Monster Rock climbing area

Come Slay These Beasties!

Monster Rock Climbing Guide

The following is an old draft of the free guidebook for convenient browsing, to give you an impression of what's here.  I'd not use any of it; instead, buy the full-color guidebook at, or download the free Mrock guidebook at

Monster Rock Climbing Guide

By John Hogge

Revision September 16, 2009


Copyright © 2009

All Rights Reserved.



·   In the “Pitfiend Pit” between the two cliffs, assess possibilities of hitting the cliff behind you on a fall, on both lead and top-rope.  Protect yourself via helmet and back pack (for padding), and consider top-roping instead of leading.  Even on top-rope you will contact the cliff behind you on certain falls.

·   Do not climb above the (super shut) anchors, since falls can easily “back clip” you out of both anchors.

·   Z-clipping is a common error on some of the pit routes where bolts are placed closely to minimize fall distances toward the opposite cliff.

·   If a rope is hanging on a top-rope route, assume it’s a static line (unsafe for lead climbing), use it, but don’t remove it.

·   Stay off of detached boulders wrapped in tape on ledges and cliff tops.


Modus Operandi:

·            Before climbing, see for the required fee, release form, and hours of operation.

·            No climbers under the age of 18.  No children visiting who would not be safe on the tall, steep ladders.

·            No dogs are allowed due to ladder access and limited space.

·            No glass containers.

·            Pack in/pack out, especially cigarette butts.

·            No illegal activities. 

·            Do not trespass onto neighboring lots.  Avoid noise and congregation near their back-porches.

·            Contacts:

Local Emergency Services: 512-264-1476

John Hogge (owner): 512-658-2275 or


Routes and wall features are listed left-to-right, facing the wall.  See the topographic map on the last page.  At the property, see signs below each route.



Dungeons & Dragons Wall and J.R.R. Tolkein Wall


These two walls are on the main cliff overlooking a rock island and river valley.  Cross the bridge, walk left on the rock island, and climb down two fixed ladders (impassible by young children and dogs).  Move left to Tolkein Wall’s routes 11-12, the pointy Earth Elemental Boulder, and routes 13-14.


From route 11, scramble down into the chasm (Pitfiend Pit) separating Dungeons & Dragons Wall on the right and Horror Movie Wall on the left, arriving at D&D Wall’s rightmost route, #10.  Walking deeper into the pit, you’ll encounter: routes 10-6, Crawl Under Boulder, route 5, Squeeze Next To Boulder, and routes 4-1, under/near the bridge.


1.       Gelatinous Cube’s Deadly Solvent: 5.11b/c, 5 draws.  Clip the safety rope to reach the start on the wedge-shaped boulder; sometimes it’s wet/slippery even when the rest of the wall is dry.  Belayer can go up that boulder and sling the 1st bolt, or else belay down below the boulder.  After the 2nd clip, use the jug off right, then climb the crimps straight up the bolt line.  John Hogge FA.  Mike Klein FOA.


variation: Tim, the Goatheaded Wizard 5.10d.  After the 2nd clip, go left along the undercling flake and up left of the bolts, crossing back right when the crimps give way to better holds.  Roni Beer FA.  PRIZE-FOA


2.       Specter’s Touch: 5.10c, 6 draws.  Belayer can clip into the nearby fixed rope to keep out of the fall zone. Starts right of the wedge shaped boulder, goes left after 5th bolt to merge with route #1.  Roni Beer FA.  David Blankenship FOA.

variation: Gandalf’s Plunge 5.11+?  After 5th bolt, go up the right bulge, staying off its right-side jugs, clip the hanger at its top, and head to the anchors.  PRIZE-FA


3.       22-Eyed Beholder Hovering Near By: 5.9, 5 draws.  Shares start with route #2 for 2 bolts, then the next 3 bolts work right to the anchors right of the bridge.  (A beholder is an evil floating globe-beast having a huge eyeball, sharp-toothed mouth, and typically 10 little magic-beam-shooting eyestalks.)  FA Unknown.  Chris “The Wanker” Palmer FOA.


variation: Ray of Disintegration 5.9+, 5 draws.  Climb route #3 for 4 bolts, then cut left to a different 5th bolt and continue left to route #1 and #2’s anchors (left of the Troll Bridge).  John Hogge FA.  Laura McWilliams FOA.


  1. Swordmaiden of Rohan: 5.7, 6 draws.  Start on route #3, traverse right after the first hanger, then climb up to anchors on left side above the cave.  The hanger next to the anchors is for Warg Riders.  Jen Koschmann FA/FOA. 


extension: Warg Riders: 5.8, 7 draws.  Climb Swordmaiden of Rohan, clip the 7th draw just left of her anchors (DON’T CLIP HER ANCHORS-NEVER CLIP AND LEAD OVER THESE SUPER-SHUT ANCHORS), continue upward, traverse right over the cave and clip route #5’s anchors.  Ryan Collity FA/FOA.


Squeeze-Next-To Boulder: a boulder you squeeze next to, between it and D&D Wall, to access routes 1-4 and some Horror Movie Wall routes.


  1. Sky Full of Dementors:  5.9+, 7 draws.  Belayer sits on ledge between the two boulders jammed between the cliffs and clips into the hanger, or climbs onto Crawl-Under Boulder and clips the hanger on the cliff.  Climb the face between the boulders; pull the arête right & above the cave.  Tim Sharp (Texas A&M) FA/FOA.


variation: Expecto Patronum!  5.8, 6 draws (one long).  Stem between the left boulder and cliff.  At the cave, clip, then move left and clip the anchors for route #4 (above and left of the cave).  Lisa Meng FA.


