Video: A drone’s eye view of Stone Summit Atlanta

The facility brings the tough climbs of El Capitan to Georgia
stone summit
Photograph by So Fly Pictures

Stone Mountain is 825 feet high. The walls of Stone Summit Atlanta—the climbing gym a few miles from Spaghetti Junction—range from 20 feet to 60 feet. Don’t let those dimensions fool you; the nooks, crannies, overhangs, and ledges contain paths requiring Olympian levels of mastery. The 30,000-square-foot climbing wall includes routes that score 5.14 for technical difficulty—a rating assigned to pitches on the Dawn Wall of El Capitan. “That is a level very few people in the world would have been able to accomplish,” says gym co-owner Daniel Luke. (The hardest climb ever, ascending the limestone face of Spain’s La Dura Dura, ranks 5.15c.) Opened in 2010, the gym is the seventh largest in the U.S., according to Climbing Business Journal. Sister facility Stone Summit Kennesaw is the fifth. Of course, when you’re scaling a wall in Stone Summit, you don’t contend with sun, wind, frostbite, or grizzly bears. But you might encounter packs of preteens; in recent years the facility has hosted the USA Climbing national youth championship, an event that draws some 400 competitors. Drone elevation: 37 feet

This article originally appeared in our June 2015 issue.