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The Biggest Baddest Most Outrageous Climbing Events in the Southeast

Fayetteville, W.Va., May 14-16

This annual climbers’ fest raises funds for the New River Alliance, the group that protects climbing access in the New River Gorge. In ‘09, the fest raised money to re-vegetate two popular crags: The Bridge and Junkyard. Climbing comps, clinics, guided climbs…oh, and tug of war, sumo wrestling, and dance parties. Learning insider knowledge from some of the Gorge’s best climbers is well and dandy, but duct-taping bouldering pads to your chest and grappling with other climbers is something you’ll tell your kids about.

Red River Gorge, Lexington, Ky., Oct 9-11
Yet another chance to do some good and have a weekend full of climbing and good-natured debauchery, Rocktoberfest pulls 500 climbers from all over the country for climbing comps on the Red’s classic lines, clinics from pros, and parties at the world famous Miguel’s Pizza. Funds are raised to pay for the climber-owned Pendergrass-Murray Recreation Preserve.

Hound Ears: Oct. 3; Horse Pens 40: Nov. 7; Stone Fort: Dec. 5

Put simply, the Triple Crown is the most respected bouldering competition series in the Southeast. The funds raised help purchase important crags in the region, securing permanent access for future generations. Each competition draws a festive crowd who revels in the free pancake breakfasts and post-comp parties. More importantly, this is your only chance to climb the problems at Hound Ears and Stone Fort, both of which are privately owned and rarely climbed legally.

Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 9, 2010

The Southeastern Climbers Coalition worked hard to save Boat Rock, a massive boulderfield along the Chattahoochee River, from being gobbled up by suburban sprawl. Instead of letting a developer put high-end homes on the land, the SCC bought it themselves. The annual Float the Boat bouldering competition is a celebration of this purchase that also raises funds to pay the mortgage and taxes on the property. Atlanta’s best boulderers show up to pull hard on the Boat’s egg-shaped granite boulders. But don’t be intimidated if you’re new to the sport. The comp has beginner classes as well.

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