Crawl-Under Boulder: a boulder you crawl under to access routes 1-5 and some Horror Movie Wall routes.


  1. Kraken’s Deadly Dance at Sea: 5.8, ??? draws.  Start on the Crawl-Under Boulder; stick clip the 1st bolt.  Jini Perkins FA/FOA.


  1. Creeping Doom (aka. No Saving Throw): 5.9, 8 draws.  On 3’ tall rock ledge just before the first boulder jamming between the cliffs, stem between D&D Wall and Horror Movie Wall.  Jen Koschmann FA, Danny Lenz FOA.


variation: Sand Worms Shake the Planet:  5.9+.  Instead of stemming, pull on the vertical edge/arête.  Joel Schopp FA/FOA.


  1. Mindflayer’s Tentacles: 5.9+, 8 draws.  Start on right side of the 3’ tall rock ledge and stem against D&D Wall and Horror Movie Wall for about 15’ feet until D&D Wall eases up.  Dig the actual limestone chimney moves! Wear helmet and backpack in case lead falls contact opposite wall.   Karl Vochatzer FA/FOA.


variation: Mindstab Thrull:  5.10b/c.  Climb D&D Wall without stemming onto Horror Movie Wall.  Erik Moore FA/FOA. 


  1. Dwarven Berserker/Lich: 5.10b, 8 draws.  Ryan Collity FA/FOA.  Wear helmet and backpack in case lead falls contact opposite wall. 


10.    Green Slime vs. Bag of Devouring: 5.10b, 7 draws.  Dave Phillips FA, John Hogge FOA.


  1. Seven Gorgons Breathing: 5.11a, 5 draws.  Stick clip the high first bolt from the nearby ledge at the access.  Climb the little dihedral to the chossy jug.  Wear helmet—this route was hard to protect with the opposite cliff close by.  Rachel Harris FA/FOA.


variation: The Sixth Gorgon: 5.10d.  Start to the right of the dihedral. Dave Barre (College Station) FA/FOA.



D&D Wall Traverse Problems

1.       Grey Ooze: V1.  Traverse Green Slime backwards.  Grey Ooze was a monster universally hated by gaming geeks.  


2.       Green Slime: V1.  At the wall’s rightmost low point (below the pit entrance), traverse low, left-to-right, down-climbing onto the 3’ tall rock ledge.  Another gaming-geek-hated slimy monster. 


3.       The Blob: V2.  Traverse Grey Ooze, returning on Green Slime. 



Elevation change, Pitfiend Pit entrance/exit separating  Dungeons & Dragons Wall and J.R.R. Tolkein Wall.


11.    Herman Munster: 5.9+, 5 draws.  Straddle boulders to clip first hanger, then go down to the narrow ledge to start the route.  John Sonzcak (Glossip, England) FA, Ryan Collity (Spacewood, TX) FOA. 


12.    Grendel: 5.9, 5 draws.  Joey Phillips FA, Ryan Collity FOA.  Bad landing; consider stick-clipping 1st bolt.


Earth Elemental Boulder: the tall pointy boulder to be careful with when leading nearby routes. 


13.    Crawling Chaos: 5.10a, 5 draws.  A hay bale left of this route keeps the climber from leading unsafely between cliff and boulder.  Reach up to clip the 3rd bolt, then go far left of the bolt line.  John Hogge FA.  Roni Beer FOA. 


variation: Hellacious Hobbit 5.6 TR, climb the boulder left of Crawling Chaos and then transfer onto it.


14.    Balrog’s S&M Whip: 5.10c, 4 draws.  Consider stick-clipping the 1st bolt.  This route is at the property line.  Be careful of the neighbor’s poison ivy.   Stay off neighbor’s big jug towards top—it and rock pieces above it are detached, though currently firmly in place.  John Hogge FA, Sean O’Grady FOA.      


Property Line.







Horror Movie Wall


This wall is in the Pitfield Pit opposite Dungeons and Dragons Wall and has the same access (from the landing of J.R.R.Tolkein Wall).  Read each route’s belay station information to help deal with crowded spaces.


WARNING!  On some routes, you might contact the cliff behind you on falls (even top-rope).  Some routes are toprope protected (TR) because the opposite cliff would make leading too hazardous. Most TR routes have a directional to keep you held into the cliff. Unclip it on the way up; reclip when lowering.  Watch your back in a fall and wear a helmet and a backpack  (or full platemail) for padding.  Belayers need to be hypersensitive to avoid excess slack and to take up very fast during a fall.  There have been no injuries to date, but this setting is unusual and the risks of injury hard to determine.  Assume any pre-hung topropes are static ropes.  Use them but don’t remove them.  They are deadly if used to lead.


Access Scramble-Down


  1. Cold Damp Embrace of the Mummy: TR 5.11d  Leftmost of 3 routes sharing TR anchors and a single rope going through left and right inward-directional biners.  Shares the leftmost directional biner with route #2.  Starts at the access point’s boulder stack on a big jug pocket 6 ½’ from the toprope.  Climbs left of the directional, straight up. On all three routes, go to the jugs above the directionals before unclipping them (at waste level).  David Cardosa FA, dedicates this FA to Scott Harris J.  Josh Bilberry FOA.


  1. Dracula’s Silent Steps Approacheth: TR 5.12a.  Middle of 3 routes sharing TR anchors.  Read route #1 concerning the directional biner.  Starts between the two directional biners, directly under the TR anchors.    Austin Wise FA.  Russell Mayes FOA.


