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Roadside Attraction

5.7, Trad, 120 ft,  Avg: 3.7 from 337 votes
FA: G. Smith, R. Snider
Kentucky > Red River Gorge > Graining Fork Nature…
Access Issue: Access to GFNP (Roadside) REQUIRES a Daily Permit Details

Permit Required

***Climbers MUST NOT climb at GFNP without a daily permit per person in each group.*** This route is privately owned and requires a daily per-user permit obtained from the Graining Fork Nature Preserve website.
This isn't about just you getting away with climbing for a day without a permit--this is about the climbing community respecting private land to ensure continued access privileges. Don't be selfish--get a permit.

Description

A beautiful dihedral crack. Scramble to a ledge with bolted anchor for optional belay. Then jam, stem, and lieback past to the top to another bolted anchor/belay.

Protection

This crack protects extremely well. Doubles in hand sizes (maybe even 3 #2 Camalots) and a large cam (#6 C4) is helpful if topping out. There is a bolted belay anchor about halfway up if you want to make it 2 pitches. There's another bolted anchor at the top (where folks used to belay and rappel off slings around a tree.)
Rap the route with a single 60m rope but tie knots in the ends of the rope.

Location

The route is the obvious huge dihedral where the approach trail meets the wall. To get to Roadside Crag drive about 6 miles South on KY 11 from the rest area and park on the right. The trailhead is across the street, and a short approach leads to the base of the wall.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

pic of route
[Hide Photo] pic of route
Fun trad route among the best sport climbing in the east.
[Hide Photo] Fun trad route among the best sport climbing in the east.
Up first "pitch" of Roadside with 2 pieces of gear in.
[Hide Photo] Up first "pitch" of Roadside with 2 pieces of gear in.
Roadside Attraction (5.7)
[Hide Photo] Roadside Attraction (5.7)
Oct 2007.. Top half of Roadside Attraction
[Hide Photo] Oct 2007.. Top half of Roadside Attraction
Nic sailing up Roadside to retrieve another party's top draws.
[Hide Photo] Nic sailing up Roadside to retrieve another party's top draws.
2nd pitch gets nice and wide
[Hide Photo] 2nd pitch gets nice and wide
Gorgeous route. (had to flip to upload..)
[Hide Photo] Gorgeous route. (had to flip to upload..)
Beyond the first section.
[Hide Photo] Beyond the first section.
Bradley Killough criuses up the first section.
[Hide Photo] Bradley Killough criuses up the first section.
An unknown climber follows Roadside Attraction (5.7+) in Red River Gorge. Photo by Tony Bubb, Y2K.
[Hide Photo] An unknown climber follows Roadside Attraction (5.7+) in Red River Gorge. Photo by Tony Bubb, Y2K.
Casey cruising roadside at about midnight...
[Hide Photo] Casey cruising roadside at about midnight...

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Chris Chaney
Stanton, Kentucky
 
[Hide Comment] Don't belay from the tree at the first ledge. Not a good anchor and it won't last if people keep using it. Better to build an anchor in the crack at the ledge if you must split the climb into two pitches. There are bolt anchors at 60m on the higher ledge. Sep 27, 2006
Jim Matt
Indianapolis, IN
[Hide Comment] A couple of #2 Camalots protect the crack on the lower part perfectly. Climbing beyond the bolted rap/belay station isn't all that interesting. Fun jamming and liebacking to an exciting finish. Dec 14, 2006
Keith
Chicago, IL
 
[Hide Comment] The bolted anchors are at 30m, not 60. You can rap with one 60m rope. Jun 11, 2007
RickTClark
Milwaukee, WI
[Hide Comment] Great climb, easy access. Last weekend we ran a group of 6 up and down this with ease(I added an extra 2" to the sling salad on the little tree). Love the stemming!!!
PS- something very thin and interesting (maybe 5.12b or more)immediately to the left. Starts on thin horizontals and wanders left to a notch. Oct 17, 2008
saxfiend
Decatur, GA
  5.8
[Hide Comment] Excellent climb, well worth making a second trip to Roadside to find it unoccupied. The hand jams are phenomenal! Oct 27, 2008
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
 
