Start off on the steeply overhanging (35 degree) line of jugs and pockets, cranking through relatively powerful moves on great holds. after a few bolts, the angle lessens and decent rests can be found. Though there aren't any ledges, there are a couple places where good body positioning will be rewarded with taking nearly all your weight off the forearms, which will undoubtedly be pretty pumped unless you climb 5.13. Efficient climbing, good footwork, and the ability to find rests are the secret...[more]Browse More Classics in KY
Description: The Zoo was a late developing sport crag at Red River, perhaps as it is not as obvious from the road, but with a moderate approach to the dozen or so low to mid-range sport climbs, 10's and 11's. It is a small wonder it is not a crowded destination. It is a perfect place for a small group of climbers at varying levels of ability to visit, particularly on a warmer day, since the crag is mostly shaded during the hot parts of the day, facing primarily East and North.
The climbing here is almost exclusively sport, but a few hard-looking cracks await ascents, and at least one ("Jailbird, 10d") has been climbed. Cracks on either side of "Chimp, 10b" look like they would go with only moderate difficulty, if even that, though it might be most prudent to clip the first bolt or two on "Chimp" to approach them. At the far left and of the cliff, there are a few cracks and corners that give the appearance of offering harder lines if someone were to undertake the effort to clean and climb them.
The popular climbs here seem to be the warm up, "Put Me In the Zoo (9+)", The lower end routes "One Brick Shy (10c)" and "Chimp (10b)" and the moderately difficult routes "Geezers Go Sport (11b)" and "Monkey In the Middle (11b)." "Scar Tissue (12a)" and "Hypocrite (12a)" both seem to get the best 'reviews' but I never saw anyone else get on them. Since both are short and not hard at the grade, perhaps they would make great projects for climbers more generally fit for the average grades at the cliff.
Directions: They sound more complex and difficult to follow than they really are. The approach might be about 10-15 minutes in all. Park as for Roadside and look back behind you, opposite of roadside for a trail. Follow it. More specifically, Hike toward the stream from the south end of the parking lot and continue up the trail as it crosses the creek on stones, or from what I hear- now a fallen tree. Either way, you continue uphill for a few hundred yards to the right of this stream toward a rock band and eventually reach the base of a wall. Follow the wall left as it grows into a large amphitheatre, where all of the established routes are.