Monday, October 12, 2009
WNC Local Spot-Linville Gorge Bouldering
The Wonderland and Dreamland Boulders
If you follow online climbing media at all, in the last year there have been several videos and articles on the Linville Gorge Boulders. LVM Rock was briefly making climbing videos and put out 2 great ones; one for Rumbling Bald, and one for Linville Gorge. In the Linville Gorge video, Mike Stamm's FA of "The Panic is On" was an incredible send of a hard scary route...if you havent seen it, check it out. Here is a link to the LVM website, scroll down on this site for the bouldering info. The boulders are down in the bottom of the Linville Gorge, one of the deepest gorges on the east coast, and tend to get little direct sunlight...making them better to visit during warmer weather. Its getting to be cooler weather, but I have heard of folks heading down into these boulders during the cold months also. The hike in is not to be taken lightly, generally steep and difficult loaded with a big crashpad...so dont bite off more than you can chew. Rescue from a location like this is a real ordeal, so understand the risks of climbing in a remote and isolated area like the Gorge and use as much caution and safety as possible. Unfortunately, I have not personally had the pleasure of getting down in the Gorge and checking these boulders out, every chance I have had it has either rained or something last minute has come up. But, with so much good information available on RockClimbing.com and on the Movement On Stone blog, I thought it would be fitting to list this under the Local Spots for Western North Carolina and make it more visible so folks can find information a little more centralized. For both the Wonderland and Dreamland Boulders, I have just cut and pasted the approach directions from existing threads and then linked to written route descriptions/grades. By having one window open with the route descriptions and another open with the Movement On Stone Topo's, you can compare the information and get a more comprehensive idea of the area and routes. I've also included a link to a good detailed hiking website for the Linville Gorge to help you get around the area. Enjoy!
Wonderland and Dreamland Topo's (Movement On Stone website) :Click here for great picture topo's and comments about each area
The Spence Ridge Trail is the easiest, least steep way to access the river having 700 fett less elevation drop than any other trail to the river, and a foot bridge has recently been built to cross the river. Takes about 25-30 minutes with a pack. Wonderland is about 10, 15 minutes downstream of the bridge on the river trail. A large cave right on the trail marks the easiest ways to get to the river, as well as the downstream end of the best concentration of good, set-up boulders. These include the wonder boulder, the glory(mushroom) boulder, and good god's urge. The trail up to the Linville River Crag also marks the down-stream end of this bouderfield.
Wonderland Boulders Extra Approach Info : General info thread about Wonderland Boulders
Wonderland Boulders Route Info :Check here for written route information for Wonderland
Park at Sitting Bear lot and walk towards sitting bear, cut left into gorge on Devil's Hole trail. Once at river, some boulders downstream, most boulders upstream. Stay on trail side of river to go up. Access to Gorge River Trail(on other side) is marked by cairn across river from Devil's Hole trail
Dreamland Boulders Extra Approach Info : Good thread about some general info of this area.
Dreamland Boulders Route Info : Check here for written route information for Dreamland
Linville Gorge Hiking Website