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.

Power Shortage

This route is located in the Southern Region at Velo Crag


3 votes

Lighting Rod Arete 5.10c (Sport) ****

First Ascent: Dan Beck, Drew Stewart in 2013
Length: 70ft
Bolts: 8 (report bad bolts/anchors)

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Afternoon sun. The striking arete on the northwest corner of the pinnacle. Stick clip the first and brave a bit of choss down low, then enjoy thoughtful and balancey climbing to the top. Gets some late-afternoon sun.
Moves: unknown
Descent: Bolt anchors
Stays Dry: Does not stay dry
Owner: RRGCC
crimpy (1)
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Quality Consensus

4.75 stars (61 votes)
Grade Consensus
5.10d (52 votes)

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Submitted by: Ascentionist
Date: Jun 17th, 2015


Wolf said on October 16th, 2014
The view from the top of the pinnacle is awesome.
dustonian said on October 16th, 2014
You said rod
brhe224 said on October 22nd, 2014
Worth the hike! Has the 'trad' experience to it!
kenellis said on June 29th, 2015
Great climbing up top and spectacular view from the chains. Totally worth the hike and the choss crux start.
Smiley said on July 26th, 2015
Needs more stars.
whoneedsfeet said on November 6th, 2015
Wow just plain wow!!!!!!
Anonymous said on November 7th, 2015
agree with the wow sentiment. fun climbing on a beautiful arete and thought it was really cool how [beta alert] the finishing jug is the top of the cliff. oh, and then there's the top out and really great view.
KhaoticKlimber said on October 9th, 2016
Don't be fooled; the crux is not at the start. Sure, it is a bit chossy and requires some awkward hand and foot placements, but it shouldn't pose much of a problem for most climbers. The true crux is between the fourth and fifth bolts, at least in my opinion. Here, I stood up using two separate underclings with both hands. Then, I let go of the left one in order to grab a pocket around the arete for a sidecling. I used it to step up and make a reachy move with my right hand to a crimp. A couple of small steps upward brought me to a very small crimp that I attempted to hold with my left hand in order to clip into the fifth bolt with my right, but no avail. I took my first "real" whipper here; about 20 or so feet. Talk about an adrenaline rush! A stronger climber than I may be able to clip in from that particular crimp, but the only way I could figure to successfully clip is to climb just a bit further up, grab a better hold slightly above and to the left of the bolt with your right hand, and clip with your left downwards near or below your waist. This definitely seemed to be the crux, but I digress. Excellent crimp climbing afterwards, and one of the best views around!
Willy said on October 24th, 2016
5 stars all day! Easily one of the best aretes in the whole gorge. Choss at the bottom is all cleaned up
merrick said on October 31st, 2016
Amazing climb. Ever wonder what it feels like to climb "No Place Like Home" but you are not solid at 5.11c? Hop on this line. From the fun start to the balance and breathing up high, this is fantastic. Make sure to sit on top and look around. You can see many of the crags in the PMRP from the top.
DrRockso said on October 5th, 2017
Best view of any sport route in the Red.
Anonymous said on October 6th, 2017
Sandbag, not a 10c
PunkRock said on October 7th, 2017
Not a sandbag, learn some technique.
PunkRock said on October 7th, 2017
Also, one of the best 10's I've climbed in ages. Great rock with thoughtful sequences. A must climb.
Anonymous said on October 7th, 2017
Seriously, would be 10a at best at many areas, some people are just too accustomed to stupid-soft RRG grades
Anonymous said on October 7th, 2017
so the roughly 20 ppl that felt this climb is harder than 10c are wrong, and you two are right? why? you're smarter? tougher? you climb at places with "real" grades? do you have more "technique" than all the other people who rated the climb? are you sure about that?
Anonymous said on October 8th, 2017
Well for starters, almost anyone who bothers to rate climbs on this website are practically guaranteed to be chuffers who spend way too much climbing other super soft routes in the RRG.
Anonymous said on October 8th, 2017're commenting on this route. and you climb at areas that aren't super soft, right?
Willy said on October 8th, 2017
Pretty stiff for 10c even when compared to other areas.
Jackson_smith said on October 16th, 2017
Definitely agree it's soft for the grade, I think a lot of weekend warriors haven't experienced a true sandbag. I came to the comments to see if anyone has any info about the 12c on the face to the right of the arete? it's a completed route with new glue-ins but doesn't have its own entry in the latest guide.
PunkRock said on October 22nd, 2017
I was also curious about the face to the right. Seems like a cool line.
Anonymous said on October 23rd, 2017
Wow Jackson. You must be so strong to know what a 10.c sandbag feels like. Fuck off.
Anonymous said on October 23rd, 2017
his comment also makes no sense. so many of the strongest, most experienced ppl these days are "weekend warriors." plenty of ppl who climb full-time are strong and experienced as well, but i don't think there's a huge dividing line like maybe there used to be.
Anonymous said on October 23rd, 2017
