Category Archives: Climbing

Triangle: #BestTown2105

You know how in the NCAA Tournament you’re always rooting for the little guy (provided the little guy isn’t playing your guy)?

Content from RDU #BestTown2015

That’s the situation the Triangle currently faces in its battle for Outside Magazine/Toad&Co.’s #BestTown2015 crown. Dubbed Raleigh-Durham for recognition reasons (but really encompassing all the great recreational assets of the Triangle), RDU, a No. 8 seed in the South regionals, handily beat No. 9 seed Bentonville, Ark., in first-round action. Now, in Round 2 we find ourselves up against No. 1 seed Chattanooga, Tenn. Chattanooga: been to the dance before, known as a top-notch player not only regionally, but nationwide. It’s got whitewater paddling, it’s got climbing, it’s got hiking and mountain biking.
Just like you’ll find in the Triangle. But does it have scuba diving? Miles of flatwater paddling? More than 280 miles of greenway?
RDU deserves your support as #BestTown2015. And it needs it: currently the Triangle trails Chattanooga by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin. And time is running out: voting ends at midnight Wednesday.
Check out our brief slideshow campaign for RDU’s candidacy. If you need more convincing, read Raleigh-Durham’s complete position paper here. Then, let the country know what a great place this is to explore — vote!
This way to the ballot box … read more

90 Second Escape: RDU #BestTown2015

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. read more

This weekend: Trees, stars, rocks

What's the big tree on the left?
What’s the big tree on the left?

A learning experience at the coast, stargazing in the Piedmont, and in the mountains, drawing inspiration from some true rock stars.


Can you tell an oak from a hickory, a beech from a boxelder? Maybe in summer, when a full canopy displays each tree’s distinctively shaped, tell-tale leaves. But in winter, when the leaves have vacated, identifying the dendrologic denizens of the forest can be more challenging. read more

The sensible Alex Honnold

Honnold, leading, and Wright on one of 45 towers they climbed in "Sufferfest 2."
Honnold, leading, and Wright on one of 45 towers they climbed in “Sufferfest 2.”

Now, some sensible advice from Alex Honnold.
Alex Honnold!? The guy who climbed Yosemite’s Half Dome and Nose with no ropes, no protection at all!?
Ironic, isn’t it, that the guy who seems to embrace danger like Pooh embraces honey, would be chock-a-block full of sensible thoughts.
Yet last night at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre, Honnold, along with Sufferfest buddy Cedar Wright, entertained a standing-room-only house with tales of their two bloody buddy movies, “Sufferfest” and it’s sequel, “Sufferfest 2,” and insights more fitting of a tribal elder than a 27-year-old who’s arguably the most daring athlete on the planet.
Their appearance was part of The North Face Never Stop Exploring Speaker Series, sponsored locally by Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Not that their antics, on the surface, suggest a good deal of careful forethought.
“Sufferfest,” released in 2013, documented the pair’s quest to climb California’s 12 14,000-foot peaks, while this year’s follow-up involved climbing 45 towers in the Southwest. In both cases, they sweetened the adventure — and suffering — by mountain biking from climb to climb. Both adventures took about three weeks.
Last night, several months removed from S2, the duo joked their way through the trip. read more

Lake James: Emerging nexus of outdoor adventure

Hiking: Looking into Linville Gorge from atop Shortoff Mountain.

Scott Carpenter has a vision that may seem myopic at first. Hear him out, though, and your adventurous self can easily see what he’s talking about.

Carpenter’s vision is this: Lake James, the 6,800-acre lake currently best known as the gateway to other adventurous places (Linville Gorge, Wilson Creek, the Pisgah National Forest) is the next Nantahala Outdoor Center, an all-encompassing outdoor playground that’s day-tripable from North Carolina’s major population centers: Charlotte, the Triad, the Triangle.
Carpenter is Deputy County Manager and Planning Director for Burke County, in which Lake James and its associated state park reside. Burke County, like many mountain counties, is dealing with a changing economy that must figure out how to rely less on manufacturing and more on … .
“Tourism,” answers Carpenter.
The ultimate goal, says Carpenter, is to lure an NOC-type outfitter to the region to help exploit the local recreational resources. Chances are, if you see the Lake James exit on I-40 as little more than a sign that you’re almost to where the fun starts, you’re scratching your head: What can I do at Lake James that doesn’t read more