Monster Rock climbing area

Come Slay These Beasties!

History (e.g. Blah Blah Blah!)

First there was Odin, and he saw that the rock was good, and he sent Thor to bash it up into climbable portions.  Thor did his worst and cleaved Monster Rock in two.  Likely some half-elf strolled by and free-soloed every route, dirty, without chalk.


Then in 1998 I was planning to move to Austin for its climbing.  I was not interested in E-Rock and the Greenbelt; I loved Reimers but feared it would eventually be sold off to land developers.  So I shopped for cliff properties and evaluated Mrock and others.  (Ironically, six years later, Reimers was sold as a permanent county park.) 


In 2001, the first half-dozen routes were installed by me, Joey Phillips, and John Sonzcak.  Then I succumed to the  pressures of work and stopped climbing for about six years.  Mrock saw little traffic. 


In 2004, Dave Phillips set up camp at Mrock, and  I moved down the street.  Mrock didn't progress; Lovecraftian Madness Wall appeared to have few feasible starts, and the pit was a mess of vegetation and fall zones problematic for lead routes.  Dave and friends TR'd Lovecraft's nasty looking lines and slowly it started looking feasible.  He and Terence built trails, and other friends unearthed Undead Boulder (pun intended).  By 2006, Dave proposed opening a small business offering Mrock access to the public.


Finally in '07 I turned my attention to climbing.  I cleaned massive ferns and soils off of D&D Wall. Dave Phillips and John Myrek finished bolting Lovecraftian Madness Wall, we cleared the lot for parking, and we fought a fierce battle against poison ivy.  We opted for some top-rope only routes in the pit to deal with unsafe fall zones.  '07 Limestoner winners came out to send some FAs.  Heavy rains held up remaining development for months, then bolting in the pit unearthed a horde of 5.7-5.11 gold, providing Mrock overall a balanced set of routes across 5.9 - 5.12.


Why Monster Rock?  Monsters portray well the fears and risks inherent in climbing, while being highly entertaining.  I keep encountering them in my favorate books, movies, and games (D&D, MTG).  With wall names and route names, this climbing area pays homage to the great imaginative inventions of authors H.P. Lovecraft and J.R.R. Tolkein, horror movie directors, Gary Gygax (designer of the D&D game), and our mythology-building ancestors. 


Scroll down for more chronology.  But enough about the past--the future's better!  Upon these limestone walls there be trolls and dragons to slay!  Come vanquish them.



  • 2001 first half-dozen routes bolted
  • 2002-2006 the dark ages; a few more routes bolted.
  • 2007 Limestoner winners visit
  • 2007 most of the remaining routes bolted; website developed; site prepped
  • 2007 Greg Brooks makes the FA's on both long traverses (flashing Lord of the Pit and onsighting Insane Whisperings from a Yuggothian Braincase).  In humble comparison, it takes me another 15 months to send it.  Somewhere during that time, I realized I would have bought the property if this were the only route on it.
  • 2007 Granite Gripper winners visit
  • 2007 Onsight Contest held
  • 2007 Mrock open to members and occasionally open for day passes
  • 2008 Greg Brooks makes the FA's on both long traverses (flashing Lord of the Pit and onsighting Insane Whisperings from a Yuggothian Braincase).
  • 2008 Visit by John Myrick's TEAM ARG who bagged four FAs
  • 2008 Visit by Georgia Tech spring breakers for their first ever limestone.
  • 2008 Boulders trundled over Lovecraftian Madness Wall to make rappelling safer.  Granddaddy Cedar Elm that used to lean against the wall collapsed in the process.
  • 2008 The World's Biggest, Ugliest Cheat Stack was built with scarred rock from the Big Trundle and surplus Masonry from my barn, creating starts under two then-unbolted routes on Mythology Wall.
  • 2008 Boone Speed visits, Mrock's first professional climber, and makes the FA of Fear Insanity (5.12a).
  • 2008 Bad and First Accident when a 1-2' lead fall ripped rope through The Cinch belay device, resulting in a 20-25' ground fall, EMS evac, and three day hospital trip.  Thankfully the climber made a full recovery.  This accident drew local discussions about Cinch and Gri Gri, joined by Trango's founder.  A witness saw that the belayer's break hand was present, and the belayer had used it for 3 years, but it's not known whether the belayer was precisely using Trango's technique.  Trango's founder was very open and undefensive in the dialogue; he volunteered that Cinch and Gri Gri class devices see more ground fall than the ATC class, from belayer's not following prescribed technique.  Trango and Petzl appear to be improving their instruction methods via posters and internet films.  It remains to be seen whether these will work or whether most belayer accidents will happen through misuse of Cinch/Gri Gri. 
  • 2008 Paul Brady laps the Insane Whisperings traverse and continues 8 bolts into a second lap, setting an World Record and kicking off a Timeless Endurance World Challenge.
  • 2008 The 5.8 route mix goes up with a newly bolted 5.8 (Kracken's Deadly Dance at Sea) and a 5.8 variation (Expecto Patronum!).
  • 2008 Eric Patrick leads Starspawn of Cthulhu and Russell Mayes sends Sick Experiments, thus proving all routes at Mrock feasible.
  • 2008 The beloved Insane Whisperings traverse gets two new extensions around the arete and across Mythology Wall, likely forming Central Texas limestone's longest routes.
  • 2008 I bolt Mythology Wall's five routes and nine variations.
  • 2008 Neil Higa sends Torture-iffic, an extension of the Insane Whisperings traverse with a total 16 bolts, one of Central Texas' longest limestone routes.  Neil had sent few 5.11's but worked this route smartly on only a few outings, then put up an epic Ragnarökian battle to send the route.
  • 2019 John Hogge donated the property to Texas Climbers Coalition with a recreational use easement held by Access Fund to forever preserve public climbing. TCC and AF contributed significant time and money in preparing the property for this transition and for the closing costs, headed by Adam Mitchell (TCC) and Brian Tickle.

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