Monster Rock1, is an unbelievably unique crag in Spicewood, TX, just outside Austin. It’s essentially a limestone canyon with three walls, and nearly 50 routes that range from 5.7 to 5.13. The canyon layout while presenting some potentially sketch falls offers cool and shaded climbing all year round. The mossy’s in the summer are a bit monstrous, but that’s definitely not unique to Monster Rock!
The “monster” motif can be found all throughout the crag, with little gargoyles hidden in limestone pockets, and the wall/route names fun and frighteningly corresponding to the spooky theme.
Names like Grendel, Herman Munster, or Gelatinous Cube’s Deadly Solvent add to the insecurities of leading in a dark scary canyon. Luckily the there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Monster Rock is equipped with fantastic anchors, so as you overcome the chilling darkness from the depths of the Lovecraftian Madness Wall and reach for the safety of that final hold, security you will find!
Until very recently Monster Rock was a private climbing crag, but Austin climbing Legend John Hogge has donated the crag which is now under the permanent protection of the Texas Climbers Coalition (TCC), and Access Fund. (This is actually really big news. For more on this move click here.)
I love Monster Rock, the approach is uniquely intimidating but fun, the location is central to several other crags including Pace Bend and Reimers Ranch, the routes are very good, and the views are spooctacular! On top of all this, Monster Rock does not draw the crowds of some of the larger more established crags in the area, which means you get to spend more time climbing and less time waiting for your route!
Monster Rock is a great place to face your fears, whether you are taking a whipper, or challenging a “sky full of dementors”, I assure you this is the spot where fun and fright collide!
1. Two of my most memorable climbing experiences happened at Monster Rock, but those go beyond the scope of a crag review and so I’ll have to save them for another day! They are chilling tales indeed!