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I took this photo of my friend Matt Childers climbing Stack Rock in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest during one of the hottest days of the summer. This route, Black Attack - 5.12c, is on the flanks of Grandfather Mountain, just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's one of many crags under the canopy surrounding the mountain town of Boone.
I was standing on a footbridge above a raging creek when I took this shot. This is the typical landscape around Boone. In the summer, you can't see the cliffs until you're right up on them. The same can be said for the multitude of ice climbs in winter.
—Lynn Willis, 36
Art Director/Graphic Designer/Climbing Guide
Boone, North Carolina
DIY: I guide for Rock Dimensions (www.rockdimensions.com), the premier guide service in Boone. The company operates out of Footsloggers (www.footsloggers.com), the only climbing shop in town. There is no guidebook for the area, but beta can be found at www.ncbouldering.com or www.carolinaclimbers.org.
The national park campground closest to the majority of the climbing is Price Park Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway (at milepost 297). There are also free sites in the Pisgah National Forest, many positioned right beside cold mountain streams. Just like most all climbing in America, fall's cool temperatures, minimal bugs, and beautiful foliage make it the best season to climb.
I am a climber, and I like this photo. The position of the climber shows that Lynn waited for the right moment to take this shot. The tree branches guide your eye right to the climber; and the wide tree trunk on the right balances the composition. The bright sky in the photo is a bit distracting, but when I first looked at this photo I wanted to be there: the place looks like a climber's fantasy.
—Bill Hatcher, photographer and author of the National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Action & Adventure
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