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.


This route is located in the Muir Valley at Tectonic Wall and Johnny's Wall

Dime a Dozen

1 votes

Ball and Chain 5.12b (Sport) ***

First Ascent: Chaz Ott, Dustin Stephens in 2013
Length: 45ft
Bolts: 6 (report bad bolts/anchors)

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Finesse your way up the face to a burly boulder problem complete with a big dyno and exciting run to the chains.
Moves: unknown
Descent: Chains
Stays Dry:
Owner: Muir Valley
arete (1)
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Quality Consensus

3.44 stars (9 votes)
Grade Consensus
5.12b (8 votes)

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Submitted by: dustonian
Date: Aug 26th, 2013


Brentucky said on October 20th, 2013
Burly boulder problem, indeed. Still dirty up top but still pretty cool.
dustonian said on October 20th, 2013
nice work Tuckdawg
Scaife said on May 5th, 2014
Fun route. Worth getting on. However, I don't remember a dyno. The crux is V3 if you set your left hand as an undercling before you make the move. Put your 2nd and 3rd fingers in the pocket, and your index finger will slide into a usable finger lock. Cut right after you gain the ledge for a needed rest before pushing to the chains.
dustonian said on May 5th, 2014
Nice! BTW the route tag needs to be fixed on this one so don't get tricked into thinking it's 11b
Spikeddem said on June 13th, 2014
Spent some time trying to find a way to crimp my way through before trying what turned out to be an amaze-balls sick! I thought it seemed awfully hard for 12b until I gave up on those crimps...glad to see I wasn't the only one to give up on them!
Corona said on November 27th, 2016
Waaaay easier than Cottonmouth. They're both fun little climbs, though, but those grades have got to be different. Ball and Chain is ~V3 and Cottonmouth felt ~>V5 in good conditions. Here's a useful chart for the impossible task of grading one-move crux routes:
dustonian said on November 28th, 2016
ha these routes were graded by two different people so not sure how much the fancy chart would help. I agree B&C is more like hard 12a and Cottonmouth is more like hard 12c tho.
Chuckdott said on December 4th, 2016
Reading these comments, it sounds like folks have found better beta than I did for the FA! It's probably 12a or less with these improvements. The way I did the crux initially was a V5 deadpoint and no rest afterwards. Clipping the chains was a redpoint crux for me. Hope it's cleaning up!
JR said on June 13th, 2017
Would not wish this route on anyone climbing under v5/6. Great movement on solid dirty rock. Did you guys put glue in the pocket?
Rob Woodward said on September 18th, 2017
Tried this yesterday 17/09/2017 and the bottom was dirty and the pocket was fully of wet chalk paste... with a good clean this would be a great route
Chiyram said on April 19th, 2021
Tried this yesterday and it was great. Not dirty and everything was dry. Awesome short route. That dyno is a blast and the chains are a little exciting.