Rock Climbing at Crowders Mountain State Park

About a month ago or so I traveled down to Gastonia, NC to Crowders Mountain State Park to meet up with my brother and his roommate to do some rock climbing. They drove all the way from Savannah for the day. I had been climbing indoors at The Ultimate Climbing Gym in Greensboro, NC for a few months, but had not yet climbed natural rock.

Doing some preliminary research before the trip which came with less than a 24 hour warning I discovered that Crowders Mountain has a very nice website for a State Park. The park has more than 150 climbing routes including traditional (trad), sport, and top roping set ups.

We Spent the entire day at the Practice Wall section of the East facing Main Wall. I can’t imagine how long it would take to ascend all 150 routes. The routes on the Practice wall vary from 5.12 (Skunkpie) to 5.4 (Gastonia Crack). Gastonia Crack, has a gap in the rock face large enough for you to climb inside of. While it is not technically difficult by any means it is a fun climb.

We met up with several climbers all of whom drove well over an hour to get there. I believe I was the closest at around an hour and 45 minutes. We spent must of the day torturing our bodies on Burn Crack. Burn Crack is rated a 5.10. We have been told that the upper section of the route mellows out, but none of us would know. We spent a few hours taking turns and trying out different techniques.

I used this trip as an opportunity to break in my new Evol climbing shoes and a Black Diamond harness. All in all it was a fun and fulfilling day. It is a long walk out even when you are exhausted even though it is entirely downhill. The hard day of climbing left me feeling a little battered, but that was nothing that a little beer and Mexican food couldn’t fix.

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