This is the few thousand feet of virgin rock off of the Thompson Creek Trail in the Sipsy Wilderness in Northwest Alabama. While there is more development farther down the trail, there is so much rock here that it deserves it's own area.
Virgin Rock: Development of this area has just begun. With that in mind, some of the routes and faces are cleaner than others, some are more solid than others, some are downright scary. The rock is generally hard sandstone, but all holds need to be cleaned with a brush to feel comfortable throwing for them.
There are currently three distinct sections to the cliff-line, delineated by small streams (and waterfalls if it has rained) on the cliff face. Faces vary from south facing to west. However only the tallest southern faces receive direct sunlight. The western faces are the coolest.
Be ready for an adventure when climbing here. While there has been significant work establishing access routes to the top of the cliffs, they are still very new. There are currently no fixed protection or anchors on any of the routes, but trees exist in abundance along the cliff. This is no Sandrock (or even Steele for that matter) are far as ease of access, but know that there are 100's of FAs ready to be claimed.
Development will continue on this area and will include fixed anchors and bolts, but we are wanting to have more workers come in and help. This could be a really nice area with almost limitless potential if people just started putting in time to continue what has been started.
Trailhead is the same as for the Shiprock Section. I will update with better directions shortly.
Approach: About 1.5 miles on the TC trail there is a 90 degree bend in the creek that has caused a small island (when there is water in it). The trail splits up here with one fork cutting across the creek and one continuing on a contour around the valley. This bend is directly in the middle of the three sections and there are a few campsites scattered in this area as it is the coolest and water is abundant.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for BankHead Forest/ Thompson Creek Trail:
Climb a juggy face with many large rounded edges. There are three small buldges that lead to an airy point overlooking Thompson Creek. Test for loose rock/flakes diligently. ...[more]Browse More Classics in AL
Yeah, I've been talking to Brad a bit about this area. There are some amazing lines (and some scary ones). We cut an access trail to the top of the tallest face (we called it the Will Robinson Area) so now it is up to the people that want to work.
Let me know if you know about any ascent history in the area.
i have several first ascents in the kings cove and bee branch areas would be glad to give you some beta on the area.ive never climbed in the places you described but i have walked those bluff lines and seen some nice lines,there is good rock there just got to know where to look and willing to clean on rappel and work.its basicly one of my home crags so i dont mind the work so much,the pay off has been worth it!good luck out there and watch for snakes!
snakes for sure. there is a reason we names that one area the will robinson area because there was much danger at the base...lol the big part was the loose rock, which we got a lot of it off, but we found 2 snakes within 30ft of each other. I have to get the other route description in here. it was in that area, an 8 8- that climbs a fairly tall line with a rewarding view from the top. I just moved to boulder, so I will keep Adam and Nathan motivated to go out there.