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Yellow Bluff

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Yellow Bluff Rock Climbing 


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Location: 34.4353, -86.6746 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 21,885
Administrators: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: saxfiend on Nov 19, 2008
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Will Eccleston leading Orange Crush. Photo: Andrew...

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

Description 

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. Continue through the crossroads for the small town of Florette, then turn left on Pines Road. Take the next left onto Fowler Road, then continue less than a mile to a fork; 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 90 miles to the Oxford/Anniston area. Take exit 188 to US 431 North. Continue on 431 into Gadsden; after crossing I-59, look for the turnoff to US 278. Take 278 west to US 231. Turn right on 231, then almost immediately 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.

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 near the right end of the SCC-owned section.

Climbing Season



Weather station 11.0 miles from here

72 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',21],['2 Stars',33],['1 Star',16],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',4],['5.7',3],['5.8',9],['5.9',9],['5.10',15],['5.11',11],['5.12',9],['5.13',3],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',4],['V2-3',6],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Yellow Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Yellow Bluff:
Outstanding   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Noob   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Right Side Cliff
Lucifer's Revenge   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Diamond Maker   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Right Side Cliff
The Tombstone   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Right Side Cliff
Arlan's Route   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
Faith   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Double Tap   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Tilt-a-Whirl   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Right Side Cliff
Orange Crush   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 80'   Right Side Cliff
Tradmaster   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Right Side Cliff
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Gossamer (Ardian's Route?)   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Teeth   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport   Right Side Cliff
Samson & Delilah   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 70'   Right Side Cliff
NC Sport Climbing   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Right Side Cliff
Leaky Faucet   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Right Side Cliff
Cultural Diversity   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Right Side Cliff
Novacaine   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Right Side Cliff
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Yellow Bluff

Featured Route For Yellow Bluff
Rock Climbing Photo: Playing with some double ropes on Lucifer's Reveng...

Lucifer's Revenge 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  AL : Yellow Bluff : Right Side Cliff
Interesting off the deck - to a fun jug hall. Great warm-up route....[more]   Browse More Classics in AL

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

Comments on Yellow Bluff Add Comment
Show which comments
By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
Administrator
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: Steele, AL
Jan 29, 2015
What are ya gonna do about 'em?
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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