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Elevation: 899 ft 274 m
GPS: 37.5794, -85.07808
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Shared By: Andy Laakmann on Oct 4, 2006 · Updates
Admins: DrRockso RRG, Luke Cornejo, Billy Simek

Description Suggest change

Sandstone...

From a climbing standpoint, you can define the Bluegrass state with that one word.

From Morehead, through the Red River Gorge and the Rockcastle River watershed on down into Tennessee via the Big South Fork (of the Cumberland River) out to the coalfields of Western Kentucky, the dominant exposed rock is sandstone.

By far, the best quality rock overall is in the Red River Gorge. That's not to say that the rest of the state is choss, just that the greatest concentration of quality developed climbing happens to be there.

If you're not climbing sandstone in Kentucky you need your head examined. There really isn't anything else to climb except some unconsolidated limestone. The geology of Kentucky could almost be called boring. But it really isn't.

The Eastern end of the state is all Cumberland Plaeteau. What most people, locals and visitors alike, call "mountains" are actually the topmost edge of a vast plateau. The exposed cliffs and valleys are a result of aeons of erosion down into that plateau. If you don't believe me look at the horizons. Flat. There are no peaks, no high chains of summits dividing the landscape. Oh, there's local relief, but the scale is small.

The scenery is distincly different from that of the Blue Ridge, the Smokies and other chains along the Appalachians. Different in relief, but similar in ecology and climate.

Western Kentucky is unique in it's own way. It's the same general type of rock, but different consistencies and arrangements.

Getting There Suggest change

Most climbing in the state is easily accessible from major highways. I-75 funnels most visitors to the Mountain Parkway and then on to the Red River Gorge.

The Big South Fork is a little further off 75 and parallels it at a distance.

Western Kentucky access varies, but doesn't suffer as much from the crazy gravel backroads of the Eastern end of the state.

4,020 Total Climbs

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Location: Kentucky Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Kentucky

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 730
Eureka
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 489
Roadside Attraction
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 557
Rock Wars
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 1,413
A Brief History of Climb
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 930
Breakfast Burrito
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 792
Whip-Stocking
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 1,119
Air Ride Equipped
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 584
Bathtub Mary
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 637
Amarillo Sunset
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 712
Banshee
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 385
Witness the Citrus
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 550
Ro Shampo
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 411
Check Your Grip
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 371
Twinkie
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 401
Super Best Friends
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Eureka Red River Gorge > Natural Bridge… > Global Village
 730
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Roadside Attraction Red River Gorge > Natural Bridge… > Graining Fork Nature…
 489
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Rock Wars Red River Gorge > Northern Gorge > Long Wall
 557
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
A Brief History of Climb Red River Gorge > Pendergrass-Mur… > Gallery
 1,413
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Breakfast Burrito Red River Gorge > Pendergrass-Mur… > Drive-By Crag
 930
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Whip-Stocking Red River Gorge > Pendergrass-Mur… > Drive-By Crag
 792
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Air Ride Equipped Red River Gorge > Muir Valley > Solarium
 1,119
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Bathtub Mary Red River Gorge > Muir Valley > Arsenal
 584
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Amarillo Sunset Red River Gorge > Pendergrass-Mur… > N 40
 637
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Banshee Red River Gorge > Muir Valley > Solarium
 712
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Witness the Citrus Red River Gorge > Miller Fork Rec… > Fruit Wall
 385
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Ro Shampo Red River Gorge > Natural Bridge… > Graining Fork Nature…
 550
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Check Your Grip Red River Gorge > Pendergrass-Mur… > Drive-By Crag
 411
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Twinkie Red River Gorge > Northern Gorge > Phantasia
 371
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Super Best Friends Red River Gorge > Muir Valley > Solarium
 401
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Kentucky »

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