Rock Climbing in Tennessee

Mara wanted to try leading a route for a few years already, but we felt she wasn't fully ready. After working with me at Equinox all summer, she acquired the experience and confidence needed to do it. Here, JF is showing her how to use the Personal Safety Device while she sets the anchor at the top.

Rappelling down.

As travelers, we really appreciated that the local association put plates under most of the routes to ID them. So much easier! I wish it was like that everywhere! No bad surprises.

Stout has food intolerances and we are experimenting with feeding him raw food (whole prety diet). This was his first fish... He was wondering what he was suposed to do with it. At first, he was scared of it (it's looking at me, Mama!), then he played with it a bit and finally decided it was a great pillow...

It was a bit nerve-wracking to watch from the ground, but she stayed focused and was incredible to watch. This young girl has her daddy's calm!

Doing her first anchor!

So proud of herself!

Heading out after JF's work hours (3:30 in this time zone, with a little more than an hour of light left) and coming back in the dark, exhilarated from having risen to the challenge once again.

The supermoon seen from our camping spot by the crag.

I guess you had no idea that Tennessee was a top climbing destination. I honestly didn't either until a few months ago. Around Chattanooga, there are 8 crags with an incredible amount of high quality routes. You might have heard of the famous Tennessee Wall (aka T-Wall), but maybe not about Obed, Foster Falls or Sunset Park. Since our time here is limited, we decided to focus on one area near Nashville called Kings Bluff (upper left in the image) because we could camp right at the crag and the approach walk was 3 minutes AND there was good signal. If you want to visit this crag, know that the access is locked by a gate. The code to open the gate is on their website and climbers are allowed to sleep in their vehicles in the parking lot. It's a beautiful spot by the Cumberland River.

If you decide to explore this area, read this great article. As usual, I suggest that you look for the classic routes of the sector you are exploring on the Mountain Project App to get good info on the area. It wasn't a love-at-first-site spot for us. The ratings were not reliable and most routes had some pretty ackward moves. As a local told us on our last day there : if you come here thinking you'll climb your gym rating, you're not gonna like it.