Preserving, protecting, and expanding your climbing opportunities
There has been some confusion surrounding the tragic incidents leading up to the death of local Piedmont climber Mark Byers. On a personal note, I'd like to start by saying that Mark was an occasional climbing partner of mine and a regular at my home crag of Crowder's Mountain State Park. Media and eyewitness testimony have created some confusion as to the cause of Mark's tragic fall. In an attempt to shed some light on the event, Bradley Woolf, Robert Hutchins, and I met with park staff today to examine the scene.
Chimney Rock State Park is adopting the same climbing permit system that is in place at Hanging Rock, Stone, Pilot and Crowder's. Please be sure to fill out a permit when you head up to the cliffs or the boulders. Since the CCC boulderfield flows into the park, even if you plan on staying on the West Side it would be a good idea to fill one out and it helps the park understand how much value we place in Rumbling Bald. Here's the press release from the park:
As most folks know by now, there were 2 accidents in NC on Monday, March 10th. At Crowder's Mountain, long-time local and friend to many, Mark Byers, died while climbing alone. One thing we do know is there was no anchor failure involved, despite what the Charlotte Observer article says. We have confirmed this with the park and with an actual climber evaluation of the scene.
On Saturday January 11 North Carolina lost one of its favorite sons in a hiking accident at Crowder's Mountain State Park. Gary Mims was an accomplished adventurer with significant first ascents in climbing and first descents in kayaking. He is especially beloved to the crew of local climbers that frequents the rock faces at Crowder's Mountain State Park where he could be found nearly every Saturday morning sharing his wealth of experience with any who cared to join his group. Gary was a tireless advocate for outdoor recreation and operated behind the scenes on many projects including the formation of Crowder's Mountain State Park and the expansion of trail systems and greenways in Gaston County.
It's that time of the year again. The standard closures are in effect for a number of Western NC cliffs to protect Peregrine Falcon nesting sites. Please respect all of the closures while they are in place.
PISGAH FOREST, N.C. -- The U.S. Forest Service has closed the following roads in the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, for public safety and resource protection: