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Fortress Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
American Crack T 
American Wall T 
Battlement, The T 
Bedtime for Bonzo T 
Blue Runner T 
Bombs Bursting T 
Bonzo's Revenge T 
Calypso I T 
Calypso II T 
Calypso III T 
Fading Memory T 
Fortress Grunges T 
Get Outta My Way T 
Horny Bitch T 
Party Time T 
Route 48 T 
Scratch Your Face T 
Serpent T 
Snake T 
Thunder Chicken T 
Turret, The T 
Where Lizards Dare T 

Fortress Wall Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.83768, -83.64701 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 38,613
Administrators: Jason Halladay, DisturbingThePeace, saxfiend, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Chaney on Oct 4, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


This is the best crag in the RRG for learning trad climbing. There is the greatest concentration of easier routes, with quality routes at every grade from 5.6 to 5.11.

The aspect is generally southern, with some routes getting morning sun and some getting afternoon. The wall is hot in summer, but somewhat sheltered in light rain.

There are a few easy and moderate multi-pitch routes so this is also a great wall to get a little MP practice in a well travelled setting.

Fortress can be very crowded at times. Large groups often take over the crag which can ruin everyone's day.

If you are a trad climber and visit the area you can't pass up spending some time here.

Getting There 

Parking area GPS: 37.8380, -83.6440

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.1 miles from here

22 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Fortress Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Fortress Wall:
Calypso III   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Route 48   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
American Crack   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
American Wall   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Bedtime for Bonzo   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   
Calypso II   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Calypso I   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 60'   
Party Time   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 140'   
Horny Bitch   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   
Bombs Bursting   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 60'   
Snake   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Blue Runner   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Where Lizards Dare   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a A2     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 70'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Fortress Wall

Featured Route For Fortress Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: For those who don't jam... there is another way......

Blue Runner 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13  KY : Red River Gorge : Fortress Wall
This route has a little bit of everything...fingers, off-width, over-hang, face climbing...Climb through an over-hanging section to a ledge. Climb the thin fingers dihedral until it widens to OW. Work your way up this to a ledge with anchors on a large boulder.I gave this a "PG" rating because of the start and the boulder below it....[more]   Browse More Classics in KY

Comments on Fortress Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Oct 27, 2008
Outstanding trad area, but if you're not prepared for Gunks-style sandbagging, you'll get a rude awakening!
By Drake Pregnall
From: Morehead, KY
Mar 19, 2012
Absolutely agree with you there. I climb in the Gunks and the Adirondacks regularly, two very sandbagged places, and I still found the Fortress Wall grades to be a bit stiff.
By Dreez
Jun 16, 2014
Approach: Park at the 2nd pullout with a wooden post and forest service sign (but no wording, just wood). Can park about 5 cars. Approach is about 10 minutes and you'll wind up at the Snake 5.8 Trad 60 feet climb.
By Jordan K
From: Ohio
Jan 19, 2015
End Of Fortress Approach trail: 37.837337,-83.647221

Watch out for MASSIVE amount of poison ivy along the approach "in season."

While not every single climb will be dry, lots of climbable routes in light/medium rain due to a large roof system over this crag. Fantastic crag for the beginning trad leader. Sandbagged? Definitely maybe. But not atypical of the northern gorge region at all.

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