  1. Frankenstein Killed by a Mere Angry Mob: TR 5.12b.  Rightmost of 3 routes sharing TR anchors.    Starts standing on a small boulder and pulling a mild bulge to the rightmost directional biner.  Go up to jugs before unclipping it (at waste level).  Austin Wise FA/FOA. 


4.       Goblin Mutant: 5.11a, 5 draws.   The left-most lead route.  Wear a helmet and pads. To minimize fall distance towards the opposite cliff, use a short draw on bolt 3, clip the biner on the chain hanging from bolt 4, move up, then clip a short draw onto bolt 4's hanger (sharing the chain).  The chain alone is too low to protect falls towards the opposite cliff.  The hanger alone puts the climber too high over the opposite wall's bulge, in case holds break during clipping.   John Hogge FA, James Klein FOA. 


5.       Hellboy: 5.11c.  5 draws and 1 fixed biner.  Clip Hellboy’s only bolt, then reach left to clip route #4’s bolts and anchors; read its description to get max protection out of the fixed chain.  WARNING: The last bolt is an invisible clip left around a corner.  Hellboy is a contrived but fun route using handholds between or directly on the lines defined by two chained biners.  For a true send, consider tick-marking each hold, or you’re likely to grab holds off route.  John Hogge FA.  PRIZE-FOA


  1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (aka. Leatherface): 5.11b/c, 4 draws.  Randy Ho FA.  Blaine Burris FOA.


  1. Shower Scene from Psycho: TR 5.11c.  Climb using the directional biner to keep away from opposite wall.  Unclip as you pass the biner and reclip upon lowering.  Paul Brady FA/FOA.


  1. Eye-pluck scene from The Birds: TR 5.11d.  Climb using the directional biner to keep away from opposite wall.  Unclip as you pass the biner and reclip upon lowering.  For a fun variation, keep hands off the big matchable block.  Mike Klein FA/FOA, without any chalk and with crux holds dirty.


  1. Willard Calls Out the Rats: TR 5.12a/b.  Starts where the ground begins dropping into the dark hole, on the big matchable block.  Stay left of the sloping boulder and power up the almost-bare section.  Belay from the ground left of the start.  Austin Wise FA/FOA. 


variation: Ben’s Rat Army: TR 5.10c.  Below the bare face, traverse right, over the sloping boulder, onto the ledge, and then up and left finishing Freddie vs. Jason.  Rachel Harris FA/FOA.


Crawl-Under Boulder: a boulder you crawl under to access the following  routes  and some D&D Wall routes.


  1. Freddie vs. Jason: 5.10a, 5 draws and 1 fixed biner.  Starts between the two big boulders jammed between the cliffs.  Belayer sits low with feet on stacked boulders, back against the ledge (allowing traffic to pass behind belayer).  Clip into the ledge’s hanger to not depend on the stacked/balanced boulder landing.  Climber pulls on a jug to belayer’s right onto the ledge, then goes up and left.  It looks like 5.11, but the trick beta makes it light pulling.  Shares anchors with route #9 and its permanent toprope.  Just clip the rope in and let it lay on top of the locking biners, then lower.  Trevor Brooks FA/FOA.


  1. Thing vs. Cousin It: 5.11d.  5 draws.  Starts same as Freddie vs. Jason.  From the ledge, climb the dihedral.  Paul Brady FA/FOA.


Squeeze-Next-To Boulder: a boulder you squeeze next to, between it and D&D Wall, to access route 9 and some D&D Wall routes.  It’s the biggest/highest boulder jammed between the cliffs.


  1. Demonic Hordes and the Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore: 5.10b.  3 draws. Belayer sits on right side of Squeeze-Next-To Boulder and clips into the nearby hanger on the cliff.  The climb starts on the cliff face at the top of that boulder.  Towards the top, climb left to the anchors shared with route #10.  DO NOT get tired and go up for a rest on the jugs with tape all over them; they are taped to indicate they are detached and to stay off of them.  Lauren Divine (Texas A&M) FA/FOA.


  1. Trollkind: 5.9+, 5 draws.  Belayer clips into the fixed rope around the wedge shaped boulder.  Climber starts standing on D&D Wall’s little ledge.  Be careful on lead here--be aware of the boulder hazard to your left.  Be sure to use the ledge on the far right at the second bolt.  (Below the start, an ancient troll free solo battle route climbs out of the cave and up the face to the bridge.)  Chris “The Wanker” Palmer FA/FOA.


Horror Movie Wall Traverse Routes

1.       Carrie: V3  Bad landings, bad rock; spot carefully.  Traverse low, left-to-right, from start of the low roof to the big matchable jug before the Pit sinks into Oblivion; exit up onto the boulder stack.  Russell Mayes FA. 


2.       UNSENT Homonculust: V3  Bad landings, bad rock; spot carefully.  Traverse Carrie to the big matchable jug and return to the start.  PRIZE-FA.


3.       Lord of the Pit: 5.11a, 10 fixed biners.  Starts outside the Pit sitting on the half-coffin sized boulder “guarding” the pit entrance.  DO NOT SECOND (FOLLOW) THIS ROUTE—BOLTS ARE POSITIONED ONLY FOR LEADING, AND FALLS WHILE SECONDING CAN EASILY RESULT IN COLLISIONS AGAINST THE OPPOSITE CLIFF.  DUE TO FREQUENT ROCK BREAKS, DO NOT TRAVERSE OVER ANYONE IN THE PIT.  Traverse right, clipping all the fixed biners on chains.  The 10th chain is well above the 9th to exit on Freddie vs. Jason’s anchors.  You’ll see locking biners and a permanent toprope on these anchors; just clip your lead rope onto the super shuts, sharing it with the locking biners, and lower.  It’s long but a 35 meter rope works fine.  Greg Brooks, FA.  Greg bolted the line and later sent it in one go, virtually onsighting it.  He climbs with the Zen calm and pace of a pre-global-warming glacier that would pump-out mere mortals, and I figured this would cost him on this long route…but no.  Paul Brady FOA.


