Type: Trad, 200 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Larry Day, et. al. 1974
Page Views: 3,971 total · 27/month
Shared By: Chris Chaney on Aug 29, 2006
Admins: saxfiend, Jason Halladay, Shirtless Mike

You & This Route

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This is a great introduction to RRG old school trad climbing. There are no fixed anchors, most first timers get mixed up in route finding and there is enough novelty to make you want to go back. Be aware that yahoos inhabit the summit and occasionally rain down detritus on to unsuspecting climbers. Helmets are good. Technical crux is the first fifteen feet, but you can cheat on the large hardwood. Route finding cruxes abound, most notably the second and third pitches. On the second pitch traverse the ledge ALL THE WAY TO THE RIGHT END and climb up the slab. On the third make the unlikely airy traverse LEFT on the next ledge. I've climbed this route more than 10 times with a new group of partners each time. It never gets old.


Hike upstream along the Red River into the Upper Gorge from the concrete bridge at the Menifee/Wolfe County line. Look for a distinct buttress east of a large slab before the river bends hard right. Look for the left slanting wide crack on the south face of the buttress.


Passive pro works, don't leave it behind, but more modern small cams make the second pitch more comfortable.


Per KyleHeckler:
The guidebook says "rappel or walk off left" This is wrong. Walk off RIGHT. There are nice trails that lead right around the waterfall to a breakdown in the cliff.
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.7+ R
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.7+ R
A great climb not so much for the great climbing so to speak, but more for it's length, position, diversity of moves, route finding, etc...
A rarity for the area, and something special. Jun 11, 2009
Muncie, IN
SteveBSU   Muncie, IN
On Saturday March 30, my friend and I tried climbing this route. We became so off route idk what we climbed. We did the first pitch fine. We then worked right on the traverse. After the traverse we went up what seemed 5.7 face climbing. We then traversed far right by mistake and came to a nice looking crack into a face climb. I led this pitch which felt 5.9 R. went up a thin hands-hands crack for about 20 feet to a ledge. then traversed far right, place a BD #4 cam in a horizontal. I then worked right up a small ramp that i placed a #2 cam in the crack that followed along the wall of the ramp. I then traversed about 10 feet right of the piece on face climbing, Then climbed 10 feet up and then 20 feet back left. I ended up on a ledge with some rhodos and a tree at the end of it. i then worked up a small gully like feature with a tree at the top of it. the gully was maybe 20 feet. The hiking trail was about 2 feet back from the edge where I topped out at. Has anyone done this before or was this an FA? Also what is the best tree to rap off the top of. we double rope rapped from a tree about 10 feet back from the edge. Came down to find out there was too much friction to pull the rope, had to climb back up the rope a bit to pull it for the next rap. Has anyone had this happen to them before? Also there is a sweet dihedral that looks finger to thin hands with the final moves going into the roof and then top out. there were small vines growing out at the bottom. Has this been climbed before? we are wanting to go back and clean the start to climb it. will it be an FA? Apr 1, 2013
Did this route on 3-26-16 with Branden V. who led all the pitches. My girlfriend Beth climbed in the middle of the rope (she had done her first outdoor climb - Eureka 5.6 - the day before), and I brought up the tail end carrying the pack. I accidentally left the guidebook on the ground which caused us to wonder if we were on route, especially on the second pitch. Branden and I are just beginning to try some multi-pitch trad and this is a good route for beginners.

First ten feet of the climb may be the hardest. No shame in using the tree. At the top of the first pitch, walk right until the ledge ends to find the start of the second pitch. The second pitch didn't take much gear - Branden ran it out a pretty good distance at the top, but the climbing is fairly easy. After this pitch comes the scary traverse left around the corner. My girlfriend was really scared at this part but managed to do it just fine. The next pitch is the longest and most fun. Start in a left-facing crack and traverse left onto slab, then the pitch ends on a small ledge after a small bulge/roof. This bulge may be the crux for most people. It's the only place Beth weighted the rope. Last short pitch starts a little to the left on the ledge. Climb up through dirty cracks and ledges and surprise some tourists on the top.

A few notes:
  • Wear a helmet. Tourists are always on top of this formation and who knows what they may kick down. We did see some small rocks coming down. There is also a lot of bad-quality rock on the route. I broke a hold during the climb.
  • A popular rappelling spot is just to the right of this formation. There are also tons of hikers. These people can be loud and detract from the experience.
  • It's in the sun and can get pretty hot.
  • The guidebook says "rappel or walk off left" This is wrong. Walk off RIGHT. There are nice trails that lead right around the waterfall to a breakdown in the cliff.
Mar 29, 2016