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RRG too wet right now?


Original Post
B Owens · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 60

Hey all, I'm in Kentucky right now and wondering if anyone can offer some guidance on when the rock is dry enough to climb?

Don't want to damage anything.   Appreciate any insight. 

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 40

What? Are you scared of gremlins? The overhangs are always dry in the Red, period.

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 354

It's not the sandstone out west where you need to wait 24hrs after rain. Find something overhanging and get after it.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 735
Franck Vee wrote: What? Are you scared of gremlins? The overhangs are always dry in the Red, period.

Not strictly true. Condensation happens, and so does the runoff and the seepage. Overhangs are not immune to those.

But to answer the OP: we climbed this past weekend. Saturday was perfect. Sunday the rock was slightly damp at the beginning of the day, and then got better. It rained from Saturday afternoon on and off all through Saturday night and most of the day Sunday. About an inch total, so lots of areas had dripping tops of the routes, but if the route was dry it was decent.

Today is cold, but I expect that every day starting from Tuesday would be good conditions. You'd have to pick and choose the routes on Tuesday/Wednesday, because the tops will probably stay wet for a few days. But there should be plenty to climb

B Owens · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 60

So what I'm hearing is that, if the rock is dry, climb on?

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,639
B Owens wrote: So what I'm hearing is that, if the rock is dry, climb on?

Yes.  You don't need to worry about damaging southeastern sandstone because it's wet.  If you climb it when it's wet, you won't have great success, but climb on either way.

David Mehr · · Lexington, KY · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

My anecdotal experience from climbing in the Red for the last 4 years is that the stone actually does get softer and has increased risk to break when damp. However, there is not an established ethic to stay off of SE sandstone when wet. And the degree of fragility is certainly not the same as SW sandstone. The approach for most people around here is if it is dry, climb it. And like others have said, No the overhanging cliffs off the red are not immune to condensation, seepage, and runoff. However, even in the downpours of recent weeks I've had friends be able to find dry rock on every day they wanted. The ability to do this varies depending on what grade your able to climb. Kudos to you for reaching out and trying to respect local ethics. Hope you find some dry rock and have a great time!

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 341

Well it is currently snow/hail/rain mix looking out the window... no ethic exist against climbing on wet rock here, though it is generally rather unpleasant, typically one can find dry rock under overhangs during or after a rain, even with runoff and seeping. Condensation is the exception, but not super common.

B Owens · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 60

Thank you all for your replies.  Very helpful.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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