Pilot Mountain cherished by the Triad climbing community

Pilot Mountain is beloved in the Piedmont triad. The mountain and the national park are particularly popular with climbers in the region. “It’s such an incredible perspective that we’re seeing from so high up. And to be here and not enjoy it is just insane,” said Bryce Mahoney, Pilot Mountain Crag steward for the Carolina Climbers Coalition. Mahoney lives and manages the Jomeokee Campground near Pilot Mountain. He said he was celebrating Thanksgiving with friends this weekend when he learned of the fire. noted. “Being so involved in the park and really having your hands tied and not feeling like you can do anything,” Mahoney said. On Saturday, fire crews began their initial response and investigation of a wildfire on the mountain. By Tuesday, officials said, more than 1,000 acres had burned. Officials expected it would take days to extinguish the fire due to the difficult terrain and dry conditions. The community rallied together with firefighters and the mountain itself in the days following the blaze. The Carolina Climbing Coalition is just one group to step in and ask, “How can we help?” “We are thinking of the firefighters trying to put out the fire and the flames,” said Mike Reardon, the executive director. of the coalition. “We have a large population of climbers who care about this place and the people who live around it. How can we as the Carolina Climbers Coalition use this as a catalyst to help? Reardon said that, for him, climbing has a way of connecting a person to a place. Dating back to 1995, the coalition is a nonprofit organization that works to protect, maintain, and improve access to rock climbing areas in North and South Carolina. At Pilot, more specifically, the group maintains fixed gear installed on the cliff used by climbers. “Every lane has anchors at the top,” Andrew Jackson, the coalition’s current chairman, said of Pilot. “Pilot is a great place to meet people. It is one of the busiest places to climb. It is likely that previous work on the trails has been damaged or is affected by vegetation loss. “Pilot is a gem, locally, for climbers,” Jackson said. “It’s one of the areas that provides easy access not only to the Piedmont region, but also to Raleigh and Charlotte. We tend to bring a lot of climbers to the area. “They’re great volunteers and they’ve done a ton of work at Pilot Mountain State Park,” former Pilot Mountain State Park superintendent Matt Windsor said. of rock steps and erosion control in the climbing area.” For more information on the Carolina Climbers Coalition, follow this link.

Pilot Mountain is beloved in the Piedmont triad. The mountain and the national park are particularly popular with climbers in the region.

“It’s such an incredible perspective that we’re seeing from so high up. And to be here and not enjoy it is just insane,” said Bryce Mahoney, Mountain Crag Steward pilot for the Carolina Climbers Coalition.

Mahoney lives and runs the Jomeokee Campground near Pilot Mountain. He said he was celebrating Thanksgiving with friends this weekend when he learned of the fire.

“There’s just a ton of smoke, so just being here, being so close but feeling so far away was kind of weird,” he said. “Being so involved in the park and really having your hands tied and not feeling like you can do anything,” Mahoney said.

On Saturday, fire crews began their initial response and investigation of a wildfire on the mountain. By Tuesday, officials said, more than 1,000 acres had burned. Officials expected it would take days to extinguish the fire due to the difficult terrain and dry conditions.

The community rallied together with firefighters and the mountain itself in the days following the blaze. The Carolina Climbing Coalition is just one group to step in and ask, “How can we help you?”

“We are thinking of the firefighters trying to put out the fire and the flames,” said Mike Reardon, executive director of the coalition. “We have a large population of climbers who care about this place and the people who live around it. How can we as the Carolina Climbers Coalition use this as a catalyst to help?

Reardon said that for him climbing was a way to connect a person to a place.

Dating back to 1995, the coalition is a nonprofit organization that works to protect, maintain, and improve access to rock climbing areas in North and South Carolina. At Pilot, more specifically, the group maintains fixed gear installed on the cliff used by climbers.

“Every road has anchors at the top,” Andrew Jackson, the coalition’s current chairman, said of Pilot. “Pilot is a great place to meet people. It is one of the busiest places to climb.

Jackson said once the conditions are right, volunteers and other trail keepers will go into the park and access the trails and climbing areas for any post-fire repairs. It is likely that previous work done on the trails will have been damaged or will be affected by loss of vegetation.

“Pilot is a gem, locally, for climbers,” Jackson said. “It’s one of the areas that provides easy access not only to the Piedmont region, but also to Raleigh and Charlotte. We tend to bring a lot of climbers to the area.

“They’re great volunteers and they’ve done a ton of work at Pilot Mountain State Park,” said former Pilot Mountain State Park superintendent Matt Windsor. “More recently, the construction of rock steps and erosion control in the climbing area.”

For more information on the Carolina Climbers Coalition, follow this link.

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Virginia F. Goins