06/19/2020

Medicine Wall in San Antonio Opens for Climbing

The Texas Climbers Coalition (TCC) and Access Fund are pleased to announce the official opening of Medicine Wall in San Antonio to rock climbing. After nearly 20 years without legal access, TCC now owns Medicine Wall, and Access Fund holds a conservation and recreation easement to permanently protect the property for rock climbing. Medicine Wall is free and open to the public for climbing and other low-impact activities.

Medicine Wall is located on the ancestral lands of Tonkawa.

Medicine Wall was acquired and permanently protected in December 2018, but it remained closed to the public while the City of San Antonio completed the Salado Creek Greenway trail, which provides public access.

“We know how excited and eager San Antonio climbers have been to enjoy Medicine Wall again, and we are thrilled to see the wall finally opened for climbing,” says TCC Executive Director Adam Mitchell.

Medicine Wall was a popular crag for San Antonio climbers for many years. However, in 2015, the previous landowner stripped all bolts from the walls after an accident and began to strictly enforce no-trespassing laws. With few other nearby options for outdoor climbing, San Antonio climbers felt the loss of Medicine Wall acutely.

Photo © Ferris Kilpatrick

Then, in 2017, the owners of Medicine Wall—a large development company—broke ground on a residential development project and sought to transfer ownership of Medicine Wall to the city of San Antonio for inclusion in its Salado Creek Greenway trail project. The city did not wish to take on the liability of owning a climbing area, so they reached out to TCC to alert them to the potential opportunity to acquire the property. The owners agreed to convey the property to TCC, provided that Access Fund hold a conservation and recreation easement over the property to protect its conservation and recreation values.

“To acquire and permanently protect a climbing area, and to open it up to the public, is an absolute first for Texas climbing,” says Access Fund Texas Regional Director Brian Tickle.

San Antonio climbers have already started the process of rebolting the nearly 50 routes that were removed five years ago. San Antonio local Matt Markell has been leading the effort, using a donation of fixed hardware from TCC. “Rebolting Medicine Wall provides an exciting opportunity to implement current best practices for fixed-hardware management, which will ensure decades of enjoyment by climbers,” Markell says.

TCC is accepting donations for the acquisition costs, long-term stewardship, and the cost of the conservation and recreation easement. To date, TCC has raised $18,000 toward its goal of $37,000. Donate to TCC for the long-term success of Medicine Wall.

Access Note

Public access to Medicine Wall is provided via the Salado Creek Greenway trail system. Climbers should park only at approved Greenway trailheads and follow all Greenway rules and regulations, including hours of use. See a complete list of rules.