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Build a Climbing Wall- The Planning Phase

Jan 18, 2008
Before preparing the plan of the climbing wall, clear and concise training objectives have to be defined. The wall could be built to increase your muscular strength or increase endurance. Different types of configurations are responsible for imparting the type of training desired.

Once the objective is finalized, identifying the location is the next important step to be taken. Climbing walls can be built to fit any size; even if the space is limited an awesome wall can still be built to be effective in your training. Different rock shape, curves, turns, and angles can be achieved by being a little creative.

Climbing walls are generally used for training purposes, hence there is much importance attached to the defining of training needs. When the objective is to increase the endurance then the walls have to be built vertical and if the training objective is to increase strength then the use of overhangs is required. After defining your training objective the next step is to visualize the basic shape and form of the climbing wall. Different sizes, shapes and angles will make the wall more interesting and appealing.

When training objectives, area available, and funds and material required are taken into account, a realistic mental plan of the wall is formed. The creative planning process includes preparing a scale model of the mental plan. The design phase, which is more analytical and deals with the quantifiable aspects of wall constructions, comes next.

After taking into consideration the height and width, a scale model can be built using heavy poster board or construction paper. An ideal scale would be 1 inch equivalent to 1 foot. The scale model built should be easy to work with and easy to replicate. When using poster board do not try and bend the board to fit the angles, as the plywood during the actual construction is less flexible.

Climbing walls are three-dimensional and two dimensional paper drawings do not help in conceptualizing the building plan. The three-dimensional model will help in ironing out any flaws at the conceptual stage itself. Establishing the shape, height, and width is possible with the model. You can also have a ballpark cost estimate worked out with the three-dimensional model.

If the wall is going to be installed on an existing structure then the structural strength of that structure assumes importance, as it should be able to take the additional stress of the wall being installed.

Freestanding walls offer many advantages that walls fixed on existing structures don't. Freestanding walls are portable and can be transported to a new location; they do not damage existing structures, and are suitable for renters. However, freestanding walls are difficult to design and are certainly more expensive than the fixed walls. The freestanding wall structure has to support its own weight and have a perfect balance so as not tip over in case of all climbers are on the same side.

Modular plans can be assembled and reassembled in different shapes and angles according to the training needs of the climbers. Plans with adjustable angles offer more flexibility in creating shapes that challenge the climber's physical abilities and also help in overcoming space constraints.
About the Author
Rock Climbing Walls from the inventor and holder of several climbing wall patents. Visit our website and see why we are called Extreme http://www.extremeengineering.com.
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