun­tain State Park; (336) 325-2355. Re­stric­tions: All climbers must reg­is­ter at the climb­ing-ac­cess trail­head.

CROW­DERS MOUN­TAIN

Of­ten re­ferred to as “Crowded” Moun­tain, this cliff is gen­er­ally re­garded as a lo­cals’ crag, though it does have high-qual­ity 5.10 and 5.11 mixed lines.

Sea­son: Year-round, though sum­mer can be ex­tremely hot.

Lo­ca­tion: South, cen­tral Piedmont, ap­prox. 45 min­utes west of Charlotte.

Camp­ing: Crow­ders Moun­tain State Park; (704) 853-5375 Re­stric­tions: All climbers must reg­is­ter at the climb­ing-ac­cess trail­head.

SHIP ROCK

With grades from 5.7 to 5.12 and roughly 70 routes up to 200 feet high, this is a wor­thy stop for any trad climber seek­ing cooler tem­per­a­tures and steep rock.

Sea­son: Spring through fall. At 4,592 feet and fac­ing pri­mar­ily north­west, Ship Rock is an ideal sum­mer crag.

Lo­ca­tion: North­west Moun­tain re­gion, ap­prox. 30 min­utes south­west of Boone.

Camp­ing: Ju­lian Price Me­mo­rial Park. Camp­ing is not al­lowed on Ship Rock.

LINVILLE GORGE (SHORTOFF, AM­PHITHE­ATER, NC WALL, TA­BLE ROCK)

This is why you come to North Carolina! While the Linville Gorge is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion, it still of­fers a true wilder­ness ex­pe­ri­ence for the mul­ti­p­itch trad climber, with more than 250 routes from 5.4 to 5.12. Come pre­pared to bat­tle at any grade.

Sea­son: Spring through fall. Lo­ca­tion: Western Moun­tain re­gion, ap­prox. 1.5 hours east of Asheville. Camp­ing: Free in­side the Linville Gorge Wilder­ness. Overnight-use per­mit re­quired on week­ends and hol­i­days from May 1 through Oc­to­ber 31. Con­tact: District Ranger-US For­est Ser­vice; (828) 652-2144. Re­stric­tions: Pere­grine fal­con clo­sures ap­ply. Visit car­oli­na­climbers.org.

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