I recently went on a trip to Kentucky for some unbelievable sport climbing at Red River Gorge where I found out why everyone in the climbing gym I train with has a Miguel’s Pizza T-shirt, enjoyed some beautiful 70 degree weather, and climbed a 5.11c sport route. But more importantly I had a great time and made memories that will last me a lifetime with my friends.
The trip to Red River Gorge began Friday March 18th, 2011 with packing the SUV and heading to the gym where we met up with some friends that knew the way. So promptly at 2Pm we began heading down to Kentucky planning to arrive around 10pm. This plan was quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work out because of horrible traffic. Seemingly no one understands the concept of “slower traffic keep right” to maintain a good flow of traffic. I got pretty mad at the pain the traffic was causing me. I have to tell you that I saw some pretty interesting signs on the way. One was labeled “Whitesburg” and “Brownsvile” with the an arrows pointed in opposite direction of each other, and the other sign was just plain huge and read “HELL IS REAL.” Only about an hour away from “The Red” we stopped off for some pancakes and I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw a drive-up liquor store. So continuing on down the road we got there at about midnight, we found ourselves in complete down pour and forced to sleep in the SUV vs risk getting soaking wet in the goat field setting up our tents.
After a long night, everyone in my SUV had gotten very little sleep and was very agitated but just as everything seemed to be getting ruined, a breakfast burrito from Miguel’s Pizza turned everything right around for us. The burrito’s at Miguel’s are simply amazing tasting because you get this huge list of ingredients to choose from with all natural food grown right in the area. It was amazing how quickly everything turned around and we were all ready to head out for some sport climbing.
The first place we visited was the Solarium where I climbed Air Ride Equipped (5.11a). This route was so much fun that I was shock from it, becuase I realized that I have found an important piece of my life. It was awe-inspiring for me. After hanging out at Solarium we headed over to The Great Wall, which is just on the other side, to end the day with some easy climbs. This worked better than planned because we had split up into bunch of groups earlier and we all ended up meeting up and having a wall to ourselves. Here I climbed Touch of Grey (5.10d), Glory and Consequence (5.7) and Bitter Ray of Sunshine (10b/c) which was a ton of fun too.
After all that climbing I eat like I have never eaten before devouring, everything in sight, especially protein rich foods. I ordered a half Pizza with a ton of toppings and as soon as I finished eating it we headed back out into the night to do some bouldering till 2 in the morning. When we got back I passed out on a crash pad in back of the SUV since it was all cleaned out.
Saturday was pretty much the same routine. Got up, got a burrito, mentally wake up, feel amazing and headed to The Gallery and climbed Different Strokes (11c), 27 Years of Climbing (5.8) and Brief History of Climb (10c). I watched my super strong friend sent the entire route Calm like a bomb (5.13a) with relative ease. After we finished climbing we came back ate and decided to take it easy and went to sleep at reasonable hour.
On Sunday we took it easy and went to Phantasia for some of the classic routes at Red River Gorge where I lead Overlord (5.10b) and Pogue Ethics (5.9+). On Pogue I ran into a bit of a scare because I was about fifty feet up when the rope got snagged. I was stuck facing a 15 foot drop until one of my friends climbed up and unclipped one of the quickdraws so I could finish the route.
Right as I finish climbing Pogue Ethics we came back to Miguel’s, packed up camp, and headed for home.