Mythology Wall


Descend the stairs, two ladders, and boulders to the river valley.  Walk past Lovecraftian Madness Wall and around the bulge/arête called the Nose of Nyarlathotep.  (Never pronounce Nyarlathotep out loud!)  You’ll see the neighbor’s stairway.

This wall has five routes with campus-ish starts, two long traverses, and variations exiting on them.


  1. Cyclops’ Eye: 5.11+?   2 draws, 1 fixed biner.  Stand on a boulder left of the “ruined castle wall”, left hand in a huge bumpy pocket.    This route also starts the two traverses described in the box below.  PRIZE-FA


High Traverse Route


Siren’s Song Forever, 5.12?, 2 draws & 16 fixed biners.  Climb Cyclops to good holds above the horizontal crack.  Traverse Torture-iffic backwards (left-to-right); hands stay above the first six biners on chains. After the 16 chained biners, downclimb to the ground.  PRIZE-FA


Low Traverse Route


Deadly Breath of Dragons, 5.12+?, 2 draws & 16 fixed biners.  Climb Cyclops to the prominent horizontal crack.  Traverse Wurm backwards (left-to-right); hands stay below the first six biners on chains.  After the 16 chained biners, downclimb to the ground.    PRIZE-FA



  1. Hydra’s Hissing Heads: 5.11a , 3 draws and 1 fixed biner.  Start standing on the leftmost point of the “ruined castle wall”.  Kevin Holte FA/FOA.


variation: Hundred Handed Ones.   2 draws and 15 fixed biners.  Merge right onto the high traverse.  The Hundred Handed Ones (Hecatonchires) were monster-giants so ugly their father Uranus pushed them back into mom’s womb.  PRIZE-FA


variation: Basilisk’s Glance of Death.  2 draws and 15 fixed biners.  Merge right onto the low traverse.  PRIZE-FA


  1. Medusa’s Snakes all Staring: 5.11+? 5.12-?  3 draws and 1 fixed biner.  Stand on the rightmost point of the “ruined castle wall”.  Medusa’s the archetype of ugliness, with a hair of snakes and a stare that turned onlookers into stone.  PRIZE-FA


variation: Poseidon and the Sea Nymph.  2 draws and 13 fixed biners.  Merge right onto the high traverse.  The god and nymph coupled in Athena’s temple; she dealt with it by turning the nymph into Medusa.  PRIZE-FA


variation: Impaled by the Manticore.  2 draws and 13 fixed biners.  Merge right onto the low traverse.  PRIZE-FA


  1. Strength of Titans: 5.sick.  3 draws and 1 fixed biner.  Start on the chossy ledge.  Hands go to the torn flake.  PRIZE-FA


variation: Hercules vs. the 3-Headed Hound of Hades.  2 draws and 12 fixed biners.  Merge right onto the high traverse.  PRIZE-FA


variation: Gored by the Minotaur.  2 draws and 12 fixed biners.  Merge right onto the low traverse.  PRIZE-FA


  1. Smashed by Thor’s Hammer: 5.nasty.  3 draws and 1 fixed biner.  Start on the chossy ledge, just left of the arête.  Hand goes to the crescent.  Thor had it going on, with his giant-slaying auto-returning hammer and his goat-drawn chariot that divided mountains.  Thor lost a few “fixed” contests but gave them a good show.  He was rused into wrestling an old woman, (who was actually Old Age) and nearly won.  He lost a drinking contest since his horn of mead was magically tied to the ocean, but he managed to alter the tides in the process.  PRIZE-FA


 variation: Odin’s Spear:  2 draws and 11 fixed biners.  Merge right onto the high or low traverse (they merge here) and climb the Insane Whisperings traverse in reverse order, finishing with a downclimb to the ground.  PRIZE-FA


Mythology Wall transitions into Lovecraftian Madness Wall at the mild arête, lovingly called the Nose of Nyarlathotep.  The low right side of the arête is the start of Starspawn of Cthulhu (see next page).  That route crosses left onto Mythology Wall’s rightmost section.


(Topo coming later)


Lovecraftian Madness Wall (in memory of H.P. Lovecraft).  This wall starts on the left at a bulge/arête (Nose of Nyarlathotep) and small roof.  Some of these routes may require nightly readings of the Necronomicon…


1.       Starspawn of Cthulhu:  5.13a?, 3 draws.  Stick clip 1st bolt.  Climbs to the left side of the small roof, clipping hangers left of the arête.  PRIZE-FA


variation: The Dreaded Colour Out of Space: 5.13c?  Exit early, right, on the low traverse.  See pg 10.  PRIZE-FA


variation: Cthulhu Awakens: 5.13b?  Exit early, right, on the high chained Insane Whisperings traverse.  PRIZE-FA


2.        Sick Experiments at Miskatonic University: 5.13? 5 draws & use 1 fixed biner.  Climb the face under the center of the small roof.  Above the roof, look right to clip the 4th hanger, then climb straight up to clip the fixed biner. Russell Mayes FA.  PRIZE-FOA


Snout of Shubb Niggorath.  This choss formation at the bottom of the cliff looks like a monster’s nostrils.


