COVID-19 Climbing Closures: 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 - are closed. Please stay home and stay safe. See links above for more details about each climbing area.
Grade Trad Mixed Sport Total
5.11 1 - 16 17
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Directions to Highlands

RRGCC
This wall is in property owned by RRGCC. Be respectful.
Highlands offers exceptional and unique climbing for the Red in that the routes tend to be more cruxy in nature than pumpy. That's not to say that you won't suffer a tremendous forearm flame out here though. Bring a brush since the routes may still have a fine layer of powdery lichen. The stone is grey and solid and the holds tend to be subtle sloping pinches and underclings. From the main parking area cross the creek and walk the road passing two roads on the left. Continue without turning down either of these roads until reaching a short road on the right. There is a large boulder adjacent to the end of this short road. Turn down the road and follow it for about 100 feet then take a trail on the right which crosses a stream. Continue along the trail for about 10 minutes, crossing the stream six more times for a total of seven crossings. Just before the eighth crossing look for a faint trail on the right which winds uphill meeting up with the cliff just right of Highlands. Just around the corner to the left is the first route on the right side of the main wall. The wall faces west to northwest receiving afternoon sun but has enough tree coverage to keep it cool in the warmer months. Latitude 37.679722, Longitude -83.676667

Wall Sun: Afternoon



Click the column heads to sort. Hold shift to sort on multiple columns.
Route Spray Name Type Grade Quality Length Picture

1

Pig's Nose Sport 5.11b
 
60
This is the first route encountered when approaching from the right. Scramble up and ride a fat flake for a few moves then cut left. Stab big over the bulge then continue up on the sloping holds that Highlands is known for. Just before the chains you need to trust your instinct and go. It's big, don't worry. Steepness:

2

Sipping Scotch from a Shallow Grave Sport 5.12a
 
60
This is the beginning of the Highlands 5.12 run. A well defined crux stab near the bottom serves as a great introduction to the cruxy nature of this wall. Steepness:

3

Knap of Orkney Sport 5.12b
 
60
Begin on a low ledge. A slightly dirty start quickly opens up into challenging cruxes on shallow slopers, small edges, and tight tweakers. If the crux feels impossible try again on a cooler day. Steepness:

4

Aye Fair to Middlin' (Project) Sport 5.12b
 
70  
This is the fourth line from the right on the main wall. Moderate climbing is quickly put to an end where an evil crux awaits mid-route. If you can break through then fun steep pulling will pump you to the chains. Equipped by Kipp Trummel. Steepness:

5

Dingwall Sport 5.12b
 
70
This is probably the best line on the main wall. Begin in a crack and depending on your handjamming skills make an easy or tough move over a low roof. Move up with big pulls on good holds gunning for a crack where the games begin. Shift right over to the crack and follow it with delicate reach throughs and minimal feet to gain a shake. Cut back right to the crack and don't let up until you've made it through the obvious redpoint crux known to thwart many onsite attempts. Steepness:

6

Skinny Malinky Longlegs Sport 5.12a
 
65
The FA isn't known for his route naming skills but he sure can drill them holes. Inconsistent but still a decent line. 5.10 climbing leads to a side-pulling sloper pop off of bad smears to a decent edge. Next dive into the abyss and come out at the chains. Steepness:

7

Arthur's Seat Trad 5.10a
 
65  
Why? Because it's there. The obvious crack on the left side of the wall before the amphitheater. Steepness:

8

Wide Boys Sport 5.12b
 
70
This is the last bolted line on the main wall before the amphitheater. A pop move off the ground will get you started on this quality line which will test your squeezers as well as your crimpers. A pump probably won't get you on this one but a couple of moves just might. Steepness:

9

Blood on the Thistle Sport 5.12d
 
80
The first of the four routes in the ampitheater. Climb to a roof at 25 feet and boulder over the roof making use of a sloping edge and a crack to reach good holds. From here move through good underclings to meet up with a blank section of the wall where subtle sloping pinches will let you past if held just right. Steepness:

