COVID-19 Climbing Guidelines: The Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Muir Valley, and all RRGCC-owned property - which includes Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, Bald Rock Recreational Preserve, and Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve - request that you follow the guidelines outlined on each website if you choose to climb during this time. See links above for more details about each climbing area.

Ear Ache

This route is located in the Muir Valley at Great Arch

Black Powder

1 votes

Dyn-o-mite 5.9 (Sport) ***

First Ascent: Rick Weber, J.J., Tom Kwasny in 2005
Length: 85ft
Bolts: 10 (report bad bolts/anchors)

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This is the leftmost sport route under the giant arch. It often appears wet, but it can still be easily climbed. Fun climbing up a variety of interesting features. Good beginner route. Bolted on lead (while wet).
Moves: Jugs
Descent: 2 bolt anchor with quicklinks
Stays Dry: Does not stay dry
Owner: Muir Valley

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Quality Consensus

3.67 stars (123 votes)
Grade Consensus
5.9 (122 votes)

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Submitted by: Troy_H
Date: Jun 29th, 2018

Submitted by: whippersnapper
Date: Jul 6th, 2010

Submitted by: Anonymous
Date: May 11th, 2010

Submitted by: Cleveland
Date: Apr 30th, 2007


weber said on April 21st, 2005
Really fun, long route. Wet for only a short section. Should be dry most of the time -- just a minor nuisence that adds variety. Try the start to the right for variety.
busty said on May 30th, 2005
Really nice climb.
Gaar said on June 17th, 2005
Nice climb but not a three star route. This whole classic thing is getting out of hand!
Anonymous said on June 17th, 2005
Then go climbing someplace else! Bitch bitch bitch.
Gaar said on June 24th, 2005
I did!!! Ass munch! :-)
pigsteak said on July 3rd, 2005
yeah, a bit overdone on the "classic" language. great line nonetheless.
Crankmas said on July 25th, 2005
thanks for using the bomber quicklinks those pups are chunky
Astroman said on September 26th, 2005
Nice route but 5.9??? No way, Jose. Try 5.6. And isn't anywhere near 85 feet long either. But fun hauling nonetheless.
Anonymous said on October 3rd, 2005
Come on Astroman, 5.13 climbers don't know anything about routes below 5.10
Astroman said on October 6th, 2005
Oh no... I'm lucky to get up the 5.11s these days.
DuppyC said on October 10th, 2005
My first lead attempt, my first lead fall, then I got er dun fer god after that.
Captain Bad Beta said on October 11th, 2005
Fun long route. Not sure if any give move was actually 5.9 climbing but the length of the route probably gives it the rating. This would be a good route for the new lead climber.
K-Dawg said on October 12th, 2005
Fun climb. The grade must come from the length of the route because it's good holds all the way up. Again fun climb in a quiet crag.
Spragwa said on October 14th, 2005
I think it's one of the best easy in the Red regardless of the grade.
Astroman said on October 27th, 2005
I agree.
Feanor007 said on May 26th, 2006
agree, you guys have put up another stellar climb
Dhaulagiri said on May 31st, 2006
Another overrated/overbolted route at muir valley :)
keith_b00ne said on August 30th, 2006
Was climbing there while raining and was dry. Great climb. Holds were not as positive as they looked from the ground, but easy none the less.
Ascentionist said on October 11th, 2006
Didn't think it was overbolted or overrated.
dbarless said on June 15th, 2007
Enjoyable long climb on easy holds and great feet...Not the greatest line, not the worst, and not that much easier than the .10b just to the right, which is much better line....
anticlmber said on July 7th, 2007
i loved thisw route. numbers numbers numbers. it's good, it's not that tough, and it's fun. climb it.
hamsco said on October 3rd, 2007
Fantastic, fun climb.
hamsco said on October 3rd, 2007
Fantastic, fun climb.
cliftongifford said on January 2nd, 2008
beautiful climb. very fun... good for beginners.
Jollygreen68 said on October 20th, 2008
Again, just a really fun route with ALL sorts of different types of holds that make this climb so much fun no matter what level you climb. This one and Black powder would be GREAT first leads for someone breaking into the 5.9-5.10 range on lead. Nice and tall, interesting moves, great rock, what more could you ask for.
jswan10 said on March 24th, 2009
Climbed this route while it was soaking wet and dipping on me, so much fun i almost did it twice. much fun
Barnacle Ben said on October 4th, 2009
Pretty straight forward jug haul. Decent, certainly not a classic.
lena_chita said on August 7th, 2012
How come there aren't crowds camped under this route? I honestly can't think of very many 5.8-5.9s that are better than this.
friar_truck said on March 10th, 2015
There's never any people at this area and it blows my mind. I've been here a couple times with a small crew, and we had this place, and those 11s around the right side, all to ourselves. Great spot to get to to dodge a quick rain or in the heat of the day. This route is super accessible for 9 climbers, and the views are pretty good. Love climbing side by side with a friend on these couple routes.