3.       Fear of Evil Gods: 5.12c  5 draws & use 1 fixed biner.  Start above the left nostril of the Snout of Shubb Niggorath.  Climb the thin crack line to right side of the small roof, then work right to the 4th hanger (ignore the close hanger on your left) and right to the fixed biner.  Exit left to the anchors.  Jeff Olson FA.  PRIZE-FOA


4.       Revenge of the Shoggoths: 5.11c/d  5 draws.  Starts in the little dihedral over the right nostril of the Snout of Shubb Niggorath.  Shoggoths were servants of the Elder Things until they rebelled.  They were enormous masses of gelatinous flesh that they could form into appendages and organs, as needed.  Phillip Bryan FA/FOA.


5.       Hideous MI-GO Swimming Through Space 5.12+, 5 draws.  Starts on left-hand slopers and right-hand deep 2-finger pocket.  Dylan Jones FA.  PRIZE-FOA


variation: The Dunwich Horror 5.12+?, 6 draws.  After 3rd draw, head right to finish on route #6.  PRIZE-FA


6.        Hastur’s Semi-Liquid Fishy Things: 5.11d, 5 draws (1 long) and use 1 fixed biner.  Start right hand in the big mail slot.   Hang a long (4th) draw on route #10’s last hanger and finish on its anchors.  John Hogge FA. PRIZE-FOA


variation: Fear of Infinity: 5.11d, 4 draws & 1 fixed biner.  Branches left after 2nd bolt to finish on route #5’s anchors.  PRIZE-FA


variation: Fear of Being Eaten: 5.11d, 4 draws (1 long) & 1 fixed biner.  Branches left after the 3rd bolt (the fixed biner) to finish on route #5’s anchors.  John Hogge FA.  PRIZE-FOA


7.       Reanimator: V5/6?, 1 draw & 1 fixed biner.  Stick clip the hanger, start left hand in the big mail slot, climb the left side of the slopey bulge, exit right on the chained traverse.    PRIZE-FA


8.       Hellraiser: V6, 1 draw & 1 fixed biner.   Stick clip the hanger, climb the middle of the slopey bulge, exit right on the chained traverse.  Chris “Vinny” Vinson FA (protected via pad, no rope).  (Chris also redpointed it as a sport route, exiting on route #6, grading it mid 5.12.)    PRIZE-FOA


9.       The Hidden: V5/6?, 1 draw & 1 fixed biner.  Stick clip the hanger, climb the right side of the slopey bulge, exit right on the chained traverse.    PRIZE-FA


10.    Invisible Slayer of the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred: 5.11a, 5 draws and use 1 fixed biner.  Shares start with route #11 but goes left before the bulge.  John Hogge FA, Donna Kwok FOA.


11.    Nyarlathotep Arises from the Blackness of 27 Centuries: 5.11b, 5 draws and use 1 fixed biner.  Thin crack to little roof/bulge.  Shares start with route #10.   John Hogge FA, Donna Kwok FOA.


variation: Psychic Venom: TR 5.10c.  Top-rope off of route #12’s anchors.  Start between the cracks of routes #11 and #12; both cracks are off-route.  Stay left of route #10’s bolts.  Lauren Divine FA, Josh Bilberry FOA. 


12.    Icy Touch of a Dimensional Shambler: 5.10b, 3 draws and use 1 fixed biner.  Rightmost lead route on the wall; holds on the arête (right cliff edge) are off route.  Chris “Birddog” Kiestler FA, John Hogge FOA.


variation: Herbert West’s Weird Instruments: 5.10a.  Holds on the arête are on-route for this variation.


13.    Cosmic Horror: 5.7, 3 draws.  Climb the face right of route #12’s crack to the landing.  Climb the face left of the ladder.  Clip anchors next to the ladder.  Troy Wilson FA.


variation: Cosmic Encounters: 5.9, 3 draws and 1 fixed biner.  Start route #12, clipping chained biner and hanger.  Cross onto and pull straight up the arête, skipping the big rest on the ledge, clipping 2 bolts right of the arête.  Clip anchors next to the ladder.  Jennifer Marine FA.  Jennifer said it’s the weirdest route ever. Cool!


Lovecraftian Madness Wall -- High Traverse Routes


Insane Whisperings from a Yuggothian Braincase:  5.11b.  Zero draws needed (clip 9 fixed biners and then lower off).   Start route #12 to the tiny roof formation and traverse it left.   WARNINGS: 1. Do not skip clipping any of the 9 fixed biners; you’d pendulum badly.  2.  Falls while attempting to clip the 6th biner may cause some contact during the swing and require you run a few steps across the cliff.  Greg Brooks FA/FOA. 


extension Torture-iffic: 5.11c.  Zero draws & 16 fixed biners. Traverse Insane Whisperings, continuing onto Siren’s Song Forever (Mythology Wall’s high traverse, on which hands stay above the chained biners).  Lower on the 16th chain.  Neil Higa FA.  PRIZE-FOA


extension Wurm: 5.12a?   Zero draws & 16 fixed biners. Traverse Insane Whisperings, continuing onto Deadly Breath of Dragons (Mythology Wall’s low traverse); before the 11th chain, downclimb and keep hands below the line of the remaining chained biners.  Lower on the 16th chain.  PRIZE-FA


See also variations of Starspawn of Cthulhu and Mythology Wall routes which exit on Insane Whisperings left-to-right.


