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Palisades


Barry on Cashmere. Photo by Urban Outpost.

Frank Niederhand on Box Lunch. Photo by Curt Johnson

Johnny Connell on Steeples. Picture by Michelle Connell

Palisades Park is a great little climbing cliff just a short distance from Birmingham, AL. (near Oneanta) and one of the first stops on the Sandstone Belt that traverses north to Chattanooga. The area is compact with short (30 to 80 feet) but good quality sandstone. Many a first time leader has built up there technique and skills as many of the routes are great to get your feet wet. The wall also sets up easily for a top rope so there is lots of area to practice for that next big lead. At last count there were nearly 100 routes with a smattering of bouldering strewn all along the hill below. With some exploring it has been said that more boulders could be unearthed. With a south facing aspect the crag is a winter climbing haven but provides some shady nooks for the climbers out trying to beat the summer heat. The area is a county park and the weekend park rangerís name is A.C. The others are June and Norman. Please be nice to them, they are nice to everyone. Offer to take a garbage bag down to the crag and pick up a little trash, they really appreciate that.

Much like other climbing areas, many trees at Palisades were damaged by the recent pine beetle infestation. Park rangers Interested in both decreasing erosion on the top of the cliff line and the impact climbers & rappelers have on the remaining trees, reached out to the SCC for assistance. The SCC will work with park officials to review options and implement a plan. Such options include fixed anchors at the top of selected climbs, requiring padding of trees, and the use of protected swaged cables around trees. If you are interested in assisting or providing comments, please email Stewart Robinson at ck5fc@Allstate.com .

Palisades Park Tips:

  • Park Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm in the summer and 5:00 pm in the winter. There is no camping or overnight stays allowed in the park.
  • Permits are required by all climbers for day use. You must sign-in at the cabin and pay a $2 fee to climb. The purpose of the permits is for liability reasons and to establish baseline data for the County park to know how many users the area has per year. You can obtain the permit from the park manager.
  • No bolting is allowed in the park. The majority of the routes can be top-roped. Many routes can be lead traditionally.
  • The phone number for the park is 205-574-0017. There is a phone in the main parking lot. Dial 911 for the Oneonta Fire and Rescue
  • Pad all trees when top-roping or rappeling.
  • Please be out of the park by dark.
Guidebook for Palisades: Contact James Tindall email tinball@inline.com
Additional guidebook information found in the Dixie Craggers Atlas by Chris Watford callwild@earthlink.net
Additional online info: www.rockclimbing.com/routes/listArea.php?AreaID=677

Recommended Routes
5.6 Elephant Crack - a great roof with crack, not for beginners.
5.7 Box Lunch
5.7 Cashmere - a great roof, the roof is hollow so be careful, watch out for flying squirrel.
5.8 Boobs
5.8 Foton Finish - hard for the grade
5.9 Post Nasal Drip
5.9 Captian Crunch - a fun route
5.10 Christmas Crack
5.10 Night of the Climbing Dead - a great route

Directions: Palisades Park just outside of Oneonta, AL. From Birmingham take I-59 North towards Gadsden. Take the Deerfoot Parkway exit. Go north on Deerfoot Pkwy past Clay-Chalkville High School until it ends at a stop light beside a BP station. Turn right and go about 1/4 mile and turn left onto Clay/Palmerdale Rd. There is a small store "Rogers" at the corner. Follow Clay/Palmerdale Rd for several miles until it ends at Hwy 75. Turn right on 75 and go into Oneonta. When you get to Oneonta turn left on Hwy 231. Go about 3 miles and look for a brown sign telling you Palisades Park is the next right. Turn right and follow the signs to the park.
A trail day was held in the Spring of 2006 at Palisades Park by local climbers. You can read about the trail day work effort by clicking here:

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Published on: 2006-01-25 (11854 reads)
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