Backyard Climbing and Training Wall




Introduction: Backyard Climbing and Training Wall

About: "I'm saving the world - I need a decent shirt. To hell with the raggedy. Time to put on a show!" - The 11th Doctor

The wall is semi-permanent; meaning that the legs that support the climbing panels can be detached from the base and swing to lay the entire wall flat. While it is very heavy, two people can move it fairly easily. 

Step 1: Design

Your design should incorporate everything you want to get out of your training. For me, my gym doesn't have any steep overhanging walls, only vertical. Also, I wanted to mount my hang board and rock rings for general training. And as you can see, thats pretty much all I can do with this wall. Also, the Home Owners Association (jerks) have no respect for the wall, meaning there would be a chance I would have to take it down or have the ability to store it because of their rules for the neighborhood.

All the math needs to be correct at this point since it'll tell you what sizes to cut all your pieces. Several websites offer calculators to assist you with figuring out the missing angles and lengths of wood if all you know is your max height or the angle you want to train for.

Be careful making your wall TOO steep or TOO vertical. If it gets to be more of a ceiling then many affordable holds may become unavailable to you and if its too steep then you won't truly be preparing for outdoor climbing. This wall measures to 36.6 Degrees.

Step 2: Panels

1) Lay out the panels and place trash bags around the edges so you don't inadvertently paint squares onto your driveway.
2) Paint the panels.

TIP: Take a small piece of extra wood and roll your trash bag down to a small circle and it'll catch all the drips off the side of the can and cleanup will be a breeze.

Step 3: Constructing the Frame

Two of the 2X4's will be a full 10 feet. In retrospect I wish that I had kept all the 2X4's at 10 feet but I cut 7 of them down to 8 feet.

Starting at the outside measure 16 inches to the center of the next 2X4. Make them all 16 inches apart center to center. I put two small pieces for added support in the inner columns.

Mending plates are simpler and in some ways stronger than "toe-nailing."

Step 4: Panels

1) Center the panels and place screws approx. 6 inches apart around the edges and down all the supporting studs.

2) I wanted to add some green to my wall so this step isn't really necessary (or any of the painting for that matter, though you will want to add a sealer if your wall will be outside.) 

3)Now its time to tap the holes for your holds and T-Nuts. You can put them in any interval or just keep them as random as you'd like. A climbing guide online says that a 4X8 sheet of plywood can have up to around 250 T-Nuts. I think that mine has 150 per sheet. My spacing here is 3 inches between vertical lines and 4 inches between horizontal lines and I marked every other one in order to not have my wall so congested.

4)Campus rungs should be evenly spaced. Just follow the instructions that come with the set. 

5)Once there are holes, there need to be T-Nuts.

Step 5: Give It a Leg to Stand On.

1) Drill a hole through the 2X4 and add a 2/8 X 1/2 X 1-1/2 Steel Spacer.

NOTE: Make sure the hole is in the exact same place on both legs.

2) You're about to add your hangboard so at this time get your paint out again.

Step 6: Hangboard

1) Cut a piece of plywood to be 32"x9½"x¾"(81.3 x 24.1 x 1.9 cm) and if you'd like to you can paint it. Do that now though so it may dry while you cut the pieces you'll mount it to.

2) Cut the 2X4 to be 32" and then at a 36 degree angle down the length of the wood.

3) Repeat so that you end up with two pieces and then toe-nail screw them into the wall with deck screws.

4) After you attach the plywood just add the hang board and screw in some rocks.

Thats it! Now throw a crash pad down and start designing problems!

Step 7: Extras and Goodies

Q: How much did this project cost?
A: So this entire project (minus rocks and hardware) cost about $140 without paint and right at $200 including all the painting supplies from Lowes. That's not bad at all! 

Q:Where did you get your holds?
A: I ordered them in two orders from two companies. Below are images of the invoices from both Atomik and Three Ball Climbing. The Atomik volume and holds arent shown in the pictures of the wall because I havent gotten them yet. Ill change the main photo once I get them on the wall, but the specific packages are pictured below. Also, several companies will send you samples often for free in addition to an order or you're only asked to cover shipping.

Q: How long did this take?
A: Two days. It would have been faster, but I was working alone mostly and learning how to do everything as I went.

Q: Where all of these pictures taken with your phone?
A: Yep

Q: What are some workouts I can do to be a stronger climber, competitive boulderer?
A: Here are some of the circuits I use. Maybe they'll help you too.
                    ROCK RINGS

Be the First to Share


    • Organization Challenge

      Organization Challenge
    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest



    8 years ago

    i like what you did. is this something a novice would use? I want to develop overall body strength and I used to climb trees as a kid. I also want my kid to use it to stay in shape.


    9 years ago on Step 4

    Wow. that is a lot of positions. It's looking good though.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    I don't think you needed the mending plates. Those are for but-joints. The way you are assembling this you should have nailed/screwed the boards together through the cross piece into the end of the board.
    Toe-nailing is only for attaching a board when you can't get to the outside to sink a fastener through the piece into the end.
    I would feel safer having 3" screws connecting everything versus the mending plates. They should hold, but it was probably a waste of money when you could have got enough fasteners (screws or nails) to do this for half the cost.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    It looks good; lots of bouldering in a small area. Enjoy the campusing board--I'm too much of an old fart to do that anymore. I've dislocated two fingers over the years, and I'll stick to footwork. If it was me, I'd have a half a dozen jugs up there too to warm up on and work the "big" muscles...

    Is it marine ply? I hope rain doesn't do a number on it. And hopefully the supports are well anchored. It would make a great sail, too.

    Anyway, looks like a great effort so have fun...


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Its not marine plywood. Deck sealer to makes it water resistant. Thanks for the question!