Outdoor Climbing, Triangle & Beyond

The Triangle isn’t known for its outdoor bouldering and rock climbing. But locally there are some places to do some outdoor boul­dering.

In Carrboro, there is the Morgan Bluff AKA University Lake Boulders. In Orange/Durham Counties, there are the Eno River Boulders spread along the river’s edge in Eno River State Park. And, in Cary, there are the manmade boulders at the North Cary Park.

Some North Carolina state parks are home to impressive rock formations. Rock climbing, bouldering, and rappelling are allowed at the following: Chimney Rock, Crowders Moun­tain, Hanging Rock, Pilot Mountain, and Stone Mountain. Climbing activities are allowed only during certain months, and a permit must be obtained from the park office before you climb.

Rock Dimensions (www.rockdimensions .com) of Boone offers Group Top-Rope Guid­ed Rock Climbing and Guided Intermediate Rock Climbing trips in the NC Piedmont and mountains at Crowders Mountain SP, Pilot Mountain SP, Linville Gorge Wilderness and Wilson Creek Area.

REI provides a two-day North Carolina Rock Climbing trip to Pisgah National Forest for climbers from every ability level (www.rei.com). This trip is a great introduction to rock climbing, focused on areas ideal for beginner climbers like Looking Glass and Cedar Rocks.

Frog Hollow Outdoors (www.froghollow­outdoors.com) of Durham offers Introduc­tion to Rock Climbing, Rock Climbing Skill Build­ing or Guided Trip, and one- and two-day Group Rock Climbing classes at someplace in areas 1-2 hours from Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, or within an hour of Asheville. Class sizes can range from one to more than six students. Climbing and belaying techniques, top rope anchor placement/building, communication and safety, equipment handling and storage, are all covered during these sessions.

Caroline Gilmore