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Yellow Bluff

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Right Side Cliff 
Tower, The 
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Yellow Bluff  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 34.4353, -86.6746 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 39,112
Administrators: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: saxfiend on Nov 19, 2008

85° | 64°

82° | 59°

70° | 54°

75° | 56°
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Will Eccleston leading Orange Crush. Photo: Andrew...

Don't trespass outside SCC boundaries MORE INFO >>>


Apart from being a great climbing area, Yellow Bluff is the latest triumph of ownership by climbers of once-closed crags. As of March 2009, a sizeable chuck of this cliff is owned by the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC).

Located near Huntsville, Yellow Bluff is a long (about 1500') unbroken hard sandstone cliff. Development began in the 1980s with the discovery of the cliff by Atlanta climber Shannon Stegg. Numerous trad lines were established by Stegg and other pioneers, including James Dobbs and Curt and Betty Jo Merchant. Later, local leaders like Jesse Guthrie began putting up sport routes, including Guthrie's Rainbow Warrior (5.13a/b), the first 5.13 in Alabama. The quality of climbing at Yellow Bluff attracted attention from as far away as NY; climbers flocked to sample the excellent sandstone crack lines.

Unfortunately, this growing popularity was Yellow Bluff's downfall. The crag was on private property, and the owner was tolerant as long as climbing was a low-profile affair. But when articles extolling the cliff appeared in national climbing magazines, the owner reacted negatively to the increased traffic. Yellow Bluff was closed to climbing.

All that changed in late 2008 as long-standing efforts by the SCC finally bore fruit. In early December, the SCC announced that it had secured a contract to purchase the right half of Yellow Bluff. Fund-raising efforts to secure the money for the purchase quickly gained steam, and the $34,000 purchase price was quickly raised through grants and donations from individuals. The contract was finalized in March 2009 and Yellow Bluff is now open for climbing.

Getting There 

From Birmingham, take I-65 north for about 70 miles to exit 328. Go east on SR 36, then take a right on SR 67. Just before the crossroads for the small town of Florette, turn left on All Jersey Road, which changes shortly to Jenkins Road. When Jenkins Rd. dead ends at Fowler Road, turn left and continue a quarter-mile to where it dead ends and turn right, then take a slight left onto West Point Road. The pull-off for Yellow Bluff is about a quarter-mile on the left.

From Atlanta, take I-20 west into Alabama for about 110 miles to the Pell City area. Take exit 158A to US 231 North. Continue on 231 through Oneonta (as you'd go for Palisades) and past Cleveland, about 50 miles. Shortly after crossing US 278, take a left on SR 67 and follow this about 20 miles. Just before the Florette crossroads, turn right on Pines Road; follow this for about a mile to a sharp left onto Fowler Road. Continue as noted above to Yellow Bluff.

An area is being cleared to make a parking lot; until this is completed, park on the gravel shoulder across the road. From the parking lot area, follow the obvious trail marked with surveyors tape. A five-minute hike will bring you to the base of the cliff.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 11.0 miles from here

61 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',28],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Yellow Bluff:
Outstanding   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Lucifer's Revenge   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Faith   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Right Side Cliff
unnamed 1   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Right Side Cliff
Orange Crush   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 80'   Right Side Cliff
Tilt-a-Whirl   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Right Side Cliff
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Browse More Classics in Yellow Bluff

Featured Route For Yellow Bluff
Will Eccleston leading the way for the new generat...

Orange Crush 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  AL : Yellow Bluff : Right Side Cliff
Some have said this should get an R rating, but if you trust in some shallow nuts in the lower half I would say PG. The physical crux is protected by 2 bomber pins, the topmost of which recently held a nice whipper. Pull onto the undercut wall and trend just slightly left to a #3 cam placement about 10-15 feet up. Continue up fantastic, steep, technical face moves through 2 pitons and the ultimate crux. Pull this and continue through a small amount of 5.7 to a bolted anchor.Stellar fac...[more]   Browse More Classics in AL

Photos of Yellow Bluff Slideshow Add Photo
another one of the locals.
another one of the locals.
Yellow Bluff Kiosk
Yellow Bluff Kiosk
Greg T. working up a sport route at Yellow Bluff
Greg T. working up a sport route at Yellow Bluff
Bradley leading a new route called "Little An...
Bradley leading a new route called "Little An...
Matthew Gant on Orange Crush.
Matthew Gant on Orange Crush.
Brad K., Betty Jo Merchant, and Roy Simmons.
Brad K., Betty Jo Merchant, and Roy Simmons.
Do not pass this point.
BETA PHOTO: Do not pass this point.
the ledge.yellow bluff
the ledge.yellow bluff
Overhanging sandstone at Yellow Bluff.
Overhanging sandstone at Yellow Bluff.
One of the locals.
One of the locals.
More rock at Yellow Bluff.
More rock at Yellow Bluff.
Bradley leading Orange Crush.
Bradley leading Orange Crush.
Mr. Liles himself.
Mr. Liles himself.
Bradley leading Orange Crush.
Bradley leading Orange Crush.
Brad K. & Curt Merchant.
Brad K. & Curt Merchant.
Me out on a stroll!
Me out on a stroll!
Bradley Killough doing his part on the trail.
Bradley Killough doing his part on the trail.
the tower
the tower

Comments on Yellow Bluff Add Comment
Show which comments
By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
From: Alabama
Jan 26, 2010
No fires in or around Yellow Bluff, please. Recently I found a fresh fire spot against the bluff right next to "Little Angry Jamie" a classic sport. This deteriates the rock, thus ruining the route. If this fire would have been a few more feet to the right, it would have ruined this classic route.
By ecessg
Jul 9, 2011
19 sport routes and 15 mixed/trad currently on our side. lots of trees = shade. no litter. keep it down so we don't draw the ire of the landowners above.
By Brandon.Phillips
From: Double Springs, AL
Feb 10, 2014
I haven't heard anyone refer to Yellow Bluff as a winter climbing area, but I was out there this weekend and there were plenty of climbable routes, a few getting great sunlight. Temps were probably low 50s and it was great. Just in case you were wondering...
By Ryan Cantor
Mar 13, 2014
Does anyone know any FA info on Yellow Bluff. It would be awesome to add here. I really like this place but don't know much about the history here. Let me know if you can point me in the right direction.
By bernard
From: birmingham, al
May 21, 2014
The one time I've visited since the SCC secured the property I noticed that several of what were originally trad routes had bee retro-bolted, unfortunately. Two or three that i'd done, anyway. Too bad. They were some proud trad lines
By UncleBen
From: The Briar Patch
Jan 29, 2015
Cozy crag climbing near to Huntsville....
Generously protected sandstone....
By Kirk Brode
Jun 21, 2015
Bring a couple of 48-inch slings as part of your standard Yellow Bluff rack for protecting the numerous horns and plate features. Before you leave home, practice tying clove hitches with one hand (like on a door knob or something) so it's second nature when trying to sling the features on lead. It's something that every climber should know anyway.

A bolt isn't needed where you can sling one (sometimes more) of these bomber horns and plate-like features.
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