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Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home
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climber49er


Jul 6, 2009, 5:27 PM
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Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home
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Hi all,

Yes, I did search and I have a pretty darn good idea how to "build" it, but I need some advice on a freestanding outdoor climbing wall.

Mainly, I just can't get in my head what type of framework/structure would work and be safe. I'd like to go 16-20' high if possible, not just a flat wall but not a full "boulder" type structure either.

I've been thinking about 3 main support posts set in a right triangle shape and then build the wall overhanging at various angles within the triangle. This seems like it would keep costs down and be pretty strong. I'm just wondering if there are any forces that might take me by surprise.

For the Main supports I was thinking 4x6 pressure treated, set in concrete several feet into the ground.

I'd like as much climbing surface variety as possible and would like to put a roof or topout on it if possible.

Any suggestions, existing designs, whatever... would be VERY appreciated. I'm tired of thinking about this and coming to no real conclusion.

(No I don't have any existing building I could attach to)

Thanks!


vegastradguy


Jul 6, 2009, 5:35 PM
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Re: [climber49er] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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id recommend getting in touch with louie anderson- i think you can reach him through routesetter.com- i know that he designs and builds climbing walls and can probably give you some advice and ideas on where to start.


ryanb


Jul 6, 2009, 5:40 PM
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Re: [climber49er] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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Here is a free standing variable angle wall a friend and I built a few years back:

http://www.flickr.com/...s/72157619967273034/

cross braced squares are a good alternative to triangles and the plywood on the wall counts as cross bracing...we looked at floor and deck specs for ideas on how strong it needed to be.

It needs to be set against a wall or weighted to precent tip over...though in use it has never come close to this point.


acorneau


Jul 6, 2009, 6:41 PM
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Re: [climber49er] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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climber49er wrote:
Mainly, I just can't get in my head what type of framework/structure would work and be safe. I'd like to go 16-20' high if possible, not just a flat wall but not a full "boulder" type structure either.

For something that tall you'll probably have better luck with a telephone pole design, like the ones used for climbing towers and challenge courses.

Check out ACCT for better info: http://www.acctinfo.org/


climber49er


Jul 6, 2009, 7:56 PM
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Re: [acorneau] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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Thanks for the replies -

ryanb - I did say freestanding, but I meant "not attached to any other structure". As far as tipover goes, thats why I mentioned the supports going in the ground with concrete.

I've seriously thought about telephone poles but I was hoping to get by with something a little less "industrial looking". I have neighbors that may balk at the probably size of this thing anyway.

I may see if I can do a sketch of what I'm thinking.


ryanb


Jul 6, 2009, 8:38 PM
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Re: [climber49er] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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Our wall wasn't attached to any existing structure (we were renting), just placed in such a way that it would hit immediately if it began to tip... it is pretty basics physics to figure out what kind of force it will take to tip the wall and we weren't worried but figured we should be very safe.

You could easily adapt the design to be anchored in another way, I would suggest looking into building codes for decks to get an idea of what kind of supports and cross bracing you will need...you could also anchor the structure with tensioned cables.

I would also suggest building wider as opposed to taller so you can get good safe traverses in when climbing alone and incorporating some kind of roof/tarp attachment for wet weather use, but both of those come down to personal preference.


synrock


Jul 7, 2009, 4:19 AM
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Re: [climber49er] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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Do you have any trees?


climber49er


Jul 7, 2009, 10:31 PM
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synrock wrote:
Do you have any trees?

none over 10 feet tall. Unsure


climber49er


Jul 7, 2009, 10:35 PM
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Re: [ryanb] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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ryanb wrote:

I would also suggest building wider as opposed to taller so you can get good safe traverses in when climbing alone ....

This seems like good advice. I should mention I have several children and was thinking they could "rope up" on a taller wall but maybe on second thought, the chances of someone taking a fairly hefty fall is more than I want to risk.


ryanb


Jul 7, 2009, 10:56 PM
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I've known a few people who built walls with kids (my dad included) and I think generally the ones that can be used alone/without adult supervision are the ones that get used the most...top roping the same routes gets old quick, your goal should be to create something you and your kids can easily change the routes around on to keep it interesting.

If i were you I would make a simple structure under 12" high with a couple of different angles, arets and features and spend the money you save on timber on ample t-nuts and a variety of holds (store bought and or homemade) and a decent landing surface (pea gravel, grass, crash pads, gymnastic mats).

Growing up, my friends and I spent endless hours setting route for each other on an 8'x8' dead vertical wall where the top out was a basket ball hoop and the landing was a garage sale gymnastic mat over concrete...a seemingly boring wall but we had a shop full of wood scraps at our disposal and would endlessly invent new problems and games (playing horse on a climbing wall is surprisingly good for your technique).

If you have steep walls make sure to get some big holds for warming up/ setting kid friendly problems and resting mid traverse... growing up we were cheap and used foot jibs for hand holds which is not recommended on anything steeper then vertical.


bill413


Jul 8, 2009, 1:20 AM
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Re: [climber49er] Advice needed - freestanding outdoor wall at home [In reply to]
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climber49er wrote:
ryanb wrote:

I would also suggest building wider as opposed to taller so you can get good safe traverses in when climbing alone ....

This seems like good advice. I should mention I have several children and was thinking they could "rope up" on a taller wall but maybe on second thought, the chances of someone taking a fairly hefty fall is more than I want to risk.
You know that the kids are going to be climbing on an unattended wall with no supervision and higher than they should. So...yeah, going tall may not be the best option with young'uns running around.


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