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Rock Wars 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 120'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: P1: G. Stephens, A. Snider '86. P2: T. Souders, '86.
Season: Any
Page Views: 14,359
Submitted By: Tony B on Oct 3, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (132)
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Austin Newman climbing Rock Wars

Description 

Rock Wars is one of the finest routes in the Red and offers a little of everything, except off-width. Start off on moderate climbing and stem,lock and jam your way up for some moderate climbing to a tiny "roof" where the crack/flake stick out to the right and you are forced to move with it. High feet to the right and a positive finger lock/lieback (5.9) get you through the first crux and up to the anchors. Stop at the anchor if you feel compelled, or better yet, clip one of the bolts with a sling and get up and into the left-leaning handcrack (5.10a) to the second set of anchors.

Location 

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).

Protection 

Gear to 3." The 1st pitch crux gear is first-to-second knuckle sized cams. If you run all the way up to the top in a single pitch, the second pitch is crux on hand-to-wide hands gear.
The flake is thin in spots and stoppers have been known to pop out with flex in the rock, but cams are pretty secure. Place them a little deep just to be safe.


Photos of Rock Wars Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Wars....Katelyn Jones
Rock Wars....Katelyn Jones
Scoping the next placement in a great corner.
Scoping the next placement in a great corner.
Going up Rock Wars. Summer '99.
Going up Rock Wars. Summer '99.
Rock Wars
Rock Wars
Hanging out on Rock Wars.
BETA PHOTO: Hanging out on Rock Wars.
Sewing it up
Sewing it up
nearing the anchors
nearing the anchors
View from below
View from below
Trad at Red River Gorge.
Trad at Red River Gorge.
Rock Wars on the left. <br />Hot September on the right.
Rock Wars on the left.
Hot September on the right.
Rock Wars
Rock Wars
The top.
The top.
Such a good route!
Such a good route!
Rock wars
Rock wars
On the lower section of Rock Wars
On the lower section of Rock Wars
Rock Wars
Rock Wars
Belay station and kev settin his second peice.
Belay station and kev settin his second peice.
Onsighted Rock Wars this month. Loved it! Will be going back very soon
Onsighted Rock Wars this month. Loved it! Will be ...
Tony Bubb leads "Rock Wars (5.9+)" on Long Wall, in the Red River Gorge, KY. Photo by Casey Rhodes, 1991
Tony Bubb leads "Rock Wars (5.9+)" on Long Wall, i...
toproping
toproping
Nearing the top on POWER TOPROPE!!!
Nearing the top on POWER TOPROPE!!!
Top rope on pitch one-- Rachel later put up second pitch.
Top rope on pitch one-- Rachel later put up second...

Comments on Rock Wars Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 28, 2014
By max seigal
From: boulder
Jul 28, 2007

this is a great line, and not as hard as it looks. The gear is solid, and both pitches should be linked (with a 60meter rope you can make it down).
By Jeff Mekolites
From: HOTlanta, GA
Nov 19, 2007

forget that bolt...put in a cam and keep going!!!!
By Nick Stayner
From: Billings, MT
Mar 17, 2008

This is one of the best (if not THE best) crack climbs I've done in the southeast. Classic locks and jams.
By David Aguasca!
From: New York
Jan 14, 2009

locks and jams? i couldn't get a single fingerjam on the whole thing...i was tips laybacking up the entire finger crack.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 14, 2009

Mostly solid first and second knuckle for me on P1, but I do have small fingers. Second pitch I was in up to my wrists, and comfortably so.
By jhump
Jun 27, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This route is a must do. One of the most memorable and excellent single pitches I have ever done- and that was 11 years ago.
By Ryan Justen
From: St. Paul, MN
Jul 11, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

CLASSIC!!! Be ware of the bolt... it's loose (use a cam instead)

Pro: small cams #1 #2 BD C3's and BD C4's 0.4 to 2 for the top, with an optional #3 or #4 down low (you'll see the one spot)

Lot's of good feet make this easier than it looks, except at the top ;)
By sunder
From: Alsip, Il
Aug 30, 2010

The single bolt is more for if you are toproping the route. Make sure to clip the single bolt before lowering the other person. This will stop a swing into Souder's Crack if someone falls on TR on the lower half of the route.

Takes 2xC3 #1 on the lower half along with some nuts. The dihedral midway takes 2x.75 BD cams. Plus other gear.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Oct 29, 2010

A warning about doing this on nuts- that flake expands on hard pulls. More than one person I know has zippered a series of stoppers out of it in a fall.
By Chiyram
Nov 16, 2012

This would be two pitches if you didn't have enough gear possibly. I've never seen anyone do it in two. 60m rope is good enough.
By Alexander Blum
From: Charlotte, NC
Apr 5, 2014

I have to echo the commentators before me: this route is stellar, it is everything you have ever hoped for or dreamed of, it will raise your children for you and send them to Harvard too. It is also not nearly as hard as it looks (finger size dependent, of course). It would certainly be at home in Utah or Nevada, and is one of the best crack climbs I have done on the right coast.

RE: Conditions

There is, as of spring 2014, no intermediate belay - just one bolt with an empty hole where the second one used to be. This is no big deal, it is easy to get down with a sixty, the top protects well, and there is simply no reason not to do the entire route anyway.
By J Meagher
Apr 28, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

An incredible route, by far the best crack I've ever climbed. IMO, this rock is even better than the rock at the Solarium and Bruise Brothers. Straight in finger locks the whole way, and remember to bring your good smearing shoes!

Just a heads up about the anchor bolts, both hangars are loose and easily spin in a full circle. I don't think its cause to worry too much but just check them before lowering or TR ing off them