Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Rob Culbertson, Steve Poulsen, Allan Vandeford - 1966
Page Views: 7,535 total · 50/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Dec 15, 2006
Admins: saxfiend

You & This Route

25 Opinions

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Access Issue: Climbing Permit Needed-Seasonal Raptor Closure Details


A great climb on beautiful rock, Primitive Paradox is well protected but strenuous in places. The exposure is some of the nicest in the gorge.

P1 - start up an easy slab into a right-facing corner. Continue up the corner to mount a shallow ledge, then traverse left on the ledge to a bolted belay. 100'

P2 - from the belay, move slightly right, then climb another short right-facing corner (pro is a little hard to find here). Continue up a blocky face to a right-leaning, right-facing corner. Climb this to another ledge; make a mantel finish on slopey holds to reach a bolted anchor. 100'


Starts a short walk down the trail from where it intersects the cliff; about 20' right of BT Express. Rap from the bolted anchor at the top; a 60-meter rope is probably just long enough to get you to the ground.


Small to medium gear (nuts, cams, tricams). Bolted belays/anchors.
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
Leader should be mindful of the follower beginning the traverse at the top of P1...throw in a few pieces along the way. Mar 29, 2007
Jeff Mekolites
Jeff Mekolites   ATL GA
At the start of the second pitch, there is a large scary flake that is right on the belay ledge. I hadn't noticed it in the past but when I stepped on this time, it shifted. Be careful of this thing. Nov 9, 2008
Decatur, GA
saxfiend   Decatur, GA  
Great climb! Harder than I remembered, but maybe I was just having a bad day. Leading the final moves on P2 are what I'd call the crux of the climb; I blew it and took a nice long fall. Jan 1, 2009
is there a possible third pitch to this route? Dec 11, 2009
Tom Fralich
Fort Collins, CO
Tom Fralich   Fort Collins, CO
Really an excellent climb. I stopped here on the way from ATL to T-Wall and was really impressed. Beautiful area and both this route and Mescaline Daydream were well-protected and high-quality. Nov 15, 2010
Red River Gorge
JohnWesely   Red River Gorge
I can't believe I waited five years to get on this. This is one of the best 5.9s I have done anywhere. Jan 28, 2013
Fantastic stemming, especially on the 1st pitch. Dec 10, 2014