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Alabama Hills Gang 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 145'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Raliegh Collins, Mike Strassman and others
Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Page Views: 4,483
Submitted By: Dave Daly on May 12, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (40)
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Phil on Alabama Hills Gang


Of all the routes on 'The Loaf', Alabama Hills Gang has a flavor all its own. Unlike 'The Pangborn', AHG starts off with sustained thin slab work before reaching the nice patina plates that the rest of The Loaf is known for. So, lace them shoes up tight! Although the route is well protected (17 bolts, 160'), the page author personally feels that this route is one of the hardest routes on the wall.

OK, with that said, step off the flat boulder and onto the slab. Beware....there's a good sized gap between the slab and the boulder. A spotter would be wise to use before clipping the first bolt! After clipping the first bolt, continue up to the next two bolts taking advantage of the small foot divots and dime edges along the way. After passing the 3rd bolt, work your way up left then back right (5.10a) before clipping the 4th bolt. Pass 2 more bolts before reaching the left leaning ramp. Gain the ramp and head up right to gain a stance to clip bolt #7. Once there, step out left onto the face and enjoy the rest of the climb by working up good edges and incuts on patina plates. Pass 8 more bolts before coming to the 'physical' crux (5.9), by overcoming a subtle bulge near the top of the climb. Pass 2 more bolts and you're home free to one of the best view in the 'Bamas'! Rappel the route using TWO ropes (two bolt anchor with rings).


Take Movie Road and head north for 2.5 miles before reaching a right turn in the road. Veer off to the left and follow the dirt road to its end. Park here and hike/scramble to the largest north facing formation (known as 'The Loaf')150 yards west. Some "3rd class tunneling" through large boulders is required to access The Loaf. Once at the wall, locate the route by scrambling to the right around a large boulder to the far right section of The Loaf. A line of bolts that goes up a near featureless slab is 'Alabama Hills Gang'.


- (2) 60m ropes
- (17) quickdraws
- Fried green tomatoes (optional)

Photos of Alabama Hills Gang Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Fogarty, Alabama Hills Gang
Mike Fogarty, Alabama Hills Gang
Rock Climbing Photo: The blue dots indicates the line for 'Alabama Hill...
The blue dots indicates the line for 'Alabama Hill...
Rock Climbing Photo: Phil on Alabama Hills Gang
Phil on Alabama Hills Gang
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux moves on Alabama Hills Gang
Crux moves on Alabama Hills Gang
Rock Climbing Photo: On the Alabama Hills Gang.
On the Alabama Hills Gang.

Comments on Alabama Hills Gang Add Comment
Show which comments
By LifeIsGood
From: Reno, NV
May 15, 2010

He he ... My intention was to go up Pangborn - as I climbed I kept thinking "Huh, this is pretty stout for a 9 ..." continued up further and started counting the anchors and realized I was on Alabama Hills Gang.

Reading the comments on the Pangborn route The first 35' feet of AHG is certainly tougher; clean slab with crimpy small holes for holds. I have to agree ... This is a great slabby, edgy route.

My partner had never climbed this high and the double rope rap really freaked her out. Otherwise we might have jumped on Pangborn for real.

This is my favorite climb here.
By david quatro
Mar 29, 2011

I thought this was definitely stiff for 10a. The first few bolts had a few really thin moves. After that, it was 150 feet of awesome moderate climbing on great holds. Very Fun!
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
May 12, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Difficult technical climbing compared to it's neighbors on the loaf and in the Hills. The start is committing and definitely has your attention. Very glad we didn't start on the far right side of the wall (where AHG is) or it likely would have impacted my leading for the rest of the day.

Very doable, no epics or injuries and eases considerably mid-way. Seems much more difficult than the .9 rating in the BARC guidebook or compared to other routes on the same wall. I agree with other commentators and rate AHG the 10a and Pangborn the .9. YMMV.

This is a don't miss route! Avoid passing the knot or belaying on top. Secure the rope and rap - have your partner lead using the 2nd rope. That way everyone gets the fun!
By Russ Walling
May 13, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I did not think the low slabby crux was all that bad, maybe 5.9 tops. The upper crux passing the bulge seemed pretty hard and maybe even sequential. 10a for the whole shebang seems pretty fair, and this route is for sure the hardest on the wall when compared to its peers.
By BAd
Apr 1, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Okay, my wife and I just did Pangborn and Alabama Hills Gang back-to-back. I'm 6'4", my wife 5'3". We both felt that AHG was more sustained but that the specific crux of Pangborn was more difficult than any individual move on AHG. So sustained vs. pointed crux, take yer pick. 10a for both seems fair. I really think a 5.9 leader is in for a little spice on Pangborn. I've now done many, many 10a's in the 'Bamas and find the crux on that route typical for the grade. You just get some fun, moderate cruising before and after.

Edit 4/21/17: Just repeated this. Yeah, 10a, and the most sustained on the wall, but there is an cruiser section midway. Like Russ, I found the start not too bad but the headwall attention-grabbing. Such a GREAT route. Git er done.

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