These are some of the regular climbing outings available within Alamo Council. These write-ups are for instructors, adults, and leaders new to the climbing program and looking for a climbing event.
Easiest climbing opportunity for you. We have all the gear, arrange instructors, and reserve the tower. Spring and Fall Open Climbs are usually scheduled after the climbing instructor training. Sign up online or at the Council offices and be sure to bring those signed permission slips & medical forms. 20 slot limit per session. 2 sessions total available. Saturday morning and afternoon.
Reserve McGimsey Tower — 6-8 weeks leadtime
This is a preferred outing as your first event. In total it takes 4-6 BSA trained instructors to run the McGimsey Tower smoothly and provide an enjoyable experience for the Scouts. It is ideal to have 2-3 BSA trained climbing instructors in your troop; 2-3 more Level 1 climbing instructors from the committee/community; and your Level 2 Mentor Instructor to help. Arranging that many instructors is the moderately difficult part for this outing, but way easier than Bear Creek or Enchanted Rock. You need to do some seasonal planning for this as well. In other words, don’t go in August. Call the council offices for details on reserving the McGimsey Tower. The reservation payments goes back into maintenance of the tower and associated climbing gear.
Bear Creek Scout Reservation — 3-5 Months leadtime
Bear Creek has 3 main options to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty for you. You’ll have to reserve time and pay the council to go out there. Likely 3-5 months in advance.
- Bear Creek Short Cliffs
- Order of the Arrow (OA) Cliff
- Compton Family Climbing Wall
This is a great follow up trip after the McGimsey Tower. All Alamo Council instructors train here so they’re familiar with the area. It takes 4-6 BSA trained instructors to a work cliff-faces smoothly and provide an enjoyable experience for the Scouts. It is ideal to have 2-3 BSA trained climbing instructors in your troop; 2-3 more Level 1 climbing instructors; your Level 2 Mentor Instructor to help; and 3-5 troop adults to corral children. This will take time to organize available instructors to take a day out of their weekends. Keep council events such as Powderhorn and Wood Badge in mind as no-go days. Winter isn’t a bad time to go as the nights may be cold but the days are pleasantly cool. All the gear you’ll need will be at Bear Creek. A great sample plan would be to have the boys use the Climbing Wall in the morning, play on the Short Cliffs in the afternoon, and Sunday rappel down the OA Cliff as a real cool closer for the weekend.
Past Fredericksburg TX are two giant zits of granite (batholiths) called Enchanted Rock. If it happens to rain prior to your camping trip in Spring you’ll see why it’s call Enchanted Rock. This a favorite climbing area for the region and is a difficult trip to plan and execute for a Boy Scout unit. It is completely possible and worth it. We recommend having planned and executed a McGimsey Tower weekend and/or a Bear Creek weekend. It takes 4-6 BSA trained instructors to a work a cliff-face smoothly and provide an enjoyable experience for the Scouts. It is ideal to have 2-3 BSA trained climbing instructors in your troop; 2-3 more Level 1 climbing instructors; your Level 2 Mentor Instructor to help; and 3-5 troop adults to corral children. This will take a year to plan, because camping reservations at Enchanted Rock literally fill up one year in advance for Spring and Fall. Winter is not a bad time to go either. The night may be cold, but the days are pleasantly cool. Gear-wise we recommend instructors in your troop acquire some personal gear to augment the Natural Areas Box. Ask your Level 2 Mentor for what gear you’ll want. We recommend, and you can reserve the Natural Areas Box here (Link & Pdf). Enchanted Rock is the cherry on the cake for a troop’s climbing program and well worth it.
Instructor Fun Days (No Scouts)
Did you get a bright shiny new piece of gear for Christmas!? Did you spot a cool new climbing area at Enchanted Rock? Have you ever seen a Vertical Caving System work? The Climbing Committee strives to arrange some Instructors Only Fun Days during the year. These days depend on schedules and you’ll find dates posted at the bottom of the Climbing page. The training objectives vary but on the whole the intent is to vary your experiences beyond the Council sandbox. Keep a lookout for them and it’d be great to see you there!