Rock climbing in Kentucky's Red River Gorge

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
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Rock climbing in Kentucky's Red River Gorge
Question: I would like to do some climbing/rappelling in Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Do you have any information on outfitters in that area?

Ron Schunk
Aurora, IN
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: According to Red River Gorge Rock Climbing School, they taught teenage phenom Katie Brown almost everything she knows. Based in Lexington, the school provides full-day, all-inclusive guided climbs for $80 per day. A full day means you start climbing at 8 a.m. and finish up, oh, somewhere around 8 p.m. The school is owned and directed by climbing professional Chris Snyder, the head honcho in Kentucky climbing circles.

If you can still walk after your 12-hour day, give or take a few hours for lunch, you’ll welcome the all-you-can-eat pizza at Miguel’s in Slade. A full-service guiding operation, RRGRCS will also help you with accommodations, transportation, and any other information you’ll need. Snyder and fellow climbing guru Porter Jarrard have recently written a book about climbing in the Gorge titled Selected Climbs at Red River Gorge ($14.95). To order the book or arrange guide service call the Red River Gorge Rock Climbing School at 606-276-5194.

If you want to strike out on your own, which is not recommended but okay for very experienced climbers, stop in at Natural Heights, which is located near the Gorge. Here you can rent shoes and harnesses, and sign up for a guided climb. Or, if you’ve had enough climbing, rent a canoe or a kayak or sign up for a guided day hike. Call 606-663-0260.

For general information about climbing in the Red River Gorge, call the Red River Gorge Climber’s Coalition (606-335-0067) based in Lexington. The organization acts as a clearinghouse for climber information and serves as a liaison between the climbing community and the Daniel Boone National Forest.

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