RRG gear recommendation


Original Post
David Pagel · · Mequon · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 70

I am looking to make a trip or two to RRG for the first time in the spring and was wondering what gear I should bring for the trip.

As of now I have a 60m rope, TR setting gear (few cams, set of hexes, nuts, slings), and 15 quickdraws. We are looking to stick to sport routes for the most part. Any suggestions on a guide book for the area? Any suggestions are welcome!

polloloco · · Downey, CA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 255

Gear wise you're in pretty good shape.
If you're doing sport, the south guidebook by Ellington has the majority of sport climbs, especially the newer areas. North has more trad.

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

A Stick clip is very useful if you are focusing on sport. Superclip and a painters pole ought to do the trick. 15 draws is plenty. The southern gorge crags have far more sport routes than northern gorge, particularly moderates.

If doing moderate gear, a full rack up to #3 or 4 ought to be adequate. However, gear requirements vary greatly from crag to crag - Suss out the trad routes you want to get on and pack gear accordingly.

Cory Furrow · · Blacksburg, VA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25

Make sure you read the "rules and regulations" for each of the areas. For example, Muir Valley doesn't allow dogs and hammocks.

Also, some (maybe all) require an online waiver to be completed.

Mat D. · · Laramie, WY · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 5

I second the stick clip advice. A lot of climbs in the more moderate range have pretty high first bolts, and sometimes after the crux.

There aren't all that many places in the sport climbing areas of the Red to hike up to the top of a climb and set a toprope, so you probably won't be needing that gear too much. That said, you could probably have a pretty good time on some of the easier trad lines with that amount of gear. Not sure what grades you're looking for, but Bedtime for Bonzo is a fun 2-pitch 5.6 at Fortress Wall that you could probably do with that gear. Unlike a lot of the sport routes, you can fully top it out and have a nice walk with great views from the top.

Alexander Stathis · · Athens, GA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 25

Leave the rack at home and just hit the sport. Unless you'll be there a long time, there's more than enough sport to keep yourself occupied.

Muir Valley has loaner stick clips on a first come, first serve basis. Otherwise you'll have to make or craft your own (many crags have a resident big stick you can use for climbs which need it). Definitely worth having a stick clip.

If you've never been to the gorge before, Muir is a good place to go. It's basically the Disneyland of rock climbing, and has tons of amazing climbs. If you're climbing moderates then you'll be tempted by Bruisebrothers, but if you can resist that, there are better crags to be found that won't be as slammed (Sunnyside nearby is great and usually empty!).

There's a new version of the South guidebook coming soon (maybe it's already out?), so if you can get a hold of that great. Otherwise, some people might be selling reduced cost versions of the old one which is more than sufficient for lots of areas.

Check redriverclimbing.com too.

David Pagel · · Mequon · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 70

Yeah I am definitely going to make and bring my own stick clip. Any need for a longer rope than 60m?

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 326

Red River Gorge is not a good area for setting up top ropes as most of the tops of climbs are private property or difficult to access. A proper moderate trad rack would be doubles .5-2 a 3, 4 and a set of nuts, but as you have already stated you will probably stick with sport I would go with that at least for your first trip.

The RRG guidebook much like the United States of America circa 1861 split into two factions the South and the North, with the Red River Gorge stuck in the middle. The newest version of the North guidebook came out this year and the newest edition of the South guidebook is in the works and will come out next year sometime. In addition to the North and the South there is a separate book which was published last year for the Miller Fork preserve which plays host to another few hundred routes.

The "Motherlode hill" which provides access to more than half of the PMRP is recommended 4x4 cars only now until the road gets fixed. You can still park at the top of the hill and walk down, but be courteous to not block access to any private property or the road itself, this fall the amount of people parking at the top was getting to be a problem. If you are coming in a 2wd car I would recommend going to Muir Valley or one of the Northern crags; Military Wall, Left Flank, Eastern Skybridge, Pistol Ridge, Phantasia Wall. Miller Fork can also be accessed by 2wd, but the road is usually a bit rough. Walls like Secret Garden, Chaos Wall, and The Nursery/Sanitarium would play host to parties with beginners and more advanced climbers.

