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Fortress Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
American Crack T 
American Wall T 
Battlement, The T 
Bedtime for Bonzo T 
Blue Runner T 
Bombs Bursting T 
Bonzo's Revenge T 
Calypso I T 
Calypso II T 
Calypso III T 
Fading Memory T 
Fortress Grunges T 
Get Outta My Way T 
Horny Bitch T 
Party Time T 
Route 48 T 
Scratch Your Face T 
Serpent T 
Snake T 
Thunder Chicken T 
Turret, The T 
Where Lizards Dare T 

Fortress Wall Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.83768, -83.64701 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 38,703
Administrators: Jason Halladay, DisturbingThePeace, saxfiend, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Chaney on Oct 4, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Tony Bubb Starts Up Party Time (5.7, Fortress Wall...


This is the best crag in the RRG for learning trad climbing. There is the greatest concentration of easier routes, with quality routes at every grade from 5.6 to 5.11.

The aspect is generally southern, with some routes getting morning sun and some getting afternoon. The wall is hot in summer, but somewhat sheltered in light rain.

There are a few easy and moderate multi-pitch routes so this is also a great wall to get a little MP practice in a well travelled setting.

Fortress can be very crowded at times. Large groups often take over the crag which can ruin everyone's day.

If you are a trad climber and visit the area you can't pass up spending some time here.

Getting There 

Parking area GPS: 37.8380, -83.6440

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.1 miles from here

22 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Fortress Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Fortress Wall:
Calypso III   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Route 48   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
American Crack   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
American Wall   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Bedtime for Bonzo   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   
Calypso II   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Calypso I   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 60'   
Party Time   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 140'   
Horny Bitch   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   
Bombs Bursting   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 60'   
Snake   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Blue Runner   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Where Lizards Dare   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a A2     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 70'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Fortress Wall

Featured Route For Fortress Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Randy Childers heads up the upper part of the uppe...

Bedtime for Bonzo 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  KY : Red River Gorge : Fortress Wall
A great route normally done as 2 short pitches. Climb a left-angling flake to a big ledge with a huge block on it. Belay here to avoid a bad line with your rope, even though you are not yet more than 50' up. Walk right to a second crack in the wall which ascends up and right on hand jams (crux) and horizontal holds through a steep section headed out right towards an arete. Finish on face moves to reach the top. Belay & rap from bolt anchors....[more]   Browse More Classics in KY

Comments on Fortress Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Oct 27, 2008
Outstanding trad area, but if you're not prepared for Gunks-style sandbagging, you'll get a rude awakening!
By Drake Pregnall
From: Morehead, KY
Mar 19, 2012
Absolutely agree with you there. I climb in the Gunks and the Adirondacks regularly, two very sandbagged places, and I still found the Fortress Wall grades to be a bit stiff.
By Dreez
Jun 16, 2014
Approach: Park at the 2nd pullout with a wooden post and forest service sign (but no wording, just wood). Can park about 5 cars. Approach is about 10 minutes and you'll wind up at the Snake 5.8 Trad 60 feet climb.
By Jordan K
From: Ohio
Jan 19, 2015
End Of Fortress Approach trail: 37.837337,-83.647221

Watch out for MASSIVE amount of poison ivy along the approach "in season."

While not every single climb will be dry, lots of climbable routes in light/medium rain due to a large roof system over this crag. Fantastic crag for the beginning trad leader. Sandbagged? Definitely maybe. But not atypical of the northern gorge region at all.

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