What Georgia lacks in quantity of rock-climbing opportunities, it more than makes up for in quality, with many areas that are still being explored. Georgia has some excellent sites for traditional rock climbing and offers some particularly challenging overhangs.
Rock Town and Lost Wall are both on Pigeon Mountain, in the northwestern corner of the state near LaFayette in Walker County. Located on the southernmost edge of the Appalachian Plateau, these areas are two of the most popular for climbing. Rock Town provides the most challenging bouldering in the state. Located on top of the flat mountain, it consists of several acres of large sandstone boulders, averaging thirty to forty feet in height. Because the rock offers many hand- and footholds, it is an excellent spot for beginners.
Lost Wall is a band of exposed cliffs about halfway up the mountain. It is perhaps the most
Mount Yonah in White County is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest of northeast Georgia, between Helen and Cleveland. The bald granite cliffs on the southwest side of the mountain offer good climbs for beginners: the slope is gentle to the top, and there is a fair bit of friction climbing. There are also sections of juggy face (rock wall with many jugs) as well as a few cracks. Some two-pitch climbs (which require two rope lengths between relay stations) ascend to the top, 200 feet above the mountain's base. The area was bolted years ago by the U.S. Army Rangers, who occasionally train on the mountain. Cables are placed across portions of the cliffs to make setting top rope anchors convenient.
Curahee Mountain, near Toccoa in Stephens County, offers good opportunities for top roping (in which the rope anchors are preset at the top of the climb) and exposed-lead climbing (starting with the rope on the ground and clipping into protection points on the way up).
Boat Rock is a small field of granite boulders located just south of Atlanta in Fulton County. Boat Rock presents many opportunities for slab and balance climbing, as well as a few good overhangs. It is threatened by urban sprawl, and its fate as a rock-climbing destination is in question. It is located on private land, and access has been restricted; however, the organization Access Fund recently approved a grant to purchase a 7.7-acre tract of Boat Rock.
Zahnd is also a boulder field,
Other Georgia rock-climbing destinations include Allenbrook, Little Kennesaw Mountain, Long Island, Morgan Falls, Palisades, and the Zipper, all in the metro Atlanta area; Blood Mountain Boulders in Suches; and Shaking Rock Park in Lexington.
The popularity of indoor rock climbing is on the rise. Atlanta boasts several rock-climbing gyms, and the University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology also have indoor climbing walls, as do several YMCA's. All of these sites offer classes in rock climbing, and many also host climbing competitions.
Several organizations in the state and in the Southeast— Access Fund, the Southeastern Climbers' Coalition, and the Atlanta Climbing Club—keep climbers aware of current issues, work to improve access to climbing areas, and maintain climbing areas and the trails that lead to them. GA-Adventures offers rock-climbing outings led by experienced climbers. Climb Georgia is also a good source of information.
Chris Watford, The Dixie Cragger's Atlas: A Climbing Guide to Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia (Roswell, Ga.: Market Place Press, 1999).
Al Dixon, Athens
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