Knowlegable. Experienced. Educators.

About Our Team


Bluegrass Climbing School takes pride in offering the highest quality instruction and experiences available in Red River Gorge, by only employing AMGA certified instructors with proper Wilderness Medical Training, and a penchant for education. We have over 20 years of experience climbing and developing routes here in the Red River Gorge area. Members of our team have a passion for climbing that is contagious to everyone around them and we love going the extra mile to ensure your climbing experience, course, or outing are safe and enjoyable.


Erik Kloeker Owner and Founder Bluegrass Climbing School American Mountain Guide Association Certified Guide Rock Guide Single Pitch Instructor Guided Climbing in Red River Gorge

Erik Kloeker

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

AMGA Rock Guide Aspirant

NOLS Wilderness First Responder

Erik is the owner and founder of the Bluegrass Climbing School, he’s been professionally guiding in the United States and abroad for the last 7 years. Born in the great Bluegrass State of Kentucky, Erik started climbing by exploring the nearby cliffs and rock faces in the Red River Gorge. Over the last decade, he has traveled to pursue his passion at crags and on Big Walls across the United States, Canada, and Mexico an is excited to share what he’s learned along the way back in the place it all started. Erik’s main emphasis is on education and he finds it equally rewarding introducing newcomers to the sport and teaching new techniques to seasoned pros.

Erik gives back by volunteering with the American Safe Climbing Association and Red River Gorge’s Fixed Gear Initiative, where he has partnered to replace over a 1000 worn and rusty bolts in Red River Gorge area and abroad. Erik is an active member of the  Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team and is a certified Technical Rope Rescue Technician.

Erik spends his winters operating Climb Potrero Mountain Guides guiding multi-pitch climbing in Northern Mexico’s World Renowned El Potrero Chico climbing area.

David Pierdinock

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

NOLS Wilderness First Responder

From a young age, David has been drawn to the outdoors.  David’s childhood interests in hiking, fishing, and camping were quickly overshadowed by a fascination with climbing after he went on a climbing trip to the Red River Gorge while studying Environmental Science at the University of Notre Dame.  After graduating, he moved from his hometown in Illinois to the Red River Gorge to pursue his passion for rock climbing full time.

David enjoys a multitude of climbing styles from single pitch sport climbs to long, traditional multi-pitch routes in the mountains.  He has ticked off over 600 routes in the Red River Gorge.

David and has a passion for sharing his love of climbing with others and puts an emphasis on being an educator first.

Travis Sapp, Bluegrass Climbing School Owner, AMGA Certified Multi-Pitch Instructor, Trad Climbing Instructor, Sport Climbing Instructor

Travis Sapp

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

AMGA Rock Guide Apprentice

NOLS Wilderness First Responder

Travis grew up in North Carolina, where he began climbing as a teenager. He first discovered his passion for instructing on a NOLS outdoor educator semester in Wyoming and Utah. Following this course he traveled the world climbing in Spain, Japan, Patagonia, Morocco and the western U.S. before finding his way to the Red River Gorge. 

Clients find Travis to be an easy going and knowledgeable instructor who strives to connect with clients and tailors each trip to their needs. 

Travis is an active member of the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team and is a certified Technical Rope Rescue Technician.


*Please specify in the notes when you book if you’d like to request a particular guide, we will do our best to meet your request.


Opportunities with BCS

Bluegrass Climbing School is currently accepting applications for qualified individuals to join our instructor team. Applicants must hold a current single pitch instructor and wilderness medical certifications. To apply send your resume and a short bio to this email.

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