The Insane Whisperings traverse has the following nine variations, each exiting early on various up-routes, providing a variety of route grades.  But first, a grim aside.  The space-borne Mi-Go race (who invented Yuggothian Braincases) could transplant other beings’ brains across space in the braincases, from which the brains could see, hear, and speak…but in which they could not retain their sanity…


i. Starspawn Insanity: 5.11b/c?, 1 draw & 9 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 9th fixed biner, then go up and finish on Starspawn of Cthulhu.  PRIZE-FA


ii. Sick Insanity: 5.12a.  1 draw & 8 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 8th fixed biner, then go up working left and finish on Sick Experiments at Miskatonic University.    PRIZE-FA


iii. Fear Insanity: 5.12a .  1draw & 7 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 7th fixed biner, then go up and left to finish on Fear of Evil Gods.  Rap to clean the draw, avoiding rope damage.  Boone Speed FA.  PRIZE-FOA


iv. Revenge Insanity: 5.10d 1 draw & 6 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 6th fixed biner; continue up and left to the small chaotic roof.  Finish the last moves of Revenge of the Shoggoths.  Donna Kwok FA/FOA.


v. Hideous Insanity #1: 5.10d. 1 draw & 6 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 6th fixed biner, then go straight up and finish on Hideous MI-GO Swimming Through Space.  John Hogge FA.  PRIZE-FOA


vi. Hideous Insanity #2: 5.10c 2 long draws & 5 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 5th fixed biner, then go up and left to the shelf, then clip a draw on the hanger left of the 5th fixed biner (to avoid a bad lead fall onto a bulge), then clip draw on the left bulge, finishing Hideous MI-GO Swimming Through Space.  John Hogge FA.  Daniel Culotta FOA.


vii. Hastur’s Insanity: 5.10d, 3 draws (1 long) & 5 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 5th fixed biner, then go up and finish on Hastur’s Semi-Liquid Fishy Things.  Will McDonald FA/FOA.


viii. Invisible Insanity: 5.10d, 2 draws & 4 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 4th fixed biner, then go up, finishing on Invisible Slayer of the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred.  John Myrek FA/FOA. 


ix. Nyarlathotep Insanity: 5.11a.  3 draws & 3 fixed biners.  Traverse along Insane Whisperings to its 3rd fixed biner, then go up, finishing on Nyarlathotep Arises from the Blackness of 27 Centuries.  Donna Kwok FA.  PRIZE-FOA


Lovecraftian Madness Wall -- Low Traverse Routes


I saw this traverse line but did not want to complicate route development by trying to clutter-bolt or share bolts with the dozen up-routes crossing it.  Strangely, after all the up-routes had been bolted on May 11 2007, we beheld a near-perfect line of low bolts protecting this traverse.  No Doubt, a sign from The Great Old Ones!


The Dreaded Colour Out of Space: 5,13? 9 draws & 1 fixed biner.   Start Starspawn of Cthulhu, traverse right under the roof, traversing the rest of the cliff low to its right edge.   The Colour Out of Space was a creature seemingly made of never before seen colors which turned flesh to dust.    PRIZE-FA


The Awful Truth of Charles Dexter Ward: 5.11d?  9 draws & 1 fixed biner.  Start at the cliff’s right edge, traversing The Dreaded Colour Out of Space backwards (leftwards) to the 1st bolt of Starspawn of Cthulhu, lowering therefrom.    PRIZE-FA


Why all the madness?  Lovecraft’s protagonists rarely died.  Rather, they saw the hideous actual fabric of the universe, and it left them quite mad…


Lovecraftian Madness Wall’s main routes:



Six variations including the bi-directional low traverses:


The nine “Insane” variations.  All nine variations start the high traverse and depart onto different up-routes:



i.                     Starspawn Insanity          5.11b/c?

ii.                    Sick Insanity                   5.12a

iii.                  Fear Insanity                   5.12a

iv.                  Revenge Insanity             5.10d

v.                    Hideous Insanity #1        5.10d

vi.                  Hideous Insanity #2        5.10c

vii.                 Hastur’s Insanity             5.10d

viii.               Invisible Insanity             5.12+

ix.                  Nyarlathotep Insanity      5.11a


What fiendish mind would produce this bolting scheme?  He’s crazy!  Too many glances at the Necronomicon….Wait, what’s that sound…No.  OH, NO, PLEASE GOD HELP ME!!!!!!



Shubb Niggorath’s Pinky Boulder:   Not a true boulder, it’s the small slabby right end section of Lovecraftian Madness’ cliff, at route Nyarlathotep Arises from the Blackness of 27 Centuries. 


  1. Blind Idiot God (aka. Azathoth, the Mindless Horror Ruling Time and Space): V0.  Sit start, eyes closed en route, no peeking.  Pull the roof, fumble up the featured slab, finish standing on the ledge. 


2.       Necronomicon page 666: V0.  Sit start.  Right side of the boulder.  Ascend to easy climbing. 


Cthulhu’s Knuckle Boulder:  behind and to the left of you as you climb down the black latter. It’s just to the right of Shubb Niggorath’s Pinky Boulder.  Warning: Never pronounce Cthulhu out loud!  You have been warned.


  1. Eyaaa Eyaaa Cthulhu!:  V0. Sit start.  Keep off the arete.  Follow the otherworldly-looking crack-like formation.


  1. Yog-Sothoth waits at The Gate:  V0.  Sit start.  Stay off of Eyaa Eyaaa Cthulhu!’s crack-like formation. 


Strength and Toughness Boulder (in honor of MTG):  forms an A-Frame with Monster’s Lair Boulder.  This is the one with the large diagonal crack on it.  Both are perched on a hill between the cliffs and the river.  Please stay off the fragile topmost face of the boulder above the highest ledge full of dense shag carpet/coral type rock surface structure.  This interesting rock surface breaks easily.


