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Tag Archives: Red River Gorge


Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition

The more we personally visit the Red, the more in love with it we become. This place captivates all of its visitors, both hiker and climber alike. We all enjoy the break from the city, where the skies shine bright with stars, the wind and rain have been allowed to carve the landscape, and the true beauty of nature surrounds you. For the adventure seeker it is often the first place we point out for your next weekend jaunt and for the climber it is where to find world class climbing at all levels. The gorge is unique and breathe-taking. It is also precious, delicate, and sometimes dangerous.

It is important to educate the people who want to enjoy these areas and to work our best to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable solutions to our outdoor recreation. That is why RRT makes a strong effort to support the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition. The Coalition focuses on exactly that. In July of 2018 RRT hosted their first annual in-store fundraiser for the coalition, bringing local craft beer, an awesome raffle from Rab and Black Diamond, and a coalition update all together to raise almost $700 year one!

RRT has been a member of the RRGCC since 2015. We support the coalition with our yearly sponsorship and attendance and promotion of their annual Rocktoberfest fundraiser. Still, we wanted to do more for this organization and broaden our fundraising. That is why that same year we designed and created a series of shirts and stickers that celebrate the Red but also have a portion of proceeds that continually contribute to the RRGCC. If you love the Red like we do, I think you’ll appreciate the design and the mission. You can currently find shirts, trucker hats and stickers at RRT and Quest Outdoors.

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Our fundraising efforts and sponsorship has totaled over $6,000 in contributions so far. If you want to learn more about the RRGCC or their Rocktoberfest festival (which is amazing!) please click the link below:

Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition

Read “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Red River Gorge”

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Red River Gorge

Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is world-famous for its rock climbing and is a popular destination for camping, hiking, and backpacking as well. Nothing new there. So what don’t you know about the Red? Goatman shall elucidate:

1. RRG could have been turned into a lake, but was saved by a protest hike.

Back in the 1960’s, there was a dam proposed in the area for the purpose of flood control. A group of concerned citizens with the help of the Sierra Club arranged the Dam Protest Hike of 1967. On November 18th, groups were led on a hike of the Red to showcase its unique beauty.

2. RRG is registered as a National Natural Landmark.

The fight to keep the gorge from being drowned led to its inclusion as a National Natural Landmark, as well as being included on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a National Archeological District and the Red River itself, as of 1993, has been declared a National Wild and Scenic River.

3. RRG is home to one of the earliest examples of agriculture being utilized by prehistoric peoples.

With unique rock shelters, RRG is the home of approximately 664 prehistoric and historic archeological sites, some dating back 12,000 years. Examples of early seed gathering and storage have been found in the gorge, as well as everyday items such as baskets and moccasins. For this reason, RRG is a National Archeological District.

4. RRG is one of many supposed sites of John Swift’s Lost Silver Mine.

You may be familiar with the campground bearing his name and the beautiful trail named Swift Camp Creek, but did you know that John Swift was a real man and, according to his journals, he found and consequently buried a fortune in silver. The directions he left are vague (with markers like “by a creek”)  and many other sites claim his silver for themselves.

5. RRG is home to an endangered plant that is unique to the rock shelters of the area.

  That’s right. Real treasure does exist. Namely, the White-haired Golden Rod (Solidago Albopilosa). This flower only grows in one place and that place just happens to be right at RRG. Unfortunately, the number of plants is declining due to human trampling. Take a look at it, memorize it’s shape and color, and please, keep your big feet off of them!

6. RRG is also home to three endangered animals.

The Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) , the Virginia Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus), and the Red Cockaded Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis) all make their home in and around RRG and are all on the endangered species list. Unfortunately, the bat population is being decimated by White-nose Syndrome, a fungal infection that can infect entire colonies of bats. However, you can do your part by not disturbing the caves in which the bats make their home, especially in the winter. If a bat is awakened from its hibernation, it may lose enough body fat in being active to not survive the winter. Be mindful!

7. Kentucky has its very own long trail, the Sheltowee Trace, that goes right through the heart of RRG.

You may have seen the blazes on the trees of a white turtle and wondered what that was all about. That, my friend, is the path of the Sheltowee Trace, a ~300 mile long trail leading from Morehead, KY in the north all the way down to Big South Fork on the KY-TN border. A hike on the trail will take you through Cave Run, Cumberland Falls and, of course, RRG. Don’t have time to hike all 300 miles at once? There’s a group that meets to do it 30 miles at a time over the course of a year.

8. The Clifty Catman is stalking you.

The Clifty Wilderness encompasses the eastern and northeastern sections of the gorge and is home, according to legend, of the Clifty Catman. This creature is the size of a horse, has the skeletal structure of a large cat, the skin of a human and a beautiful baritone singing voice with which he leads hikers astray. Be wary! If you catch a glimpse of the Clifty Catman and live to tell the tale, please comment and let me know what sort of warding talisman you had in your possession.

9. The Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition is buying property to preserve cliff line.

Thus far, two areas have been purchased: the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP),  750 acres, and The Miller Fork Recreational Preserve (MFRP), 309 acres. They also host trail building days during the summer which are a lot of fun with a great group of people. Get involved here!

10. The Red River Gorge Trail Crew hosts trail building/clean ups every second Saturday of every month.

A great way to give back to the area that has brought so much joy, RRGTC helps preserve and maintain the gorge so that it will be beautiful for generations to come. They work with the U.S. Forest Service and information concerning volunteering can be found here!

