After Covid hit Ketchum’s small ski town hard in March, Steff C. (with the help of his boss and his boss’s family) made the most of their free time and created a communal training wall. Check out past HWOW here.
When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?
March-April 2020 – full on quarantine project
How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
I ordered Moon holds the last week of March, and started purchasing lumber and hardware in early April. I also ordered some holds from Atomik since I knew the wall would likely be complete before the Moon holds arrived. Our lumber yards shut down along with the rest of our town so there were a few weeks when plywood was not available to purchase. Since I was still able to work in my office, I only had weekends to work with. We built the frame, and eventually secured some plywood and drilled all the holes per standard Moon Board, and then painted the front and back with primer –mostly as a way of weather proofing, and painted pretty colors on the front. We finally got the wall installed and threw a few holds up the first weekend of May. The Moon Holds arrived around the end of May.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there?
The wall cost around $1,200. I live in a ski town (meaning no Home Depot or Lowes) so there’s a bit of a markup on everything. What surprised me the most was the cost of bolts. Another $3,000 went to holds and crash pads, oh and the L.E.D. kit was a bit of a splurge…
What are you doing for padding?
I already had a Black Diamond Mondo that was like 10 years old, and I bought two more of those. My friend who used to manage our local gym had a ton of old foam stashed away, I was able to get two 5’x8′ pieces of 5″ thick soft foam and a piece of 2″ closed cell foam for the top layer. I ordered a pad cover from Futurist Climbing for $350 –end result, a mega pad measuring 5′ x 8′ x 12″.
What was your primary incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
Our town was hit hard by covid in March — with positive case rates equivalent to Wuhan at one point. I used to coach a youth team, and my boss’s kids stopped going to school the first week of March, so I thought it would be a fun project to do with them. Prior to the pandemic my typical training / gym climbing time was 6am – 7:30am. At that hour the sport wall wasn’t open so I just warmed up traversing and then Moon Boarded for an hour. The gym was typically closed by the time I was off work, so that was really my only option. I definitely browsed Instagram a fair amount to get design ideas, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted a Moon Board.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
Getting the main wall up on the kickboard. That thing was insanely heavy! It was just my boss, his wife, his 14 year old son, and myself, so we ended up using 2x4s and wood scraps and firewood rounds to level the wall up to rest on the 14″ tall kickboard. Once in that position we could secure our anchors and the winch cable.
What would you do differently?
Honestly, not much. If I had a more convenient location for the wall, I probably would have built it somewhere else. But since I am planning on moving it anyways, it’s pretty irrelevant now.
Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?
We painted it after drilling the holes… After two coats of primer and the top coat, the holes for the L.E.D lights were too small. I will have to re-drill them when I get around to installing the lights.
What is your favorite aspect?
I love how the colors turned out. And I really enjoy the fact that my only climbing option is no longer the local YMCA.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Just go for it!
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