Elevation: 1,055 ft
GPS: 35.072, -85.403 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 342,573 total · 2,140/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Aug 21, 2006 with improvements by Not me Go away and 2 others
Admins: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough

Description

Tennessee Wall is one of the premier trad climbing destinations in the southeast. Located just outside of Chattanooga, it features hundreds of great routes on beautiful hard sandstone. There’s something for leaders at all levels here, from trad novices to the hardest of the hardcore. (There’s even a few sport routes, but they’re not for the faint-hearted.) T-Wall truly has enough variety to keep you climbing for years.

Route development at T-Wall began in 1984, when climbers Rob Robinson, Arno Ilgner and Roger Fleming discovered the cliffline while exploring another crag across the river. Some of the earliest lines (the first was In Sight of Power, 5.8+) were put up in what is now referred to as T-Wall West. Classics like Art, Passages and Prerequisite for Excellence soon followed, and development continued through the early 90s. New routes are still being established today, especially in the west section.

T-Wall is predominantly a single-pitch crag, though there are some multi-pitch routes, mainly in the west section. Except where noted in the route descriptions, protection tends to be plentiful, and a rack of nuts, tricams and cams up to 4” is standard. Over the years, rapping from trees at the top of the crag was the norm, but pine beetle infestations have been killing many of the trees, so use of bolted anchors is steadily increasing. If you do rap from a slung tree, don’t blindly trust it! A look at some of the fallen trees along the trail slung with old tat will drive this point home.

As a south-facing crag, T-Wall is in full sun all day. This makes it a terrific winter destination (think t-shirts in January), and a miserable place in the summer. Prime time at T-Wall is September through June.

Camping is available at the parking turn-off; this area now sports a pit toilet. There is also pay camping further down the road. One note of caution (whether or not you’re camping): there have been numerous car break-ins at the parking lot over the years. The best way to avoid being a victim is to not leave anything of value in your vehicle.

After climbing, there’s lots of good options for eating near T-Wall. As you come back down the road from the crag, don’t pass up Shuford’s Barbecue, where you can enjoy pulled pork, ribs and banana pudding as Bear Bryant looks down on you from framed photos on the wall. Back in Chattanooga, Lupi’s Pizza is another climber favorite.

Guidebooks

A new guidebook published in 2010 is the first such guide dedicated solely to T-Wall. The Tennessee Wall: A Rockclimber's Guide by Rob Robinson will probably be considered the authoritative guide to this area, given that its author is the godfather of T-Wall climbing. The Dixie Cragger’s Atlas by Chris Watford is an alternative guidebook to have on hand. The DCA has a “pocket” edition for T-Wall alone that will lighten the weight in your backpack. If you need climbing gear, hit Rock Creek Outfitters in Chattanooga.

Getting There

Tennessee Wall is located in Prentice-Cooper Wildlife Management Area. From downtown Chattanooga, take US 27 north. About a mile after crossing the Tennessee River, exit on 127 north (Signal Mountain Road). Continuing toward Signal Mountain about 1.5 miles, turn left on Suck Creek Road (27 west). Continue about four miles (past a cement plant) to a bridge over Suck Creek and make an immediate left onto Mullens Cove Road (aka River Canyon Road). Follow this road through a residential area along the river for about six miles to the campsite parking lot for T-Wall. The trail to the crag starts a short distance from the parking lot.

Camping: There is a camping area in the forest starting just a few paces from the parking area. There are 2 distinct sections of camping on either side of a stream, both with many level places to set up your tent and a handful of fire rings. A great place to meet other climbers and share a few beers and stories around the fire. Please remember to dig your holes plenty deep and keep trash and food hung or secured in vehicles/proper containers.

Access Issues

There are seasonal hunting closures in the spring and fall. Sneak in and you risk a hefty fine, so don't do it!

Fall 2019 hunt closures:

* Sep 21-27
* Oct 3-5
* Oct 19-20
* Oct 24-26
* Nov 1-3
* Nov 23-28

Up-to-date information is also posted on the Southeastern Climbers Coalition web site.

215 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Tennessee Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 130
Jay Walker
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 250
Prerequisite for Excellence
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 223
Passages
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 155
Art
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 215
Razor Worm
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 293
Golden Locks
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 126
Puppy Ride
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 180
In Pursuit of Excellence
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 220
Cake Walk
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 77
Precious Orr
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 112
Digital Macabre
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 83
Super Slide
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 83
Love Handle
Trad, Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 178
Finger Lockin' Good
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 84
Points O' Contact
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Jay Walker T-Wall East
 130
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Prerequisite for Excellence T-Wall East
 250
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Passages T-Wall East
 223
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Art T-Wall East
 155
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Razor Worm T-Wall East
 215
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Golden Locks T-Wall East
 293
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Puppy Ride T-Wall East
 126
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
In Pursuit of Excellence T-Wall East
 180
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Cake Walk T-Wall East
 220
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Precious Orr T-Wall East
 77
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Digital Macabre T-Wall East
 112
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Super Slide T-Wall East
 83
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Love Handle T-Wall East
 83
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Finger Lockin' Good T-Wall East
 178
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Points O' Contact T-Wall East
 84
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
More Classic Climbs in The Tennessee Wall »

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