Reimers North-- The Dude Wall, Unleashed Wall
Greenbelt-- Random Wall, Myth Wall
Enchanted Rock-- Devil's Slide, Cheap Wine Wall, News Wall Multi-pitch
Religion is a mental disease, often confused with spirituality. --pjs-1965
The Dude Wall
After finishing up filming The Big Lebowski, Jeff Bridges headed out here and onsighted several routes that had just been put up. Impressed and flattered, the FAists invited him to name the routes, and he gave some of them titles referencing the movie.
No, not really. That was just to get your attention.
Trail Split-- go right for all but Matrix, Dude, and Unleashed
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 to the end of the road (around 4 miles from the entrance station), following signs for "North Bank."
The main access trail starts by the trash bins. By the disabled spots there is a trail that provides access to locations from which to rappel to Unleashed Wall or The Dude Wall.
Take the main trail down and then bear right, crossing the stream, at the junction shown above. Gypsy Wall is about a 10-minute walk from parking.
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.
When To Climb
All year. Most of the walls face northwest and get good shade for much or all of the day. Since it is usually 90-100+ F out here May through September, it obviously makes sense to climb in the morning during summer. It's rarely too cold to climb here, but in winter, waiting until afternoon is a good bet. This wall gets just about no sun in winter.
If you have the flexibility, climb on weekdays. This place, and even most of Reimers proper, is virtually deserted then except during spring and winter breaks.
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.
There is a $7 daily entrance fee.
Climbers and rappelers are required to sign in. You are not required to pay a fee, get a permit, or list where you will be climbing; but you have to name the members of your party, note your climbing dates, and sign a waiver.
Periodically, the park closes for permitted hunts. Check the park website (final section below) for these and other possible closure periods.
On weekends and holidays and during school breaks, the parking lots often fill by as early as 10 or even 9 A.M. When that happens, the park closes for up to three hours at a time. Signs on major access roads will announce these closures, but that doesn't help if you're not local, so you might want to call before leaving. From the park's website: "Flashing signs on approaching roads will also alert you if the park is closed. One sign is north of Fredericksburg on R.R. 965; the other is on Hwy. 16 near the R.R. 965 intersection."
I saw this situation myself on Thanksgiving Day 2016 (fortunately, I had come in two days before and was camping), so it is no joke.
When To Climb
Early spring and late fall are best, but winter has a lot of good climbing days. Unless you're out here really early or really late, you pretty much don't want to touch this place May through September, though there are climbs in the park are good in the summer.
The park has a campground and also allows primitive camping (backpacking) in designated zones. Reservations are strongly recommended. See the park website.
Ellery Ridges-- The Backbone
Right up front, I want to give credit to the people who first climbed these ridges and then posted beta
about them on Mountain Project. Although the ridges are on full display from the road up Lee Vining Canyon, I never would have considered climbing any of them had it not been for a closed Tioga Pass and a subsequent MP search that yielded information for these fine alternatives to the Yosemite high country.
Originally, my goal was to climb East Ellery Ridge (5.6) and then traverse down and over to some beautiful snow slopes that would put me back at my car just east of the outlet of Ellery Lake. However, I misread the terrain and started climbing too early; by the time I could see over to the actual East Ellery Ridge and realize I was on the Backbone, I figured I was committed and I just decided to stick with it.
Initially choosing East Ellery Ridge over the Backbone was due to the fact that I was going solo. Although I had a rope and a rack, I could not be certain of building a solid ground anchor to solo-lead the 5.7 pitch, and while I typically feel okay free soloing 5.6, I'm not too crazy about doing the same on 5.7. As it turned out, I was able to bypass the 5.7 pitch, though I was not able to avoid, without incurring serious elevation loss and then regaining that elevation, roping up a couple times where the combination of difficulty and exposure told me I needed to.