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Yellow Bluff, AL

(c) Andrew Kornylak
History and Access Information:

During the time of the late 80’s the left side of Yellow Bluff was home to the Alabama's first 5.13a, Rainbow Warrior, as well as the first 13d/14a, Tour de Jour. Many Alabama legends were putting up routes there during that time. James Dobbs of Ft. Payne was one of the first to begin establishing classic lines on natural gear on the right side of the cliff. The crag's quality and popularity soon captured the interest of Alabama climbers Curt Merchant, Betty Jo Rattford-Merchant, and Roy Simmons, as well as climbers from out of state such as Arno Ilgner, Jeff Gruenberg and Shannon Stegg. Then came Jesse Guthrie. Yellow Bluff exploded and became the state’s testpiece crag.

But as quickly as Yellow Bluff gained popularity, climbing access was closed.

In June of 2005, Brad McLeod drove up from Adam Henry's house on a trip north to check out the mystical and then closed Yellow Bluff. After Brad made initial contacts with the landowners, Paul Morley, SCC Board Member and local Huntsville climber, then stepped in to steer the project through its long and drawn out negotiations on purchasing the right side of the crag. Through persistence and hard work, Paul continued the talks with the landowner, leading to an affirmative agreement to sell at a set price. Paul went on to lead the acquisition to the recent successful signing of the contract for the right side of Yellow Bluff. During this time several key SCC volunteers helped including Michelle Connell, Brad McLeod, and Gus Fontenot with his legal expertise.

Closing the sale occurred in March 2009 and the Grand Opening of Yellow Bluff was on April 18, 2009. To read more about the Grand Opening of Yellow Bluff click here.

Read more about Yellow Bluff history from interviews with climbing pioneers Jesse Guthrie and Curt Merchant.

    General Regulations:
  2. No Camping: Camping is not allowed at Yellow Bluff or on adjacent private property.
  3. Dogs: If you do bring a dog, please keep them on a leash at all times, and prevent them from digging up the vegetation thus increasing erosion.

    Climbing Regulations:
  1. NO BOLTING OR CHOPPING BOLTS WITHOUT A PERMIT. For information please contact info@seclimbers.org .
  2. Do not top out the cliff.
  3. Do not top rope directly through fixed anchors. You should use the rings and draws to lower or rappel only. Top roping directly through the rings and draws wears the equipment out faster.

Composting Toilet:
Yellow Bluff has a fragile soil and groundwater environment. There is a low-volume composting toilet on site. It is built and maintained by volunteers, and as a composting toilet it is not emptied so please help keep it healthy!

  • A diverter seat is provided to separate urine and solid waste. Cover solid waste with the provided compost. NO TRASH, PLASTICS, CARDBOARD, or URINE in the compost bin - organic waste and TP only! Anything else will ruin the compost.
  • When possible, please urinate outside, away from cliffs and roofs. Pack out TP; do not bury or leave on the surface.
  • ALWAYS close the lid. Close and lock the door when done.
  • The door code is 4159.
    1. Good to know before you visit Yellow Bluff:
    2. Click here for a Yellow Bluff route topo
    3. 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.

      Leave No Trace:
    • Keep this area beautiful and clean. Clean up after yourselves, your peers, and your pets. Lead by example and pick it up on the first pass.
    • Please read our crag minimal impact flier
      Driving Directions:
    • From Birmingham:
      Go I-65 North, Take 36 E, Right onto 67 S, Left on to Pines Rd after a shell station, Left on Fowler Rd, Left on West Point Rd. Go up the hill until you see cars
    • From Huntsville:
      231S then take 36W to 67S. Left on to Pines Rd after a shell station, Left on Fowler Rd, Left on West Point Rd. Go up the hill until you see cars.
    • From Atlanta:
      Take 72 towards Huntsville, then 231 S. Look at directions above.
    Yellow Bluff Property Manager:
    Tim Tow: timtow@appliedolap.com

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    Published on: 2009-05-05 (14231 reads)
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