Winter Climbing in North Carolina

Winter is a great time to climb in western North Carolina, and we have been trying to take advantage of the warm days and sunshine. Saturday we enjoyed an unusually warm day at Rumbling Bald. It seems each year, there are a few days worthy of being called "Junuary" that require a touch of sunscreen for pasty winter skin. It was an interesting juxtaposition to be climbing in a tee shirt while a Chimney Rock church bell below us chimed Christmas songs. If you have been to Rumbling Bald in the last year or two, you are familiar with the exorbitant amount of development going on in Hickory Nut Gorge. The Lake Lure area is changing quickly and thank goodness the state of North Carolina has procured a good amount of the untouched land- it is going fast!

The Sunday forecast was for plenty of rain. For once, we actually planned on the rain, yet the day turned out to be gorgeous. We hiked into The Nose area of Looking Glass to scout for dry rock. We were rewarded in some spots, but climbs like The Nose were soaked despite abundant sunshine. It was a good chance for Phil to freshen me up on the many ways to use a Black Diamond ATC Guide (awesome for multi pitching!) while we waited for the sun to work its way on the rock. We eventually hopped on Southern Crescent, which looked pretty dry, but sweating rock made for some pretty touchy slab climbing on the cruxy top. Still, fun day and oh so nice to be warm! Hope to see you out at the sunny crags in Western North Carolina soon!

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