Fortress Wall Rock Climbing
Bedtime for Bonzo, Red River Gorge
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.
Parking area GPS: 37.8380, -83.6440
Weather station 2.1 miles from here
22 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Fortress Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Fortress Wall
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Fortress Wall:
Route 48 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, 1 pitch, 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'
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'
Featured Route For Fortress Wall
Party Time 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b KY
: Red River Gorge
: Fortress Wall
One of the nicest moderate trad routes in the Red, and it takes good gear if you have it. The first pitch takes a few larger cams (perhaps to 4") and the scond pitch a standard light rack. Bolted belay/rap anchors make this climb a good first multi-pitch....[more] Browse More Classics in KY
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.
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
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.