Land Manager: Prentice Cooper State Forest, Tennessee River Gorge Trust

Area Rep: Kirk Brode, kirkbrode@gmail.com

The Tennessee Wall is located on River Canyon Road (aka Mullen’s Cove Rd) just outside of Chattanooga in the picturesque Tennessee River Gorge. The trailhead and the majority of the crag lies within Prentice-Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area, with a significant portion of the crag crossing over onto the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. Tennessee Wall is one of the premier trad climbing destinations in the southeast, featuring hundreds of great routes on beautiful hard sandstone. There is something for leaders at all levels here, from trad novices to the hardest of the hardcore. (There are 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 ArtPassages 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.

Prentice Cooper (Tennessee Wall) has announced the 2018 hunting closure dates:

October 4-6, 20-21, 25-27
November 2-4, 24-29

No climbing is allowed during these dates.

Directions

Google Maps

What to Expect

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.

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.

T-Wall does close throughout the season for hunting. Do not trespass during scheduled hunts.

Access notes

  • Do not leave valuables in your car
  • Permanent and semi-permanent slings and webbing should not be left in sight of any trail. Clean routes at the end of the day.
  • Do not park on the road
  • Bolting with permit only. Contact the area rep to obtain a bolting permit.
  • Climbing is not allowed in the following locations:
    • Indian Rock House
    • Snooper’s Rock
    • Bluffview at the end of Tower Road
  • Guiding, commercial operations, events, and group usage by permit only. Contact PCSF for approval.

Camping

Camping is limited to spots near the parking lot.This is not an officially recognized campsite by TWRA so maintain a low impact. Camping at the crag or on the way to the crag is prohibited. There is additional camping at Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management area. Break-in’s are common at T-Wall parking lot. Be aware of your surroundings and do not leave valuables when you are not at your campsite.

Guidebook

Dixie Cragger’s Atlas
Chatt Steel

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