Climbing

Rock climbing and bouldering news, events, and guides for the Blue Ridge and Southern Appalachian mountains. The New River Gorge of West Virginia, the crags of North Carolina, and the riverside boulders of Virginia all meet here in Blue Ridge Outdoors’ news on the climbing culture and lifestyle. Harness up and find your next adventure here.

Locally Made: Sewn on Solar

By Joe Potoczak | 16 Dec 19
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Employees at Organic Climbing’s facility in Philipsburg, Pa., sew bouldering pads, backpacks, bike bags, and chalk bags. Photo by Jarrod Bunk Organic Climbing makes sustainable gear in Pennsylvania “This whole roof is 5,000 square feet of them,” says Josh Helke, owner of Organic Climbing, as he looks up at the ceiling of the showroom, toward…

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World-Renowned Climber Survives Fall on El Capitan with the help of Alex Honnold

By Shannon McGowan | 27 Nov 19
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World-renowned climber Emily Harrington, 33, suffered serious injuries after a terrifying fall on Yosemite’s El Capitan on Sunday. Based on where and how she fell, the biggest concern was serious spinal injuries The section is a 3,200-foot, almost-sheer granite wall, the same one Alex Honnold free solo climbed in “Free Solo” in 2017. Honnold was…

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The Fight over Free Soloing

By Hart Fowler | 14 Oct 19
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Has Alex Honnold’s free solo climb of El Capitan sparked more daredevils? At least one free soloist has fallen to his death since the film was released. In 2017, the day after Alex Honnold completed his free-solo ascent of El-Capitan, climbing journalist and author Daniel Duane wrote in The New York Times: “I believe that…

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All In a Day’s Work

By Ellen Kanzinger | 11 Sep 19
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Nakiesha Bridgers leads a trip on the river. How did outdoor professionals get their start? As more people are headed outside, outdoor recreation is increasingly an economic factor for towns and states across our region. Virginia just became the fifteenth state to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation. In its most recent report, the Bureau…

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Gyms vs. Rock

By Natalie Stickel | 28 Aug 19
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Photo: Izzy Gifford climbs at the Riverrock Climbing Comp in Richmond, VA Have climbing gyms ruined rock climbing—or opened it to new audiences? Climbing’s popularity has skyrocketed in the last few years, thanks in part to both its induction into the Olympics beginning in Tokyo next year and recent films like The Dawn Wall and Free…

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Leading the Charge

By Addie Oldham + Ellie Bowen | 14 Aug 19
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Photo of Lauren Hughes by Tyler Allen Meet 16 Young Athletes and Outdoor Entrepreneurs who are changing the face of Adventure  In a time where our environment faces threats from every angle, it is encouraging to learn that not all hope is lost. We searched high and low for young environmentalists, athletes, musicians, and outdoors…

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Happy Birthday West Virginia!

By BRO Admin | 20 Jun 19
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Every year on June 20th, the Mountain State celebrates a very special day – its birthday! This year West Virginia is turning 156 years old. How much do you know about the east coast’s best-kept secret? West Virginia is home to… Nearly 50 state parks and forests. Outdoor adventure of all kinds can be found all…

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Blood in the Snow

By John Quillen | 17 Jun 19
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Knoxville’s first climbers to summit Everest help save a Sherpa along the way Ang Dawa Sherpa peeked his head into our tent and nodded. “Go time” caught me off guard. I was at Camp 4 with my friend Neal Kushwaha and our sherpas—Sange and Dawa—hoping to become the first Knoxvillean to summit Everest. My thoughts…

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Hometown Heroes

By Ellen Kanzinger | 05 Jun 19
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Locals reveal their favorite spots for in-town adventure It’s five o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon. You want to get outside after a long day of work or classes, but you don’t have the time to drive two hours to your favorite hike or crag. Athletes and adventurers from across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast show us…

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Women Wednesdays: New River Gorge Flash Foxy’s Summerfest celebrates Women Climbers

By Kim Dinan | 01 May 19
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The inaugural New River Gorge Flash Foxy’s Summerfest will celebrate women in the climbing community Mark your calendars! The first ever Flash Foxy’s Summerfest event celebrating women climbers will take place in the New River Gorge June 7- 9 in Fayetteville, WV. Summerfest is a three-day climbing festival celebrating the growing community of women climbers.…

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Bambi Meets Godzilla, Bubba Meets Jesus

By Natalie Stickel | 23 Apr 19
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How did iconic rapids and climbing routes get their names? Visitors to the Blue Ridge often remark that the names of our mountains are imaginative, if not abstract: Reddish Knob. Old Rag. Little Stony Man. Used as landmarks, these peaks’ straightforward, descriptive monikers made sense. But as future generations began using the landscape less for…

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Quick Hits: April 2019 Outdoor News

By Jedd Ferris + Kim Dinan | 03 Apr 19
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Virginia Runner Sets Record with 10 Marathons in 10 Days Michael Wardian is at it again. The 44-year-old, Arlington-based ultrarunner, well known in the running world for setting a range of long-distance records that are both amazing and a little strange, won the World Marathon Challenge for the second time in February. Runners in the…

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Outdoor Updates: Melting glaciers are exposing the bodies of climbers who died on Mount Everest

By Kim Dinan | 02 Apr 19
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Melting glaciers are exposing the bodies of climbers who died on Mount Everest As temperatures across the globe continue to rise, melting glaciers on Mount Everest are exposing the bodies of climbers who died attempting to summit the mountain. Since the first climber set out to reach the peak in 1922, more than 300 have…

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All-Women Adventure Film Festival Heads to Brevard, NC in April

By Kim Dinan | 18 Mar 19
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No Man’s Land Film Festival, the premier all-women adventure film festival, is coming to Western North Carolina for the second year in a row. The festival features short films about inspirational women showcasing a wide array of women-identified athletes and adventurers. The April 3 screening in Brevard, NC will take place at Oskar Blues Brewery…

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Quick Hits: Great Smoky Mountains National Park hires first female chief ranger

By Kim Dinan | 01 Mar 19
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park hires first female chief ranger to oversee law enforcement Lisa Hendy, a 26-year National Park Service veteran, has become the first female chief ranger in the Resource and Visitor Protection Division at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hendy will oversee law enforcement duties, emergency medical services, wildland fire operations, search…

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