10

Nessie Sport 5.12c
 
80
Another gut busting roof start puts you onto high quality steep and sustained climbing with a couple of tough deadpoints. A steep start leads to a big undercling move to gain a good horizontal ledge in the roof. Traverse the ledge then reach over the lip for a decent hold to gain the face. Race up on edges and sloping pinches then make a launch to a crimp when the holds fizzle. Consistent crimping takes you to an upper crux where you can go big and dynamic or tiny and static depending on your taste. Steepness:

10a

Haggis Nugget Sport 5.12b
 
80
Clip the first two bolts of Nessie then head straight over the roof to gain a hand ledge. Fire a deadpoint then climb the steep headwall on medium edges. Steepness:

11

Bodach Sport 5.12d
 
80
On the left side of the amphitheater you will see a large flake in the roof. This and the next line climb up to and out this flake to begin. This route shifts right on bouldery moves to reach a good rest. Move up a bolt then make a full on launch to what couldn't be a bigger and more comfortable jug. Enjoyable 5.11 climbing takes you to the final two bolts where a tough clip and a sloper boulder problem guard the chains. Steepness:

13

Tatty Boggler Sport 5.11b
 
60
This is the first route on the shorter section of wall to the left of the amphitheater. Although it's one of the lower graded routes at the cliff it doesn't serve as a great warmup due to the strenuous moves. Steepness:

14

Plaid Boys Sport 5.12a
 
50
The next route left on the ledge routes. Excellent sustained climbing for the first 5 bolts makes for a good warmup. Go further if you feel good but prepare for a beating if you aren't feeling good on really bad holds. Steepness:

15

William Wall Ace Sport 5.12a
 
50
The third route from the left side of the wall and also one of the better lines. An awkward start leads to unique boulder problems separated by large plated jugs. A nice little pocket crux may become your close friend as you get acquainted with each other over multiple attempts. Be careful making the 4th clip where a fixed draw takes a little scare out. Steepness:

16

Puggle Me Self Sport 5.12b
 
50
This line has not and may not see many ascents due to being overshadowed by the other quality lines on the wall. However it is better than it looks (so says the FA). Steepness:

17

Goose Bumples Sport 5.10c
 
50
The last line at Highlands on the left side of the wall. Begins on the ledge with the others. Steepness:

Comments

1
Anonymous said on August 3rd, 2013
Every line on the main wall here has at least one well defined crux but they still have a bit of pump to offer.
2
Anonymous said on August 3rd, 2013
This will be a great afternoon crag in mid to late fall. Thanks for the work Kipp & crew.
3
Anonymous said on October 30th, 2013
More shitty rock in the Miller Fork Choss Preserve! Junk.
4
pigsteak said on December 10th, 2013
hey anon, which routes did you get on to qualify this astute opinion? my guess by next fall you will be in the minority on this assesment.
5
climb2core said on December 10th, 2013
Troll bites on another troll, cute
6
dustonian said on December 11th, 2013
I'm confused, where are the routes to the far right on the nice-looking vert orange wall?
7
ray said on December 11th, 2013
I haven't put them in yet Dustin.
8
Chuckdott said on May 5th, 2014
Great little crag, nice work! The sun didn't hit today until after 4pm, shade all morning. This crag reminds me a little of Shady Grove.
9
pigsteak said on July 9th, 2014
awkward and inconsistent climbing on this wall. stay away.
10
dustonian said on July 9th, 2014
nah, this one just has the "shit kind" of rock
11
climb2core said on July 10th, 2014
For some reason all the climbs I get on feel awkward and inconsistent.
12
Rob Smith said on May 18th, 2015
This is a great crag with lines that have very cool boulder problems and sequences. Skinny Malinky Longlegs has one of the coolest moves I have done on a route at the Red. Right now the wall suffers from a lot of lichen, but hopefully that will improve with traffic. I've noticed a few lines have more bolts than needed, such as Plaid Boys (I skipped two) and Dingwall (skipped one) but those bolts will be nice for people working the routes.