Stone Mountain; Charlotte, NC

Elevation: 2,305 feet Route: The Great White Way (5.9, 3 pitches) Drive: 1 hour, 45 minutes



The Great White Way follows the black runnel with a tiny tree at the top, left of the promiment arch on Stone Mountain. Photo by Pat and Chuck Blackley

Charlotte, N.C.

Stone Mountain

  • Elevation: 2,305 feet
  • Route: The Great White Way (5.9, 3 pitches)
  • Drive: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Here’s the rack you’ll need to climb this 250-foot water-groove route on the granite face of North Carolina’s Stone Mountain: four quickdraws, and something to clip into the bolted belay anchors. Running it out is standard at Stone, and mind control is the name of the game on The Great White Way. Still, those who have climbed it are more likely to call it “exciting” than “scary”— after they’ve finished, anyway. Every season but high summer is great for climbing at south-facing Stone Mountain.

CLIMB IT: The crux 110-foot first pitch has an abundant four bolts, which is a lot compared to the second pitch, with one bolt in 110 feet. Keep your feet to the outside of the water groove (it’s slicker in the middle). Think “slab stemming.”

BACKPACKER RECOMMENDS: Hike to the summit of this Yosemite-like granite dome—and have time left over for fly-fishing in nearby trout streams—on the stout 4.5-mile Stone Mountain Loop Trail.

GET THERE: From Charlotte, drive north on I-77 to US-21. Continue northwest 12 miles, turn west on Traphill Road for 4 miles to the John P. Frank Parkway, and turn north and take the parkway into Stone Mountain State Park. Drive 2 miles past the park office and park at the Lower Trailhead on the left. Follow a signed trail to the Hutchinson Homestead and cross a meadow to the climbing area. One pitch of climbing is necessary to access Tree Ledge, where The Great White Way and other quality climbs begin. White Way Direct goes at 5.9, but easier options exist.

BETA: Selected Climbs in North Carolina, by Yon Lambert and Harrison Shull;

PERMIT: Get the required free climbing permit at the kiosk on the approach trail.



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