It's easy to get excited by all the four-star ratings and classics at a bouldering area like Rocktown in northwestern Georgia. The area is one of the best in the southeast with over 500 established boulder problems. Located on Pigeon Mountain, about 30 miles from Chattanooga, Rocktown is mainly a fall and winter destination as temperatures are mild on sunny winter days and the friction becomes beyond stellar. An important thing to note, however is that, Rocktown may be closed for hunting at times so be sure to check seasonal hunting closure dates at GeorgiaWildlife.com.
There is a day pass fee to boulder at a Rocktown but camping is free in designated areas. Stocking up on food and essentials prior to getting to Rocktown is recommended. Heading south out of Chattanooga you will pass through the historic St. Elmo neighborhood where you can load up on handcrafted espresso and scratch made breakfast at Pasha Coffee & Tea and there is also a grocery store and gas station to fulfill your other fueling needs.
Listed below are 10 of the high star and classic boulder problems at Rocktown that should be on your tick list:
1. Goforia (V0)
Starting on a horizontal rail to a slabby face and finishing up a sloper rail. Rated four stars, this problem is great as a warm-up to get acclimated to the area. The Front Corridor cluster of boulders also includes many other great warm ups in the V0 to V3 range.
2. The Scoop (V2)
Can't miss this one, though somewhat tricky if you're on the shorter side. Work your way up the scoop, avoiding use of the left arête.
3. King Cobra (V2)
So named due to two small pockets posing as snake eyes. This is a sit-start that finishes with a jump to the arête.
4. El Baño (V3)
This problem has four variations to it, including varying grades (V2-V4). The V3 has the same start as the V4, a sit-start on the iron rail, then head to the right to an obvious crimp and finish on a sloper top out.
5. Soap on a Rope (V4)
The classic Orb boulders of the Front Corridor is where you'll find many great problems and amongst them this one that starts sitting under the arête. Pull up to a slopey lip and follow it past more slopers to finish on a difficult mantle.
6. Golden Shower (V5)
Easily one of the best fives at Rocktown. This problem sits on a beautiful boulder and goes up the left side of the face, hitting side-pulls, slopers and pockets to a committing top-out.
7. Standard Deviation (V6)
This is the highest rated of the three variations of this problem. Starting on the obvious edges, climb up and right on more iron rails, then throw to the lip to a straight forward top-out. While here, you might want to check off all three variations on this great piece of rock.
8. Lab Rats (V6)
One of the two four stars on this orange-faced boulder is the V6 variation of Bionic Rats (V8). They start the same, but at the crimp, move left into a sharp sidepull and continue past a vertical slot to the slopers at the top.
9. The Orb (V8)
There's no mistaking this one. The problem with the same name as the boulder it sits on, is probably the most known in the South. Starting on slot pockets, climb left along the sloping brows to the arête and top out at a slopey mantle.
10. Golden Harvest (V10)
This problem, rated with exactly 26.5 stars in the guide book is an obviously gorgeous climb and sits on the same boulder as Golden Shower (V5). Start on underclings center face, then climb through several slopers, sidepulls, and toe hooks to the happiest moment of your life.
Though merely a suggested list and far from complete or even objective, it's a good place to get started in this southeastern bouldering gem, and it will leave you wanting to come back for more.