Mar 24, 2013
I would use a 2x6 across the top rather than a 2x4. This board is the only structural piece resisting the sagging of the wall. An even better solution would be to install plywood sheets on the BACKside of the wall as well. I would guess you could get away with 1/4" plywood for this. I think you could get away with an 8' wide wall, but that's just a guess. I'm sure someone out there has done this before.
2x6 spacing is determined by the height of the wall, and at that height, I think 16" OC would be fine. That's what I have in my gym and the walls are 12' high (and its rock solid). I wouldn't go any less than 16" OC. 2x6's are pretty cheap; plywood is expensive.
A 9'-tall, 8'-wide wall would be plenty big enough to be worth the trouble. I have roughly 750 sq feet but I do 90% of my hard climbing on a 12'-wide by 11'-high wall, and its fantastic.
I would say for a smaller woody, get the best holds you can afford. The cheap stuff is fine when you have a ton of square-footage you need to fill, but when you only need 50 holds or so, get good ones. If your holds suck, your porblems will suck, and you will dread using your woody. E-Grips makes the best holds out there, and among the elite hold-makers, their prices are relatively low. I can give you advice on specific hold sets if you want it.
A good way to save money on the whole project is to make the wall less-steep. Then buy smaller holds, which are a lot cheaper. If you make the wall crazy steep, you'll need a bunch of jugs, which are really expensive. An even better reason to do this, is that real rock (in the US) is mostly vertical to slabby and covered in small holds. Your training will be much more effective if you train on realistic holds. Fortunately such holds are small, and therefore cheap.
My opinion is that 40 degrees is too steep for an American route climber (maybe not for a boulderer). Even at the Red the walls rarely exceed 30 degrees overhanging. Crags like the Pipedream (at Maple) are few and far between. My favorite wall in my gym is 30 degrees. I also have 8 degree wall, which is not steep enough to be "fun," but is very realistic. and helps me prepare for the type of hard climbing I enjoy. If I were you I would start with 20 degrees or so...
Its not too hard to make the steepness adjustable, especially if its already free-staninding. If that sounds like something that interests you, let me know I can give you some pointers.
From Morrison, CO
Joined Oct 26, 2006