Turning to the Dark Side – An incredible wall of pockets and crappy edges (some say they are great!)!

“The Solar Collector”. This crag is a stunning 80 foot long 50 foot high wall of late 10’s (20/21), 11’s (22-23) and 12’s (24-27). bouldery, sloppy, pocketed steepness that will love you until you fall.

Solar Collector - Great climbing all the way along this steep wall.
Solar Collector – Great climbing all the way along this steep wall.
RRG Green horn red-pointing the 3 star classic Green Horn 5.11a.
RRG Green horn red-pointing the 3 star classic Green Horn 5.11a.

We wandered over to the Dark Side to check out a route Mon was interested in trying called “The Return of Darth Maul”. When we got there I was totally convinced that this was the steepest thing I had ever seen……..this was the shit!

Nick Duttle on
Nick Duttle on “The Unknown Route.” – The Dark Side, RRG.

Ignore anything you have dreamed of and stare up at this absolutely incredible wall of pockets and crappy edges (some say they’re good). The warm up is 12a (24) and then its game on. It is truly insane watching so many people climb so hard all the time. They just keep coming and keep climbing all day. I feel weak and unmotivated, although I am not.

Ominous and beautiful, the Red is an ever-changing spectacle.
Ominous and beautiful, the Red is an ever-changing spectacle.

As I top off another double bourbon during the “waiting period” in Lexington’s Bluegrass Airport, I wonder what will the fall season be like if I go back to the gorge and really give it some serious stick. I feel 5.12c is soooooo close regardless of my first visits outcomes. The psyche I am feeling is wonderful and my hands are fatigued but feel stronger for being there.

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