Building a Home Climbing Wall
With all the extra time at home, the gyms closed and climbing outside canceled (Seriously, don't do it. Just stay home. The rocks aren't going anywhere and they'll be there to climb after COVID-19.), we thought we'd share a bit about our home climbing wall build.
We needed to build a small barn for our future goats. And we wanted to climbing wall. So, we decided to put those things together!
We divided the whole project into phases and started with the fun end: the climbing wall. For sturdiness, the plan included six 4x4 posts to support it. All rafters and lightly overhanging studs are 2x6. Steep overhangs have 2x8 studs.
Fortunately, a good friend came over for a weekend to help jump-start the wall. We began with re-digging 3 of my 6 post holes and placing the 4x4s.
When that was done, we added a 2x6 pressure treated “mud rail” on the outer perimeter. This has a basic but important job: be the thing that touches the ground, thereby isolating the walls from any standing puddles or snow.
After that, we framed in the vertical sections. Naturally, we moved to the most complicated section next: a low roof that transitions to a steep overhang. The roof also pitches down, creating a 3-D problem. This led to a few learning moments (Read: scrap wood). The following morning, we placed the remaining steep section and finished by lunch, managing to frame the whole project in a day and a half. Not too bad for a few DIY guys.
The less glamorous work of drilling and setting 500 t-nuts in the plywood panels, sanding, priming, hanging, and painting the whole enchilada was for another day.
Once the first side of the wall was complete (the north end of the barn), we continued building the rest of the barn, adding holds down the length of the east wall of the barn as well, for a long traverse option.
A note about holds: Most our holds are from Escape Climbing. They have a pretty great deal on factory seconds and it's super fun to get a big box of surprise holds from them. And according to their website they are able to continue shipping during the COVID-19 crisis.
We also got a batch of awesome holds from Sync Rocks. Their holds are super comfortable and very affordable.