Races and Redpoints at the Red River Gorge

Posted on

No amount of beta could have sufficiently prepared me for my first trip to the Red. I was getting conflicting reports from everyone I knew who had been there previously. To my astonishment, they were all speaking truth!

In Kentucky, fall is just beginning to emerge as cooler September weather sets in, trees start to molt their yellowing leaves, and the rain is actually welcomed because less humidity is lingering. I experienced it all in the short week I was there for trail running and rock climbing.

Endless tree lined back roads, with leaves just beginning to turn.
Endless tree lined back roads, with leaves just beginning to turn.
The famous Miguel’s Pizza where all climbers stay while visiting the Red
The famous Miguel’s Pizza where all climbers stay while visiting the Red

For the first leg of my trip I participated in the second annual Rugged Red Half Marathon. This trail running race climbs in and out of the gorge several times. Rain was not expected that Saturday, but it came anyway, drenching me for 8 of the 13+ miles. I kept comfortable in my Stonewear Vibe shorts, and was not at all surprised to find these favorite bottoms kept me chafe free in the bad weather. They survived my sweat drenched Southern California summer, and I knew they’d be there for me in the rain of Kentucky. I finished my race with an official time of 3:00:33, was the 31st woman across the line, 11th in my age group, and 182nd overall out of 549 runners.

Drenched after 8 miles of rain, but my Stonewear Vibe shorts kept me chafe free and comfortable!
Drenched after 8 miles of rain, but my Stonewear Vibe shorts kept me chafe free and comfortable!

The second end of my trip included rock climbing with my husband and belay partner. He took me to his favorite walls, and we were also introduced to a few new ones by happening upon two friends of ours that knew the secret areas. Over the course of 5 days I sport climbed and lead dozens of routes. I realized the best quality of the Red is the variety the walls it has to offer. All of my friends were right: the walls are slopey, juggy, crimpy, pockety, sharp, ledgy, smooth… and steep! Each crag has its own personality, and I only scratched the surface of the climbable areas in the Red River Gorge on this trip. Each climber can find a wall to love, and I personally found a few.

DCIM101GOPRO

Valarie Anderson RRG

My favorite new top this season is the Stonewear Dryflex Double Cross top. It kept me supported, comfortable, and covered while I sent all of my lines at the Red. Some days were warmer than others in the gorge. Both the Volt and Sprinter capris kept me dry and cool in the warmer weather and humidity of September. I’m eager to send more steep routes like Scar Tissue 12a, which went down this trip with a flash. When I return next year in October the weather will be even cooler and I’ll be hitting more classic crags and climbs, like the infamously steep and tall Motherload Wall. To be continued… Stay Adventurous!

Valarie Anderson RRG Anchors

About the Author

Valarie Anderson is a climber, runner, and climbing gym owner from Silverado, California.