The Ratcliff Site in southwestern Virginia lies in a small second-order stream valley filled with approximately 3.5 m of organic-rich deposits that contain bones of mammoth, mastodon, deer (or antelope), logs, and plant macrofossils. Radiocarbon analyses indicate the age of the organic-rich sediment ranges from > 44,000 to 29,100 14C yr BP, a time period with no fossil remains reported in this region of the Appalachians. Analyses of field observations, textural data, organic carbon content, and plant macrofossils indicate that the organic-rich sediments contain interbedded standing-water and debris-flow deposits. Up to 6 m of oxidized debris-flow sediments bury the organic-rich sediments. The presence of Rubus parviflorus (Thimble Berry) throughout the deposit indicates the site had a boreal environment from > 44,000 to 29,100 14C yr BP. Plant macrofossil evidence indicates the uplands had stands of spruce/jack-pine forests while the valley contained ponds and associated wetlands. Three debris flows occurred at the site between approximately 38,000 and 29,000 14C yr BP, suggesting a recurrence interval for major storms of approximately 3000 yr, even though the apparent stability of the boreal environment implies a climate not conducive to catastrophic rainstorms. This conflicting combination of features suggests that during the middle Wisconsinan this area experienced generally cool climates, dominated by polar air masses, but was punctuated by relatively brief warm periods marked by incursions of tropical air masses.