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Red River Gorge vs. New River Gorge
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By Steve Jones
May 20, 2014
on belay
While they both have their strengths, I like the New much better - better views, stronger rock, more solitude, more routes, and an actual town with a climbing shop and great places to eat. The New is also a bit cooler (weather wise) and it is multi-sport. The rock at the New lends itself to trad and intricate face routes. There are a lot of sport routes as well.

The rock at the Red is interesting with all the swirls and pockets. Also, the rock is steeper and there are longer routes. However, it's just too many people for my taste. On the weekends, it seems like an outdoor gym. Last time we were at Muir valley, the lot was full and the crags were crawling with people, people waiting in line, etc. At most of the popular crags, there are lines for the popular routes and lots of tp blooms in the woods. The places we climb at the New, we might not see another party all day and this is on the weekends. We would never go to Butcher's Branch, Sandstonia or Orange Oswald on the weekends.

So if you like a social scene and overhanging sport routes that you can climb in a pouring rain, the Red is the place. If you prefer some space, natural beauty, trad and multi-sport, the New is hard to beat in the East, except maybe for North Carolina.

FLAG
By RyanSchmidt
May 20, 2014
Steve Jones wrote:
Last time we were at Muir valley, the lot was full and the crags were crawling with people, people waiting in line, etc. The places we climb at the New, we might not see another party all day and this is on the weekends. We would never go to Butcher's Branch, Sandstonia or Orange Oswald on the weekends.


hahaha wow.... Really? You complain about the Red being crowded yet you went to the MOST CROWDED AND POPULAR crag in the Red. Muir Valley is basically the Sandstonia/Orange Oswald of the New so I am not sure what you were expecting?

There are THOUSANDS of routes in the Red, if you are waiting to climb something you are doing it wrong. Take one step to the left or right and climb the next route that doesn't have a party on it.

FLAG
By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
May 20, 2014
My dogs got ups yo!
The best part about the Red River Gorge for me is that with so many new crags popping up most of the older areas that I originally started climbing around '98 are predominantly empty. Places like Phantasia, Left Flank and Military see hardly any traffic compared to Muir Valley. Having moved away from the area and coming back to visit I could careless about the latest and greatest crags that have recently discovered. It's just too bad Roadside is closed and I have to jump through hoops to gain access to Torrent Falls.

FLAG
By Steve Jones
May 21, 2014
on belay
jarthur wrote:
The best part about the Red River Gorge for me is that with so many new crags popping up most of the older areas that I originally started climbing around '98 are predominantly empty. Places like Phantasia, Left Flank and Military see hardly any traffic compared to Muir Valley. Having moved away from the area and coming back to visit I could careless about the latest and greatest crags that have recently discovered. It's just too bad Roadside is closed and I have to jump through hoops to gain access to Torrent Falls.


Glad you mentioned Phantasia. We went there two weeks ago and there were 7 people queued up for Pogue Ethics, and groups on the other similar routes. Same thing at Fortress and Purple Valley. I imagine if you know the place well enough you can avoid the outdoor gym scene, but that takes time. I've only been to Muir Valley once and we left quickly, so again the trial and error approach takes time. I'd rather spend that time climbing.

How different is it there during the week?

FLAG
By Dylan Randall
From Paul Smiths, NY
May 21, 2014
Ian's Favorite Problem
Steve Jones wrote:
Glad you mentioned Phantasia. We went there two weeks ago and there were 7 people queued up for Pogue Ethics, and groups on the other similar routes. Same thing at Fortress and Purple Valley. I imagine if you know the place well enough you can avoid the outdoor gym scene, but that takes time. I've only been to Muir Valley once and we left quickly, so again the trial and error approach takes time. I'd rather spend that time climbing. How different is it there during the week?



I know on my trip in late March, during the week we spent more than one day at Muir and didn't have much trouble. Actually spent quite a few hours at Sunnyside and saw only one other party. We were also able to get on all the routes we wanted at the Bruise Brothers wall as well with no wait.

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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
May 21, 2014
My dogs got ups yo!
Steve Jones wrote:
Glad you mentioned Phantasia. We went there two weeks ago and there were 7 people queued up for Pogue Ethics, and groups on the other similar routes. Same thing at Fortress and Purple Valley. I imagine if you know the place well enough you can avoid the outdoor gym scene, but that takes time. I've only been to Muir Valley once and we left quickly, so again the trial and error approach takes time. I'd rather spend that time climbing. How different is it there during the week?


It's always going to be leaps and bounds different during the week. You may run into people here and there, but you won't be waiting in line for anything. However the NRG is damn near vacant during the week. It's one of the best places in the world to have all to yourself during the week. That's usually when I'll head over to Summersville. On a busy weekend you can just head over to Endless Wall, or Fern Buttress and have the place to yourself. However if you want to plug in some gear neither the RRG, or the NRG is considered crowded unless you like waiting in line for Zag at the Bridge Buttress, or Super Crack at Beauty Mountain.

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By EricF
From San Francisco
May 21, 2014
This could easily be solved by a game of basketball.

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By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
May 21, 2014
Funny you should mention that . . .

Like this one?

FLAG
 
By Brian Adzima
From San Francisco
May 25, 2014
somewhere in WV
Ben Circello wrote:
I can't speak for the New, but the Red has some of the cheapest camping and easiest to find partners I've ever encountered. The only cheaper camping I've encountered is free.


