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 Eastern Gorge Region at Eastern Sky Bridge Ridge

What's Right With the Underling?

1 votes

The Underling 5.9 (Trad) ****

First Ascent: Larry Day, Ed Pearsall in 1979
Length: 100ft
Gear: (report bad anchors)

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Walk to the right of the previous climbs and look for a large rockhouse with a hole in the back right corner. Climb the dihedral on the left side of the rockhouse, traverse under the roof and pull through the hole. Belay from anchors on the low ledge above. Continue up the left side of the rockhouse to a ledge with a tree and belay. Finish by climbing easier terrain to the top.
Moves: Fingers
Stays Dry: Downpour
Owner: NFS

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Quality Consensus

4.18 stars (67 votes)
Grade Consensus
5.9 (51 votes)

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Submitted by: taurusclimber
Date: Jul 3rd, 2018

Submitted by: brhe224
Date: Apr 15th, 2013

Submitted by: Elodie
Date: Apr 3rd, 2012

Submitted by: Elodie
Date: Apr 3rd, 2012

Submitted by: Ascentionist
Date: Jan 2nd, 2006

Submitted by: ray
Date: Dec 18th, 2005


tonybubb said on June 18th, 2003
The routes main merrit is the fun way of popping through the roof. It can be a grunt, or an interesting and gymnatic affair.
haas said on July 6th, 2004
you won't find the moves going through the hole on any other climb anywhere. Very unique, very fun
Huggybone said on November 19th, 2006
Nice OW on the second pitch.
Anonymous said on October 1st, 2007
second pitch is well worth doing. bring the bigger stuff.
pkananen said on June 19th, 2008
Traverse is awesome. Second pitch was good as well. I guess there's really a third pitch that goes to the top of the cliff? I assume second ended at a ledge with rap tree.
Cromper said on September 13th, 2012
Second pitch is top notch but short. Definitely worth doing!
HotTabascoSauce said on August 26th, 2013
First pitch is fun, second pitch is an awesome climb but short. Bring big gear. Third pitch is cool as well, but the top out is sketch. We climbed it this weekend, fresh webbing/cordelette on both rap stations. You could probably rap from top of the third with a 60m rope, we rapped 3 to 2, 2 to ground.
DrRockso said on October 4th, 2014
This climb now has ss glue-ins placed 10/3/2014. The old anchors were some of the scariest I've ever seen, 1 inch bolts.
dustonian said on October 4th, 2014
Great work Erik, thanks!
GaryO said on October 12th, 2015
This climb is a must-do purely for the experience. The novelty of it is something special (sort of like Bedtime for Bonzo). Regarding the climbing, the crack is pretty high quality albeit short. The traverse was harder than I expected with scattered small, precise foot placements between height dependent ledges. It gave me a tiny, incomparable glimpse of what climbing the Great Roof would be like. The gear is solid. A #4 will provide comfort before the hole. GO FEET FIRST! I recommend belaying from the top - extend your anchor connection (e.g. clove hitch) so you're above the hole to limit the rope drag.
KhaoticKlimber said on June 4th, 2019
Man, if this doesn't have one of the most fun and unique moves I've ever done on a climb! Too bad getting to said move is one hell of a gut check. The near non-existent feet on the traverse will be sure to have you sweating bullets and your toes screaming in pain. Be quick getting to the plugging stances here. Overall, a must-do for the crag.
LK Day said on July 22nd, 2021
You can't imagine how much fun we had on the first ascent. That was way back in '76 or so. It wasn't the FFA because I wasn't a good enough climber to recognize all that was available for the feet to work with so I started out with a couple of moves of aid to get started on the traverse, then stepped out of the slings and went for it. Anyway, I was belaying from "the cave" when I heard my second alternately screaming in terror and laughing hysterically. When I saw his feet come snaking up through the hole in the roof like a cobra I thought I would die laughing. A few years later Pearsall and I went back to free it and found the traverse to be surprisingly moderate. Maybe climbing is easier when you're not wrecked. Anyway, we climbed it to the top that day and The Underling was finally done. It really is a fun route.