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.

Fortress Wall

Grade Trad Mixed Sport Total
5.7 33 - - 34

Directions to Fortress Wall

This wall is in property owned by USFS. Be respectful.
From the parking lot of the Junior Williamson Rest Area in Slade, turn left (north) on KY 11, drive 0.1 miles under the Mountain Parkway overpass to a "T" intersection with KY 15. Turn left (east) and continue for 1.5 miles, then turn right (north) on KY 77. This highway is also known as "Nada Tunnel Road", and you may see a street sign so designated at this intersection. Drive 4.4 miles through the tiny town of Nada, through the tunnel, and over the steel bridge (stay right after you cross the steel bridge) to the intersection with KY 715. KY 77 curves left near an old barn while KY 715 continues straight. Follow KY 77 around to the left, past the barn on the right and uphill for 0.3 miles to an available pulloff on the right. The trail begins across the road from the third pulloff. Follow the trail uphill to the base of Fortress Wall. You will pass Party Time on the way so do not hike too far if you plan on doing this route.

Wall Sun: All day

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


Party Time Trad 5.7
As the approach trail nears the wall, look for a trail that branches off to the right. Take this trail up to the wall and look for the first dihedral, about 60 feet right of a main arete. Follow the crack to bolted anchor on the first ledge and belay. Continue up the crack to a larger ledge which ends a few feet from the top and belay. Steepness:
fun-2 : classic-4 : long-1 : hands-4 : dihedral-2 : beautiful-4 : juggy-1


Lost in Space Trad 5.10b
This route ascends the dihedral 75 feet right of Party Time. Climb the dihedral to a ledge and belay. Continue over a roof and to the top. Steepness:


Brian's Farewell Trad 5.9
Staying on the main approach trail (not branching off right to Party Time), walk below the main buttress, behind some boulders and cross a tiny stream. Follow the trail back toward the wall and walk right looking for a fingercrack just to the right of The Rampart. Climb the fingercrack to a roof, move right around the roof then continue up the crack. Traverse left at a horizontal to the ledge where The Rampart starts. Steepness:


The Rampart Trad 5.8
This route begins on a large block around the left corner of the main buttress near the end of the approach trail. Traverse right to the base of a crack system and climb the crack to a ledge. Move left to another crack and follow it to the end. Finish on face to the top of the buttress. Steepness:


Route 49 Trad 5.8
This route ascends the large flake 30 feet left of the southwest corner of the main buttress. Steepness:


Horny Bitch Trad 5.8-
This route climbs the obvious dihedral about 50 feet left of the large buttress. Begin by bouldering up to a ledge where the route starts. Climb through interesting moves followed by good stances. You will reach a large ledge about 30 feet from the top with a wide crack on both sides. Climb the left side of the wide crack to a small ledge then continue to the top. Belay from a tree. Steepness:


Route 52 Trad 5.9
This route ascends a right facing crack around the corner about 60 feet left of Horny Bitch. Steepness:


Cussin' Crack Trad 5.7
This route ascends a wide, flaring, left-facing crack 20 feet left of Route 52. From the ledge, traverse left to the anchors on American Crack to descend. Steepness:


Bombs Bursting Trad 5.8
Look for a dihedral around the corner and left of Cussin Crack. Jam the crack to a short roof, move right or left at the roof and take the dihedral to a ledge. Climb crumbly face for a few feet to the main ledge. Steepness:


The Battlement Trad 5.10c
This route ascends the obvious roof on the upper ledge above Bombs Bursting. Climb just about any route on the main wall of Fortress to access it. Start in the thin crack, climb it to a "throne" of sorts, plug in some gear and tackle the roof to the top. Steepness:


Route 48 Trad 5.5
This route climbs the right facing dihedral 30 feet left of Bombs Bursting. Steepness:


Pigs In Space Toprope 5.10a
This is the dirty face about 25 feet left of Route 48 and 10 ft. right of American Crack. Climb a short, dirty flake to a ledge. Climb right to thin edges and wallow to the top. Steepness:


American Crack Trad 5.4
More than likely, the approach trail will dump you out just to the left of this route. Look for a left-facing dihedral with a bulge at the top that starts on a ledge about 30 feet left of Route 48. Climb the wide crack to gain the ledge then continue up the crack to the top. Watch the loose block at the top. Steepness:


American Wall Trad 5.3
This route ascends the plated face just left of American Crack. Start by climbing the wide start of American Crack then traverse left to a large horn. Continue up the face to a ledge and finish on a slab to the top. Steepness:


