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.
Actually, Dude Wall has a collection of steep, pumpy moderate sport routes on sharp limestone. Most involve starting by pulling up onto a ledge (not always easy) and then pulling an overhang (also not always easy and sometimes the crux).
Maybe because of the pumpy starts and maybe because of its isolation from the popular North Shore walls, Dude Wall does not see that much traffic. The rock is sharp, and the wall has a solitary feel even though it is closer to the parking lot than any of the other walls here.
A 30m rope will cover you for all the routes here and for just about anything at North Shore, for that matter.
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. Nice rappel rings set in a safe location give you access to Unleashed Wall, but the hike over to Dude from there entails a short, unpleasant bushwhack that might leave you itchy the rest of the day. Rapping down Dude Wall involves an exposed Class 3 scrambling move down onto a ledge where you will find anchors for three of the wall's routes.
Or take the main trail down and bear left on a use trail near the junction shown above. From here, it's about 5 minutes to Dude Wall.
From left to right:
- Project, 5.12?-- Two bolts, not completed yet, I think. Originally projected at 11d, but a hold broke, making it harder.
- Don't Mess With the Jesus, 5.9+ PG-- Good luck finding the 5.9 way from the last bolt to the anchors, which is also the PG part. My partner led it by going up and right and then traversing, which was off-route but easier. I tried the "correct" way following but couldn't get it, and I ended up swinging out and finishing on the 12a TR variation (Shut the Fuck Up, Donny) that basically goes straight up to the anchors. The part I finished on was not 5.12 but was hard 10 or maybe into 11.
- Just Checked In, 5.9 R-- Just two bolts although the other three routes on its section of the wall, all about the same length, have four each. The high first bolt is not easy to stick-clip, and if you fall before the second, you're probably decking. Fun route, though, with the crux moving past the first bolt.
- Nothing, 5.8
- The Nihilists, 5.8+-- Definitely tougher than Nothing, some tricky sequences that leave you questioning the grade.
- The Dude Abides, 5.7-- After the ledge, follow a prominent crack. This is a rare local route that will take trad gear, and the bolts make it a good route for new leaders to practice on.
- The Dude, 5.10a-- This is a TR variation off the Dude Abides anchors. Basically, go straight up and don't use the crack and other major holds on Dude Abides until the routes converge.
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.