As you pull into the parking lot at Inspire Rock in Spring Texas, you notice the well-manicured grounds, the pristine building, and the humongous ropes course. As you walk in the doors you notice a climbing community. It seems as though each climbing gym has something that allows it to stand out in some way shape or form, at Inspire Rock that thing is the climbers. When going to a gym solo, there’s a good chance that you will spend the day bouldering, traversing, or stranded in the land of auto-belays, but not at Inspire Rock. This place more than any I’ve been to has an intermutual and welcoming atmosphere. Any person standing alone peering at the walls is almost immediately invited to join in with some group. Make no mistake however; if you want to boulder or hit the auto-belay “canyon” you will not be disappointed.
The auto-belay “canyon” is one of the best designated auto-belay sections out there. It seems as though most gyms reserve their auto-belays for kids, beginners, and warming up. While kids, beginners, and warming up do have a place in the “canyon” a climber can also push themselves for the clean send on a 5.12. The bouldering at Inspire Rock also makes use of a very unique space. This two tiered boulder section allows a climber to start a route on the lower level, top out , and then find themself in the upper level ready to take on a whole new set of problems. The top-rope and lead walls wouldn’t be considered enormous by today’s standards, but Inspire takes advantage of the wall space and climbing features they have. There is a beautiful over-hanging roof, with several routes, as well as some great arêtes and dihedrals that add technical maneuvers not otherwise experienced while climbing vert.
The route setters at Inspire Rock know exactly how to take advantage of the unique wall features, and they do so with a sense of style not always seen. It’s clear they take pride in their work, the holds are immaculate, and the routes are fun, challenging, and artistic. They know exactly how to find that sweet spot between the mental challenge and the physical challenge, thus allowing this gem of a gym to shine even brighter.
This little gem has two more features that really set Inspire Rock apart from most other gyms big and small. First; the little pro shop, it’s basically an overgrown broom closet, but the massive selection of shoes in this place is really unmatched. In addition to the sensational array of shoes, there is a nice selection of ropes, harnesses, chalk, biners, draws, and pretty much anything else you would need to get started on a bomber rack, right down to the pack. Then there’s the 5ATE café…There’s not a gym in the world that has a café that can match what is being offered at the 5ATE. This place is packed for lunch on a daily basis with people who couldn’t tell you the first thing about climbing, sitting side by side with climbers re-fueling for their next project. The food is really just that good, and while this is not a restaurant review (for an actual review of the restaurant check out what National Geographic had to say), the café adds to the positive narrative that makes Inspire Rock glimmer.
So, if you’re ever in the area, and you are looking to be inspired, there is no doubt that this place lives up to the name!