If you build it they will climb
Tryon approves Melrose Mountain climbing park
TRYON—In the April City Council meeting members of the Blue Ridge Adventure Guides (BRAG) along with the Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC) submitted a proposal to create a climbing park on Melrose Mountain. The Town of Tryon owns roughly 200 acres of land on Melrose Mountain that is currently unused.
The CCC and BRAG have assessed the Eastern and Western areas and believe that there are between 25 to 40 climbing routes in the two areas. In addition to that there are 20 to 25 boulders that would offer an additional 100 “problems” that could be taken on using the Bouldering technique. Bouldering does not require the use of harnesses or ropes. Bouldering is performed on boulders or rock faces between 8ft and 20ft in height without climbing assistance but with a spotter and bouldering pad for safety.
The cliff faces and boulders are south facing and the areas offer expansive views into South Carolina’s Blue Wall Preserve. The visibility of the Blue Wall Preserve and other natural features will encourage recreational hikers as well as climbers to use.
The plan is to access an undeveloped section of land owned by the Town of Tryon via Hogback Mountain Road. Currently there is a vague footpath from Hogback Mountain Road to the Eastern and Western areas but there are no proper public hiking trails installed on Melrose Mountain. The CCC and BRAG are offering to provide a layout and design of a potential trail as well as offering to assist in the trail construction.
On Tuesday May 21, the Tryon Town Council voted, and approved the finalized proposal for the Melrose Mountain climbing park. Councilman Bill Crowell spoke before the vote, “I went up with them (representatives of BRAG and CCC) the other day, walked to the cliffs. Eventually we would like to tie it into Harmon Field. It’s a really good use of this property. It’s just sitting there idle.” Crowell also stated that the park offers an educational and tourism opportunity for the Town of Tryon.
By Samuel Robinson