Building a Dream Home Climbing Wall during a Pandemic
Michael Yu started rock climbing about two years ago. He mostly climbs at a local gym and often with his two children who are six and four years old. He lives in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada and says his favorite thing about rock climbing is that it is physically and mentally challenging. When the pandemic hit and closed the gym, he really missed climbing and started considering building a home climbing wall. Building a bouldering wall is what first came to mind, but he did not like how much space it would take up since he would have wanted an angled wall. Then, while walking down his stairs, he got the idea to place a top rope wall along his stairwell.
Michael, an engineer, got to work planning, designing and drawing out his home climbing wall. Next, he purchased materials and hand holds and got to work. He built the entire climbing wall by himself in just two days. He noted that the most challenging part of the project was getting the top panels mounted. The wall is 18 feet at its highest and offers 150-175 square feet of climbing. For panels, he chose cabinet-grade Baltic which gives the wall a nice finished look and were not much more expensive than plywood. The climbing wall features 3 top ropes, several home-made volumes, including a crack volume, and a multitude of climbing routes. He set routes specifically for his children (after measuring their reach), as well as for his friends and himself. Placing all the Everlast Climbing and Kumiki Climbing hand holds took another full day. He padded the stairs with four-inch foam matting after making paper patterns to ensure a perfect fit.
Michael says his kids enjoy climbing on their home wall all the time and he has appreciated seeing his children’s self-confidence grow. The other great things about his home climbing wall are that it’s always available, it’s a fun conversation piece when friends come over, he can get a great workout in only 20-30 minutes and he can use it instead of the stairs.