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Areas in Yellow Bluff

A0 Ledge 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Right Side Cliff 18 / 41 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 57
Tower, The 2 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Elevation: 1,021 ft
GPS: 34.435, -86.675 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 40,614 total · 364/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Nov 19, 2008
Admins: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough
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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.
Don't trespass outside SCC boundaries Details

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.

73 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Yellow Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Outstanding
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Lucifer's Revenge
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Diamond Maker
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
The Tombstone
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
unnamed 1
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Faith
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Arlan's Route
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Orange Crush
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Double Tap
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Tilt-a-Whirl
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Tradmaster
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Leaky Faucet
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Cultural Diversity
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Novacaine
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Outstanding Right Side Cliff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Lucifer's Revenge Right Side Cliff 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Diamond Maker Right Side Cliff 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
The Tombstone Right Side Cliff 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
unnamed 1 Right Side Cliff 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Faith Right Side Cliff 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Arlan's Route Right Side Cliff 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Orange Crush Right Side Cliff 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Double Tap Right Side Cliff 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Tilt-a-Whirl Right Side Cliff 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Tradmaster Right Side Cliff 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride Right Side Cliff 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Leaky Faucet Right Side Cliff 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
Cultural Diversity Right Side Cliff 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Novacaine Right Side Cliff 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
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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. Jun 21, 2015
BirminghamBen
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
What are ya gonna do about 'em?
Jan 29, 2015
bernard wolfe
birmingham, al
bernard wolfe   birmingham, al
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 May 21, 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. Mar 13, 2014
Brandon.Phillips
Portola, CA
Brandon.Phillips   Portola, CA
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... Feb 10, 2014
ecessg  
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. Jul 9, 2011
Brad "Stonyman" Killough   Alabama  
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. Jan 26, 2010

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