Though these rope climbing crags were the main place people climbed, in the late '80s and early '90s, Boone began to develop as a bouldering destination. While boulderers today rely on crash pads, Ryan Beasley said in those early days climbers would mountain bike up to Howard's Knob and use old rugs. Slowly, though, there were a lot of private enclosures of these bouldering areas for private development or because of high traffic and not enough funds to maintain them. The Carolina Climber's Coalition has made huge moves to purchase some of these areas and open them back up to climbing.
One of the benefits of these private enclosures is that it pushed climbers to develop other areas, such as the Dump, opening up rope climbing to a much larger portion of the population. Parts of the Dump eventually began to be bolted by Doug Reed from the ground up, which is more risky because you can only place protection in place you have good holds. Eventually though, some routes couldn't be bolted from the ground up, but because Doug Reed had gained respect for establishing so many ground up routes, most people tolerated it when he began rap bolting the dump, though some locals took issue. Sam Beasley established the classic Homegrown (10a) and Diab Rabee essentially brought sport to the crag.
The Dump and other High Country climbing areas have grown in popularity over the years though and are not only used by local climbers. While by no means a destination climbing area, the crag has gained so much acclaim through early developer climbing lore, that in 2015 during his book tour for Alone On the Wall, famed free-solo climber Alex Honnold spent a day climbing at the Dump.
The immense amount of time that has been put into the creation of these climbing areas, the fragility of our outdoor recreation areas, and the possibility of closures on public and private lands makes the protection and care required when using them extremely important. Part of the effort of sharing this history of this important piece of our mountain home is intended to preserve it. We are lucky to have such amazing recreation all around our counties, and through community efforts hope to maintain them for generations to come. Perhaps in the future, we will be able to establish so many more crags like the Dump and continue the legacy.