[Hide Comment] The belay/anchor tree at the top of the "second pitch" looks dead to me. Beware. Oct 28, 2008
[Hide Comment] Not worth the hassle of topping this off, you'll need to break up the rappel and go off a tree. Stop at the bolted rap station. Nov 11, 2009
Gaar
Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
[Hide Comment] PLEASE DO NOT rap/belay off the little tree!!! Man up for this big O 5.7 and do it in one pitch! You can TR/Rap with a 60m rope so there is no need to break it up. I have cut enough slings off that thing over the past 10 years, and slowly watched it die. Really there is no need! If you need to break it up, go climb elsewhere Nov 11, 2009
Ryan Justen
St. Paul, MN
 
[Hide Comment] bring doubles in hand sizes (maybe even 3 #2 Camalots) and a large cam (#6 C4) is helpful when topping out, but certainly not necessary, even if you're timid Jul 11, 2010
Shawn Heath
Forchheim, DE
 
[Hide Comment] I did this before learning how to handjam and I found it a little insecure down low. I'm going to go back sometime and do it in one go and jam like crazy. For those thinking about doing it, practice your jams on it! From what I remember, you couldn't ask for much better of an opportunity. I've been practicing my jams on New Yosemite, which is two grades harder. Don't be retarded like me. Also, don't place cams super deep on this route if you want them back. ;) Aug 17, 2010
Jonathan Steitzer
Phoenixville, PA
 
[Hide Comment] Best climb of this grade I have ever climbed.


Simply AWESOME. Mar 12, 2012
[Hide Comment] Is Roadside open again? I am heading to the Red at the end of October (first time in 4 years) and a trip to the red is not complete without a run up roadside.

Thanks! Aug 23, 2013
EthanC
 
[Hide Comment] Climbed this last weekend, did not see any anchor to indicate the first pitch, It's probably the first cot-sized ledge you come to with a pretty stout tree. I dunno if there used to be bolts and they were cut or I was misinformed. Definitely doable in one pitch with a 60m but I have a pretty light rack so I decided not to. Built a gear anchor in the crack at the ledge to save the tree and belayed from there. 60m gets you down no problem but make sure you have a middle marker.

Edit: Since this post, bolts have been added at the first belay ledge in addition to the bolts up top. You can now do this in two pitches with no gear anchors and rap off the second set of bolts with a 60m or do two raps off the anchors. No tree shenanigans required. Apr 28, 2015
Sam Golden
melbourne, FL
 
[Hide Comment] There are new bolts at the top of this now, you can rap from this with a single 60m. Oct 26, 2015
befozz
 
[Hide Comment] There are bolts at first ledge now as well as bolts at the top, a 60m rope will get you down in one rappel. I recommend splitting into two pitches or you might be wishing you had more #2 Camelots. Feb 8, 2016
Spencer Perry
  5.6
[Hide Comment] If you are confident in hand jams, you can run out the crack sections and do this as one pitch. I carried doubles of BD C4 #1-3 and slung a tree. An amazing climb. Had to do it twice in the same weekend because it was just that much fun! As others have posted, there are now bolted anchors on both ledges. Mar 28, 2016
Ted Pinson
Chicago, IL
 
[Hide Comment] Really loved this climb...perfect hand crack for me on the bottom, then some spice up top when you contemplate pulling the overhangs on gear. Kind of laughed when I saw the first bolted belay...totally pointless unless you're trying to practice multipitch, as I felt like the climb had just started! Sank both of my #2s in the first crack but didn't feel like I needed them back for the second "pitch." Oct 18, 2016
Adam Block
Colorado Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] This pitch is heady for the 5.7 leader. the first section is an enduro thin small fist liebacking on the steeeep slab. Looks like it takes #1s and #3s from the ground but somehow only #2s fit, I'd recommend bringing at least 5 #2s to make this safe. Extend the first piece with a knotted sling to reduce rope drag but be sure bring triples of micro gear to add weight to compensate for the lack of rope drag now felt. With your mental piece in you can just crush it to the tree quick or you'll pump out and possibly deck. I got lucky on this sandbag. Okay route but needs bolts to be safe. youtube.com/watch?v=RK6TWym… Jun 24, 2017
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
  5.6
[Hide Comment]
Adam Block wrote:This pitch is heady for the 5.7 leader. the first section is an enduro thin fist liebacking on the steep step slab. Looks like it takes #1s and #3s from the ground but somehow only #2s fit, I'd recommend bringing at least 5 #2s to make this safe...
LOL, well played Jun 25, 2017
[Hide Comment] @Adam, next time try going straightforward and just handjamming straight up the crack instead of liebacking.
This was probably one of my favorite routes I've done in the Red. It's on the easier side, highly enjoyable, fun finish, and a rewarding view up top.
It can also be done in a single pitch. Jun 19, 2018