Monday, September 5, 2011

Red River Trad


I just got back from my first trip to the Red in 3 years!  Some stuff has changed since then.  There’s a new guidebook and Miguel’s has more than one bathroom.  One thing remains constant, if you are looking for the best high friction single pitch sandstone climbing ANYWHERE, head no further than the Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

Erin, Chris, Jamie, and Colleen watch Ben on Laceration


This was a crazy weekend.  I don’t know if it was the heat (Saturday) or rain (Monday) but there was hardly anybody there – on a holiday weekend.  Or maybe nobody does trad anymore??  In fact, at the trad crags we hit we were alone almost the whole time.  This trip ended up being about quality, not quantity.  I basically spent the entire trip leading 5.9 trad.  All 4 and 5 star climbs, no waiting in lines!

Mariba Fork, go there, now.

Sunday we made the drive to Mariba Fork.  It is 16 miles from the rest area in Slade.  This was, maybe, the most awesome cliff I have ever seen.  I’m talking multiple amphitheaters.  I didn’t even have time to see the whole thing.  The guidebook only lists ten routes here.

Other areas we visited were Long Wall, Dip Wall, and Fortress.

Autumn 5.9 and Cruise Control 5.9+ at the Long Wall

Megan Blanchard  on Green Eggs 5.7. Ham 5.7 is on the right.

Chris Ciesa on the Grinch 5.4.  Does that look 5.4 to you?

This is Laceration 5.4.  This is the highest rated 5.4 at the Red.  Good luck.

Ben McMillen gets some on Laceration.

Colleen Anderson feels the pump on Reach the Beach 5.9.  Incredible, long, sustained route.
When can I go back?

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