But if you want to, you have to be somewhat of an opportunist.
The same granite slabs that glisten with spring water on a summer day become encrusted with thick, dense ice after a week of below-freezing temperatures. Any North-facing wall keeps its ice throughout the warmest part of the winter day. The spring water continues to freeze in layers, creating a shadowy blue wall that is ready for a good send. Enjoy it while its there, because even though Western North Carolina has the highest mountains east of the Mississippi, warm air tends to punctuate our winters unexpectedly.
Two great places to climb near the Asheville area are Bear Wallow Falls near Chimney Rock or the icy walls South of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Highway 215.
Need more info on ice climbing (or want to try it for the first time?), ask Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School. They’re the local pros.
While you're driving around looking for ice, don't forget that the Blue Ridge Parkway closes in winter to vehicles. But don't let that stop you from snowshoeing the National Park in blissful solitude.
Contributed by The Landmark Project @thelandmarkproject