Highest State Peaks

Phil and I burrowed in for a recent rainy day and watched a nature series about Hawaii. We were astounded to learn that the highest peak in Hawaii is Mauna Kea at 13,796. This is a far cry from Mount Mitchell, the highest point in North Carolina at 6,684. Still, elevation differences throughout western North Carolina can make a huge impact on outdoor conditions, making it possible to rockclimb in the middle of summer, iceclimb at Thanksgiving and boulder in February.

Here are a few key times to visit certain NC elevations:

Ship Rock, NC
At 4592 ft, this is a great summer crag, known for summer breezes and unpredictable storms throughout the year.

Chimney Rock, NC
At only 1096 ft, Chimney Rock and Rumbling Bald are popular for rockclimbing and bouldering in fall and winter once the poison ivy dies and the temperatures become conducive to friction.

Mount Mitchell, NC
The state's tallest peak at 6684 ft is often covered in mist and clouds, but clear, summer days are the best for visiting this area for hiking or camping. But, if time is of essence, be aware that you can drive all the way to Mount Mitchell from the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Whitesides Mountain, NC
The summit of this impressive rock face can be accessed via a 2 mile round trip loop, or, via roughly 9 pitches of incredible climbing. The Main Wall is south facing, so spring and fall are your best weather windows for rockclimbing to the 4850 ft summit.

Feel free to stop in the shop for more NC beta!

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