The Guide's Blog

Travel Recommendations and Tips

The Grove Park Inn

September 30, 2021 fmg-adminTravel Recommendations and Tips

When our guests book rock climbing trips, they often ask us for recommendations for other things to do in the area. Climbing may be their main objective, but they also want to know what other "must do" activities we suggest. We recently had someone who will be staying in Asheville over the Christmas holiday book a day of climbing, and he asked what else he could do with the rest of his family while he's in town. We hands down recommended a trip to the Grove Park Inn, which is ALWAYS spectacular, but is particularly wonderful at Christmastime.

During the holidays, the Grove Park transforms into a winter wonderland. In addition to festive decorations, they host the annual National Gingerbread House Competition and even had a life-size gingerbread house last year, filling the entire lobby with the wonderful smells of the holidays. Between that, and offering some of the best views in the area from its Sunset Terrace, the Grove Park Inn is something everyone should experience.

Whether day or night, the Sunset Terrace at the Grove Park Inn provides some of the best views in Asheville.

While it can be pretty pricey to stay there (




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Unsponsored, Unaffiliated, Unbiased, and Unfiltered Gear (and Travel) Recommendations

September 14, 2021 fmg-adminGear Reviews Guides' Tech Tips Travel Recommendations and Tips

Climbing gear is great. FREE climbing gear is awesome! I mean, who doesn't love free gear? We all certainly do, but our guides also want to be able to make gear recommendations to you based on their personal favorites and not because they are sponsored by a particular company. With sponsorships and partnerships so ubiquitous in the climbing industry these days, it can be hard to know if someone making a recommendation "really" prefers a particular item or is perhaps making a decision that's influenced by their sponsorship. Sometimes you even see recommendations on a forum where the person answering says, "Even though I'm sponsored by ___________, I really do think their __________ (rope, shoes, helmet, etc) is the best." Really, I do. But how can you be sure?

Petey in his Misty Cadillac harness

Because of this dilemma, we as a company made a decision over a year ago to forgo sponsorships so we can allow our guides to recommend their favorite gear without bias. We give them a yearly gear allowance to purchase whatever climbing gear they want to try rather than requiring them to wear and promote a particular harness or brand of shoes or rope




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