The North or "dark" side of Rumbling Bald had been closed to climbing for some time now, much to the chagrin of those looking for more rock in the Hickory Nut Gorge that can be climbed later in the season as temperatures rise. On June 4th, representatives from the CCC and the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park joined park staff on a reconnaisance hike for a possible new trail to the North side from the current climbers parking lot. This scouting mission was the result of several years of continued conversation with the park and arose from a proposal that Mike Reardon and Kayah Gaydish submitted to the park last year. That proposal was signed by a number of other groups interested in seeing the trail system at CRSP expanded and the area opened.
We're excited to see this positive step forward, but this does not mean the area is yet open to climbing. Please respect the current closure and stay tuned as we will continue to provide updates as this moves forward. There are over 100 routes and a lot of boulders over that way that could be opened if we can continue to be good stewards and work with the park towards an official opening.
Many thanks to everyone who braved the chiggers and posion ivy and helped to develop the proposal. Special thanks to James Ledgerwood, the CRSP Superintendent, for his continued partnership and vision.