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Knife Crack 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Jack Pierce, Tommy Taylor - 1970s
Page Views: 4,307
Submitted By: saxfiend on Feb 25, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (39)
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Gary L. nears the finish on Knife Crack.


Even if this was the only outstanding route at this little crag (and it isn't), Knife Crack alone would make a visit to Griffin's worthwhile. Finger crack climbing at its finest with plentiful protection; the only thing wrong with Knife Crack is that it's too short.

Follow the jagged crack, using finger locks and foot jams, to a ledge with anchors below the roof. The crux is down low; things ease up some with better feet further up the crack.


A short distance down the trail from the waterfall; starts about 10' right of Whetstone.


Small to medium gear (cams/tricams/nuts); ring anchors.

Photos of Knife Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Knife Crack!
Knife Crack!
Rock Climbing Photo: Knife Crack
BETA PHOTO: Knife Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Cameron Triay placing
Cameron Triay placing
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Knox on lead, Cameron Triay belaying
Paul Knox on lead, Cameron Triay belaying
Rock Climbing Photo: Me at the anchors
BETA PHOTO: Me at the anchors
Rock Climbing Photo: watch out for poison ivy on the cliff
watch out for poison ivy on the cliff
Rock Climbing Photo: Standing at the top.
Standing at the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: Placing gear higher up.
Placing gear higher up.
Rock Climbing Photo: At the start with a lot more to go.
At the start with a lot more to go.
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on Knife, Dustin belaying.  Grace Under Pressur...
Me on Knife, Dustin belaying. Grace Under Pressur...

Comments on Knife Crack Add Comment
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By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
From: Alabama
Mar 19, 2008

Nice picture. Thats one of my favorite crack climbs!!
By Brandon.Phillips
From: Alabama
Oct 7, 2014

"Outstanding" is also the way I would describe this climb. I swung into Griffin Falls on the way back from Chattanooga this weekend. Weather was perfect, and we were the only ones at the crag (Sandrock was probably packed). Worth a visit, even if you only climb this route. Protection is great, and the climb is challenging and fun. A Classic!!
By Lyle Dean
Dec 11, 2014

I first went to Griffin Falls in about 1975 with Tommy Taylor, Joe Sherrill, and Kip Simmons. We asked Tommy about the route and he said it had not been freed. Kip and I returned a few weeks later and got the FFA as far as I know. I'm not sure what Jack and Tommy named the route, but we always called it Knife Crack.
By Kim Ran
May 23, 2016

Best crack climb in Alabama? I would say so! This crack climbs beautifully. The movements were wonderfully fluid and I will definitely make a trip back to Griffin to climb this gem again!
By Jamie Silliman
From: Wilton, CA
Feb 23, 2017

The roof above the crack was freed @ 5.12 by Russ Raffa and maybe Gene Smith?

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