A hunka hunka burnin’ rock: Laurel Knob in Jackson County, with its 1200-foot faces of sheer granite, is an Eastern climbing treasure without par, taking a backseat in magnitude only to some Out West destinations. According to local lore, the earliest ascents on the then very private property had to be done on the sly, and more than one ended at gunpoint. In March 2004, the nonprofi t Carolina Climbers’ Coalition purchased Laurel Knob, with an eye toward providing access to everyone. Today, thanks in large measure to donations from climbers, the CCC has paid off almost half the loan.
The group just published an online guide to Laurel Knob, an authoritative five pages on access, etiquette and routes. CCC board member Brandon Calloway calls it a “very basic, down and dirty guide,” but points out that a full guidebook entry is in the works. CCC encourages everyone who downloads the PDF to make a tax-free donation to the cause. Visit www.carolinaclimbers.org to get it.