San Antonio might not be known for mountains of any kind, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of San Antonians who enjoy rock climbing. Many people in the area are avid climbers and have to drive hours to reach outdoor rock climbing areas, but all of that is about to change. San Antonio is getting its first official outdoor rock climbing wall – in 2020, that is.
“For (rock climbers) to have a resource right in north San Antonio is not only something they’ve been really wanting for a long time, it’s a resource that they’ll be able to enjoy forever,” said Adam Mitchell, president of the Texas Climbers Coalition and Access Fund. The coalition has been advocating on behalf of rock climbers for years and has finally acquired a five-acre property near Shavano Park that includes Medicine Wall, a large limestone bluff which will become a climbing wall.
Medicine Wall measures close to 400 feet long and is 60 feet high – not huge for a climbing wall but sufficient. Climbers in the area have been scaling Medicine Wall for years, but a fatal accident in 2015 that left two climbers dead caused the owners to remove climbing hardware from the wall and declare it closed to the public. Since then, climbers in the area have had to trespass on private lands or commute long distances in order to climb outdoors.
The Texas Climbers Coalition and Access Fund is currently preparing the property for public use, including installing climbing hardware and adding parking and a paved trail. All of those renovations are expected to push the site’s open date back to at least 2020. Climbers in San Antonio might be getting a new outdoor climbing site, but they’ll have to wait for it. The property will be free to access and there will be non-climbing activities as well such as hiking and birding.