Hillbilly Hollow

Note from Climbing Narc – Thanks to Sarah for this guest post on Hillbilly Hollow

Three hours after leaving Milwaukee, Tony, Kevlar and I pull into a rest stop just off the highway. We could be anyone, stopping to use the restrooms and stretch our legs. However, today we have a different purpose.
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Just behind this rest stop is a secluded sandstone bluff, housing about 15 routes, both sport and trad. Suffering from Red River Gorge withdrawal, we’ve come to Hillbilly Hollow to get our bolt-clippin’, sandstone climbin’ fix.


We started our day by warming up on two of the slabs. Curse of the Drill (5.7) and End of the Innocence (5.7) are both fun and very well bolted. After the slabs, we all climbed Swiss Cheese (5.8). The patina holds were rather sharp, but the moves were intriguing. It was easily the favorite route of the day.


The rest of the afternoon was spent working the burly Generation Gap (5.12). It begins by surmounting “The Gap”, a large roof, then working your way up the arete until you finish on Swiss Cheese, the route directly to the right. Its powerful opening moves spanked us all…repeatedly.


However, according to Tony, the middle of the route, which works its way up a blunt arete, was “orgasmic”.
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Bring a stick clip and a cold shower.


We had the crag to ourselves the entire time. The only people we saw all day were 2 curious truckers who wandered down the trail. Also appreciated were the easy, short approach and nice bathrooms. Overall, Hillbilly Hollow was a nice, frictiony alternative to Devil’s Lake.

A return trip is definitely needed…

Posted In: Pictures, Sport Climbing


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2 Responses to Hillbilly Hollow

  1. Narc July 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    Now that I finally checked out Hillbilly Hollow I can intelligently comment on this post.

    The first 2 5.7ish routes mentioned are surely two of the better easy sport routes I’ve ever climbed and they are undoubtedly the most excellent beginner lead climbs in WI. They are much better than just about any sport route at the RRG under 5.10.

    Swiss cheese was unpleasantly sharp and rather short. I can’t say that I agree with most people’s opinion of this route being good.

    Generation gap caused me (and my belayer Mrs. Narc) a lot of grief, and my lack of power became evident very quickly. The moves after the first bolt were fun and thankfully much, much easier. The lack of a separate anchor caused our rope much grief as well while I was cleaning the route…

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  2. Chris Eggbert July 6, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    Glad to hear you are pullin down again your Narcness. ce

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