Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Northeast GA Local Spot-Mt Yonah
If you're passing through Helen, GA, perhaps for some German food and beer during Octoberfest, Mt Yonah is a great little bouldering area to hit. Mt Yonah has been used for many years as an Army training area, and new climbing leaders have used it to cut their teeth as well. Yonah has several smaller crags at the base of the Main Wall, near the top. The trail up to the base of these crags is about a mile to a mile and a half long, with boulders strewn across it almost the whole way. If you are a boulderer, some of the local favorites and hard test pieces are located just around the corner from the parking area, making a quick boulder session a much easier option if you cant spend all day up at the crag or chasing boulder problems up the mountain. The guide was given to me by a local GA boulderer that helped to write it, and I think it only fitting to share it with everyone else that might be travelling through or live near the area. The guide list directions and an overview map that makes it pretty easy to navigate. Sometimes its hard to locate the boulder trail from the parking lot, but if you search around the valley that heads up the far right side from the parking lot, you'll start to find a faint trail and see some of the boulders just right around the corner. If you take the main trail, after you cross the metal bridge about 1/4 mile up the trail, you'll see the Hilltop Boulder down the hill to your right. Be careful of the bugs and poison ivy in warmer weather. If you're staying in Helen, the BBQ place has some of the cheapest and best eats in town! Another good perk about bouldering at Yonah is that camping is allowed. And, if you're extremely lazy and dont mind people watching you camp, you can even camp right out of your car on the backside of the parking lot. For a little privacy you can hike up the main trail and find a campsite before you hit the metal bridge and several good spots further on up the trail. With free camping, boulders 5 minutes from the parking lot and some awesome BBQ 10 minutes away...Yonah is destined to become even more popular with the Georgia and South Carolina bouldering crowd.
While you're there, here are some of my favorite routes to climb...
-Good Warm Up: Almost everything on the Hilltop Boulder
-Intermediate: Detached V4 near Hilltop Boulder, Any of the V2-V5's on the 45 Boulder
-Advanced:Yonah Man V7 (One of my proudest sends, because I onsighted it!) and Grand Daddy Yonah V9.
Click Here For the Guidebook
Here is the Hilltop Topo: