Area rep: Mike Trew [email protected]
Slab climbing at its finest, Stone is a winter destination for NC climbers and visitors alike. Long runouts are common, but the climbing is reasonably safe. Stone is a head game for the leader, seconding routes is much easier and it's not uncommon for beginners to follow 5.9 / 5.10 due to the nature of the rock and the benefits of sticky rubber. Cold days are best as the South facing granite gets full sun and can actually get quite warm. Two moderate gear-fests are quite popular and protect well (No Alternative and Great Arch) and are popular first lead climbs.
Stone also has some great bouldering at the base of the South face and should be on the winter circuit for the pad toting climber.
A rebolting effort by the CCC on the North face has reopened climbing in warmer temps. It's a bit more serious than the South face, at least you can now rely on the bolts!
What to expect: Long runouts (40-50 feet between protection points is common) on bolted granite with a few trad routes mixed in. You should be comfortable on slab climbing well over your gear and with multipitch climbing. You need 2 ropes to easily rap from routes at Stone. Although Stone has bolts, it is not a sport climbing area!
Access Issues: Please be aware of the day-use hours for the climbing area (you can't miss them, they are at the kiosk with the registration forms) and be sure to be off the rock and on your way to your car by the posted times.
(From Charlotte, NC) Take I-77N past Statesville to Exit 83 (Route 21). Follow US-21 north until you see a sign on your right for the park and take a left onto Traphill Road (NC Rd 1002). Follow this road for another few miles until you come to the John P. Frank Parkway on the right which will take you to the park gates. Its easiest to go straight past the initial park station and parking lot until you hit the second parking lot a mile or so through the woods. Hike through the woods following the signs to the Hutchinson Homestead. Go past the bridge to the Homestead and cross the large field on your left (the rock face will be very visible at this point) to the base of the climbs.
Click Here for a detailed map.
Camping is available in Stone Mountain State Park. You will pass the entrance to the camping area on the way to the cliff.
Routes are Stone are covered in Carolina Rocks - the Piedmont.