Southeast Climbers Coalition to pay off $1.3 million rock climber's paradise Denny Cove in Marion County

Kathleen Nolte, Cody Roney, Penny Bird, and Ruthie Bird, from left, stand on the overlook at the newly dedicated Denny Cove addition to South Cumberland State Park on Friday, March 17, 2017, near Sequatchie, Tenn. The 685-acre addition is home to more than 150 rock climbing routes.

In a first outdoor win for 2021, the Southeastern Climbers Coalition this month will make the final payment on a $1.3 million, 685-acre tract of land girded with nearly 3 miles of sandstone cliffs many say is some of the best rock climbing in the South.

The property in Marion County, Tennessee, known as Denny Cove is a rock climber's paradise.

Andrea Hassler, the coalition's executive director, said the property was discovered by local climbers about 10 years ago when it was owned by a timber company. When they realized the potential of the site, two of those climbers, Cody Averbeck and John Dorough, began developing climbing routes, Hassler said.

"The steepness of the cliff at the Buffet Wall and high quality stone made the area appealing, as well as proximity to other established climbing areas, Foster Falls and Castle Rock," Hassler said in a statement about what initially drew Averbeck's and Dorough's eyes upward.