written by Matt McCoy and Matt Conley

One beautiful morning I spontaneously decided to take a weekend trip with a group of friends  One of the wonderful things about living in North Carolina is that you don’t have to go far to find adventure.  From mountains to ocean, raging white-water rivers to beautiful flat, open water, the opportunities are almost endless.  After considering many options, we decided that Linville Gorge would be an ideal choice given the variety of terrain and beautiful scenery waiting there.

After a quick look at GOPC Backpacker Checklist, we packed the essentials and gathered those extra items needed for our specific plans. These included: the climbing gear needed to safely enjoy the legendary routes in the area. Technical layers to help manage the cold nights, warm days and rainfall we may encounter.  We also knew we needed to pack Smartwool socks that not only keep your feet warm but help prevent blisters .

A couple of the guys in the group were already familiar with the area and came up with the plan to hike into the gorge on the Babel Tower Trail until we arrived at a sweet campsite they had stayed at before, which overlooked the gorge.

After a wonderful night of rest, a good breakfast, and some jet-boil coffee, we were off hiking down into the gorge for a full day of playing.  We did end up encountering a perfect repelling/climbing area which included a good 30′ free-rappel zone, followed by another 30-40′ rock face.  Once we were ready to move on, we decided to head on down to the river and go exploring.

We hiked up the river to a chute that offered an adrenaline rush, then down the river to a good cliff-jumping spot, then back to the campsite for supper, hammock time, and an evening around the fire with hot chocolate and good stories.

A weekend gives the perfect amount of time to travel almost anywhere in our state, have a full day to play, a good evening of fellowship around a campfire, and still time on Sunday to pack up, hike out, stop at a good local diner for lunch and be home by 5pm.  All you’ve got to do is get the right gear and do it.


Find all the right gear for your next adventure: