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Climbing in the Chattanooga Area

The Chattanooga area is a mecca for rock climbers. With numerous crags and a diverse selection of routes, if you have any interest at all in rock climbing, you'll want to visit some of the local climbing areas when staying at Riverside Bed and Breakfast. Below, we've listed a few of our favorite crags and some routes you might want to try.

Tennessee Wall (T-Wall)

Tennessee Wall, the best known crag in Chattanooga, is a two-mile long sandstone cliff line located along the Tennessee River. While this area has a few sport routes, it is primarily known for it's trad routes. More than 600 trad routes can be found at Tennessee Wall. Most of the routes are single-pitch, but you'll find quite a few multi-pitch routes in the west section of the crag. Tennessee Wall is filled with unique and diverse features, such as aretes, dihedrals, overhangs, and cracks.

Tennessee Wall is exposed to the sun, so it's best accessed in the fall, winter, and spring. Basically, the summer heat is too much to deal with. Be careful using trees at the top of Tennessee Wall for rappelling: Pine beetle infestations have weakened many of the trees. Use bolted anchors when possible.

Please, note that this area is closed for hunting during parts of the spring and fall. Do not trespass during these closures. Tennessee Wall (T-Wall) is located along River Canyon Road (aka, Mullen's Cove Road), and is approximately 30 miles from Riverside Bed and Breakfast.

  • Passages. This 5.8 trad route requires a variety of moves, and has an interesting finish. Bring a standard rack.
  • Golden Locks. A 5.9 trad route, Golden Locks is an extremely popular route at T-Wall. Bring medium and large cams and, possibly, hexes.
  • Art. Art is a 5.8 trad route near a waterfall. Bring a standard rack.

Stone Fort (Little Rock City)

Stone Fort provides some of the best bouldering in the country. It has over 200 excellent sandstone bouldering problems. Many boulders have iron rails running through them. It is an extremely popular bouldering area, so expect to have a lot of company when bouldering.

Stone Fort is actually owned by Montlake Golf Course, so you'll need to park in a designated area, and check in at the course's field house. You'll also need to pay for a climbing pass and sign a waiver. Access is very easy. Getting to the initial boulders just requires a short walk from Montlake Golf Course. The approach to the first climb is less than five minutes.

The best time to access Stone Fort is from late fall until early spring. The cold means friction is high. Stone Fort is appropriate for all skill levels. Climbs run from V0 through V13. Stone Fort is located at 1129 Brow Lake Road, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, and is approximately 11 miles from Riverside Bed and Breakfast.

  • The Rib. This V1 route is actually a long slab that requires a number of entertaining moves. Bring a pad.
  • Super Mario. This V4 route requires a knee bar to climb successfully. Bring a pad, and use a spotter.
  • Storming the Castle. A V1 route, Storming the Castle's crux is at the top of the climb. You might want to use a top rope.

Sunset Park

Sunset Park is considered by some to be the best sandstone climbing in the Southeast. In general, the rock here is perfect for climbing, approaches are typically friendly, and the area is filled with quality routes. Sunset Rock is made up of a cliff line along Lookout Mountain's west side. Because the cliff line is shady for most of the day, it's a comfortable place to climb in summer months.

All of the routes at Sunset Park are trad routes. In fact, the area has a total ban on fixed protection. Most of the routes at Sunset Park are single pitch. The area is appropriate for a variety of skill levels, from beginners to experienced trad leaders.

Note that Sunset is actually a national park right by a residential neighborhood. The local residents tend to be annoyed by climbers, so you'll want to keep the noise to a minimum. Sunset Rock is approximately 30 miles from Riverside Bed and Breakfast.

  • Blonde Ambition. This 5.7 trad route is one of the best trad routes in Sunset Park. Requires small to medium gear. Bolted anchors are in place.
  • One Ten. One Ten is a 5.6 trad route that is perfect for new trad leaders and for beginners. It has many places for gear placement. Bring nuts, cams, and tricams. Bolted anchors are in place.
  • Jefferson Airplane. This 5.10a 100-foot trad route follows an arete. Requires a standard rack.

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