The crags which make up the Alabama Hills are located in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area, land which is administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM have made a success story of climbers and land managers working together to preserve the environment, archeological and historical sites and traditional forms of recreation.
Please stay out of the way of other user groups – especially the movie industry. Stay away from the sets and find another crag if they ask you to move out of the shot.
The truth is the Alabama Hills are filled with loose rock, except in those areas that rarely sees the light of day – so most of the climbing is concentrated in north and east-facing box canyons. The process of case hardening has produced a baby-butt smooth surface on the rock. Add a little erosion and you get chickenheads, overhanging jug hauls, thin edging and friction. But not every hold is alike; some are waiting to snap off and spook you. It adds to the sense of adventure. With use the rock will clean up, for now proceed with awareness.
Please do not camp at the crags. The beautiful Tuttle Creek Campground is nearby to accommodate climbers. Further west you’ll find the Lone Pine Creek Campground. Camping is available just out side of town and currently the Alabama Hills are open to camping. Just don’t camp in the major tourist areas. The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group (the Community of Lone Pine, BLM, and other stakeholders) is monitoring impacts in the Alabama Hills. Camping and climbing may be eliminated in the Alabama Hills if it gets out of hand.
And now for a sample of the climbing….
North Face (Right to Left)
A: Blockade Runner 5.10c *** Excellent edge climbing. This old bolt ladder has had the bolts replaced and moved to make it more leader friendly. 6 bolts to chains.
B: Dihedral Dance 5.10c *** Wild steep climbing. 6 bolts to chains.
C: Gone with the Wind 5.10a *** Arete. The best route on the crag, possibly one of the best routes in the Hills.
West Face (Right to Left)
D: Virginia Soil 5.9 (TR) Right side of Arete.
E: Southern Man 5.9** Face left of V cracks. 7 bolts.
F: Sweet Home Alabama 5.10a Left V crack. 2 bolt anchor.
G: Sherman’s March 5.10b Right V crack. 6 bolts to anchors. Rap Gone with the Wind
Directions: This excellent rock is located approximately a half mile south of Whitney Portal Road on Horseshoe Meadows Road. Follow along the north side of the rocks on your right to a prominent west face with a V crack on its right side. The north face has the best rock.
From the Guide to the Alabama Hills by Michael Strassman, available locally.