The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area offers hundreds of miles of cliffs to climb.
Many of the cliffs offer breath taking views of the river gorge, including the famous O&W wall. The O&W wall is over 250 feet tall and is often cited as Tennessee's tallest vertical wall. Other famous cliffs within the Big South Fork can be found in the Blue Heron Mining Community. This popular rock climbing area includes roughly 35 sport and traditional climbing routes, including some existing bolting routes (bolting of new sport routes is not currently permitted.)
Rock climbing is a really fun and exhilarating sport! We want your Big South Fork Rock climbing experience to be epic so we put together these 5 Safety Tips for Rock Climbing in the Big South Fork National Park.
1. CHECK YOUR HARNESS
Once you have your harness on and tied into the rope at the base of your route, be sure to check that the climber's and belayer's harness buckles are doubled back and that your harness is snug around your waste and legs.
2. CHECK YOUR ROPE
Before you start your climb always check the sheath of your rope for tears, burns, slippage and soft zones. Once you are ready to start your climb, check your rope to make sure the lead climber's tie-in knot is tied correctly and finished with a backup knot. You should also check that the rope is threaded through both the waist loop and the leg loops on the harness.
3. BRING THE CORRECT GEAR
Before you climb a route, always view it from the ground and determine what gear you may or may not need to take up with you. You should visually verify how many bolts need quickdraws and, when in doubt, always take extra.
4. USE SAFE ANCHORS
Always use at least 2 to 3 anchors at the top of a pitch and on sport routes always use locking carabiners if you are lowering down to top rope climb off the anchors.
5. WEAR A CLIMBING HELMET
Always wear a helmet if your are climbing or belaying. Climbing helmets protect your head from falling rocks and protect your head in the event of a fall. A helmet can help protect you from serious or even life threatening injuries.
BIG SOUTH FORK LODGING OPTIONS AT LAUREL FORK RUSTIC RETREAT
In addition to these safety tips, make sure you have adequate time for driving, prepping and resting around your climbs. Before planning your rock climbing getaway consider staying at Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat. Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat has multiple cabin options with direct access to the Big South Fork National Park.
With so many excellent close-by climbing options and relaxing amenities, you'll never want to leave! Check availability, book your stay today and safely enjoy your rock climbing adventure!