The Boulder Field below Rumbling Bald Mountain

Bald Mountain in Fall

Rising from the northwest shore of scenic Lake Lure is the mountain with two names. Today, it is known as Rumbling Bald Mountain, and its sheer granite face is visible for miles around. However, before the late 1800’s it was called just Bald Mountain, as were six other mountains throughout western North Carolina, because of the exposed rock face. What caused the change?

Bald Mountain Earthquake
In February, 1874, the mountain began to shake, and periodic tremors were felt in the area for three more months. Although a number of traveling evangelist were convinced that the quakes were warnings from God that men should change their sinning ways, what actually was happening was a series of rock falls inside the mountain where large caverns were believed to be found. It’s possible that a minor earthquake triggered the collapses, which continued in a chain reaction of events. Whatever the cause, thereafter the mountain was differentiated from the other six peaks by the addition of the word, rumbling, in front of the former Bald Mountain.

Rumbling Bald Homes
Today, the mountain overlooks a resort of the same name, and private luxury homes are perched precariously along narrow winding roads leading up to the base of the granite face.

Bald Mountain Lane in Fall
Even in the waning days of November, bright autumn colors can still be found midway up the steep eastern slope. Oak trees reach high into the sky searching for illusive forest light.

Rumbling Bald Boulder
As one nears the bottom of the rocky face, giant boulders dislodged by millenia of freeze and thaw cycles are strewn everywhere, and homes have used them as part of their landscaping.

Boulder Field on Bald Mountain
A few years ago, when development threatened to make these monoliths off limits to hikers and rock climbers, a large portion of the slope was purchased by the Carolina Climbers Coalition, to be available to the public in perpetuity.

Bouldering at Rumbling Bald
Climbing up and over these huge granite rocks has inspired a discipline known as “Bouldering”. The Rumbling Bald Boulder Field is the second largest of its kind in the entire United States, with as many as 1,400 “problems”, as the rocks are called, scattered along the upper slopes of the mountain.

Bouldering at Rumbling Bald Field
The “Rumbling Bald Bouldering Guide” was published by Chris Dorrity in 2007, and a new revised guide will be available for sale in the Spring of 2015.

2 thoughts on “The Boulder Field below Rumbling Bald Mountain

  1. Beautiful pics and interesting story…….ThanksPatsy From: Living in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina- A Blog To: pjcar119@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2014 10:45 PM Subject: [New post] The Boulder Field below Rumbling Bald Mountain #yiv5313682659 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5313682659 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5313682659 a.yiv5313682659primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5313682659 a.yiv5313682659primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5313682659 a.yiv5313682659primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5313682659 a.yiv5313682659primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5313682659 WordPress.com | Carolina Vann posted: “Rising from the northwest shore of scenic Lake Lure is the mountain with two names. Today, it is known as Rumbling Bald Mountain, and its sheer granite face is visible for miles around. However, before the late 1800’s it was called just Bald Mountain,” | |

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