For spring break this year we deviated from plugging gear at Indian Creek and decided to get pumped silly. A hearty helping of sport climbing was in order, so we flew east for a week of clipping bolts.
There are few places that I’ve been to that rival the sport climbing of the Red River Gorge. The quantity of routes is endless and the quality is top notch. Once you add the amazing Miguel’s Pizza, cheap-to-rent cabins, and never ending southern hospitality you have a world class climbing area.
In my college years we would drive 10 hours to the RRG for a three or four day weekend. The rock is steep and peppered with holds of all shapes and sizes. Over the years I’ve learned to see the diversity of the Red River Gorge. Some people complain about the proliferation of monotonous jug hauls, all steep and similar. I have found that crags have their own flavor and specific type of hold. There are amazing plates at Drive By, sharp pockets at the Dark Side and beautiful iron swirls at Left Flank.
Over our week at the Red, I was psyched to explore new crags and revisit some of the walls I had climbed at over seven years ago. Our group of five from California met up with more and more friends from the east coast. The most full night had 11 people gorging themselves on breakfast burritos for dinner at our cabin.
Sport climbing allowed us to get up late and still climb a bunch of pitches each day. The weather was warm back in March so we stuck to the shady crags and often climbed until dark. It was nice to return with more fitness than the last visit in 2007. I managed to finish off old projects and found a number new climbs that I look forward to for the next Red River Gorge adventure.
Crags visited and Favorite Routes (some were just attempted not sent):
Military Wall – The Reliquary 5.12b, The Mule 5.12c
Drive By – Fire and Brimstone 5.10d, Whipstocking 5.11a, Spirit Fingers 5.11c, Check Your Grip 5.12a, Hakuna Matata 5.12a
The Crossroads – Boilerplate 5.8
The Darkside – Grippy Green 5.12a, Shanghai 5.12c/d
Left Flank – To Defy the Laws of Tradition 5.10a, Henry 5.11b, Too Many Puppies 5.12a, Infectious 5.12b, Table of Colors 5.13a
Purgatory – Special Boy 5.11c, Gluttony 5.12a
The Chocolate Factory – Oompa 5.10a, The Glass Elevator 5.10d
Enjoy the photos!