This week’s CBJ Homewall of the Week is real beauty from Colorado Springs. It was first built in 1995 for climbing legend Kevin Branford, who has coached, routeset, and shaped holds for many years. His latest project is Method Grips, and he’s currently a manager at the brand-new Gripstone Climbing & Fitness. See past homewalls here.
How long did it take you to build?
One of the builders of the iconic Sport Climbing Center (now Springs Climbing Center) built the wall for us in two separate years. The build took about 2 weeks each time because he would come over after his full time construction job to work on it during the evenings.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build?
At the time, I am guessing the build, with labor and materials, cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5000.00. We used cabinet grade plywood…even back then it was not cheap.
Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
My background in the climbing world is in competition pebble wrestling. I spent about a decade as a professional climber, so the wall design needed to be a serious training tool. I was in school and so a lot of the time it was easier to train at home and alternate that with doing homework.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
I don’t remember anything being particularly difficult. My friend who built the wall is a custom home remodeling guru, so this wasn’t anything crazy for him.
What would you do differently?
The only thing I would do differently is not have any 90° edges/corners.
What is your favorite aspect?
My favorite aspects are the 10 1/2 foot ceilings, the 30 foot depth of the garage and the variation in angles. Mike really did a fantastic job utilizing the space.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Home walls do not have to be massive by any stretch of the imagination. I have trained on woodies that are 6’ wide and 8’ tall with only one angle. Training can be done nearly anywhere in any space. My words of wisdom: holds are generally more expensive than most people expect them to be. My collection has taken more than 25 years to amass. Don’t feel like you have to buy all your holds at once. Shop around, start with a few hold companies, and plan on investing a small amount every couple of months to build up your selection.
Want us to consider your woodie for a future Homewall of the Week? Submit your homewall here to be considered. If yours is chosen you’ll win a prize pack like this (varied prizes each week):
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