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The Dark Side

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
American Dream 
Big Burly 
Elephant Man 
Evil Emperor 
Force, The 
Grippy Green 
It's a Trap! 
Mama Benson 
Mind Meld 
Padawan 
Praestantissimum 
Return of Darth Moll 
Shanghai 
Small Fry 
Stormtrooper 
Straight Outta Campton 
Swing Line 
Techulicious 
Tusken Raider 
Wookie Love Nest 
Young Jedi 
Unsorted Routes:

The Dark Side 


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Page Views: 8,130
Administrators: saxfiend, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Monomaniac on Dec 19, 2008
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The uninspiring left side of The Dark Side. "Grip...

Description 

The Dark Side is a steep, pocketed wall of dark gray sandstone, similar in character to the Motherlode. Boasting the second largest concentration of 5.13 sport routes at the Red, the Dark Side is a great place to find a good project. Additionally, the crag features a number of excellent 5.12s of every grade. The options are limited in the 5.11 & below range, but there are a handful of moderates if warming up on 12a is not your thing.

The routes here are extremely steep, some of the steepest at the Red, climbing a bulging wall at a nearly constant 45 degree angle. Several body-sized huecos provide great rests on some lines, while other lines are more sustained. The cliff faces north, so receives all-day shade, making this a good option on warmer days. Also, the vast majority of the lines here stay dry in the rain.


Getting There 

From KY 11, take Fixer Rd, then take the first left. Follow this windy, paved road for a while, and continue as the road turns to dirt, passing a few houses. These roads are passable when wet. After ~1 mile of dirt, turn right onto another dirt road opposite an oil tank. Stay left, then park at an obvious RRGCC kiosk. Behind the kiosk, locate a trail that crosses the creek. Follow the trail for ~10 minutes, passing signed turn-offs to the Gold Coast & Solar Collector. Switch-back up the steep hill to the cliff, and head right when you first reach the rock. The first route encountered is "Grippy Green", 12a, which begins up a 20-foot-tall, 6"-deep, left-leaning dihedral.


21 Total Routes


['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',1],['5.10',3],['5.11',2],['5.12',7],['5.13',8],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Dark Side:
Mama Benson   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 50'   
American Dream   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b     Sport, 90'   
Tusken Raider   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 60 pitches   
Shanghai   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 90'   
The Force   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Elephant Man   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Browse More Classics in The Dark Side

Featured Route For The Dark Side
Praestantissimum

Praestantissimum 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a  KY : Red River Gorge : ... : The Dark Side
Walk to the right of the large main cave at the Dark Side. You will come to a large slab wall. This is the furthest route on the right of this wall. Conquer a tough boulder problem to start then get ready for some of the best 5.11 slab at the red....[more]   Browse More Classics in KY

Photos of The Dark Side Slideshow Add Photo
The Dark Side detail.  Routes shown from L --> R: <br /> <br />Project? <br />Darth Moll, 13b <br />Jedi mind Trick, 13b <br />The Force, 13a <br />Mind Meld, 12d <br />Elephant Man, 13b <br />Tuskan Raider, 12d <br />Straight Outta Campton, 13a <br />Swingline, 13d <br />Non Starter, 13b <br /> <br />
The Dark Side detail. Routes shown from L -->@S...
The ridiculous cirque of The Dark Side.
The ridiculous cirque of The Dark Side.
The Dark Side from the other side of the cliff.  The large ramp is visible. <br /> <br />
The Dark Side from the other side of the cliff. T...
Side view of most of the Dark Side with a climber on The Force.
Side view of most of the Dark Side with a climber ...
Comments on The Dark Side Add Comment
Show which comments
By LeeAB
Administrator
From: ABQ, NM
Nov 7, 2009

Mono forgot to mention the unique "pocket" band that many of the routes pass through where bowling ball grips can be found, very cool. The rock here is sharp though, many of the holds have crisp lips that help you stay on but can punish you for poor technique or desperate movement. Also I would call the wall more 30 degrees overhung, still quite steep, maybe a little steeper than the Undertow wall at The Load but not as steep as the Madness Cave or Twinkie.