The most up to date and accurate route info for the Red River Gorge can be found on redriverclimbing.com

Ross Ayer · · Southington, CT · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 60

You really shouldn't. Just check your top routes first. Bring a rope tarp too... the sand is brutal. have a good time!

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

So, sorry for hijack, but quick question for those in the know. We'll also visit in the spring, but leaving our pooch behind is not an option. She's quiet, stays on leash, and we pick up her poop. I have the 2007 guidebook, and it is not completely clear where dogs are not allowed. Anyone have good understanding of this? Also, suggestions of good areas with lots of 11- to mid 12 where dogs are okay would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Finally, how would a 2wd Tacoma with clearance, traction control, but no 4wd deal with motherlode?
Thanks again!

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 326
the schmuck wrote:So, sorry for hijack, but quick question for those in the know. We'll also visit in the spring, but leaving our pooch behind is not an option. She's quiet, stays on leash, and we pick up her poop. I have the 2007 guidebook, and it is not completely clear where dogs are not allowed. Anyone have good understanding of this? Also, suggestions of good areas with lots of 11- to mid 12 where dogs are okay would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Dogs are strictly prohibited from Muir Valley and Roadside. Dogs are allowed everywhere else including the North, PMRP and MFRP.

For 11's and 12's you are going to find a lot at the Infirmary, Serenity Point, Cooper's Cove, The Sanitarium, Military Wall/Left Flank, Eastern Skybridge, The Zoo, Solar Collector, Chocolate Factory.

My # vote would go for the Zoo. You have lots of variety at the "Old Zoo" including 2 classic 5.12a's, and 5-6 great jug haul 11's. Around the corner you have the New Zoo with more vertical to slightly overhanging techy climbing. Don't be scared at the crowds in the parking lot as most of them will be at roadside/Graining Fork Recreational Preserve.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Leave the Hexes and TR anchor gear. The Red is bolt heaven, and even the trad routes have bolted anchors. There are some great trad routes and it's worth bringing a rack if you're keen to lead on gear, but as others mentioned, it's known for sport and TBH not really worth the trip just for trad.

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

60 M is fine for the majority of routes. A 70 can be useful for some of the really long, usually harder, routes.

As others have said, check redriverclimbing.com. You'll find more answers on your own there regarding gear, dogs, access, etc.

Kim Ran · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 430

For a high quantity of 11s-12s you should definitely go to the Zoo. So many enjoyable lines!

Miller Fork has been pretty crowded (I think due to the PMRP hill being so bad). With the clearance in your vehicle, you should be okay getting up PMRP hill, but I would scope it out before committing yourself to it. When it's in pretty decent shape, I can get my Nissan Sentra in and out with no problem. But it just depends on how deep the holes are. Even if you park at the top and hike in, it's really not that bad - especially if you go to one of the closer crags like the Chocolate Factory. Often times you can hitch a ride out to the top of the hill on your way back.

Drive-By is a fun crag too that has lots of options in your grade range. It's in PMRP.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Thanks everyone! Now back to original programming...

David Pagel · · Mequon · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 70

Personally my partner and I max around the mid 10s, so nothing too difficult. We are really just looking for an awesome time out, dont need to push the difficulty or anything like that

JeffreyZBrown · · Louisville, Ky · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 5

I would pick up the guidebook for Miller Fork and the pocket guidebook for Muir Valley both are super handy. And if no one mentioned it a stick clip. :)

Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 110

I didn't personally run into any issues the last time I was down there but id make sure a few of your draws are longer or maybe even an alpine draw or two. we only needed a 70m for crazy stuff like the motherlode, you should be fine otherwise.

Sean Peter · · IL · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 40

Gear for Miller Fork? A helmet.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 326
Sean Peter wrote:Gear for Miller Fork? A helmet.
I wear a helmet all the time, what's crags are you going to and how long ago? Miller Fork has cleaned up a lot since the guidebook came out. Like any relatively new area on Corbin Sandstone it takes some traffic to clean up.
David Pagel · · Mequon · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 70

Still looking for the proper guide book to purchase for a first time sport climber in RRG! I am looking to go sometime in late March or April, is it worth waiting until a few weeks before the trip to see if the new versions of the books are out? I cant seem to find the second version of the South book anywhere

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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