I'm a novice climber and rarely go climbing. But when friends are heading out and have space for me I won't turn down the opportunity to get out on the rocks.
It was a beautiful March day. Sunny and warm. Friends were heading out to Linville Gorge to climb and the dogs and I got to join them.
I rarely go to Linville Gorge Wilderness even though it's an amazing place. It's about 1 hour 45 minutes from the house and but I don't like driving that far for a hike, even though I used to do that often when I didn't live in the mountains. Unfortunately I've only been out there three times so far, both for backpacking, and I know there's so much to explore and I'm missing out. The Linville River is about 2,000 ft. below and the gorge is 12 miles long. So the trip into the gorge and out for backpacking or day hikes is strenuous and steep. It's designated as a wilderness area, so it's rugged - which is what makes it so wonderful.
This trip was different. We stayed up high and just had a short hike into where we were climbing.
Bri, Torry, Andrew and the dogs hiking in.
Torry lead climbing.
The dogs (Tyki, Tybee and Torry's dog Tucker) got to enjoy the sun, run around, and beg strangers for food.
He has cheese. And they have no shame.
Looking across Linville Gorge to Lake James from the top of the route (L). And looking down to Bri who is belaying me (R).
A quick photo of ourselves on our hike back out. (Pre-)spring in western North Carolina is definitely one of the best times of the year (the other is fall!).