Red River Gorge climbing updates
At Red River Gorge (USA) Adam Taylor has freed Southern Smoke Direct 5.15a, while Jorg Verhoeven has repeated 25 difficult routes including Pure Imagination 9a.
One of the most important crags in the US, the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, continues to attract. A few days ago the local Adam Taylor freed the direct start to Southern Smoke, an 8c+ which now - after almost two years of attempts - goes down at 5.15a, or 9a+.
Southern Smoke made headline news earlier this year when Sasha DiGiulian made it her first 8c+, while Pure Imagination became her first 9a a few months later. Both these routes have been swiftly repeated by Jorg Verhoeven who, evidently on fine form, also sent 50 Word for Pump 8c+ and 25 routes between 7c+ and 8b, either on-sight or flash. The Dutchman will remain in the USA for a while and it'll be interesting to see where he focus his attention next. Perhaps Southern Smoke direct. Or Jumbo Love, the super route established by Chris Sharma, graded 9b and still there, sleeping up at Clark Mountain and unrepeated since 2008... Who knows!
Jorg Verhoeven Pure Imagination 5.14d (9a)