  1. Force of Nature: V0/1.  Sit-start at roof’s edge at the diagonal crack.  Follow the crack right and up. 

2.       Dwarven God + 7: V0.  Sit at right edge of the boulder.  Traverse left.

  1. UNSENT  Royal Assassin/Icy Manipulator.  Sit start on curvy vertical crack. Go up to jet-black deep pocket and then to the shelf.  Don’t touch anything above that shelf (it breaks).  Dyno to the top edge.


Monster’s Lair Boulder:  forms an A-Frame with S&T Boulder.  The face’s many features will yield more probs.


  1. Helltide: V0.  Climbs the arete on the right side under the dead tree.
  2. Shambling Mound: V0.  Start on dark scarry hueco on left side, traverse left and up, staying off of the dirty surfaces.


Magic, the Gathering Boulder:  lies next to S&T Boulder and Monster’s Lair Boulder.


  1. Orcish Vast-throngs: V0.  Sit start at right, traverse left and up.


Undead Boulder:  a large boulder down at the river’s edge. Enjoy the view from its top!  An easy ledge (“Easy Ledge”, herein) runs horizontally across the boulder’s left half.  Some problem grades change if EL is on  or off.  Grades may need adjusting since topouts are now expected and landings are cleaner.  All problems are sit-starts and (except for the traverses)  top-outs.


  1. Necromancer: UNSENT V6-7?: start on detached boulder next to the bigger tiny cliff that comprises Undead Boulder.  Traverse right onto Undead Boulder and across it, staying below Easy Ledge.  Easy Ledge is off.
  2. Zombie Nation: V2, like Imp in a Bottle but Easy Ledge is on.   
  3. Abomination: V0 (Easy Ledge on) or V?? (Easy Ledge off).  Start on the boulder’s left arête.
  4. Army of Darkness: V0 (Easy Ledge on ) or V?? (Easy Ledge off).  Sart left-hand on ledge, right hand on big pocket.  Go up to the cave.
  5. Cultes des Ghoules: V0 (Easy Ledge on) or V?? (Easy Ledge off), Start on the big low (1’ off the ground) left side-pull.  Finish left side of bulge.
  6. Werewolfie: V0 (Easy Ledge on) or V?? (Easy Ledge off), Start as with Cultes des Ghoules.  Finish right side of bulge.
  7. Night of the Living Dead: V0 (Easy Ledge on) or V?? (Easy Ledge off).  Start in shallow cave behind the tree.  Climb out left of the tree.



  1. Dawn of the Dead: V1.  Start like Resident Evil; exit the cave to the right of the tree.
  2. Hand of Veckna: UNSENT V4-5?
  3. Resident Evil: V3.  Climb to the slight “point” at top of boulder.
  4. The Hunger: UNSENT V4?.  Start three feet right of Resident Evil; climb to that same point.   
  5. Scratches on the Inside of a Coffin: V0.  Laydown start under the low little arête, hands left of the arête.  Climb left of the two stacked arêtes.
  6. Skeleton’s Teeth: V0.  Start hands on the low little arête.  Climb the two stacked arêtes.
  7. Ghost Story: V0.  Start hands on the little low arête.  Climb diagonally right and up.
  8. Witch’s Cackle.  V?  Start left-hand undercling, right-hand crack; climb straight up.


Prow 2’ off the ground.  WARNING: This piece of rock is almost 100% detached as far as the eye can see.   Climbing it might entail a risk of a crushing death!


  1. Eye of Veckna (aka. Lich’s Delight):  V?  In D&D, a Lich was an undead wizard with a lust for power.  The Lich Veckna strived to become a demi-god and to kill all the other demi-gods.  At some point he lost his eye and hand, and they became powerful magical artifacts up there with Excalibur and the One Ring.  If a mortal found them and painfully “replaced” his own eye or hand with them, the mortal would gain power and utter evilhood.   But now, let’s take it down a notch.  Start on Witch’s Cackle.  Traverse the prow right to the short face; go up under the Hueco.


  1. Bloody Wooden Stake:  V?.  Climb the lowest point of the prow straight up over the bad landing boulder.


  1. Howl of the Ring Wraiths  V?.  Start hands on the prow’s uphill top surface.  Climb straight up.


  1. (There are more potential variations on the prow.)


  1. (More excavation of the big landing boulders would open up the right side of the boulder.  Anyone have a jack-hammer?)


Training Wall


The plywood climbing wall next to the driveway has some symmetric system holds on the left side.  Try the system holds after climbing routes to thoroughly torch your arms on all types of holds.  Assorted route climbing doesn’t thoroughly exercise each hold type on both arms.  Monster Rock is heavy on crimps and slopers; try system-wall laps on pockets and pinches.




Routes bolted by John Hogge, Dave Phillips, John Myrek, John Sonzcak, Joey Phillips, and Chris Kiestler.   Extensive trail work by Terrence Smith.  Dave and (who?) discovered Undead Boulder buried under brush and cleaned it up to yield a lot of bouldering.  Training wall by Dave Phillips.  Realtor Glenda McEldery found the property for purchase.


Unusual or Noteworthy Ascents


An FA mainly shows who got access first and honors their pioneering the route.  Herein is recorded other interesting or amusing types of ascents (send to  If you do an unusual style ascent or record (e.g. a one handed ascent, plastic sword in hand ascents, a speed record, etc.) at a level you feel was challenging for you, I’ll likely record it here:


Crawling Chaos: John Hogge, First Ascent Under Attack.  I dodged a 9” centipede on the FA.  My belayer Joey warned me before I saw the thing, but I thought he was messing with me.  I almost came off when I saw it crawling up between my hands. 


