Hill Country Team Building, Zip Line & Challenge Course

M 5 RanchOn a cool, overcast, and drizzly day in early December on our way to a friends house on Lake LBJ, we decided to stop by and check out at M5 Ranch on Lake Buchanan in the Texas Hill Country about 50 miles northwest of Austin. We were aware of them and were planning on taking our family there this summer to test our skills, strength, agility, and problem solving and to have some fun on Lone Star Peak Performance's challenge course and team building elements. As I toured the M5 Ranch I was very impressed with what they have to offer and excited about a return visit with our family and some friends who are always up for a little friendly competition.


Leap of Faith at Lone Star Peak PerformanceLocated on M5 Ranch's 58 acres and 1100 feet of shoreline on Lake Buchanan, Lone Star Peak Performance was formed in the summer of 2013 with a major focus on Team Building. The 5 Ms of M5 Ranch stand for Master of Body, Mental Toughness, Mission Success, Moral Compass, and Mentor Mindset. The main goal of their Experiential Learning Team Building Program is "to produce powerful memories and stimulate deep thoughts, self reflection and emotions that can be carried back to the workplace and translated into a more confident and productive team. The learning opportunities available are designed to challenge physical abilities, enhance the focus on balance and coordination and push individuals and the team beyond their perceived limits, while creating confidence in themselves, their teammates and their leader." An example of testing your confidence and coordination would be the "Leap of Faith" where you climb up a 30' telephone pole, balance on the top of it, then leap off and try to ring a bell suspended six feet in front of you!

Lone Star Peak Performance currently caters to large and small businesses, reunions of all types, athletic groups, fire or EMS departments or other groups looking to enhance their leadership, organizational, or team building skills. The minimum size is typically 10-15 people. During summer and other school breaks Lone Star Peak Performance will offer "open enrollment" where individuals or small groups can sign up for the various events. Which is what we plan to do.

Team Building Activities at Lone Star Peak Performance

What gets me excited about bringing friends and family back are the wide variety of activities that Lone Star Peak Performance offers to promote friendly competition, team building, and cooperative skills and to test your decision making and problem solving abilities as well as your strength, courage, and agility. And most of all to have some fun! Some of the ways they do this is through the following:

  • Challenge Course is designed to test courage, strength, balance, and agility and includes:
    • a 40' tower with a climbing wall, rope climbing net, and rappelling
    • a 450' zip line off the top of the tower
    • the Cat Walk which are balance beams suspended 30' above the ground that you need to carefully walk across as they sway in the breeze with your movement - once you master it, try it blindfolded
    • the very physically demanding Bosin Swings which are several swings suspended 30' off the ground and you need to cross from one swing to the next each of which are about six feet apart
    • a teeter totter to test balance and agility
    • a power pole that you climb 30' up, stand on the top of it (about the width of a standard telephone pole), then take a flying leap and try to ring a bell suspended 6' feet in front of you

Leap of FaithBalance beamTower, rappelling, rope latter, and swing

  • Leader Reaction CourseLeader Reaction Course consists of the following 5 elements that are designed to enhance team building, leadership, and problem solving - the course can be emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging:
    • Quick Sand - using two boards (8' and 10' long) and 50' of rope, the team must navigate from pedestal to pedestal with a box of supplies without touching the ground or anything not painted blue
    • Covert Pass - with only a 6' and 8' board, the team must transport themselves and an equipment box through two culverts and two pedestals, touching nothing but blue
    • Tank Trap - using an 11' plank the team must get a 55 gallon drum and each of the members up and over the ramp
    • Nitro Crossing - the team needs to cross a wire with an open cup of water (nitroglycerine)
    • Bridge Out - using a 2' and 5' board, the team needs to transport a vile of vaccine without spilling it across the ropes and over the wall

Bridge OutTank Trap - Leader Reaction Course at Lone Star Peak PerformanceCovert Pass -  Leader Reaction Course

  • Other Activities to try for fun, competition, or team building include:
    • fishing off the pier
    • soccer, football, baseball, horseshoes, washers, basketball, archery, and a sports court
    • paintball in a very well designed large paintball field

Sports CourtPaintball course at Lone Star Peak PerformanceHorseshoes at Lone Star Peak Performance

Team building activitityI was particularly impressed with the Leader Reaction Course. On each of the 5 elements the team is given a goal - for example, get the vaccine across the obstacle or transport the barrel up and over the wall - and a time frame to complete the task. They then need to figure out how to accomplish the task and get the entire team from one end of the element to the other without touching the ground and in some cases with only touching what is painted blue.

Over the ropes and up  and over the wallA team trying to complete the Leader Reaction Course must be creative in their thinking, determined, willing to take and share risk while making complete use of all of the resources available to them. I've already spent several hours trying to figure out how to do each element and I can't wait to try the Leader Reaction Course with my hand picked team of brainy super athletes.

Lone Star Peak Performance can tailor any of the events and activities to fit the group's goals and objectives (ie, team building, leadership skills, or just fun and games) as well as their group's strength and agility. In addition to the above, there are several other activities that can be included like the use primitive weapons, an orienteering course, wilderness survival, and much more.

Another great aspect to coming to the M5 Ranch is the outdoor living space. Guests can take in the serene atmosphere from the many decks, balconies, and patios or gather their group around the beautiful fire-pit and outdoor dining area (with a flat-screen TV).

Team Building Accommodations at Lone Star Peak Performance

As part of our visit I got to check out the various lodging options for corporate, group, or open enrollment overnight stays. I was expecting Spartan bunk house lodging with hard mattresses, wooden bench chairs, an outdoor pit toilet, and few amenities. Not the case - it's more like elegant and rustic very well appointed houses with rich wooden floors, comfy leather chairs, fireplaces, well equipped kitchens, clean private restrooms with tiled showers, and magnificent views of the lake. There are many unique options that can accommodate a total of 37 guests. For example:

  • a quaint one bedroom one bath cabin with a screened in porch for two people
  • the Round House, named after the oval peaked living area with a fireplace overlooking the lake, has 3 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and 4 bedrooms with a mixture of king, queen, and bunk beds
  • the A Frame is three stories with a full kitchen, 4 bedrooms, two living areas with fireplaces and couches, a deck/patio on each level, and a great view of the lake

Main House at Lone Star Peak PerformanceOne of the bedrooms at Lone Star Peak PerformanceLiving area

Conference Center at Lone Star Peak PerformanceAnother feature that distinguishes Lone Star Peak Performance is their conference room that offers state-of-the-art technology including printable white board, 70-inch flat screen TV, high-speed Internet access and advanced screen share controls. The meeting space can be set to your specifications and has abundant amenities.

Catering is available for all meals (the team can coordinate all of the special touches you desire, from music to specialty linens and wine selections) or guests can utilize the kitchens to prepare their own meals.

Form a team and give us a call and we'll see you there - can't wait!



About Texas Outside

Texas Outside has been alive & well since 1996 - that's ancient by today's internet standards! Texas Outside was originally developed by Lone Star Internet which is an Austin based web development company with an excellent reputation & client base. In March of 2006, we purchased Texas Outside & made a commitment to add new, exciting, & informative content on Texas outdoor activities & fun things to see & do.

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