Outdoor Journal

Ice, ice baby: So it doesn’t look like much, okay? Just some dense foam panels bolted to plywood walls. But use your imagination, my friend! The new ice-climbing routes at Climbmax Climbing Center in Asheville promise a thrill for even the most jaded of mall rats.

First, there are the boots you’ve got to wear — big leather affairs whose soles bristle with steel spikes. Then there are the ice axes (you heard right — axes!), which the climber wields in each hand in order to scale the off-white wall.

This newest feature at the Wall Street climbing facility went up just before Bele Chere, says Alex Magruder, a Climbmax instructor. It’s the only one of its kind in the Southeast, and the price is right — $10 per session.

If you can’t ice climb alfresco (and this might be the fate global warming hands you), then trot on down to Climbmax and imagine yourself pecking away at some virgin ice, or scaling the Khumbu ice fall on your way to conquering Mount Everest’s summit. Gracious! All this hot weather has our imaginations running wild …

Rock the vote: There’s a move afoot to bring Chimney Rock, the Rutherford County landmark that towers over Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge, into the North Carolina state parks fold. Some very prominent local officials are urging the governor and the General Assembly to cough up the $55 million it would take to seal the deal. For many people, the best-case scenario would be for the state to buy the 1,000-acre park and combine it with the new Hickory Nut Gorge State Park for a conservation and recreation coup. If you’d like to voice your support for state ownership of the ol’ rock pile, visit www.savechimneyrock.net.

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.