Climbing in the High Country |

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 climb the heights of the High Country, look no further than Boone-based Rock Dimensions.

Rock Dimension’s team of outdoor guides is a group of seasoned professionals who are passionate about 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 sites 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 indulge their senses, Rock Dimensions takes the groups on the Blowing Rock Discovery Class and the company has its own wall of rock. climbing at its Depot Street offices in downtown Boone.

One of the best places to rock is Rock Dimensions Rock Climbing Guide Drew Mercer is Ship Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“It’s kind of a traditional climbing area above the treeline,” Mercer said. “When you climb up, you have a view that looks a bit like the Linn Cove Viaduct. It is a super classic area for the High Country.

The path to the Ship Rock climbing routes passes just past the Rough Ridge hiking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 302.8. Mercer said climbers can park at Rough Ridge or the next parking lot and then walk along the road to find the trail which Mercer says is fairly easy to miss.

Mercer said Ship Rock offers climbing routes for beginners and experienced climbers. For climbers, Mercer recommends having a climbing harness, climbing shoes, rope, and chalk bag.

His six years of experience have also brought him to know the tips and tricks of the sport.

“I would say in rock climbing we always say it’s very important to focus on your footwork,” said Mercer. “We like to say using your feet more than your upper body and that’s because your leg muscles are quite big, right, and they can push you off quite easily. It’s like the basic climbing technique: learn to use your feet well and use your legs to push yourself up instead of pulling yourself 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 if they maybe aren’t sure they like it, we have a rock climbing tower in our downtown Boone and it’s a great way to love to dip your toes and see if you go.” love rock climbing and love to climb high enough like 50 feet, ”said Mercer.

Known as the Grand Canyon of North Carolina, the Linville Gorge is renowned among climbers the world over. The 11,000-acre wilderness area maintained by the United States Forest Service descends 2,000 feet from its uppermost edge to the Linville River. The gorge has an abundance of bouldering and climbing edifices which are nestled within the halls of the rhododendron.

To find out more about what Rock Dimensions is doing to keep other adventurers safe or to plan your next adventure, call (828) 265-3544 or click to rockdimensions.com.

Virginia F. Goins