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Southern Comfort

This route is located in the Upper Gorge Region at Eagle Point Buttress

Day Dreaming

1 votes

Foxfire 5.7 R (Trad) ***

First Ascent: Larry Day, Martin Hackworth, Bob Baker
Length: 200ft
Gear: (report bad anchors)

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At the base of the main buttress, you'll find a wide right-leaning crack, about 60 feet left of Southern Comfort. Long and winding. Climb the crack to a bushy ledge and belay from that. Walk right to the end of the ledge, face climb on fragile holds with marginal pro to an expansive ledge. From the left edge of this ledge, grope left around a corner (easy, but no pro), back to the center of the buttress. Climb a left-leaning corner and traverse left across a slab to a ledge with a tree. Follow the crack above, pulling an exposed overhang, and face climb to a ledge. Belay, or deal with rope drag and traverse left to a chimney and shuffle to the top. Variation 1 (5.9+ X): Walk all the way left at the 1st belay ledge past the left facing dihedral and roof. Climb the face up and left to the ledge pulling over a large bulge at the top. Variation 1 FA Vic Lewis, Andrew Ratliff 2009
Descent: Multiple rappels with two ropes, or walk off to the left
Stays Dry:
Owner: NFS

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Quality Consensus

3.88 stars (51 votes)
Grade Consensus
5.7 (30 votes)

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Submitted by: strawmyers
Date: Nov 30th, 2018