Insane Whisperings from a Yuggothian Braincase:

  • Greg Brooks, First Inadvertent Ascent, Onsight.  Greg was trying to send Sick Insanity and went left looking for holds.  Later pictures showed he inadvertently sent the whole traverse.
  • Dave Phillips bolted the 2nd half of this route on lead.


Freddie vs. Jason: Jill Daniel led her first-ever 5.10, 11/11/07.


Green Slime vs. Bag of Devouring: Karl Vochatzer, First Green Slimerrhea Ascent.  Karl onsighted this at the onset of abdominal cramps and a fever at the end of his Onsight Contest day, 11/11/07.


Goblin Mutant: Ryan Collity repointed his first-ever 5.11, 2/10/08.


Traverse Routes                 First-to-Lap         Most Laps (Current World Record)

  Insane Whisperings           Paul Brady            Paul Brady (1 full lap + 8 bolts into the 2nd lap)

  Lord of the Pit                    unsent                    unsent
Directions from Austin/Dallas:

  1. I35 runs north-south through Austin.  From I35, take one of several roads (e.g. 45, Parmer, or 6th Street) west to Mopac (aka Loop 1).
  2. Go south on Mopac.
  3. Go west on Southwest Parkway.  It dead-ends into H71.
  4. Go right (west) on 71.  Go past a lot of trees, then strip malls and Bee Cave Rd (on the right), past 620 (on the right), past Hamilton Pool Rd (on the left), then past a lot more trees and assorted hill-funk businesses and restaurants.
  5. Look for a big Chevron on the right and a sign that says “Lake Travis / Pace Bend Park”.  The Chevron is at the corner of 71 and RR2322 (aka. Pace Bend Rd).  Frustratingly, the road sign says 2322 but not Pace Bend Rd.  Turn right.
  6. Go roughly a mile, passing under minor power lines and then slow down at the major lines suspended on steel poles.  MR is the 2nd lot on the left after the major lines.  Look for the mail box with “2208”. 


  1. DO NOT park on road right-of-way outside the gates—you’ll be towed.  If parking is full, chill at a nearby restaurant or head to Pace Bend park or Reimers.  Reimers is 35 minutes away.  Hamilton Pool Road is only 10 minutes away, so side-trips to Monster Rock cost only 20 minutes round-trip.  Pace Bend park (offering deep water soloing when the lake is up) is a few minutes away, at the end of Pace Bend Rd.  It also offers camping.


  1. The property is narrow and long with parking spots nestled in trees on both sides of the dirt drive, from the gate to the shed & shack.  Careful parking will allow 20 cars.  Walk down hill between two houses to the Troll Bridge stairway spanning across a dark chasm, the Pitfiend Pit. Thou standeth over Dungeons and Dragon’s Wall. The bridge bringeth ye to Sauron’s Tower, a rock island with Horror Movie Wall in the pit facing D&D Wall and Lovecraftian Madness Wall and Mythology Wall facing towards the river.  Walk ye left to the “Ladders” marked on the overhead topo and go down.  These ladders are impassible to dogs and young children.


  1. The ladders terminate at a big ledge with scramble-downs to access Lovecraftian Madness Wall and various boulder problems.  Or you turn back to the main cliff to access J.R.R. Tolkein Wall, which has just two pairs of routes separated by Earth Elemental Boulder.  Turn left and scramble down into the Pit Fiend Pit to access Dungeons & Dragons Wall and Horror Movie Wall.


Directions from San Antonio:

                Take the loop to 281 and go North for 65 miles.  Go east on  71 for 16 miles.  Go over the Pedernales Bridge and take a left on 2322 (aka Pace Bend Rd.).  Then see #6-9 above.


Guide to Area Restaurants, Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, Etc:

These locations are along the path from Mopac (Loop 1) and Southwest Parkway to Highway 71 to RR 2322 (Pace Bend Rd.).  There are other restaurants besides these, but these are the ones I go to.


Road                                                      Side        Business                                Comments

Southwest Parkway                            left          Subway                                 yawn/blah/but there’s no arguing with Jarred

Highway 71 before Bee Cave Rd.   right        Starbucks, HEB

Beecave Rd. near 71                          left          El Arroyo                               great tex-mex

Highway 71 before/at 620                                left          Jim Bob’s                              breakfast tacos; bbq

                                                                left          Subway                                                 in the big shopping center

left          Blue Bamboo Viet/Thai     in the big shopping center

right        Springhill Café                     great grilled catfish

                                                                right        McDonalds                           zone diet compatible, without fries

                                                                right        (new restaurants going in)  in the huge shopping center

                                                                left          Rosey’s                                  breakfast tacos & Mexican lunch

Highway 71 to 2322/Pace Bend      left          La Cabana Grill                   Mexican.  Bad guacamole, great margaritas.

                                                                right        Backstage                             great pricey steaks and more

                                                                right        Little Country Diner            great burgers & fries

                                                                right        R O Outpost BBQ                pies!  Good bbq, marginal slaw/potato salad

                                                                right        Pale Face Liquor                  drivethrough


(continued next page)


Road                                                      Side        Business                                Comments

RR 2322 (aka Pace Bend Rd.)         right        Chevron/Paleface Grocery                corner of 71 and 2322. 

                                                                left          Monster Rock                      your humble climbing server

                                                                left          Country Store                       Monster Rock’s closest convenience store, gas, ice

                                                                right        Lee’s Almost by the Lake  great family/climber owned grill

                                                                left          Moon River                          night club, restaurant, smokey karaoke situation




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