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Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve

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Bear's Den, The 
Bob Marley 
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Drive-By Crag 
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North 40 
Playground, The 
Rival Wall 
Shady Grove 
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Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve  

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Location: 37.65238, -83.71935 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: saxfiend, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: saxfiend on Oct 29, 2009
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Tom DeFilippo on the rock after a couple of years ...


Another triumph of climber ownership, the PMRP is a 700-acre area in the southern section of the Red River Gorge. It is owned and maintained by the Red River Gorge Climbers' Coalition. More than 300 routes in 20 separate areas are available to climbers thanks to the efforts of the RRGCC.

Climbing in the PMRP began in the 1990s not long after the discovery of the Motherlode just east of the area. At the time, this sizeable tract of land was owned by the Pendergrass family descendents, and much of it was leased out for oil exploration. As climbers began developing the numerous crags in the area, the RRGCC worked toward an accommodation of the various public and private interests there. Finally, in 2004, the coalition purchased surface rights to the tract, ensuring continued climbing access.

As with Muir Valley, the other major climber-owned section of Red River Gorge, climbers must sign a liability waiver before climbing in the PMRP. For more information and rules on the area, go to the RRGCC web site.

Getting There 

To get to the PMRP, travel south on KY 11 south of Torrent Falls. Depending on the area you're heading to, turn off on either Fixer Road or Bald Rock Fork Road. Park only in designated parking areas and steer clear of all oil production equipment.

NOTE: Access to many crags in the PMRP may be problematical without a high-clearance vehicle.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.3 miles from here

290 Total Routes

['4 Stars',47],['3 Stars',138],['2 Stars',89],['1 Star',16],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve:
27 Years of Climbing   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 65'   The Gallery
Cheaper Than a Movie   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Chica Bonita Wall
Breakfast Burrito   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Drive-By Crag
A Brief History of Climb   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 100'   The Gallery
Fire and Brimstone   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 90'   Drive-By Crag
Johnny B. Good   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Gallery
Toker   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Bob Marley
Whip-Stocking   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 80'   Drive-By Crag
Amarillo Sunset   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 50'   North 40
Random Precision   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Gallery
Buddha Hole   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Solar Collector/Gold Coast
Gold Rush   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 70'   The Gallery
Break the Scene   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Gallery
Check Your Grip   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 80'   Drive-By Crag
Dogleg   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 90'   Bob Marley
Samurai   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   North 40
The Force   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Dark Side
Elephant Man   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Dark Side
Golden Boy   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 60'   Solar Collector/Gold Coast
Kaleidescope   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Drive-By Crag
Browse More Classics in Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve

Featured Route For Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve
Nearing the top. Nearly the whole route is in view...

Balance Beam 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  KY : Red River Gorge : ... : The Playground
Easy slab section for the first half of the climb leads to tricky 5.11 slab moves....[more]   Browse More Classics in KY

Photos of Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve Slideshow Add Photo
Sore Heel Hollow parking lot sign
Sore Heel Hollow parking lot sign

Comments on Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve Add Comment
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By Felix Duvallet
Apr 29, 2014
The steep road down the hill to the Sore Heel parking area is in pretty bad shape, and cars without high clearance will have trouble going down (or back up). According to the RRGCC the Sore Heel hill is "no longer sustainable and will not be maintained going forward" (see the RRGCC FAQ).

However, they have just put in a new parking area that is a nice flat walk to the sore heel parking. See the RRGCC blog post for more details. Park there instead of trying to fit at the top of the hill.
By elisgroves
Mar 12, 2015
Hi all, just posting to say I lost my phone recently, not entirely sure where but possibly in the Flat Holler parking lot. It is an HTC One and in a silver case. If found please call 6038098809 to return it. Thank you
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