 

RRT’s Live Inventory now on Locally.com

 

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Gear Review: ENO Hammocks

I Love My Hammock Time!
The Hammock Lifestyle
Written by: James Mobley

My ENO Hammock obsession started about nine years ago.  I was rock climbing at the Red River Gorge, and hiked up to a climbing area where I saw one hung up between a couple of trees. The owner of the hammock was taking a well deserved rest from climbing, hot summer temps and just relaxing.  From that point on, I was on a mission to get myself one!  I now have a single nest, double nestbug nets, and slap straps for my hammocks, and an ENO lounge chair.  Additionally, both of my boys have their own double nest hammock, which is an investment that can last them a life time. What is the big deal about ENO products you ask? They are light weight (17 oz. for the Single Nest), pack down small (3.5 x 4.5 in. for the Single Nest), strong, durable, easy to set up and dry quick if they get wet.  No matter what adventure I’m on, I have one of my ENO products with me.

When I’m on my rock climbing adventures I enjoy my afternoon siestas, that is for sure!  Doing this in my hammock helps me to recharge my batteries, and take on more vertical play time on the rock that I call home at the Red River Gorge!  Typically my friends and I set up an ENO lounge area when we get to our climbing destination.

Terji and James ENO Time

My son Terje and I hanging out at a climbing area at the Red River Gorge.

The standard call out after we hang up our hammocks is “these hammock are community property for all to enjoy if anyone wants to relax in one.”  It makes for a fun and relaxing day for everyone that happens to be at our chosen climbing area. Often times, new friends are made from fellow climbers that have traveled from abroad to climb at the Red River Gorge.

I also carry my ENO gear in my general travels and adventures!  Some of my best nights of sleep, and most impactful memories to date with my boys, have been sleeping under the stars together in our ENO hammocks.  My favorite specific memory was when we were at Zion National Park.  The sky was crystal clear with no light pollution.  The stars were vivid and bright. You could see the silhouette of the rock cliffs, towering high above, as they surrounded us.

The cool thing about ENO products is you don’t have to be a rock climber or go on big adventures to have a need for them!  An example of this is how I setup a place for my boys hammocks in their bedrooms.  I simply put a couple of eyebolts into the walls, securing them into studs.  The hammocks hang above their beds and many nights they choose to make that their sleeping space.  If they have friends over it allows them the ability to hangout and sleep near there friends.  Although, often time there friends are the ones in love with the hammock setup and end up sleeping in them.  I can only imagine the conversations my boys’ friends have with there parents once they get picked up from my house.

ENO Hangout Time

Friends and my son Ezra hanging out at a climbing area at the Red River Gorge.

I even setup a system in our 1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia for ENO Hammocks. Two hammocks can span the inside of the Westy when it is parked.  This provides a quick sleeping setup for my boys if it is needed.

ENO Hammocks also make a great gift for a family or just one person.  I’ve done this with my loved ones, and it is known that uncle James loves his hammock time.  For me, it is nice to know that they are creating memories in their hammock as well.

In summary, having an ENO Hammock should be a standard item in your inventory of important gear to own and use!

Climb On!!

Climb On!!
Climbing in the Tri-State
Written by: James Mobley

My wife will tell you that I’m obsessed with climbing.  I say I’m passionate about climbing.  Either way it is a key part of my life!  I’ve been climbing for over 13 years and continue to get more involved in the climbing community.  It challenges me to grow my mind, body, and spirit every time I climb, all year long.  I fail more times than I succeed but when I do achieve a particular goal it is very gratifying and I grow as a person.  I enjoy going to climbing areas and meeting new people in the climbing community.  I meet people from all over the world and we all have a common bond, our passion for climbing.Amarillo Sunset 5.11b

Bouldering At Springfield OhioSo where do I go to fulfill my passion to climb?  I moved to Cincinnati mainly to be closer to The Red River Gorge in Slade Kentucky.  The Red is a worldwide destination for climbers.  Gritty sandstone, pocketed lines, and steep roof routes make it the mecca of Midwest climbing.  Climbing guides for the Red River Gorge are available at Roads Rivers and Trails, located in downtown Milford.  The guide will give you ideas for climbing, camping, and restaurants.  My favorite place to find all three is Miguel’s PizzaMiguel’s Pizza is an icon around the world for supporting the climbing community.  Their dedication to climbers is evident through their business; gear shop, food, climber camping, and their ongoing support in all the yearly climbing events that take place in the area.  On top of all of that, they make the best pizza on the planet, no joke!

But wait, there’s more!  Living in Cincinnati gives me access to a number of other great climbing destinations.  You can urban climb right in Cincinnati, at Eden Park.  The New River Gorge in West Virginia offers features, such as, splinter cracks, ledges, horizontal cracks, and clean lines.  On a hot summer day the New also offers great places to jump into the water to cool off after a day of climbing!  All this is available within a short drive. Just north of Cincinnati, in Springfield Park, you can boulder limestone rock.  Just west of Cincinnati, in Muscatatuck, Indiana, you can boulder along a creek bed.   A southeast day trip offers bouldering in Athens, Ohio. In summary, amazing climbing surrounds the Cincinnati area.

Funkadelic 5.10bIf you’re looking for a new way to get fit and meet great people I encourage you to try climbing; be it in one of the local gyms or one of these outside locations! I feel lucky to live in a place with so many great options!