Hollywood Boulevard Trad 5.11a
This route is located on the upper ledge above American Wall. Look for a right-facing dihedral that runs into a huge roof. Climb the dihedral to the roof then undercling and crimp your way out to a belay on a ledge. The second pitch climbs out the overhang from the belay through some chossy rock to gigantic jugs and heel-hooks. Take this to the top. Steepness:


Thunder Chicken Trad 5.11a
This route ascends the handcrack through a roof situated on the upper ledge about 30 feet right of Where Lizards Dare and to the left of Hollywood Boulevard. Steepness:
pumpy-1 : steep-1 : short-1 : shady-1


Calypso I Trad 5.7
Walk left from American Wall to the left side of the rockhouse. Scramble up to a ledge 10 feet up and head towards a flake. Take the flake to the ledge. Steepness:


Blue Runner Trad 5.9-
This route ascends the left-facing dihedral about 20 feet left of Calypso I in front of a large boulder. Climb up to the overhang about 20 feet up and move left and up to gain the dihedral. Bring some large gear for the chimney above the thin section. Steepness:


The Wasp Trad 5.10a
Walk 70 feet left of Blue Runner around a corner to where the trail squeezes around a huge flat topped boulder. Near the boulder you will see a dark face with a short fingercrack halfway up. Climb up to the fingercrack and continue to the top. Steepness:


Calypso II Trad 5.6
This route ascends the right-facing dihedral directly across from the boulder mentioned in the description of The Wasp. Steepness:


Lost 'n Lichen It Trad 5.10d
Walk left a bit from Calypso II to an obvious arete before a dihedral. Climb the arete using natural protection. Steepness:


Calypso III Trad 5.2
This route ascends the wide dihedral to the left of the arete which Lost n Lichen It is located on. Bring large gear for the top. Steepness:


Where Lizards Dare Trad 5.9+
This route ascends the obvious orange dihedral which starts on the upper ledge directly above Calypso III. Steepness:
stout-1 : fingers-1 : scary-1 : technical-1


Serpent Trad 5.10b
This route ascends the face directly left of Calypso III making use of tricam placements. Steepness:


Snake Trad 5.8
To the left of Serpent there is a handcrack with a small tree about 5 feet up. Climb the handcrack through a right leaning slot to the top. Steepness:


Scratch Your Face Trad 5.9+
This route climbs through the roof on the upper ledge to the left of Where Lizards Dare. Steepness:


Bonzo's Revenge Trad 5.4
This route ascends the overhanging dihedral left of Snake to a ledge. Steepness:


Fortress Grunges Trad 5.4
This route ascends a wide crack just left of Bonzo's Revenge that forks near the top. Steepness:


Oozing Couth Trad 5.5
This is the dihedral on the upper ledge above Fotress Grunges. Steepness:


The Turret Trad 5.5
Walk to the far left end of the wall to the large pinnacle. Climb up to a saddle between the main wall and the pinnacle near a tree. Continue up the face to the top of the pinnacle. Steepness:


Into the arms of the rhododendron Trad 5.9
Right of BTFB about 40 feet is a crack that begins 10 feet off the ground. Stick clip a cam and climb to the top. Steepness:


Bedtime for Bonzo Trad 5.6
Walk around the left end of the wall past The Turret until the trail meets back up with the wall again. Spot the obvious left-facing dihedral directly in front of a small tree. Climb the ramp (5.4) to a large ledge and belay from bolts. Walk to the right and through a hallway to the base of the second pitch. Climb the right-facing dihedral to a hand ledge. Traverse across the hand ledge to a right-angling fist crack. Climb this to the top. Steepness:
fists-3 : exposed-5


Days of Rage Trad 5.12d
Climb the first pitch of Bedtime for Bonzo then walk left around the corner. Follow the wall until you come to a roof about 20 feet up. Power through the roof then attack the overhanging fingers to fist crack. Steepness:


Afterburner Trad 5.11a
Just left of Days of Rage is a left-facing dihedral with a thin fingercrack. Climb the fingercrack to the top on semi-challenging gear placements. Steepness:


Anonymous said on March 4th, 2008
somone should check the math for the number of routes, there is 33 trad routes but 34 routes total.... so where is the hidden 5.10 located?
SCIN said on March 4th, 2008
One is a toprope (Pigs in Space). Toprope lines aren't listed in the graph as a separate column because there just aren't that many of them.
njclimber said on October 31st, 2017
Anyone know what the old school face route 10 feet left of blue runner is? Has a single old bolt on it...
MaceMooseWalker said on March 24th, 2019
Where is get outta my way 5.2R?