When conditions are right, aspiring ice climbers will find some of the lower 48’s best ice in western NC. From top-roping short pitches to multi-pitch adventures, Whitesides Mountain offers a full, world-class package. For smaller climbs, head out along the Blue Ridge Parkway or check out the Sam Knob region of the Pisgah NF along Hwy 215 for icy waterfalls. Here are three of our favorite spots.
Whitesides Mountain, N.C.
When it comes to world-class ice routes, Starshine, a 200-foot route on Whitesides Mountain is one of the best in the country. The steep waterfall route is considered to be one of the true classics of the region and is not to be missed by those looking to step it up a notch and tackle a challenging multi-pitch route.
Celo Knob, N.C.
Considered by many to be the most difficult and remote summit to reach of North Carolina’s six-thousand-foot peaks, Celo Knob offers an enticing, alpine challenge. To reach the summit, climbers must hike, climb, and bushwhack more than three thousand feet. The windswept peak offers one of Appalachia’s most jaw-dropping views.
Doughton Park, N.C.
This roadside climbing area on the Blue Ridge Parkway is home to a bevy of the great top rope and leadable routes, including The Big Daddy. Located at Milepost 240 on the Parkway near the Virginia-North Carolina state line, the climbing at Doughton Park is great for beginners as it offers easily accessible top-roping opportunities and forms consistent ice throughout the winter.