|Known formally as Spanaway Ice &
Rock Education, the construction of SPIRE Rock began in 1974, and
took two years. It was dedicated on August 11, 1976 and is the first
artificial climbing structure known where lead protection, such as
slings and stoppers, can be placed. Remember this is 1976, so no
bolts and no friends. It is also one of the first open access
climbing facilities known.
All work was performed by volunteers -
from mixing mortar to pumping concrete to hoisting white granite.
Manpower was also contributed by the U.S. Army and the use of their
40-ton crane and the Corps of Engineers who helped transport the
rocks used to create the facility. Built by volunteers, this is a
small man made rock on the outskirts of Tacoma WA.
Echo9er's picture of Spire Rock,
taken on March 3, 2009
The Spire Rock, on the outskirts
of Tacoma, WA. One of the first known open access artificial
climbing facilities and the first to be built with lead
It has 35 listed routes ranging from
5.0 to 5.11 with variations on the listed routes possible. All can
be top roped via an easy scramble route to the top. Anchors are
solid. there are no bolted routes, however there are good routes for
practising setting protection. The routes consist of chunky face
climbs, crimping face climbs, and some nice cracks, chimneys, and
small roofs. There is a nice bouldering traverse as well.
At the time of writing the rock
could use a power wash cleaning, some holds and footing are
extremely slippery. There can be problems with non climbers playing
around on the rock. Many are respectful to climbers but some are
not. Please be sure to "nicely" correct those that are not
respectful and report those that need reporting to the nearby
recreation centre. There is another small bouldering rock near by
that has a lot of broken glass, biting ants and giant wolf spiders
(not poisonous but it hurts when they bite).
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