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Recap: Climbing at Obed

Written by Samantha Bild

What’s top roping? That’s exactly what women learned when SheJumps recently hosted its first outdoor climbing event in the Southeast at Obed Wild and Scenic River.

Every girl who attended was either new to the sport or getting into it after a long time gone. To start off the day, we met up with rangers­ at the visitor center in Wartburg, TN to learn about the park and necessary climbing gear. We also learned that routes are rated according to the difficulty level, and we decided to try routes rated 5.2 to 5.9.


After gearing up, we drove down to the Obed River and hiked 20 minutes to get to the walls. Upon first glance, I think it was safe to say that we were all a little intimidated.

In top roping, a rope passes through an anchor at the top of a wall, with a climber attached on one end and a partner to belay the climber on the other. Essential gear includes a climbing harness, rock climbing shoes, a helmet, carabiners, a belay device, ropes, carabiners, and quickdraws.

We quickly learned that for physical fitness and adrenaline, nothing beats climbing an outdoor climb. Unlike indoor climbing, the routes were not as predictable. It was challenging to find the right footholds or cracks to keep moving up the wall.


SheJumps spent over 3 hours at Obed full of hiking, climbing, and breathtaking vistas of the Cumberland Plateau. We are thankful for the opportunity that rangers gave us and look forward to visiting the park more often. Also, thank you to the women in attendance for coming out and supporting SheJumps. We hope to see everyone soon at future events!

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