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The Neverending Amazing: A Photo Gallery Of Southeast Rock

The world class rock of Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia and Arkansas, as you've never seen it.


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Teran pulls it together on the classic Discombobulated (5.11b), New River Gorge. (Photo: Levi Harrell)

Liz Haas gets after it on Pocket Route (5.13a), one of the New River Gorge’s most striking lines, routing up deep yellow and black stripes. Ironically, Pocket Route has a dearth of pockets, but at least it has a name—the line was established by Doug Reed in 1992. Reed, a prolific new-router in the Southeast, put up so many lines that he couldn’t possibly name them all. Other climbers filled in the blanks later. (Photo: Levi Harrell)

The 221 Circuit hosts 50 boulder clusters off Highway 221 below Grandfather Mountain, near Boone, North Carolina. The Raining Choss boulder sits right below the road, and its namesake problem, Raining Choss (V10), climbed here by Kyle Mohler, begins astride the waters of a tumbling brook—a more picturesque setting would be difficult to imagine. (Photo: Levi Harrell)

Carolina Corredor prepares Turtles in a Half Shell (V8), Mutant Area, Cowell, Arkansas. Turtles represents recent development in northwest Arkansas, where a small group of dedicated pullers have busied themselves finding and sending new blocks amid the hardwood forest. (Photo: Levi Harrell)

Edwin Teran prepares in the corner for his next round with Apollo Reed (5.13a), the Coliseum, Summersville Lake. With over 60 miles of shoreline, Summersville is West Virginia’s largest body of water. In the summer, high water fills in nearly to the base of the crag, while elsewhere you might need a boat to access the routes. (Photo: Levi Harrell)

Edwin Teran on the never-ending big moves of Confirmation (5.13b), Endless Wall, New River Gorge, West Virginia. Established by the local Doug Reed in 2007, Confirmation is a confirmed hard 5.13b. The history of climbing at the New is long and storied, with the likes of Reed, Porter Jarrard, Rick Thompson, Eric Hörst, Kenny Parker, Gene Kistler, and many others adding the earliest sport routes, with yet a new chapter opened in 2020 when the gorge became a national park.

Drew Mercer contemplates Edge of a Dream (5.7), Shiprock, Boone, North Carolina, a regional classic with a commanding view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Parkway. The latter is the nation’s longest linear park, slicing some 469 miles through the heavy timber of Virginia and North Carolina. (Photo: Levi Harrell)