Wailing Wall

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.39807°N / 80.28491°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.6 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 1
Sign the Climber's Log


This route is on the west side of the knob, located furthest left in an amphitheater at the end of the trail. This is an easy, sunny (rare at Moore's) climb with lots of horizontal Gunk-like holds with plenty of pro. Like most climbs at Moore's, the ratings are a bit low in my opinion depending on the first ascent, so I would compare this to an easy 5.7. It's a fun little climb that starts on the right side of an arete and switches to face climbing in the sun.

These routes can be found in either Kelley's "Climber's Guide to NC" (if you can find it, out of print) or Lambert & Shull's "Selected Climbs in NC". I have added some routes here to hopefully help those new to Moore's. I've had more than one experience here getting lost looking for rap anchors.

Getting There

The parking situation for climbing at Moore's Wall was recently upgraded, now includes a toilet! To get there from Hwy 52, take Exit 122 (Moore-RJR Drive), turn left after the ramp and head east for 4 miles. Turn left onto NC 66 at the gas station, and follow for 6.8 miles. Turn right onto Moore's Spring Rd for 0.5 miles, then turn right onto Mickey Rd for 0.8 miles. Turn right onto Charlie Young Rd for 0.6 miles, and turn right at the end of the road onto the gravel Hooker Farm Rd. Continue uphill for 0.5 miles, and turn right at Climber's Access Rd. This is the climber's parking lot (GPS coords 36.399687°, -80.290836°).

From here take the trail uphill for about 10 minutes, until you reach an old jeep trail. Turn left up the jeep trail and go about 200 yds passing one trail sign on the right, and continuing up to a slight right turnoff near the top of the hill, that soon turns into a hiking trail. This trail meanders up and to the left, until it spits out directly below "Wailing Wall", an obvious arete with prominent roofs 10 and 50 ft from the bottom.

Route Description

The start of the route can be done two ways, a tricky and slightly dangerous direct way up just right of the arete using a large boulder, or a more protected traverse starting on the far right side of that face. For the direct route, start under a large crack system about 10ft right of the arete corner. Use a spotter in case you fall onto the jagged rocks below before putting a piece in. Get up off the boulder and into the large crack system, eventually heading for a "V" shaped notch with a ledge just left of a roof about 50 ft up. There are multiple crack systems left of the main one to use for gear, and you can use the arete for left hands.

The alternate start (I much prefer, the boulder is an awkward move) involves starting about 20 ft right of the boulder, and using the low horizontal crack to traverse left over to the main vertical crack above the other start. You can put gear in there if you want, but it may create rope drag later.

After heading for the "V" notch and getting up on the ledge (climber standing on the ledge in image below), you can either set up a belay station and make it 2 pitches, or just continue up. The whole climb is about 150 ft, which doesn't put a lot of drag on the rope if you use doubles. The rest of the climb goes straight up from the ledge, using the horizontal crack systems and meandering toward another notch between 2 separated roofs above. Head for that notch, climb between the roofs and set up a belay from there. There are no anchors, but a well-placed crack lies above and back in the notch.

Wailing WallSunny face climb

The descent, like most at Moore's, can be hard to find the first time. From the notch, scramble left behind some pine trees for about 15 ft until it drops down to another ledge. A large tree on the ledge will have a few slings with rap rings. This will bring you down to the climber's left of where you began. Make sure to use 2 ropes, it is a good 120ft rappel.
Wailing Wall rappelRappel route

Essential Gear

Standard NC trad rack, tricams, cams up to 2-3", set of nuts.



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