The Ultimate Training Tool – IMO
I was going to jump right in and share a bit of my climbing background … and I will … later. But today I would like to share my #1 favorite tool for the climber with a busy schedule. Of course this is my opinion, but I am absolutely fascinated with the HomeWall.
I am currently living in home #3 of my ‘adult’ life. Which means I am also on homewall #3. My first homewall was a freestanding A-frame in my basement den. With spatial limitations, this wall was small. But it accomplished what it was intended to do, and that is … to inspire and teach me for future renditions. Secondarily, I did gain good finger strength, but very little footwork and movement technique was allowed. Whilst training on this, we were in the process of planning and executing a move. Of course, the option and scope of a homewall in our next abode was one key factor in our decision making.
Home #2 ended up being a townhome with an average sized garage. I got 3 good years out of this wall, constantly adding little tweaks. The main sections were 15* & 30* overhanging. My favorite angle has by far been the 30*. It’s steep enough to set powerful moves at the same time as fingery/technical moves. I built the vert section for my son. He was 2 years old at the time and quickly progressed to the 15* overhang.
2012 brought another move, of course, bigger and better. Home #3 came with a bigger garage with a higher ceiling. I knew I wanted a 45* section. Based on available space, and all while still allowing 2 vehicles to park inside, I did my most extensive planning yet. I busted out the trigonometry archives and calculated every major cut down to the 1/8th inch. I love it. I even ended up adding an extension to a 4’x4′ section to add vertical height. The left section is 45*, then a 28*, a 17* transition, and a 23* on the right.
I will concede ahead of time that a homewall will never replace or bypass the vast benefits of a commercial or co-op climbing gym. My main complaint to this day is the boredom that so easily sets in while climbing alone. But for those of us where carving out the time to get to the gym is a challenge, this may just be the next best thing. Put the kids to bed and vio’la. Other challenges include: heating it in the winter, having/storing enough padding, AND my current dilemma … keeping the garage dry when Minnesota weather dumps 14″ of snow on you.
I would love to read your comments. Do you have your own Homewall? What do you do to make it fun? Would you like to hire me to design/plan your homewall project? 😉
~ Climb 4 Real ~
Dude, I wish. How much did that cost you (estimation)? If you don’t mind me asking.
The estimation is tough in my situation because this is rendition #3 and I have been able to reuse several parts and get some parts free. Typically a sheet of plywood is $25, times 7 = $175. Probably about another $150 in dimensional lumber and screws. $50 for T-nuts (get them in bulk). The holds are where the real price comes in. I have acquired them over the years: craigslist, ebay, 2nd quality holds, holds sent to me for review, and REI gift cards for Christmas. I’ve spent probably $400 on holds, and would be much more if paying full price.
Hope this helps, Make your wish come true. Let me know, I can help.
From what you’ve learned in all of this construction, what would you say to an aspiring wall builder looking at a spot outdoors that will get rained on?
Great question TJ. I have read up on this, even though I’ve never had an outdoor wall. Treated Lumber is a must. Galvanized bolts and screws. Both of these material upgrades are quite a bit more of an investment. I’ve seen heavy duty tarps secured snugly to the back of the framing and/or in an awning. I would also recommend that it be overhanging, probably by at least 15*, maybe more. If the holds don’t stay dry, you’ll never want to use it.
Check out Andy Librande’s outdoor wall: http://andylibrande.com/homeclimbingwall/2010/08/my-home-climbing-wall/
Love to see what you come up with TJ.
I just happened across this site written in my journal and I’m thrilled about it! I met you in Red Rocks while you were on a business trip. I was on a trip with University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point students and we all got excited when you said that you were from Minnesota. Do you recall this or do I have the wrong person? Either way, your garage wall looks great!
I’m the guy. It’s great to hear back from you. Hope the rest of your trip went amazing.
Let’s keep in touch. The offer still stands to climb on the Garage wall if you guys are ever in the area.
If you’d like, PM me on facebook.com/realworldclimbing and we can exchange contact info.
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