"Stellar! Stellar rock. Stellar routes!" -- David Cardosa, Austin area route developer.
"Invisible Slayer in my opinion is now one of the best 5.11 routes in the Austin area...an amazing climbing spot with routes that are sure to become Austin classics. " --Paul Brady on http://www.webcrag.blogspot.com.
"Amazing 5.8s, 5.9s, 5.10s" --Alex Schmitz on www.texasclimber.com
"Amazing 5.11s" --me
"I'll spend all summer climbing in The Pit" --Greg Brooks
"Bolt it, and they will come!" -- Kevin Costner
"Two Thumbs Up!" -- Siskel and Ebert
riverside bouldering heavy in V0's, nice for beginners and for warmups/warmdowns.
Mrock is a small property with a high concentration of rock climbing. The property is only a 75' wide homesite with a cliff overlooking the river. Across from this cliff, a rock island adds two more cliffs on both of its sides. Together the three cliffs span about 225' wide. They are 50'/40'/40' tall. Mrock has 52 lead and toprope routes, 31 variations, and more than 37 boulder problems.
If you climb 5.9: Mrock has three quality 5.6 - 5.8 warmups and six 5.9 main routes, probably four of them star-quality. 5.9 climbers new to leading have complimented Mrock on the lack of runouts. Five 5.10a's & b's make good projects.
If you climb 5.10: Mrock has about ten star-quality routes and variations in this grade, spread evenly across the four letter grades. Don't overlook the Insane Whisperings traverse. It has two 5.10 variations, plus the entire traverse can be worked bolt-to-bolt pulling no harder than 5.10d cruxes. (It's rated 5.11b due to the endurance to redpoint.) Six 5.11a's & b's make good projects.
If you climb 5.11: Mrock has about fourteen star-quality routes in this grade with alot of variety: two really long traverses, an interesting thin dihedral route, an excellent face route, a set of mildly-overhanging routes on a sea of holds in the Pit, and some bouldery power-start routes. 5.11 climbers get alot of good quality 5.9-5.10 warmups.
If you climb 5.12: The route count is lower at this grade, with 5 lead routes, a stellar 5.12a variation, 3 variations off the 5.11b traverse, 2 TR-only overhanging routes, and 3 rope-protectable boulder problems. Four of the 5.11's can prove tough because of their reaches or strangeness, so all-in-all you probably have 18 challenging routes, and you get alot of star-quality 5.10/5.11 warmups.
If you're a god: enjoy our worship. You have a 5.13a and several nasty open projects.
The Pitfiend Pit is a chasm between two cliffs. The pit provides cooler air on hot days--an unusual climbing environment in Texas--and warmer air on cold days. It also provides rare limestone "chimney" routes stemming between the two cliffs. Sometimes the pit has mesquitos, so bring repellent or your inner resolve to climb.
The Pit has alot to offer, with a nice distribution of quality routes from 5.7 to 5.12, a variety of surfaces including seas-of-slopey-holds, a couple crimpy face climbs, and some moss-fuzzed sandstonish dungeon-choss.
The pit's two cliffs are close together in spots. Consider using helmets, and trust only highly skilled belayers. Do not climb with belayers who sit down when you're on lead and who maintain more than a mild arc of rope slack. A lead fall combined with a bad belay, in the pit, is particularly dangerous as the leader can not only deck, but strike both cliffs (and possibly the two big pit boulders) on the way down. Remember the opposite cliff behind you at all times while climbing/belaying.
Do not climb here if you do not want to assume this risk and properly manage this risk. Pit routes are bolted closely to help offset this risk, but this does nothing if the belay is poor. Likewise, the leader can not make mistakes such as backclipping or falling while pulling up rope to clip.
Pay attention to the clipping advise on the sign at Goblin Mutant (5.11a) and several warnings on the sign at Lord of the Pit (5.11a).
Several routes are top-rope only, with directional caribiners to hold you away from the opposite cliff.
One of the best routes is a nine-clip, 60' traverse on permadraws. With sustained difficulty and the extra hand movements required by traversing, it's really long. So is its name: "Insane Whisperings from a Yuggothian Braincase." This endurance torture device is 5.11b, with variations ranging 5.10c to 5.12a. It also has a 30' extension (totalling 16 bolts) at 11c and its 5.12- variation.
The traverse crosses eight up-routes. Eight variations start on the traverse and finish on one of the various up-routes. Here Rachel Harris works variation "Hideous Insanity", clipping the 6th chain and then going up on the top half of a 5.12+ route. These variations provide a way of climbing portions of routes whose cruxy starts might be above a climber's level.
(Strange how that tree just showed up in the second photo. Perhaps an Ent walked by?)
A second long traverse (Lord of the Pit, 11a, on 10 permadraws) lies in the pit; its character is alot different with tougher footwork and overhung throughout.
1. Convenience stores, restaurants, gas stations, karoake bars, hair dressers, and deep-water-soloing are just down the steet.
2. A port-a-potty:
3. Fishing and Swimming (at your own risk), when the river is up.
4. Taking a cue from Moses, I've written the guidebook on tablets. These are kind of fading and some of the routes are complicated, so please consider buying the full-color Austin area guidebook that includes Monster Rock at www.AustinClimbingBook.com