This weekend, Matt and I and our friends Jay and Marcy all went to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky for a little weekend adventure. We headed down Friday night, camped at a climber's campground (Land of the Arches, holla!) that night, then climbed all day Saturday. We were there for only about 24 hours total, but it was SUCH a great weekend. I couldn't resist putting together a little Instagram-inspired collage of our collective awesome:
top-left: Matt climbing the A-Beano route at the Bruise Brothers crag
top-center: Jay on The Offering (Bruise Brothers)
top-right: Matt on Rising (Bruise Brothers)
middle-left: Matt on Rising (again)
middle-center: me on Eureka (Lady Slipper crag, Global Village wall)
middle-right: Matt on Eureka
bottom-left: me on Eureka
bottom-center: Marcy on Eureka
bottom-right: ...this rock looks like a sloth, right?
(If you want to see these pics closer up, you can check out my Flickr album here.
I went into the experience with fairly low expectations for myself; I've never done an outdoor climbing trip before, and climbing on real rock is very, very different from the artificial holds found at the sport climbing locations I'm used to. But I scrambled up our first route (Shawty on the Practice Wall, 20 feet, 5.8 rating that's is a bit harder than what I'm used to) and did a lot better on it than I thought I would.
From there we headed over to the Bruise Brothers crag, where we tackled A-Beano (30 feet, 5.7), The Offering (45 feet, 5.7) and CH4 (30 feet, 5.7). The Offering was my favorite of the whole day. It's higher than I've ever climbed before, which was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. But the coolest part about it is that after you start it, the route traverses over to the right, over a huge overhang. So when you reach the top, you've climbed 45 feet...but you're really 80 feet or so from the ground directly below you. It was breathtaking. CH4 actually had another route over it called Rising (30 feet, 5.11a) that Matt attempted. It was a really hard route, and he was a little worn out from the morning's climbs, so he didn't quite make it. Still, the guy hung upside-down for three or four minutes at a time on each attempt. Pretty badass.
After some lunch and a little rest, we hiked over to the Global Village wall on the Lady Slipper crag. It was pretty late in the day, so we had the luxury of being the only people at that site (the others had been pretty crowded). Eureka is a 5.6, which is pretty easy, but it's an 85-foot climb. By that point in the day, I was so physically and mentally exhausted that I got about halfway up and started to lose it. It's a hell of a psychological battle to pull yourself up that high, hand over hand and foot over foot. I did manage to turn around and take in the view for half a second before being lowered. I'm a little bummed that I couldn't finish it (Matt, Jay and Marcy all did), but now I have a goal for next time! (At least, that's how I'm trying to look at it. I'm a bit competitive with/hard on myself when it comes to climbing.)
Anyway, safe to say I am already looking forward to our next trip to the Red! We've only scraped the surface of the awesomeness that that park has to offer :)
Note: I used Photoshop actions to give these snaps a little Instagram-inspired flair. You can download them here if you want.