Beginner Mountaineering- East Cost

7:55 p.m. on November 17, 2010 (EST)
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2 forum posts

Hey guys,

I am trying to get into mountaineering but I live in the Southeast. I have extensive experience 3 season backpacking and some rock climbing experience. Does anyone know any good trails or mountains where I could practice and build my mountaineering skills in the area (southeast)?




9:24 p.m. on November 17, 2010 (EST)
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623 forum posts

If you said northeast I'd have a ton to give you for info...

9:58 p.m. on November 17, 2010 (EST)
Bill S
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6,037 forum posts


Where in the SouthEast? There are excellent climbing areas in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia (Stone Mountain is famous for excellent climbing), Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas that I have been to. Florida is pretty flat, and there isn't really any good rock to climb on in Mississippi (I lived there for 10 years and had to travel to get good climbing) or in Louisiana. But there is good hiking in all the states in the SE, and a lot of good river running as well. Pick the right days, and the Smokies do have snow to learn the basics of snow camping (move fast, since it typically lasts only a few days - we got 14 inches of snow one time in Mississippi; that was on the north end of town, it was an inch on the south side of town).

9:30 a.m. on November 18, 2010 (EST)
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There a many great places for canyoneering in SE TN, as well as the surrounding states. If you are looking for something like that there are several great spots right outside Chattanooga: North Chickamauga Creek Pocket Wilderness; Falling Water Gorge; Laurel-Snow Pocket Wilderness; Savage Gulf; Cloudland Canyon, and many others that provide excellent mountain escarpments and gulfs to explore and practice on.

If you are looking for Winter Mountaineering, there are some good opportunities in the Cherokee NF and Nantahala NF. Study Topo and trail maps to find locations ahead of time that would be ideal, and them head out when a good cold front with snow comes through.

All of the above advice is given with the presumption that you are experienced, equipped, and prepared for the conditions and terrain that you will encounter. Otherwise, do not attempt without appropriate training/experience. (I am not experienced or duly trained in winter mountaineereing, so I am not speaking out of  hand) 

11:04 a.m. on November 18, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks for all the responses. I live in Columbia, SC at the moment but I'm moving to the Atlanta area in late dec/early jan.

10:07 p.m. on January 22, 2011 (EST)
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Everything is north brother, but as someone who trained here on the east and then went out west to do some mountaineering, I can tell you it just isn't the same.

We just don't have mountains like they have out west. Seriously.

May 24, 2020
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