Editor’s Note: Carrot and High-Clip climbed together at Texas Rock Gym (TRG), 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.
Texas Rock Gym is a Houston based climbing gym that has been in business since 1996. It has a reputation for being THE preeminent spot for measuring your ability against some of the stoutest grades this side of the Mississippi! High-Clip and I had the distinct pleasure of visiting this iconic spot, and wanted to share some of our thoughts.
High-Clip and I spend a decent amount of time in modern walltopia style rock gyms. That wall style lends itself toward preconceived notions about older gyms, that just aren’t fair. When we asked our friend and route setter Morgan Young what he thought of TRG, he just said to check it out for ourselves. So we did.
So, High-Clip I have three questions for you.
1.What is the general preconceived notion of TRG among some of the boujee climbers we associate with?
Oh man, just trash. They were like,
“why would you visit TRG?”
“There’s so many better gyms,”
“It’s so run down; you’re just wasting your time and money.”
To name a few examples. I wasn’t sure what we’d find, but I knew of a solid taco joint nearby if things went south.
2. What would you tell them after having experienced TRG for yourself?
Boy, you missed out.
I PITY YOU.
I’m going back soon and you can come. Or not. It’ll be fun either way.
To name a few examples. That was a day well-spent and no one can argue otherwise!
3. What side of the Mississippi does TRG actually fall on (geography is not my strong suit)
You know, having driven across the Mississippi a few times, I’m going to go with West…but, you know, I could always be wrong. TRG is such a magical place that it may be beyond these constraints of “east” and “west.” TRG merely is.
Carrot, do you remember the black route I did? Do you remember the sick features, stabs, feet first moves, gastons, crosses, rose moves, spicy clips, and traverses? I talk about that bad boy all of the time.
1. Can you expand on the variety of nonsense there is at TRG? What made it so unique?
High-Clip, that black route had everything, and the entertainment factor as a spectator/belayer was off the charts!!! The gym itself has everything! That is the beauty of older gyms, they aren’t confined by flat wallatosis (this word needed to be invented), you can get roof/slab/vert/etc…all on one route there were some aretes, and would we even be talking if there weren’t some dihedrals? I loved the diversity and features at TRG, there was a boulder dyno that went from one wall to another wall. High-Clip, I fell on slabby 5.9, so I have to mention that this place also has the added benefit of humbling any ego of any size!
2. Speaking of bad boys, do you remember the DOGS?! They were very good boys, but what were they doing at a climbing gym?
THE DOGS!!! There were two really good boys, one became our best friend immediately; if I remember correctly he even gave some good beta. I was looking for my next move and couldn’t find the hold…High-Clip do you know what the dog told me; do you know where he said the next hold was?
Definitely…he reminded you to follow the tail! He Said “roof” High-Clip, he said “roof”!
Crag dogs are the hardest thing to replicate when we go from the outdoors to the indoors, but TRG figured it out! They have dogs!
3. There were some really cool staff there…were they real homies or what?
Oh I gotta go with real! The moment we walked into this place we were greeted with kindness, we got the rundown and details from the staff, one of the setters was around and offered up some beta and recommended some routes that he thought we may enjoy. 5
Star Taco Treatment from start to finish top to bottom! (High-Clip you got me thinking about tacos)
My expectations were surpassed by
leaps and bounds throws and dynos, TRG has been around for almost 30 years, this place is part of the fabric of climbing west and east of the Mississippi. It has been through hurricanes, droughts, and now pandemics. There is a reason TRG has entrenched itself into the sanctity of the climbing world, it goes!
I even made a slogan…what do you think High-Clip?
“TRG your cure for flat-wallatocis”
Yikes, Carrot. Yikes. But it’s true. No flat wall panels for you at TRG!
So, High-Clip we need your slogan, some parting words and final recommendations, what do you got?
TRG when your climbing needs some TLC!
Now, Carrot, I think it’s time for tacos?
All photos credited to texasrockgym.com