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Mar 26, 2014
Greetings fellow climbers,

We are possibly looking to head to the Red River Gorge (or Horseshoe Canyon) in early June to do some initial sport climbing. We are beginner climbers, and I'm hoping to get a few questions answered.

MP.com notes that Red River Gorge has 300+ routes graded in the 5.9 and below range. They don't list how many of those routes are trad vs sport. We would be looking to only climb single pitch sport routes, preferably in that grade range. Can anyone give an estimate on how many of these 300+ routes would be sport routes? I realize the best way to know for sure would be to look through a guide, but I'm a lazy man and was hoping to bypass all that work by asking a group of intelligent experienced climbers.

Also, has anyone done any back country backpacking in the Daniel Boone National Forest? We'd love to take off into the forest for a day or three. This is why I'd prefer the Gorge over Horseshoe canyon, but if the canyon has more appropriate variety of lower grade sport routes, then that would serve our main goal, which is to gain some initial experience sport climbing outside.

Thanks a million!
Travis Kern
From Minneapolis, Minnesota
Joined Mar 24, 2014
0 points
Mar 26, 2014
At the matching crux
RRG has dozens and dozens and dozens of 1 pitch sport routes 5.9 and lower. I would make a totally uneducated guess (I've got no idea about exact numbers) that at least 200 routes that fit your description: single-pitch sport. Jon H
From Boulder
Joined Nov 24, 2009
98 points
Mar 26, 2014
RRG, Send me on my way 5.9-
redriverclimbing.com has a fantastic search tool. Here is the search you are looking for. Click Andy Million
From Murfreesboro TN
Joined Mar 25, 2012
66 points
Mar 26, 2014
RRG Sport Climbs 5.9 and easier listed on MP.com Chad Volk
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 10, 2007
38 points
Mar 26, 2014
yes they have back country camping. Check out the princes arch area by chimney top rock they have tons of sites. Yes they have tons of bolted sport routes to climb. Check Muir valley they have some good moderates for beginners. Mike Knight
From Canton, Mi
Joined Dec 24, 2013
25 points
Mar 26, 2014
Check out the app by wolverine apps for the Red River Gorge. It is basically an electronic version of the guidebook. It is up to date as of a few years ago. It lists 97 sport lines 5.9+ or less, and will let you filter by area or wall.
Nathan Flaim
Joined Dec 6, 2013
0 points
Mar 26, 2014
Global Village, Red River Gorge KY
BOOM

Looks like about 100 by that count. If you are interested in getting into some trad, let me know. I know the trails pretty well if you are interested in getting into the woods for a few days.
WDW4
Joined Feb 6, 2012
114 points
Mar 26, 2014
Excellent! You have all humbled me with your generosity. Travis Kern
From Minneapolis, Minnesota
Joined Mar 24, 2014
0 points
Mar 26, 2014
WDW4 wrote:
BOOM Looks like about 100 by that count. If you are interested in getting into some trad, let me know. I know the trails pretty well if you are interested in getting into the woods for a few days.


Yes, if this is what we decide, we would be stupid to not jump at the chance to learn something. Thanks!

Regards
Travis Kern
From Minneapolis, Minnesota
Joined Mar 24, 2014
0 points
Mar 26, 2014
amarillo sunset
Just checked my guidebook. there are 89 sport routes graded 5.9+ and lower in the southern region of the red. there's also a northern region with its own guide book that i dont have. andyelliott
Joined Jun 24, 2013
103 points
Mar 26, 2014
me
generally at that grade I think you are better off going to the New. Much more aesthetic and the new boasts a nice climber/paddling town Fayetteville literally a couple miles from some main crags at the New. Plus the New is in west virginia and WVians are so much more hip than kentuckians. Like miles ahead. They got like coffee shops and thai places. No thai food in Kentucky. At all. Nowhere.

They are still listed like 47th in most hip states.

At least theyre not 49th (kentucky).

Thank god for mississippi :)
5.samadhi
Joined Jul 20, 2013
27 points
Mar 26, 2014
At the matching crux
5.samadhi wrote:
generally at that grade I think you are better off going to the New.


There are VERY few sport routes 5.9 and under at the New. Aside from Sandstonia, there really isn't much in the way of beginner sport climbing at all at NRG. As far as sport climbing goes, NRG really isn't a "beginner's" area. TOOOOONS of beginner trad, but not bolted.

Everything else you say is correct though. There isn't shit going on in, or anywhere near, Slade, KY.
Jon H
From Boulder
Joined Nov 24, 2009
98 points
Mar 26, 2014
Cold day at Smug's
Jon H wrote:
There are VERY few sport routes 5.9 and under at the New. Aside from Sandstonia, there really isn't much in the way of beginner sport climbing at all at NRG. As far as sport climbing goes, NRG really isn't a "beginner's" area. TOOOOONS of beginner trad, but not bolted. Everything else you say is correct though. There isn't shit going on in, or anywhere near, Slade, KY.

