Kentucky climbing is popular because of Red River Gorge. The Red has a fine line of Trad, Sport, and bouldering. A definate stop on the climbing circuit and a lifetime quantity of routes. Plus the best pizza in the world can be found at Miguel's along with a "climber's only" campground. The Red is also home to one of the toughest climbing orginazations, The Red River Gorge Climbers' Coalition.
Even in the central region we have the very popular Mammoth Cave which holds the longest underground cave structure in the world and an occasional above ground climb. Though the best climbing if your in the area is at Dismal Rock
Near the South we have Big South Fork. Most of Big South Fork is located in Tennessee but it is partly in Kentucky too and provides a short drive for those in the southern part of the state.
To the west is Dawson Bluffs. This area has some great cracks and one of the best roof cracks in the U.S. Many fine trad lines such as "Skeltar" (5.11+) and "Tips and Toes" (5.12a) not to mention the route that Tim Toula's Rock N' Road rated the 10th best roof crack in the U.S., Thurmonuclear's Crack (5.13a) which hasn't seen a second ascent. Shortly down the road from Dawson Bluffs is Pennyrile State Park which was visited by John Gill and featured in "Masters of Stone".
Usually you can climb year round, though late July and August can definitely try your patience when it comes to heat and bugs. Summer is bearable, especially if you follow the shady crags. Spring and fall are the idea times of year with cool temps, no bugs, and plenty of friction. Winter is great, too, and it's not unusual to end up climbing in a t-shirt and hat when you find the sunny crags.
Concerns over access have been an issue in the past. There are cliffs that run from the Red River Gorge to the Cumberland Region. These areas are scattered between NFS land and private land. These cliffs are largely undeveloped. If you climb on private land without the landowners permission you will make it harder for future climbing advocacy groups to negotiate with the landowners and the forest service.
Kentucky is seperated into 3 regions; The West, Central, and the East. The East covers just about everything South of Louisville. The Central Region covers everything to the west of Louisville and to the East of Owensboro. The West covers everything East of Owensboro.
Yet another state that is a landmark on the climbing circuit in the East.
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