Jake McCrary

Climbing in the Red River Gorge

We had a late start Friday and didn’t get to Lil Abners till about 2 AM Eastern time. As a result we opted to sleep in a bit Saturday so we’d be somewhat fresher.

Saturday we climbed at The Gallery in the PMRP. We didn’t hit any of the classics there. Instead, we climbed some of the newer lines. Numerous holds broke on us.

Of those five routes, I really enjoyed Crimpy and the Brain and Dain Bramage. Crimpy and the Brain had a couple pretty great sloper sequence on it (though, not everyone in our group did that sequence) and was super fun. Dain Bramage started similar to a lot of the routes in this area (powerful pocking pulling) but ended up transitioning to dihedral and then to an arete. It was a ton of fun and noticeably longer than the other routes.

We didn’t get on it, but there is a newer 5.12a called Starry Night in that area. It looks pretty great. Someday we’ll have to come back here and hit this up.

On Sunday we climbed at the Secret Garden in Miller Fork. We were aiming for a different style of climbing than Saturday and Secret Garden delivers. We mostly climbed slabby and vertical routes here.

My favorite route of the day was So What?. There is a pretty spicy move between the second and third bolts. After that you transition to technical climbing with knobs and edges.

Cock to the Rock had a stopper crux between the second and third bolts. Once you get past it (our group managed to do a few different betas on it) the rest is pretty casual and goes really pleasantly.

Linear Regression starts pretty powerful with some bigger moves to get to the second bolt. Then the second to third is the crux of the route. It is a pretty fun route.

Little Wing is a pretty great 5.9.

This was our second time at Secret Garden. There are more routes here that look like they are worth climbing. Last time we were here we also climbed Sloppy Seconds. I remember really enjoying that route and would highly recommend it.