5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c (avg: 4.6 / 155 votes)
Submitted by: Tony B
Climb up the tan and orange rock (perhaps the name comes from this?) in a corner formed by a very thick left-facing flake. The crux is somewhere around midway to the anchors and is hand-size dependent.
This route and it's neighbor, Rock Wars, are two of the nicest moderate Trad routes in the entire gorge. This climb was originally rated 5.8+ in the 1980's Martin Hackworth books, but was very strenuous and physical at the grade. Most climbers now refer to this as 5.9.
Walk right from the approach trail along the wall until you stand below a massive light-colored roof, a few hundred feet up. There is a large boulder under this, perhaps 15 meters back from the wall. A left-facing obtuse corner in orange/brown rock on the left has a hand-crack (Autumn) and a right-facing obtuse corner is on the right with a thinner crack and lighter rock (Rock Wars).
Gear to 3.5" with doubles in the hand sizes if you like to sew it up.
Susan Smith top roping Autumn
Susan Smith top roping Autumn

Luke nearing the top of Autumn
Luke nearing the top of Autumn

Cruising Autumn in August
Cruising Autumn in August

another shot of autumn
another shot of autumn

great route
great route

Autumn Route, epic climb! good pro.
Autumn Route, epic climb! good pro.

Nick Stayner  Mar 17, 2008
Taking two #3 camalots might be worth the effort for some!

jhump  Jun 27, 2009 Rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Do it like I did it. Only have a few trad leads to your name. Go to the Red in Mid-July. Hike up to Long Wall on a day when you are sure it will rain any minute- 100% humidity. Place all your hand sized gear early in the lead, run out of chalk. Dry the backs of your hands on your pants and gun it through the crux lucky to be alive. Lower as the rain dumps buckets, like it only can in Kentucky. Classic.

Ryan Justen  Jul 11, 2010
EXCELLENT CLIMB at this grade!!!

Make sure to wander to the right about 50ft and get Rock Wars 5.10a too!!!

Shawn Heath  Aug 17, 2010
@jhump That sounds about as epic as it gets on a one-pitch climb! I can't wait to try it!

Ryan Myers  Aug 17, 2010
great climb.. ran out of gear.. had to place a #7 BD Hex sideways to protect above the overhanging crack.

Matt Glue  Oct 17, 2011 Rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Great climb. I would consider pretty runout without doubles in #2 and/or #3

Matt Baer  Apr 14, 2012 Rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Great Climb! I only top roped it and the offwidth was tough, really fun though! One of the best climbs of my trip.

Kyle D Gustafson  Mar 19, 2015 Rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
This seemed pretty 5.9+ to me, although I'm pretty new to trad. I don't know where the minus comes from (maybe the top? it seemed pretty cruisy). I brought triples of 2s and 3s and wish I had more. Bring one 4 if you want to zip up the bottom. I don't even know what the top takes after pulling the roof because I ran out of gear.

Tony B  Mar 20, 2015
In the old Hackworth books, this was 5.8 and Rock Wars was 5.9.
Perhaps the grading is reflective of people's reluctance to upgrade by too much, or perhaps you just had a hard time on it. It is a pretty physical climb, and perceptions of grades are somewhat intangible.

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