Building a home climbing gym

by Tom Markiewicz on February 17, 2006

I’m finally getting ready to start on a long time project – building a home climbing gym in my basement. When we moved to Blacksburg from Northern Virginia, we bought a house down here that had a partially finished basement. I now have more space to build a home climbing wall than I actually know what to do with. My current plan is to start small and gradually build it out as a make mistakes and learn more about the process. I’m going to start with two sections as the framing is already there from when the house was built. The first is a nice four foot wide by ten foot long cave underneath the stairs. There’s a lot that can be done here as both sides of the area are framed as well. I’m planning on just doing the 45 degree cave part first and see how it goes. I know its a bit narrow, but it will be better that the basic hangboard I have hanging there now.

The second part is simply going to be a sixteen foot long by nine foot high vertical traverse section. This is not optimal for training, but the framing is already there. My theory is that this will get me started and I can always remove the panels as needed as my project grows. Hopefully, this part of the wall will just stay when I add more to the entire home gym.

If I manage to get all this accomplished successfully, I’m thinking of building an adjustable standalone wall to avoid having to make permanent changes to the basement. Something along the lines of this.

I plan on blogging this project with lots of pictures. I spent a lot of time looking for ideas and examples of home climbing gyms on the web and was disappointed with what I could find. So, hopefully my efforts will help other climbers out there contemplating building a home gym.

Some of the best resources I did find for building a home climbing gym are listed below:

Uncarved Block
Pawn Climbing

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