Climbing walls.. What can i build?

When thinking about what type of wall to build, the first consideration is normally available space. Home climbing walls have been built just about anywhere including garages, house walls, spare bedrooms, lofts and the best I've seen under a set of outdoor stairs, so with a bit of imagination your wall can be fixed to just about anything solid enough.

If limited space is an issue then your first training aid could well be a finger board. If used properly and safely, finger boards are a good way to improve your core and finger strength and don't take up much space (Generally fitted above a door frame).

There is a good choice of manufactured finger boards on the market from simple wooden designs to resin finishes and varying in cost. But if you want a cheaper option then building your own is a great alternative and allows you the choice of what finger positions you want to include.

The next climbing aid in limited space can be a campus board . A campus board is a training tool that has been widely adopted to improve rock climbing performance. Campus boards can take a variety of different forms and may incorporate a variety of materials. As one example, a campus board may comprise horizontal thin slats or rails of wood attached to an inclined board in a ladder like configuration. However, some implementations may utilize bolt on climbing holds or sections of pipe. A campus board is generally set at overhanging angle of inclination that is between vertical and 20 degrees.

If you have the space, bouldering walls are a great way to improve climbing technique and core strength. Generally bouldering walls do not exceed around 3 meters due to the style of not using any ropes or protection. As most of the climbing routes (Problems) start from a sit position, bouldering walls are a good option if available height is an issue.

If you're lucky enough to be able to include a ceiling on your bouldering wall then the name given to the design is a cave and can add a new dimension to your wall.

Traversing walls are a great option if height is an issue but the length of wall is not. A good example would be attached to the back of a garage or garden wall. Routes are set to run horizontally and work well for endurance training and arm strength when the route can be repeated in both directions.

If you can find the space then get building, as you'll never regret having a close climbing spot for when the weather or time prevents a trip out to your local climbing haunt.

Climb at home?

So why make a blog about creating make shift climbing walls when there are plenty of good indoor facilities and hundreds of outdoor climbing locations in the UK?

If like me you have a passion for climbing, then having some where to train close by can make the difference between being able to climb regularly or waiting for the next opportunity to get to your closest climbing venue.

Photo: Alex in the bouldering room

In this blog, i hope to show, you can make a climbing wall from just about anything that is solid enough, from a simple finger board above your bedroom door, to traversing and bouldering walls in your back garden.

Some of the subjects that will be covered will be: "Designing your wall, where to start? Fixing and construction. Making your own holds? Easy or Not? Creating your own features. Setting your first route! Training techniques and exercises".

I hope you like the blogs. Please let us know your comments or suggestions as the more ideas the better the walls.