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Calypso III

This route is located in the Northern Gorge Region at Fortress Wall


2 votes

Where Lizards Dare 5.9+ (Trad) ****

First Ascent: Ed Pearsall in 1977
Length: 40ft
Gear: (report bad anchors)

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This route ascends the obvious orange dihedral which starts on the upper ledge directly above Calypso III.
Second pitch goes at A2. FA: Greg Smith, 1984
Moves: Bouldery or Technical
Descent: Rap anchors
Stays Dry: Downpour
Owner: NFS
technical (1) scary (1) stout (1) exposed (1) fingers (1) classic (1)
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Quality Consensus

4.61 stars (49 votes)
Grade Consensus
5.10a (42 votes)

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Submitted by: tpowell
Date: Dec 1st, 2014

Submitted by: ray
Date: Dec 19th, 2005


Anonymous said on March 22nd, 2003
i think this route is overrated
jefflehmkuhl said on March 6th, 2004
I think this is the hardest 5.9+ in the world
traddaddy said on April 13th, 2004
5.9 my ass!
J-Rock said on December 3rd, 2004
While leading this route my bomber nut before the dihedral popped out. I then proceeded to walk a small TCU through the crux with a significant runout. The person seconding the route had difficulty removing it and then decided to fall on it. It ripped right out of the crack! Great route! Classic and deserving of the old school "+" rating.
Stewy911 said on February 21st, 2005
This mo fo is mo fo'in hard mo fo! Definately felt harder than any 9 I had ever been on! Sustained and has a pretty weird crux on it! But it's going down next time mo fos!
allah said on March 1st, 2005
just lay it back
Paul3eb said on October 24th, 2005
too bad it's not longer..
chh said on October 24th, 2006
Holy hard! I tried lying it back but you better have small fingers. Bring small gear. In the only decent jam you'd get there's a fixed cam. I want to go back and try and chimney the dihedral. It think that might be the ticket. Very unique place to sit at the chains, but the belay is awkward. I found a #1 handy to redirect a second to keep them closer to the crack if they fall getting out the last piece to avoid a swing that makes it hard to get back on. Great route.
Anonymous said on March 30th, 2007
I haven't fallen on a 5.9 in 20 years and this one Spanked me hard. A great line but defintly not 9+.
RRO said on March 31st, 2007
seneca 5.8 :)
bhuff04 said on August 31st, 2007
Pure trad. Without doubt this route is 9+. Placed 4 pieces and felt confident the whole time. Short, sweet, and classic.
JR said on September 3rd, 2007
Pure trad?
der uber said on March 22nd, 2008
I top roped it, it was awesome. Looking forward to really leading this one day. It's funny how aesthetic it is from theground, but when you're up there belaying you can't see anything. The person who led it said it protected well.
flint said on April 23rd, 2008
Use a brown tri-cam to redirect for the top belay. A full rap to the base is possible with a 70m route. j-
Wolf said on May 12th, 2008
The good jam is no longer occupied by a fixed cam. Cool stemming.
blakeleathers said on January 17th, 2010
Stem FTW.
jrathfon said on May 17th, 2010
EXCELLENT. 5 stars, too bad it's so short. haha, LOVE the 9+ rating, gives you some historical perspective. would compare to 10b's in the gorge, slightly harder than rock wars, cruising lane, headstone surfer. i was surprised at how sustained a little 40fter could be. 80's and 80% humidity did not help. this thing takes bomber gear. if you are ripping gear out you should reconsider your genre of climbing. sewed it up with 0.3's, green aliens, red c3, blue alien, nuts, etc. whipped on a blindly placed red c3 and would have whipped on the blue alien below it. wasn't in the cards that day. this thing is mostly thin tips, so fat hands (like mine) beware! lots of stemming english.
caribe said on October 1st, 2012
This route will get your attention! Today I put steel dropins with cables to save your rope from rockophagus.
rjackson said on October 7th, 2012
Wow! Bring your skills and summon your courage. Unforgettable...
Wes said on October 8th, 2012
Meh, a few moves of 5.9, just 'cause you are a few feet off the ground, don't make it harder.
Willy said on November 13th, 2012
This thing is mega classic! Jaw dropping when you look at it from the ground and then you realize its "only" 9+ and you don't have to be a mutant to climb it. The steel drop ins are much appreciated
tpowell said on April 23rd, 2014
I'm an absolutely terrible stemmer, and I can say that this route kicks ass. You'll definitely pay attention to every single move you make. Also, if this is a 9+ then Rock Wars is a solid 7.
taurusclimber said on June 17th, 2017
2 years later, this remains my proudest onsight. I call it 10c. My fingers didn't fit, feet were marginal, almost fell twice, and when I got to the top, I had an adrenaline high. Then I saw the rusted, 1/4 inch bolts for the anchor, and didn't want to rappel. Has anyone replaced them?
Anonymous said on June 18th, 2017
9+ is generous, would be no harder than 5.9 at any respectable old school trad area anywhere else... there are maybe 3 moves harder than 5.8
Anonymous said on June 18th, 2017
Not even Class IV. I saw a fat lady with a wooden leg and lazy eye hike this route in the snow barefoot with a baby.
ray said on June 19th, 2017
Honnnold free soled El Cap. There is nothing proud nor is the there any justification for belittling said proud send. You are both recreational climbers and should go back to your day jobs. Be thankful for a nice clean split in the rock and admit that the split may b le more difficult to shove your fingers into if they are lather. That's a fact so call it 5.12 or 5.9 because neither matters. Again, Honnold soloed Freerider. Hans solo
MikeWilkinson said on January 27th, 2018
Picked up an abandoned .4 on this climb today. If it's yours, PM me on the forum with the color tape and where you left it on the route. Cool route! Partner didn't want to follow up it so cleaning gear while lowering sucked for my rope.