Submitted by: Lil Josh
Date: Jan 5th, 2016

Submitted by: Dyercurt
Date: Feb 21st, 2011

Submitted by: possum2082
Date: Nov 29th, 2009

Submitted by: possum2082
Date: Nov 29th, 2009

Submitted by: tkambitsch
Date: Nov 18th, 2007

Submitted by: tkambitsch
Date: Nov 18th, 2007

Submitted by: Ascentionist
Date: Jan 2nd, 2006

Submitted by: Ascentionist
Date: Jan 2nd, 2006

Submitted by: cushman
Date: Dec 18th, 2005


Power2U said on April 9th, 2003
I did this back in 1993 or 4... it was a good time.
hamsco said on June 9th, 2003
Some love it -some hate it , The payoff pitch is great!! check out the orange and green dayglow lichen
The Pirate said on April 22nd, 2004
fun... love that BVD traverse
Curmudgeon said on August 23rd, 2004
A RRG Classic ... This was what TRAD climbing started out as ... hike halfway to hell and climb what you found there. Thanks to Bill Wade for teaching me the ropes in the RRG ...
cushman said on December 15th, 2005
Pic above is of "the crack above, pulling an exposed overhang, and face climb to a ledge"
nefarioushair said on August 27th, 2006
I climbed this route today for the fourth or fifth time, but instead of walking all the way to the margin of the ledge after the first pitch and climbing the face(the usual route), I follwed a thin crack on the left side of that right-most arete. It leads up about forty-forty five feet to the roof on top of which is the belay ledge with tree. I was just wondering if anyone else had made this variation before as it is not listed in the guide book. I think it sits somewhere around 5.9+ or maybe 5.10a. anyone know for sure?
SCIN said on August 27th, 2006
Yea, I've heard of a couple different people taking that variation.
Sco Bro said on November 19th, 2007
A wonderful adventure. You might want to have a BD #4 or 5 to protect the first twenty feet of the first pitch. If not convince your climbing partner to take the odd pitches and volunteer yourself for the even pitches.
anticlmber said on August 21st, 2008
robinson crusoe eat your heart out.
ynp1 said on February 19th, 2009
It was a really fun route. I thought that a #5 was helpful on a few of the pitches. I never thought it was really R rated. Maybe the 2nd pitch, but you can get gear in a right facing corner before you mover right to easy face moves. then get a good nut placement before you climb left onto the ledge. the directions to EPB suck. it is really easy and a great hike when you know how to get there. if you take the directions in the book... good luck! expect hours of rodo-whacking.
cramacam said on June 22nd, 2009
There is really only about a pitch worth of "good climbing." I thought the rest of it was crappy and kinda chossy. The R rating is really not a big deal. The location, experience, and exposure make this route worth it. It is an awesome route I'd do again, but the climbing was so so.
kman154 said on July 31st, 2009
I would love to know what one would rap from at the top of this climb. We could not find any sign of someone rapping down so we walked off. Rapping down would be much faster and much easier.
p0bray01 said on November 9th, 2009
Technical climbing Grade: 5.6 Gear placements are a 5.8+. My buddy and I almost met our maker on this route. Soft rock. Would benefit from bolted anchors at least on the last two pitches.
Ascentionist said on November 10th, 2009
There are good solid anchors to be found if you know what you're doing. I've hauled people and held people on just about every belay on this route. Of course when Rick Faulkner said "watch me" on the roof pitch I unclipped from the anchors and JB moved away from me.
possum2082 said on November 23rd, 2009
when i made it to the top of the 2nd pitch and my partner told me to keep climbing around the corner, i understood why the guy has that look on his face in the pic. we linked the 2 pitches after the traverse/crawl. we rapped from a tree about 20 ft right of the buttress if you are enjoying the view. double rope rappel and it will still only get you to a ledge where you will rap again. we left green webbing and two links at the top.
Bluelopez100 said on April 11th, 2010
This route is what traditional climbing is all about! First pitch is not great climbing, but the rest of the climb is great. I am not sure about the R raiting. The pro is there if you find it, and in the sections where there is marginal pro it is easy and solid climbing. This is one of my favorite climbs. Gear wise bring a lot of slings and a #5 or #6.
AdSprad said on April 12th, 2010
That second pitch was a blast to climb. The repel was fun too, trail blazing vertically lol.
rjackson said on June 27th, 2012
What's not to like?! Have the second carry a small pack, bring your shoes and walk off to the climber's right.
tpowell said on February 25th, 2013
If you ignore the so-so first pitch, this route is awesome. Fun climbing to a beautiful top out. The ledge traverse can be terrifying but you've just got to go for it. Plug a small nut in the tiny crack before it if you want some mental pro. I don't think the R rating is necessary. All of the climbing is pretty mello.
Steve_BSU said on April 2nd, 2013
On Saturday March 30, my friend and I tried climbing this route. We became so off route idk what we climbed. We did the first pitch fine. We then worked right on the traverse. After the traverse we went up what seemed 5.7 face climbing. We then traversed far right by mistake and came to a nice looking crack into a face climb. I led this pitch which felt 5.9 R. went up a thin hands-hands crack for about 20 feet to a ledge. then traversed far right, place a BD #4 cam in a horizontal. I then worked right up a small ramp that i placed a #2 cam in the crack that followed along the wall of the ramp. I then traversed about 10 feet right of the piece on face climbing, Then climbed 10 feet up and then 20 feet back left. I ended up on a ledge with some rhodos and a tree at the end of it. i then worked up a small gully like feature with a tree at the top of it. the gully was maybe 20 feet. The hiking trail was about 2 feet back from the edge where I topped out at. Has anyone done this before or was this an FA? Also what is the best tree to rap off the top of. we double rope rapped from a tree about 10 feet back from the edge. Came down to find out there was too much friction to pull the rope, had to climb back up the rope a bit to pull it for the next rap. Has anyone had this happen to them before? Also there is a sweet dihedral that looks finger to thin hands with the final moves going into the roof and then top out. there were small vines growing out at the bottom. Has this been climbed before? we are wanting to go back and clean the start to climb it. will it be an FA?
pigsteak said on April 2nd, 2013
the first question would be why are you admitting this?
Steve_BSU said on April 2nd, 2013
Because it was actually a fun climb. And im curious to know if it has been done before.
Anonymous said on April 2nd, 2013
Yes, you are the first gumby to go off-route on Foxfire in the past 35 years.... congrats
Anonymous said on August 4th, 2013
What is the best way to get down from the top of this thing? I have webbing and quick links if rapping is easier, but how hard is it to find the walk-off path and is it worth carrying shoes up and leaving the second rope in the car?
tpowell said on August 4th, 2013
I have always found it easier to walk off. If you do rappel, I would recommend rapping from the tree off climbers right. It's pretty obvious. However, you need a boat load of webbing because the tree is about 8 or 9 feet away from the cliff line, meaning that the chances of getting your rope stuck are very, very high if you rap close to the tree. I know, it's happened to me twice.
campby said on November 3rd, 2014
So awesome. Red river gorge classic. Maybe not a classic route for the actual climbing. But this climb is just so unique for the Red. I've yet to lead anything like it. I don't know if I would call this an R route, but definitely PG-13. You WILL end up runout on this climb, but on relatively easy climbing. A big #6 and micros down to 0.2 would make it much more casual for the first two pitches. Don't fret too much about the Traverse, as it is more bark than bite IMHO.
Ascentionist said on November 3rd, 2014
The R rating probably hearkens back to the days before cams (gasp!) and Larry Day probably slung some micro-pines and placed a boat anchor in camming configuration to back up his machine nut protection. With "modern" trad gear this is a well-protected route, though...I maintain that if someone were to fall off the traverse ledge they would take one heck of a wild ride. Hopefully the tiny nut in the lip of the ledge would hold. It probably would.
campby said on November 17th, 2015
Pitch 2 and 3 are totally linkable with with forethought to potential rope drag and getting good gear for a solid directional before you go into the traverse to protect your second on the face. I found a solid small cam placement on the ledge before the traverse. Effectively makes it a 3 pitch climb.