Editor’s Note: Carrot and High-Clip climbed together at inSPIRE Rock Cypress, This review is a combined effort based on both climber’s experiences. Carrot’s Comments are noted in BLACK and High-Clip’s comments are noted in GREY.
The inSPIRE Rock team recently opened its second gym inSPIRE Rock Cypress. While this gym may be the younger sibling of the OG (Original Gym – Read Our Review Here), by no stretch of the imagination is it the little brother or sister. inSPIRE Rock Cypress is HUGE, with 63’ walls and over 17,500 square feet of climbing space.
This gym feels so big compared to the OG that I brought in a friend to help explain the magnitude of the walls and falls at inSPIRE Rock Cypress.
High-Clip can you describe the scene as you walk into Inspire Rock Cypress for the 1st time?
“Wha-bu-th-c-wh-where even are we”
That had to be what I said, or attempted to say. There were just walls everywhere, extending infinitely in the vertical direction, and Carrot and I stood there in awe. Do you remember what you said?
I’m pretty sure I said “ahoooooga” as my eyes popped out of my head.
Must’ve. Perhaps along with a brief dance.
Obviously a short dance ensued. But after the the intelligible exchange of Wha-bu-c-wh and ahooooooga, what happened next…for someone who has never been to inSPIRE Rock Cypress, what are a few lines to describe the place?
Let’s see…the first words that come to mind are “Walltopia” and “color.” The variety of wall structures and angles (along with textures…yay smearing!) boggles the mind. There is just so much to take in at once; unusual routes on unusually shaped walls, fun murals on super tall walls, and very modern decor in a clean climbing gym. You and I are sport climbers, and those tall walls are amazing, but even the boulders were cool…I mean I would actually choose to boulder sometimes. Unusual holds are cool, but unusual wall shapes are radical, right?
My thoughts exactly, well put High-Clip!
You and I have reviewed a decent number of gyms from Poland to San Francisco, and I always maintain that if a gym is going to be more than just another place to climb, then it must provide some visage that sets it apart from everywhere else, and what separates inSPIRE Cypress from other gyms are the features; I haven’t been to a gym that embraces slab life the way this gym does. The 63′ slab wall allows the route setters to get really creative in ways that go beyond big throws on overhanging roofs; it may seem like a small wrinkle, but it adds a really unique element.
True! Tech-y climbs for the win!
What other features stand out as unique to you?
Hmm…well, as everyone knows, my fear for lead is real (as explained in In the Spirit of Halloween). For whatever reason, quickdraws make a huge difference in how I lead. For starters, they’re wiregates! Without any barb or super thin dogbones! It’s so much nicer to clip into these guys than the usual draws you see at other gyms. On top of that, they are pretty close together! Some people get annoyed to clip all the time, but, logically or not, it makes me feel significantly safer on the wall. Thanks quickdraws!
Quickdraws are always so appreciative of gratitude; you’re the sweetest! Let me lay out the scene.
You walk in, to your left are the locker rooms (classy).
(Noted in English…let’s not forget what happened at hoza 51 CRUX)
To your right is the pro-shop (more to come in a moment…) you walk through the registration desk to an open floor plan, in the center are these humongous walls surrounded by bouldering all along the perimeter. It kind of looks like a mamma giraffe surrounded by her babies (tall and short is the picture I’m painting in case it wasn’t clear), but get this…up stairs there are MORE walls and MORE boulders…does this place ever end?
High-Clip…seriously, does this place ever actually end?
I’m going to go with a hard no. Just when you think you’ve hit the last wall, you peer around an arete and are pleasantly (or unpleasantly, if you’re a rope) surprised to find out that indeed, you missed a few walls. They appear to never end, which lends itself to a nice and long session at the gym. You don’t even have to try to endurance. It just happens. Cypress helps you get SWOLE, which reminds me…the workout area!
High-Clip…the workout area is torture.
No, you love it!
I do love it…my favorite part is leaving, but there are a few things that really impress: the Tread-Wall (if you have never been on a tread-wall, think treadmill only vertical, it’s amazing), the Moon Board, and the circuit board…this really is a state of the art SWOLE-making destination!
