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Rubber Wall (5.8-5.11b)

 
Rubber Wall (5.8-5.11b)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Texas, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 30.24980°N / 97.7954°W

Object Title: Rubber Wall (5.8-5.11b)

Activities: Sport Climbing, Toprope

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

 

Page By: Bob Sihler

Created/Edited: Oct 10, 2016 / Nov 23, 2017

Object ID: 984902

Hits: 599 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

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Overview

Established in 2014, Rubber Wall is one of the newest climbing walls in the Barton Creek Greenbelt. There are 5 sport routes ranging from 5.8 to 5.11b. Adam Mitchell was the FAist for all the lines and put in all the bolts and anchors.

Due to the "newness" of the routes, the rock here is not yet as polished here as it is in much of the rest of the Greenbelt's climbing locations.

Rubber Wall is located at Gus Fruh and is now the fourth crag there; it is between the Kingdom of Ging, which is defined by a long overhang, and Guides Wall. At about 50', the routes are among the longest in the Greenbelt. They are well-bolted, and, for the most part, clipping to protect crux and other difficult moves is easy, and I mean that in a good way.

Getting to this crag means crossing Barton Creek. Sometimes Barton Creek is very low or completely dry here. Other times, there is more water, but fording the creek is easy. Occasionally, though, the water gets high enough to turn Barton Creek into a Class III/IV whitewater run. Before going, check water levels here. Since the watercourse is considered runnable from 250 to 3500 cfs, I recommend crossing only when it is below 250.

Swimming Hole at Gus Fruh
Swimming Hole at Gus Fruh-- When there's water

Getting There

Drive to Barton Hills Drive in Austin and go until you see a sign for the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Park and then follow the main trail (left at the first major fork) down to Gus Fruh Beach, where there is a deep swimming hole that even has a cool rope swing (great way to finish after climbing on a summer day).

Cross the water at its shallowest point and intersect a trail. Go right. Soon you will see signs indicating a climbing area.

Rubber Wall is the third wall from left to right. Getting there should take less than 10 minutes.

Routes

From left to right:
  • Magnum, 5.11b
  • Sheep Skin, 5.10a/d-- Personally, I thought this was harder than Lifestyles, but looking back, I think it was more psychological. The crux is pulling an overhang before the last bolt, which is too high to clip at this point unless you are exceptionally tall, and that makes the move a pretty heady one. It's physical but not that technically hard, but, as I said, it's pretty heady, especially for someone whose limit on sport leads is 5.10 and who is not yet solid at those grades. The 10d comes in if you don't get the best crux sequence.
  • Lifestyles, 5.10c/11a-- Not as physical as but more technically challenging than Sheep Skin. The crux is going from the last bolt to the easier ground just below the anchors. According to the local guidebook, it's 11a if you follow the bolt line to the anchors. I have done that version on toprope, and it is significantly harder than the way I pulled the crux on lead.
  • Trojan, 5.9-- Fun route. Crux is from the last bolt to the anchors. At first, it seems harder than 5.9, but after you figure it out, it's not so bad.
  • Jimmy Hat, 5.8-- Great warm-up for this wall, and a good climb for newer sport leaders. This, too, has the crux from the last bolt to the anchors. The first time, the move feels a little spicy for 5.8, but that might be because it's more technical than physical in an area where 5.8 tends to be more physical than technical.
All routes have either four or five bolts and have sport anchors. Some may find the first clip on Trojan and Jimmy Hat a little too high for comfort. If you can't or won't use a stick clip, know that each of those routes will take a stopper between the ground and the first bolt. Some do not trust trad gear in the limestone here, but if that stopper helps provide some comfort, then use it.

Magnum, 5.11b/c
Magnum, 5.11b

Sheep Skin, 5.10a/b
Sheep Skin, 5.10a/d

Sheep Skin, 5.10a/b
Sheep Skin, 5.10a/d

Lifestyles, 5.10b
Lifestyles, 5.10c

Lifestyles, 5.10b
Lifestyles, 5.10c

Trojan (5.9) and Jimmy Hat (5.8)
Trojan (5.9) and Jimmy Hat (5.8)


Red Tape

No fees. Read the trailhead signs and observe the posted hours.

When to Climb

All year. Even in the very hot summer, this wall gets pretty good shade.

Camping

None.

Images

Swimming Hole at Gus FruhLifestyles, 5.10bLifestyles, 5.10bSheep Skin, 5.10a/bCrux of Sheep Skin, 5.10a/bTrojan (5.9) and Jimmy Hat (5.8)Magnum, 5.11b/c
Sheep Skin, 5.10a/b