i also find it funny that "PunkRock" told someone to "learn some technique" given that punk rock as a genre is defined by its emphasis on rejecting refined technique. i guess "PunkRock" is not a punk climber. but one thing's for sure - he knows that strangers are in need of greater technique because of an opinion they hold.
Daeris said on November 2nd, 2017
I agree with everything KhaoticKlimber said above. This is an amazing 5-star, must-climb. The crux is making it to clip the 5th bolt, on some decent left-hand crimps (but you better have the endurance to make the clip from those). If you don't make it, you're going to take one of the most exhilarating (but ultimately safe) falls you've probably ever experienced. It'll be a pendulum whip as you whiz maybe a foot away from the ledge below. Don't foot the ledge, unless you're sure you can absorb the fall.
Anonymous said on November 5th, 2017
Route to the right is closed project thunder face - dislocated my elbow so taking a little longer to open it up...
Jackson_smith said on December 12th, 2017
ah anonymous I didn't realize it was closed, no red marker or anything, I piddled around a couple goes at the end of a long session, super sweet moves, good luck finishing it off. I'll definitely be back when it's open.
woman said on December 13th, 2017
The face to the right of Lighting Rod is open as of a few weeks ago, calling it "Thunderface". Super fun!
mbrunell said on April 22nd, 2018
Does anyone know what bolted route is to the left of lightning rod arete? I see a single bolted line about 20 to the left, I see at least 7 shiny new glue-ins.
taurusclimber said on October 26th, 2018
5 star climb with 1 star bolting. Why put a bolt that has to be clipped off of crimps when a few feet below is a jug surrounded by great rock? Running out a sport route for no reason doesn't add anything to the climb, it makes it worse. If 10c is your upper limit, skip this climb until you're stronger because you're going for an unnecessarily long and potentially dangerous ride if you fall.
Anonymous said on October 26th, 2018
Say what? Reggie needs to straighten you out whiner.
veela-valoom said on October 26th, 2018
The runout seems unnecessary given how the Red is typically bolted and the ledges down low. Fun movement but I wouldn't want to take the whip.
Anonymous said on October 27th, 2018
agreed, been years since I climbed it but remember thinking "wtf was the FA thinking with the bolt placement". 1 star bolt job.
Anonymous said on October 27th, 2018
Lil Reggie would say this is tame. Goddamn pussies. Rockclimbing has peaked.
Steezmcgee said on October 27th, 2018
I was actually there back in 16' when lil Reggie walked this rig , he was two sheets to the wind and on bout pound of day purp , he put in work.. he only clipped about two Dem when spaced bolts... If this thing scares you , maybe you should consider going back to spending your time in Muir.
Steezmcgee said on October 27th, 2018
Well spaced*
KylePurp said on October 27th, 2018
KylePurp smoked 5 then rolled this thing. If this thing scares you go back to your moms basement. Y’all can’t handle the truth. Lil Reggie and KylePurp roll deep and he doesn’t even know it. B.
griffisrj said on November 21st, 2018
best 5.10 in the Red. So so so good.
Ollie1 said on October 14th, 2019
5 star climb. Very spicy bolt job. My friend took a nasty fall from 5th bolt.
MikeWilkinson said on November 13th, 2019
reposting this from MP to help a dude out: ""A friend and I had to bail on this, and we left behind a silver, symmetric D shaped biner with a blue gate. I think it was at the fourth bolt. We were borrowing another friend's gear, and unbeknownst to us at the time, this biner belonged to her deceased father. If anyone found this biner, I would greatly appreciate a message!""
allah said on December 4th, 2019
Mike, email me. [email protected]
JR said on January 7th, 2020
To the powers that be... could we add this to the guide... woman said on March 21st, 2018 the sport route on the face to the right of lightning rod arete is Thunderface 12c, equipped by blake bowling - super awesome route Thanks
Anonymous said on February 7th, 2021
Man, if this thing was on some of the best stone in the red I’d put it in my top ten list for best routes any where, but I’ve only climbed 10 routes so that doesn’t mean much. Rat-baby
Anonymous said on February 7th, 2021
This thing also felt like it had a bigger separation between onsight difficulty and red point difficulty than most routes, but that could be because: 1. I was intensely stoned. (But i always am) 2.I was in shorts climbing in a meat locker. 3.every time I peeked around the arete the sun was like one of reagan’s Star Wars satellites blasting me with a laser beam right between the eyes. 4.I’m weak sauce The rat
Anonymous said on February 7th, 2021
dry in light rain?
Anonymous said on February 7th, 2021
Does this route get afternoon sun?
Anonymous said on February 8th, 2021
It gets sun on the right side in the afternoon. You climb mostly on the left side though, and like i said, the sun kinda sucks when looking around the arete.
Anonymous said on February 9th, 2021
Thanks for the sun beta!
minerdeity said on April 6th, 2021
The bolting is safe. I broke a foothold with slack out clipping off the crimp at the 4th or 5th bolt a few year ago and took a surprise fall on a belayer that was 70lbs lighter than me. Big ride, but clean and I was fine. Amazing 5-star route. Grade is about right if you relax and take your time, but it might be unpleasantly heady if you're climbing near your limit.