More people than ever before are taking climbcations. Taking a few days or a couple weeks off work so that you can traverse a mountain is a great way to challenge yourself and get plenty of physical activity. It is much more rewarding than staying at home and watching daytime soap operas until you have to return to your job. However, if you plan on embarking on your first climbing excursion in the United States, then you should leave these climbs to the professionals. These climbs will leave you breathless.
- Southern Smoke Direct in Kentucky
All mountain climbs receive a rating based on the Yosemite Decimal System. Trails ranking at least a Class 5 are considered difficult and a rating of 5.9 used to be the most difficult climb imaginable. These days, there are plenty of climbs that rank higher than 5.9, and every entry on this list goes past it.
The Southern Smoke Direct ranks 5.14c. It begins easy enough as you will have to climb across a slab located next to an overhanging wall. However, you soon encounter a hard boulder problem that really takes the energy out of you before you even reach the toughest part of the ascent.
- Flex Luthor in Colorado
The Fortress of Solitude in Colorado is home to the largest limestone sports crag in the state, and if you plan to traverse it, then you can expect a steep one-hour ascent uphill. Flex Luthor is the most well-known part of this area, and it consists of a 120-foot climb. Tommy Caldwell climbed this route and said it was immensely more difficult than another route called Kryptonite located nearby.
- The Fly in New Hampshire
You can watch for yourself just how difficult it is to get up The Fly. This excursion ranks 5.14d, and while it may be relatively short, it takes a lot out of you. There are over six ways to ascend the route, and out of that, only two can be finished without a rope.
- Arrested Development in Nevada
This trail ranks 5.14d. It is important to note that this mountain climb will be much tougher if you are shorter than average. There are only 11 draws where you can open anchors on this route. This climb is, in fact, named after the hilarious television show, and the first climber to ascend it, Ethan Pringle, explicitly named it after the show.
- Jumbo Love in California
Rock and Dice
If you ask any professional climber what the most difficult trek in the country is, then you will hear, “Jumbo Love.” Only one person, Chris Sharma, has ever made it up, and he is considered by many to be the most accomplished climber in the United States of all time. This route ranks 5.15b, and it has a 250-foot pitch.
People who have been mountain climbing for years have trouble with these routes, so if you are just starting out, then you definitely want to steer clear. There are plenty of great beginner routes, such as Mt. Katahdin in Maine or Stony Man Mountain in Virginia. Let us know of any great climbing routes you have taken during your adventures in the comments.