Climbing Appalachia’s Frozen Faces Written by Eric Crews; photos by Dom Smith Here’s something you already know: Every summer, tourists flock to the mountains to view the towering waterfalls. Now here’s something you don’t: In the winter, these very same waterfalls turn into the best ice climbs in the region. Unfortunately for ice climbers, the…

Read More

For most people, a short day hike to one of the many overlooks of the Linville Gorge for a view of the river below is all the challenge they need. But for a small group of avid hikers and backpackers, the Linville Gorge is the perfect place to challenge themselves to go farther, and faster, in one day, than most people prefer to hike in a weekend. They do so by racing from the far southern terminus of the Linville Gorge near Shortoff Mountain to Linville Falls in a 16.7 mile jaunt that has become known as the Franklin Challenge.

Read More

Pat Keller, 24, boldly made the first descent of Linville Falls last Tuesday, August 24, 2010. The triple-tiered waterfall has been eyed by many experienced kayakers over the years, but the intimidating upper drop had been, until now, thought to be un-runnable. During Keller’s descent the upper waterfall (partially obscured in photo) proved to be…

Read More

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be asked to travel to West Virginia to paddle the New River Gorge and shoot some video for a short whitewater video for Blue Ridge Outdoors. I called up a couple of friends who are always up for an adventure, borrowed a raft from Grant…

Read More

Boone climbers saved Grandmother Mountain from development—and opened their secret crags to the masses. Grandmother Mountain has no guidebook. It appears on only a few maps. Yet it is one of the premier bouldering destinations in the country. First discovered in the mid-1990s near Boone, N.C., the area now hosts more than 400 problems and…

Read More

Zip Lines Soar Across the Southeast In recent years, canopy and zip line tours have exploded in popularity across the Southeast. The once-exotic adventure that was on everyone’s must-do list if they ever traveled to Costa Rica has increasingly become one of the top thrill rides for weekend warriors in the United States. With more…

Read More

The first race is set for Sunday, June 6, and will take place on the steep and challenging downhill course that made the inaugural Dirty Bird one of the most highly talked about new races in the South. The slightly improved track takes riders through a series of steep berms, rock gardens and big jumps while dropping more than 700 feet in elevation—providing racers with enough gradient to rip it through the boulderfields and big drops that make the course such an exciting event.

Read More

By day, these competitors are bike shop employees, carpenters and business owners, but every Monday night, they shed their professional garb in exchange for a battered bike and mallet while taking part in bike polo matches at Junaluska Park. “It’s all about going out and having fun,” said John Fennell, an employee at Magic Cycles. “We try not to take it too seriously, but,” he said, lingering for a moment, “we definitely play to win.”

Read More

For years, the Watauga River and the world-renown Watauga Gorge have been a destination for thrill seekers on a mission to paddle incredible rapids, beautiful water falls and mile after mile of continuous whitewater. But the Watauga River also offers other, more tranquil sections of river with unmatched beauty. The Watauga County Tourism Development Authority…

Read More

When it comes to backcountry camping, it is hard to find a place more rugged, yet, at the same time, so beautiful, as the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. For years the area has been explored by those looking to get off the beaten path and out into the wilderness to test themselves and their abilities…

Read More

More than thirty participants from as far away as Florida and Michigan came out for the inaugural French Broad Classique canoe and kayak race last weekend.  The racers covered 34 miles from Blantyre to the Asheville Outdoor Center at Carrier Park during the race and the top times of the event clocked in under four…

Read More