Deep Water Soloing

If you like a challenge, the rocky bluffs at Nichajack Lake near Chattanooga are the perfect setting for daring rock climbers who like to ascend without safety ropes.


If you are looking for a different point of view, have we got a sport for you. It’s called “psycho bouldering” (psicobloc) or “deep water soloing,” a type of rock climbing born in the 1970’s on ocean cliffs that can change the way you look at the world. As Wild Side Guide Ken Tucker discovered, you don’t need much to get started…no safety ropes, carabiners, or climbing harness…just a rocky bluff and plenty of deep water.

While deep water soloing is pretty safe, you still need to take precautions. Never climb alone and always be familiar with the water you’re climbing over. If you are trying it for the first time, it’s a good idea to go with someone who’s done it before.

Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) members and volunteers are climbers from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and elsewhere who have joined forces to preserve access to climbing areas in the region. If you are interested in giving climbing a try, they’ll be glad to help you get started. To learn more about SCC, climbing opportunities in the southeast and how you can get involved in their preservation work, visit their website at

One of the SCC’s partner organizations is Access Fund, a national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, the Access Fund supports and represents over 6.8 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock, ice, mountaineering, and bouldering. To learn more, visit their website at

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