Natural Arch & Somerset

Other Crags, Aid Climbing, Bouldering, etc...
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Saxman
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Natural Arch & Somerset

Post by Saxman » Tue May 10, 2005 11:16 pm

Anyone climbed in the region of natural arch in McCreary county? Hiked out there on Mother's day. Looked like a ton of cliffline was nearby. It is in the Stearns district of the Daniel Boone. What are the rules on climbing and development down there? My wife also mentioned there are some cliffs which overlook Lake Cumberland. Do any of these have deep water soloing potential? Just curious.

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Post by Alan Evil » Tue May 10, 2005 11:38 pm

I've thought that Fishing Creek looked good on the Cumberland but have been told it's all major choss. There are great cliffs in that area including Blue Heron south of Somerset which has tons of routes and is fairly easy to access. Supposedly there are routes on Bee Rock and other places. It's all part of the same geological feature that the Red is a part of called "The Cliffs."
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Post by Smedley » Wed May 11, 2005 10:14 am

Lot's of potential in that area for the adventurous.
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Post by Smedley » Wed May 11, 2005 10:22 am

We did some extensive exploration around Natural Arch about a year ago and found some outstanding lines. There is some excellent potential in there and we went as far as contacting the local ranger...Wanted to play by the rules. He shut us down right off the bat and told us climbing, in any form, wasnt allowed without an extensive environmental assesment, which the FS doesn't have the money for. Too bad, there are miles of quality cliff in there.
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Post by Steve » Wed May 11, 2005 10:33 am

Funny I've had folks from the other districts try and steer climbers down south. It just depends on who you talk to and what their stance in on climbin' and recreatin'. Some folks in the FS would love to move climbing out of the RRG proper and onto other parts of the forest. I guess those that manage the 'other parts' might disagree with that notion.
There is tons of potential all over the Cumberland Plateau, after all it is the sandstone belt, that runs from Chatta-vegas to northeastern KY.
I see they are still lopping off mountains in Eastern Kentucky. Electricity isn't cheap.

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Post by Smedley » Wed May 11, 2005 10:45 am

I'm pretty sure that Natural Arch is in the Somerset District, and not the Stearns. The Stearns District is more open to climbing than the Somerset, just speaking in terms of general cilmbing knowledge.

The Blue Heron is part of the BSF, and it's an excellent crag...climbs a lot like the New. We've been going there for years. Most of the routes there were spear-headed by some NC guys (Ian McAlexander and Sean Coburn). I believe Sean has a lawyer friend that helped with the Murray purchase?
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Post by dipsi » Wed May 11, 2005 4:23 pm

Natural Arch is in the Somerset District, and no climbing is allowed. :(
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Post by ynot » Wed May 11, 2005 9:34 pm

Whats up with Somerset police arresting some guy for riding a horse while drunk?
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Post by Saxman » Wed May 11, 2005 10:22 pm

The Forest Service website just says no climbing or rappelling from the arch. It doesn't say no climbing in the Somerset district.
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Post by dipsi » Wed May 11, 2005 11:28 pm

I asked. They said no climbing in the area. I'll check with them again. Stearns is a lot more receptive to climbers. Just so you cannot be seen from established hiking trails, it's cool to climb.

Yep! It's true, a horse is considered a moving vehicle. Only in Somerset.......

My great-uncles George and Boot were arrested for public intoxication. The cops also arrested their pig who was also drunk and riding in the front seat with the boys. This was during the depression, and Uncle George said they must have sent the pig up the river because they never saw him again! :lol: True story.
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Post by J-Rock » Thu May 12, 2005 12:30 am

From "American Rock":

"When all the southern canyons are explored, all the escarpments of the Cumberland Plateau discovered and documented, the state of Kentucky will probably show the most rock, will probably turn out to be the mother lode of southeastern sandstone. Already well known to climbers everywhere is the Red River Gorge, with its complex tributary drainages. The Red has more than a thousand high-quality routes, and climbers there say they've developed only the most obvious, easily accessible cliffs. The countless little subcanyons that splinter off in dendritic patterns in all directions will likely triple the amount of climbing we see there today. But Kentucky climbing does't end with the famed Red River Gorge. To its south, running into Tennessee, are the vast canyons of the Big South Fork, potential for at least as much climbing as in the Red." --Don Mellor

Wow! :shock:
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Post by Boyd » Thu May 12, 2005 1:13 am

1) Yes, you can drink while riding a horse in Kentucky. You just can't get drunk. In fact, a lot of equestrians visit the KY side of the Big South Fork to drink and ride. In TN it is illegal. I spooked a guy on a horse last fall, he was thrown, and his beer+whiskey watered the earth. He was the epitome of an angry drunk.

2) Natural Arch is a Scenic Area in the Somerset RD. The northend is hammered by OHV use, but alas no climbing.

3) The Big South Fork is frontier for ky. RRG is more accessible, but it's sorta small geographically. The BSF is a deep, remote, and much larger gorge. The rock is the same, just harder to access.
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Post by Saxman » Thu May 12, 2005 8:19 am

Also nearby, anyone done any bouldering below Cumberland falls? There are several large boulders close to the falls.
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Post by lordjim_2001 » Thu May 12, 2005 11:02 pm

I know that they have been played on. In Redmond's bouldering guide he talks about them. I'm going to try and get down there this summer and check them out myself if you want some company.
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Post by Saxman » Thu May 12, 2005 11:55 pm

I have been down there a few times and looked around a bit. Looks like there is a ton of potential. The next trip to Somerset I am taking shoes and a pad. While they hike around I am going to get in some climbing.
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