I couldn’t agree more! But you do leave out a key detail (perhaps because you want to forget it exists). There’s a barbell and a full rack!
Argh…there’s a barbell and full rack! *Carrot whimpers in a sullen tone*
Indeed, and it’s extraordinarily clean and organized (with full shelves of dumbbells and medicine balls and everything you could ever wish for).
Speaking of wishes, there is a little spot upstairs that is basically a dream come true. A spot, the likes of which I have never experienced in any gym I’ve ever been to. There is a small section of a wall that includes a dihedral…
Oh you read that right…in addition there’s an arete, some slab, a bit of an overhang, and some classic vert. The variety in this small section of wall keeps me dreaming of all the possibilities that the setters can come up with…in the end it’s my very favorite part of inSPIRE Rock Cypress.
While Carrot’s eyes look off dreamily in the sunset of his favorite wall, I’d like to mention the pro-shop (though I must agree, the wall variety is definitely the jam, Carrot). You’re not going to find the climbing equivalent of REI, but there’s definitely all you’ll need, plus more. I was impressed by the organization…what did you like?
I’m not going to lie, my favorite thing about the pro-shop is the fact that they carry my favorite shoes (I see you Tenaya) and my favorite chalk (look at Chalk Cartel lookin’ all nice over there). Aside from appealing to my climbing sensibilities, the shop is loaded with enough gear to get any climber at any stage ready to tackle those beautiful walls/giraffes.
Is my giraffe imagery getting any traction?
Again, I’m going to have to go with a hard no.
Alright High-Clip, you’ve been climbing all day, loaded up on supplies at the pro-shop, took a couple of whippers on the big stuff, finished up by burning out on the Tread-Wall, and now it’s time to fuel-up…what are you doing for food or beverage?
You know I’m about to get a smoothie at the gym’s cafe. There’s tons of fruit combinations: banana, mango, strawberry, blueberry, peach, etc. All you have to do is pick which fruits you want and what your add-ins are, then you’re in for quite an experience! The cafe never ceases to amaze, especially if you’re looking for a philosopher phrappe, right, Carrot?
YUMMMMMMMMMM! I feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs, because you just laid down a neutral stimulus, and I’m starting to salivate…not that the simulacrum of walls didn’t have me drooling already, but now I kind of want to get the philosopher phrappe1.
So we talked walls, gear, and food, but I have one more question, and it’s based on what I call the airportability quotient (High-Clip, I’m working on a catchier name, so don’t judge).
I’m definitely judging, but I’ll let you slide on this one.
In case you’re wondering, Airportability Quotient is the degree to which you would recommend an out of towner visit a gym given limited time. E.g. you’re in town on business, you have a few hours to spare before your departure, and you remembered to pack your favorite pair of climbing shoes. You could spend your last couple hours watching a Fyre Festival doc in your hotel room, or you could run a few burns before the flight. Considering proximity, value, and overall quality of the gym, how would you rate the AQ on a scale of high/medium/low for inSPIRE Cyress?
Maybe we could shorten to AirQ?
I like it, AirQ it is! Considering proximity, value, and overall quality of the gym, how would you rate the AirQ on a scale of high/medium/low for inSPIRE Cyress?
Well, that’s certainly a loaded question. You never specified how many answers there were to this multifaceted question, so I’m going to select two. inSPIRE Cypress has a high and low (but not medium) AirQ. Obviously, this place is wild. Being new, large, and well organized, it is of the highest quality, and so it certainly has a high AirQ, despite its distance from the nearest airports. The only reason this gym deserves a low AirQ is because you will most definitely not leave in time to catch your flight. You’ll be too busy crushing your new projects to remember that you wanted to travel somewhere else, and that you didn’t fly in merely to visit Cypress. Your family/friends may be upset that you missed your flight, but you won’t be.
I couldn’t agree more…inSPIRE Cypress come for the giraffes,
*High-Clip sighs heavily* Carrot, it’s time drop the giraffes.
You’re RIGHT High-Clip!
inSPIRE Cypress come for the walls, and stay because you already missed your flight!
- Philosopher Phrappe is an off menu item that breaks down as follows. (coconut milk/vanilla flavoring/matcha/a banana/ice/mix the ingredients/topped with whipped cream and cinnamon).