About Us

Our Mission
Safety first, safety last! Whether you’re exploring the depths of a cave or working at height on a wind mill, we recognize that our customers are always pushing the limits of what adventure really is. Our goal is to provide carefully selected gear that prioritizes your safety above all else. When your life is literally on the line, we’ve got your back.

Our History
Inner Mountain Outfitters (IMO) was originally founded in 1984 by Alex Sproul in Greenville, Virginia. A passionate caver and adventurer, Alex discovered during his international travels with the army that the U.S. had a distinct lack of dedicated caving gear. He devoted himself to solving that problem, and thus IMO was born out of a need to provide caving and high-angle rescue equipment that had previously been unavailable in the States.

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In 2006 Alex retired and IMO was passed to current owners Nina and Jeff Martin, who moved the business to Bethlehem, Georgia. Active cavers themselves, they picked up where Alex left off, and continued to expand sales from the caving market into the work/rescue industry. In 2017, IMO moved north to Trion, Georgia, directly in the heart of cave country where they currently operate their first retail location. IMO continues to provide top quality gear to cavers, rescuers, and rope access technicians throughout the world.

IMO Leadership
Nina and Jeff Martin have been caving for over 26 years and are active members of caving organizations such as the National Speleological Society (NSS), Dogwood City Grotto (DCG), and Southeastern Cave Conservancy (SCCi), where Jeff currently serves as a board member. They both trained with the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) and volunteer with local rescue organizations.

Additionally, Nina and Jeff are certified rope access technicians, having trained with the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT), a major force in developing and maintaining safety standards in the world of work at height.

They continue to keep their skills sharp by contracting with Over the Edge (OTE), an organization that hosts urban rappelling events for non-profits, and participating in the annual Bridge Day festival in West Virginia. As if there isn’t enough on their plates, Nina has also served on the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue Squad for nearly four years. Nina and Jeff are gear hounds. Their depth of knowledge about the equipment they provide is second to none, and they are happy to share what they’ve learned over the years with their customers; they passionately believe that education is a priority. Their experience in the industries they serve makes IMO the go-to source for any adventurer above ground or below.

When the Martins are not busy in the shop, working events, going to meetings, or caving, they enjoy living on Limestone Ridge with their best friends Micro and Bob.