Rock climbing is a difficult, but deeply rewarding sport requiring strength, balance, and a keen knowledge of safety systems. Chattanooga is home to some of the best rock climbing in the country. Sandstone boulders and cliffs surround the city and provide climbers with a lifetime of challenging lines. For beginners or those who would like to try climbing for the first time, Chattanooga has three climbing gyms as well as local guiding services that can get you started in the sport. Experienced climbers visiting Chattanooga will find a supportive local climbing community that is happy to show travelers some southern hospitality and share their knowledge of Chattanooga’s climbing. Remember! Keeping climbing areas clean and preserving our access is everyone’s responsibility. Please follow the posted rules of each climbing area and practice Leave No Trace. Southeast Tennessee Rock Climbing Guide.
Types of Climbing in Chattanooga
Top Roping appeals to beginner and intermediate climbers who are just starting to learn the ropes. The rope is anchored to the top of the cliff. With an attentive belayer, the climber won’t ever take a big fall.
Sport Climbing involves clipping quickdraws into bolts drilled into the rock as the climber ascends. Intermediate and advanced climbers enjoy the challenge of lead climbing above their protective gear and potentially taking larger falls.
Traditional (“Trad”) Climbing places the climber in complete control of his or her protective gear. Camming units (“cams”), “nuts,” hexes, and more are placed into cracks and holes in the rock. Trad climbers need advanced knowledge to place gear effectively and safely in order to minimize risk.