The Approach - via Car
A.Jones near the bottom of "Rock Wars" contemplating the jams (Photo: L. Jones)
"Rock Wars" is located at the Long Wall, part of Kentucky's Red River Gorge
. From the Nada Tunnel (which is an attraction all on its own) continue driving east (passing the Military Wall) until you get to a steel bridge (which goes over the Red River). At the east end of this steel bridge turn left (north) onto County Road "1067-FR23". Drive about 1.3 miles (2.1 km) along this road until you can see a pull out on the left overlooking the Red River. Park in this pull-out. To access the crag, locate an old road directly across from the pull-out and start hiking. The trail is well defined (and steep). It takes 10-15 minutes to get to the Long Wall from the parking area.
The trail meets the wall at a climb called "Cruisemaster" and then forks. Follow the trail to the right. The trail follows along the wall for a couple of minutes and then cuts back to the left into a small alcove. This alcove is defined by two cracks - "Autumn
" to left, and "Rock Wars" to the right.
Rock Wars consists of a crack system in a shallow corner that ends with a small overhang/roof feature at the top. The crack is mainly between one and two inches wide and eats up pro. The crux section is about half way up where the crack narrows down and footholds become scarce. The climb is rated 5.10a.
There is a second pitch on this route, but most parties rappel after the first pitch.
The route is excellent. Perhaps the coolest thing about this climb is the legend surrounding it. Apparently David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame heard about this climb and wanted to give it a go between gigs with the band. The crux seems to have been getting their tour bus through the Nada Tunnel.
While at the Long Wall - climb "Autumn
" which is only about 50 metres to the left of "Rock Wars"
The route is less than 30 metres in length, so the lead climber can lower to the ground and set up a top-rope for the second.
Gear is mostly in the one inch to two inch range; although take some gear of a different size (just to be sure).