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Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Black rocks climbing area

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Offline ghysdulkc

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Black rocks climbing area
« on: January 17, 2019, 08:58:59 PM »
Has anyone ever heard of this area? I canít find any info on it online except for what is on the outward bound website. It is supposed to be somewhere close to Lajitas. The bolts in the pictures look new and shiny.
It's amazing how quickly the human body deteriorates when you sit around indoors.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 06:58:59 AM »
Sounds like it is in BBRSP, so Ranger Tim or others at the park should know.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
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Offline Lance

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 09:41:14 AM »
I'm curious too. Don't see anything on Mountain Project.

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 10:16:47 AM »
So, I don't know much about this, but I will tell you what I do know. Black Rocks is an area along the Rio Grande where VOBS and the NPS High-angle Rescue Team practice climbing and rope work. With that said it has never been open to the public in the past and we currently have no mechanism to make it so. Hell, if you were to go to any of the ranger stations and ask about it i seriously doubt that anybody would know what you were even talking about. The road into it is unmarked and so unremarkable that I drove past it for five years before I ever even knew it was there.

I'll do some more asking around and see if TPWD has a policy regarding climbing in state parks. Given the tremendous liabilities involved, it is hard to say.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline Lance

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 10:22:33 AM »
Pretty sure I found it. Compared some images from VOBS website and they line up.
Coordinates are (29.260456, -103.803790)
https://goo.gl/maps/XZQ1ef2Q1SE2

Makes sense too since I have the canyon across the river labeled "Black Rock Canyon" in the BiBe GE Project.
Looks very easy to get too. Gonna have to check it out. Good find John!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 10:47:27 AM by Lance »

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Offline ghysdulkc

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 10:35:22 AM »
Lance, that is the exact location I was going to check out when I go to look for it. The area just seemed to match.

Thanks for the info Ranger Tim! I do know bolted climbing is allowed in a number of other state parks like mineral wells, enchanted rock, and a couple others. But it would be great to know BBRSPís policy specifically!
It's amazing how quickly the human body deteriorates when you sit around indoors.

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2019, 10:54:21 AM »
"But it would be great to know BBRSPís policy specifically!"

It would if we had one! My est advice would be to hold off trying to use it for now until we can get our heads around what that would even look like. The last thing you would want would be to be mid-way up a route and suddenly some randos are accidentally raining rocks down on you from the cliff edge!
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2019, 11:09:37 AM »
Rock Climbing and Rappelling in Texas State Parks
Several state parks offer rock climbing and rappelling. Check with park staff before heading to a park to climb; restrictions may apply.

State Parks with Rock Climbing
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Franklin Mountains State Park
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway
McKinney Falls State Park (bouldering only)
So has Outward Bound been operating on an "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" basis?

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 11:26:58 AM »
Nope, but they have a special contract with the park that provides specific guidelines that dictate how they interact with the resource. They are also heavily insured wilderness professionals and have been the only ones that have used it for decades. Frankly, there just hasn't been much past interest.

It is actually an accident of geology that there is even a single climbing spot in the Big Bend. By and large, the geology of the region is extremely fragile and poorly adapted to sport climbing, so there just aren't many climbers down here. The only other sport climbing location I can think of is Point of Rocks up near Fort Davis.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline ghysdulkc

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Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 11:54:10 AM »
Quote
The last thing you would want would be to be mid-way up a route and suddenly some randos are accidentally raining rocks down on you from the cliff edge!

True enough! Thank you!
It's amazing how quickly the human body deteriorates when you sit around indoors.

 


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