The camping at Miquel's is cheap, but not quite the same as camping in the meadows above Rifle, or all the hidden glens tucked around Vedauvoo.

FLAG
By ze_dirtbag
From TBD
May 25, 2014
cottonmouth
the red is fun, i like the powerful climbing there.

but

for me, the new is home. that's where i really cut my teeth and the people there are awesome. i just got to know them better than the crew at the red. i've climbed a lot of places, but still get stoked when i think about going home and hopping on some of that sweet sweet nuttall sandstone. i got spoiled, go to the crag and being able to climb pretty much whatever terrain you want within a couple hundred feet of each other. i'm not going to for a weekend of cragging to find solitude, i go for a lot of climbing and meet up for beers and good food afterwards. camping is too expensive?...look harder, there's free camping to be found either spot, you might just have to drive a bit to get there. having a shower and a shitter are worth a few bucks to me if i'm going to be in public/around cute girls.

my opinion, make up your mind what you want. steep walls and party camping, go to the red. diverse crags and a chill social scene, go to the new. if you want to go climb and not see anyone else and camp for free, go to the winds/high sierra/cascades and start hiking

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By Cultivating Mass
May 25, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Or do what most people at either crag do:spray about it all week, then sit around jawing all weekend between lattes, pizzas, and overpriced microbrews.

I moved away from these two crags looking for bigger, more complex objectives. I got it, but I can tell you, despite the humidity, despite the weekend crowds, the mosquitos, the constant rain at the New, the lines at the Lode, the posers with the dogs and boomboxes setting up hammocks and generally shitting up the place for minimal actual climbing time, the evil redneck cops and the tweeker scum car break-in artists....

They're great places to climb. Consider yourself privileged if you live within driving distance of either. Nothing out west I've been on rivals the quality of the stone, the individual pitches, or the setting-we got bigger, not better. Even Tuolomne felt grainy and meh next to some of the amazing stone and routes I climbed around the Southeast. I love the solitude and vastness of the desert, but, man, I pine for that cool, bullet stone, roofs everywhere, green forest, and chill people. Can't wait to get back and visit some of the spots I never got to enjoy, like Shortoff, the Meadows, and a stack of newer crags at the Red.

Love the one you're with!

FLAG
By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
May 25, 2014
They're different. Get over it. Go to both.

'Nuff said...

FLAG
By 5.samadhi
May 25, 2014
me
ze_dirtbag wrote:
the red is fun, i like the powerful climbing there.

I'm not sure I know anybody that would describe the red as "powerful" in general. but yeah I think the red is fun too :)

FLAG
By Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
May 26, 2014
Flatirons
5.samadhi wrote:
I'm not sure I know anybody that would describe the red as "powerful" in general. but yeah I think the red is fun too :)


Choss

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By 5.samadhi
May 26, 2014
me
Its no pine creek jug haul thats for sure :/

let's climb together in June Ryan. I will be living near the Bay Area.

FLAG
By Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
May 27, 2014
Flatirons
5.samadhi wrote:
Its no pine creek jug haul thats for sure :/ let's climb together in June Ryan. I will be living near the Bay Area.


Yeah at least it's a bit varied though. Sometimes pine creek gets a bit mindless. "how long can you hang on to overhanging jugs?" Is only fun for so long.

But I'm any case hit me up when you're around and we'll go swing from buckets.

FLAG
 
By BrandonB
From Cincinnati, OH
Jun 2, 2014
Me
Maybe this is a product of living close to both areas, but they both excel in different areas. To reference some earlier posts, the main difference for me is the aesthetics. The Red has a very down in the woods feel, even at the top of most routes the only thing visible is the top of another cliff and lots of greenery. The New offers views of the other cliffs, lots of foliage, lots of blue sky (when you can get it), and the river below, etc... The climbing really cant be pinned down to saying one is better but the pocket features at the red are pretty amazing, while the billowy hard sandstone at the new is pretty amazing.

I love the New for the views and general area more than the red. However, as im starting to get into trad, both areas have great cracks and lines that don't see nearly as much traffic.

In general id say check them both out, climb some classics at both areas and see for yourself. Get out in the park at the red to avoid some crowds and see great routes, checkout the endless wall at the New for a taste of that. But the New did win the basketball game sooooooo........... it has to be better.

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By Chris Jones
Jul 19, 2014
I'll have to back up my Dad's opinion on the New being superior to the Red. I've lived in WV and KY and have climbed extensively in both areas. The New is SUPERIOR sandstone and is not nearly as soft as the Red. The trad at the Red sucks due to rock quality being poor. Sorry Red Heads.

If you want steep cave climbing, jug hauling, and some steep trad testpieces on solid stone, it is my opinion that the Obed/Clear Creek is better than the New or the Red.

I have never had so many horseflies and mosquitoes cover my body anywhere as I have at the Red. I would only recommend climbing there in late fall. Horseflies would never respond to deet and chewed on my head and my baby daughter's head the entire time we lived there. At least at the NEW there are few horseflies and the bugs respond to deet.

The Red was was not my favorite for many reasons.

If you want great pocket climbing, then visit the limestone and dolomite of WY and rarely see another climber.

FLAG


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