For those who are adventurous and want to try new things, look no further than rock climbing in the High Country. To help guide those who want to scale the peaks of the High Country, look no further than Boone-based Rock Dimensions.
Rock Dimension’s team of outdoor guides is made up of a seasoned group of professionals with a passion for climbing and certified by the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. Rock Dimensions instructors have years, if not decades, of climbing experience.
Rock Dimensions takes groups to rock climbing locations such as the Wilson Creek area, Rocky Face Park, Pilot Mountain State Park, and Crowders Mountain State Park. Other trips include caving and bouldering in East Tennessee, or if true beginners really want to thrill their senses, Rock Dimensions takes groups to the Discovery Course at Blowing Rock and the company has its own rock climbing wall. at its Depot Street offices in downtown Boone. .
One of the best places to rock climb is Rock Dimensions Climbing Guide, Drew Mercer, Ship Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
“It’s a traditional rock climbing area sort of above the treeline,” Mercer said. “When you climb you have a view that looks a bit like the Linn Cove Viaduct. This is a super classic area for the High Country.
The path to the Ship Rock climbing routes is just past the Rough Ridge hiking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile 302.8. Mercer said climbers can either park at Rough Ridge or the next parking lot and then walk along the road to find the trail, which Mercer says is pretty easy to miss.
Mercer said Ship Rock offers climbing routes for beginner climbers as well as those who are experienced. For climbers, Mercer recommends that they have a climbing harness, climbing shoes, rope, and chalk bag.
His six years of experience have also led him to know the tips and tricks of the sport.
“I would say in rock climbing we always say it’s really important to focus on your footwork,” Mercer said. “We like to say using your feet more than your upper body and that’s because your leg muscles are quite big, aren’t they, and they can push you quite easily. It’s like basic rock climbing technique – learning to use your feet well and using your legs to push yourself up instead of pulling you up.
Mercer said if a person wants to climb but hasn’t, they should consider taking a half-day tour with the guide service.
“And while they might not know if they’ll even like it, we have a climbing tower in our downtown Boone and it’s a great way to dip your toes in and see if you’ll like to climb and if you like to climb quite high, like 50 feet,” Mercer said.
Known as the Grand Canyon of North Carolina, the Linville Gorge is renowned among climbers around the world. The 11,000-acre wilderness area maintained by the United States Forest Service drops 2,000 feet from its highest edge to the Linville River. The gorge has an abundance of bouldering and climbing edifices which are nestled in the rhododendron halls.
To learn more about what Rock Dimensions is doing to keep fellow adventurers safe or to plan your next adventure, call (828) 265-3544 or click to rockdimensions.com.