Whitesides Rock Climbing

Whitesides Climbing


Up to 1000 feet in some places, Whiteside Mountain is the epitome of committed serious climbing in the Southeast.   This steep granite wall rises abruptly from the North Carolina highlands.  Whitesides has considerably few moderate routes, but several climbs to tempt the intermediate climber with a competent guide.  The most climbed route on the mountain is the one we guide the most.  The "Original Route" is more than ten pitches and is rated 5.11.  However, many parties aid through the very short 5.11 section, and the majority of the other climbing is in the 5.7-5.9 range. Also like the Linville Gorge, this area is not recommended for novice or intermediate climbers without a guide due to the relatively poor protection, rapidly developing storms, and the remoteness and length of the climbs.  Climbing here is thus more serious in nature than most east coast climbing locations.


Whitesides Mountain, N.C. is located near Cashiers, N.C., about 1.5 hours from Asheville NC.

Climbing Season:

Most of the rock at Whitesides is south facing so it remains relatively warm when compared to the surrounding area.  However, due to it's elevation (around 5,000 feet) it remains a bit colder than piedmont region climbs.  The best time to climb Whitesides is the Spring and Fall, or during high pressure, clear conditions in winter.

  • Original Route (5.11), 9-11 pitches.   Varied climbing on a magical headwall in the heart of the North Carolina granite belt.
  • Many, many more
What We Offer:

Granite Arches offers professional rock climbing guiding and instruction year-round at Whitesides Mountain.  Granite Arches offers private guided instruction only, so you or your group will not be with any other climbers.    Our 'courses' are not set in stone, because our instruction is private and custom tailored to each client.  Instead, instructional goals of varying levels are integrated into "focus areas" to be seamlessly woven into your climbing day at the crags.  The focus areas covered by you and your guide are determined by your technical skill and practical knowledge and follow a natural progression.

Our Credentials: Our climbing guides are  professionals who have climbed and guided rock, snow and ice allover the Southeastern US., but also in South America, Greenland, Europe, and Canada. They bring that experience to your rock climbing adventure.