Lot's more 5.9 and below sport climbs at RRG. My guidebook (2010 Williams book) lists about 70 sport climbs 5.9 and under. But, if you include sport routes in the 10a/b range (most would still consider this "beginner" sport) there is at least double that number, plenty to keep a beginner sport climber busy for a while. But if you want 5.9 and under volume, go to RRG.
csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
218 points
Mar 26, 2014
Go to Horseshoe Canyon!! If you don't have enough time to make it both locations... Orlena Tilton
From Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Joined Dec 25, 2013
1 points
Mar 26, 2014
Go to Horseshoe Canyon!! If you don't have enough time to make it both locations... Orlena Tilton
From Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Joined Dec 25, 2013
1 points
Mar 26, 2014
Muir at the Red a good place to start for beginners. Heck, the routes even have little engraved discs with the names and grades. Tightly bolted and soft grades (at least by NC standards). Bruise Brothers a good place to start. Even sets of rings at eye level to practice your cleaning and communication technique before you leave the ground. You cant get too much more beginner friendly than Muir. Crowds can be an issue. Drop a $20 in the donation box while you are there. Plenty of other walls there with routes in your range once you exhaust Bruise Brothers. I taught my son to sport lead there. Met some of your fellow MN climbers last time I was there. I bet you will even bag a couple of 5.10's while you are there. Chris Massey
Joined Oct 1, 2012
16 points
Mar 27, 2014
Chris Massey wrote:
Muir at the Red a good place to start for beginners. Heck, the routes even have little engraved discs with the names and grades. Tightly bolted and soft grades (at least by NC standards). Bruise Brothers a good place to start. Even sets of rings at eye level to practice your cleaning and communication technique before you leave the ground. You cant get too much more beginner friendly than Muir. Crowds can be an issue. Drop a $20 in the donation box while you are there. Plenty of other walls there with routes in your range once you exhaust Bruise Brothers. I taught my son to sport lead there. Met some of your fellow MN climbers last time I was there. I bet you will even bag a couple of 5.10's while you are there.



Yeah go to Johnny's wall in muir and try bethel and 59" drill b*tch. 5.10A both of them you should be able to get them they where my first two tens.
Mike Knight
From Canton, Mi
Joined Dec 24, 2013
25 points
Mar 28, 2014
redriverclimbing.com/RRCGuide/... Thomas Gilmore
Joined Feb 6, 2014
5 points
Mar 31, 2014
me
Jon H wrote:
There are VERY few sport routes 5.9 and under at the New. Aside from Sandstonia, there really isn't much in the way of beginner sport climbing at all at NRG. As far as sport climbing goes, NRG really isn't a "beginner's" area. TOOOOONS of beginner trad, but not bolted. Everything else you say is correct though. There isn't shit going on in, or anywhere near, Slade, KY.

thats what I was thinking about the plethora of trad routes around 5.9. I wasn't even aware people really bolted under 5.9 at sport crags. Usually there is like one 5.9 warmup and the rest are 5.10 and up.

If you need a 5.7 to climb cuz u can't climb a 5.9 then you're much better off getting a trad rack imo
5.samadhi
Joined Jul 20, 2013
27 points
Apr 24, 2014
Street Hassle
How's the weather in early June? Is it getting to hot to climb, or can it be tolerable for heat resilient folks if you seek out the shade? How bout bugs are the getting going by then as well?
-Thanks
kennyp
From Las Cruces
Joined Apr 13, 2010
63 points
Apr 24, 2014
eureka ha
5.samadhi wrote:
thats what I was thinking about the plethora of trad routes around 5.9. I wasn't even aware people really bolted under 5.9 at sport crags. Usually there is like one 5.9 warmup and the rest are 5.10 and up. If you need a 5.7 to climb cuz u can't climb a 5.9 then you're much better off getting a trad rack imo


beginner climbers and girlfriends need routes to climb too man lol

most beginners dont learn trad before sport also, especially those wanting to get on 5.7 and 5.8 sport routes

I would wager a guess that nearly every sport climber who climbs in the red consistently has been on at least one sport route that is easier than 5.9 in their lifetime, beginners gotta learn somewhere somehow. Not to mention telling a beginner to go to the new instead of going to the red is pretty funny. But yes, go to the new, the red has enough inexperienced folks running around as it is
mozeman
Joined Dec 17, 2010
75 points
Apr 24, 2014
eureka ha
kennyp wrote:
How's the weather in early June? Is it getting to hot to climb, or can it be tolerable for heat resilient folks if you seek out the shade? How bout bugs are the getting going by then as well? -Thanks


People will tell you that you cant climb in the red in the summer...not true, it's just significantly more of a pain in the azz. Grades will feel harder and the humidity is pretty bad, but you can do it and you can have a blast. Some of my most fond memories of climbing in the red have occurred in june through august
mozeman
Joined Dec 17, 2010
75 points
Apr 24, 2014
Polish Traverse (V5-7)
kennyp wrote:
How's the weather in early June? Is it getting to hot to climb, or can it be tolerable for heat resilient folks if you seek out the shade? How bout bugs are the getting going by then as well? -Thanks

look for shade, watch out for poison ivy, don't climb a ton between 2 and 4 pm or so. To echo mozeman, it's still super fun
Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
Joined Feb 24, 2013
39 points


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