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Page Workshop

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Page By: Bob Sihler

Created/Edited: Sep 25, 2006 / Dec 6, 2016

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Mountains
Badlands Peak *

Yellowstone winter

Failed summit


Reimers-- Oblivion, Rhetoric

Reimers North, The Dude Wall, Unleashed Wall, Cheap Beer Wall

News Wall, Devils Slide, Smorgasbord Wall, Easier Than It Looks, Jack Knife + Cave Crack




107.194.72.182

Religion is a mental disease, often confused with spirituality.  --pjs-1965

Reimers North Shore


Most of Texas was once beneath a sea. Many would argue it still should be, but the reality is that today, it is mostly well above the ocean and there is a lot of exposed limestone. Much of it is absolute garbage or on privately owned land, but there are places where the rock is good and the public is welcome, albeit usually at a price. And so we have Reimers.

Officially called Milton Reimers Ranch Park, the park is known to most climbers simply as Reimers. According to what I have read, there was a time that Milton and Joy Reimers welcomed visitors, often in person, and charged a nominal fee. At some point, they sold the land to Travis County, which added to the protected area through a purchase from another private landowner. Public land is pretty scarce in Texas, large as the state is, so despite the money-grubbing policies of Travis County (see Red Tape), it's still nice to have a place like Reimers.

When you mention going to climb at Reimers, someone might ask whether you mean Reimers Main, Old Reimers, North Reimers, the North Shore, or some other moniker. Although the two distinct climbing areas are in the same park, because about a couple miles separate them, climbers consider the two to be entirely separate areas. This page covers the northern section.

The North Shore has two principal sections, separated by the drainage most hike down to access the crags. Most of the crags are north of the drainage, but three are south of it. One of those three is primarily a bouldering location.

Some Texas climbers give "world-class" status to the climbing at Reimers, but I'm not so sure about that. Yes, there are some really hard lines, and the rock is beautiful in places, resembling an outdoor cavern and with some of the coolest holds I have ever seen, but it's single-pitch sport here, and if there is any non-traverse route longer than about 40', I haven't seen it yet. So I question the "world-class" designation, but the climbing here is fun, and physical, nevertheless. In fact, although my sport experience is currently limited to a handful of sites around the country and right now my lead limit is 5.10b, I have to agree with the reputation Reimers has as being stiff for the grade.



Reimers is not just for climbing; it has good swimming, mountain biking, and hiking as well. There is a lot of wildlife, and the flora is diverse and spectacular, ranging from colorful wildflowers year-round to massive, ancient cedar trees.

Another awesome thing about Reimers is that it is along the Pedernales River. On warm and hot days, heading down to the water and jumping in for a swim is a great way to end a great day of climbing.

Huge Cedar Tree in Sex Canyon
Huge Cedar Tree in Sex Canyon

Active Limestone Formation
Active Limestone Formation


Getting There

Reimers Ranch is located off Hamilton Pool Road about 6 miles west of its intersection with Ranch Road 12. It is about 45 minutes west from downtown Austin.

Once through the entrance station, drive about 1.5 mi and turn left into a large parking area signed for a pavilion and for climbing access. A sign points the way to "Climbers Canyon." Hike the trail and then drop into the top of the "canyon" where a spring creates a stream that soon empties into the Pedernales River. This stream includes a waterfall and some deep pools that are great places to cool off after climbing on a hot day.

Hike by or through the stream until a trail becomes apparent. The trail through Sex Canyon (very slick in some spots) splits a number of times. Which split you take obviously depends upon which wall you are going to. See the attached pages and the links in the next section for more information.

Climbing Walls

Because I am still pretty new to the area (moved here a little over four months prior to this page's creation date), I do not yet know all the walls and the sequence of them. As my knowledge of the area develops, I will add more detail to this section, but for the time being, please see the attached crag pages (currently three, and I have plans for at least three or four more) and the links below.


The to-be-expanded list below includes only walls where I have climbed but does list them in order.

South (Upstream) of Sex Canyon
  • Mai Tai Wall
  • Prototype Wall
  • Oblivion Wall
Sex Canyon
  • Landfill Wall
  • Zoe's Wall (note-- these walls are on opposite sides of the canyon)
North (Downstream) of Sex Canyon
  • Serpent Wall
  • Dead Cats Wall
  • Rhetoric Wall
  • Arbor Wall
  • Hand Beyond Wall

Rhetorick Wall

Rhetoric Wall is just to the climber's left of Dead Cats Wall and seems more like an extension of the latter than a truly separate wall, but I was not part of the climbing development at Reimers Ranch.

The climbing here is mostly hard, with two 5.12 routes and one 5.13, but there is an excellent moderate, 5.8 Talk It Up, that might be open if you show up at Dead Cats on a weekend afternoon and find all the moderates taken, which is a good possibility. Talk It Up is by some oak trees and easily recognizable by a huge flake that looks remarkably like the shape of Texas.

Getting There

Reimers Ranch is located off Hamilton Pool Road about 6 miles west of its intersection with Ranch Road 12. It is about 45 minutes west from downtown Austin.

Once through the entrance station, drive about 1.5 mi and turn left into a large parking area signed for a pavilion and for climbing access. A sign points the way to "Climbers Canyon." Hike the trail and then drop into the top of the "canyon" where a spring creates a stream that soon empties into the Pedernales River. This stream includes a waterfall and some deep pools that are great places to cool off after climbing on a hot day.

Hike by or through the stream until a trail becomes apparent. The trail through Sex Canyon (very slick in some spots) splits a number of times. Stay on the main path, not crossing the stream, until you reach a spot where a large fallen tree crosses the trail. Step over that tree and continue. After a short uphill stretch, you will see a spur leading to Serpent Wall. Keep going. In a minute or two, you will reach Dead Cats. Keep going past the large oak that marks the left end of Dead Cats. The bolted lines left of that oak are on Rhetoric Wall. The wall ends just past Talk It Up; the end is easy to spot because the wall turns a corner there and becomes overhanging.


Routes

From left to right as you face the wall:
  • Talk It Up (5.8)-- Very fun route, a little chossy at the start, a little scary after the second bolt until you find the "Aha!" hold. Also makes a good rope-solo climb because the trees at the base are bomber anchors. 40', and with 5 bolts, very well-protected.

Red Tape

The daily entry fee is currently $10. Annual passes are $100 and well worth it if you climb here a lot. I bought an annual pass in August and by October had come out more than 10 times. Plus, the annual pass is good for all Travis County parks. Unfortunately, the pass is a windshield decal, not a card. If you want a duplicate pass for a second vehicle, you get to pay $50 for it. Nice racket they have going there.

Opening and closing times vary by the season. Check the park website.

Climbers in Central Texas are well acquainted with the biting ants all over the place. Watch where you stand and where you step.

This part of Texas is also home to all four types of venomous North American snakes-- copperheads, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes. Again, watch out, especially for the coral snakes. They are shy and bites are very rare, but their venom is highly potent and can be fatal. Also, it is my understanding that antivenin for coral snakes is in very short supply and highly expensive due to the fact that bites are so rare.

Seasons

All year. Most of the walls face west. Those in Sex Canyon get good shade for much of the day.

In the very hot summer, climb here in the early morning.

Camping

None inside the park.

About 7 miles east on Hamilton Pool Road is Rock Dog, owned and operated by local climbers. I've never been there but have heard the owners are awesome climbers and awesome people. I also hear that the rich neighbors hate the place, so if you don't live locally, stay there and do your part to give the middle finger to the snobs.

Solo