HWOW 34: Backyard Boulder With Infinite Traverse

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CBJ Homewall of the Week

This free-standing boulder is seeing its second life after being transplanted into its new home in Golden Valley, MN. After deconstructing panels of the old wall, Nate M. converted the sections into a free-standing bloc with over 4 angles and infinite traversing opportunity! Check out past HWOW here.

CBJ Homewall of the Week

When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?

We started building the wall in June 2020, but it wasn’t a COVID baby. The wall was at our previous house and we moved it in sections and converted it into the free standing boulder it is now.

How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?

We worked mostly on weekends. It helped that large sections of the wall were complete already from before the move. We fully finished the wall with paint and holds after about 6 months. It was slow going, but we put in what time we had. We took the existing sections and formed them into a triangle pinnacle and then added sections in between. The result is a 6 sided, 10 foot+ tall free standing wall.

Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there?

I would estimate around $2k over the course of its lifetime as 2 separate walls, including the move from house to house.

What are you doing for padding?

We have three crashpads: 2 Organics and one old Franklin climbing pad. My brother also has some other pads in case we need them.

CBJ Homewall of the Week

What was your primary incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?

I wanted an easy place to climb at home, as I’ve been climbing most of my life. I also wanted an easy place to get my daughters into climbing. Being a parent of 2 young kids, it’s harder than ever to get out to the crag or the gym across town. I also am a furniture designer, and building projects are always fun!

What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?

Making the wall freestanding and working out the geometry. Getting the anchors in the ground and filling in the gaps of pre-existing walls proved to be way more difficult than anticipated. It meant a lot of measuring and working out how to fill really awkward gaps.

What would you do differently?

Nothing, it’s amazing! This is the 5th wall we’ve built since we were kids, so we’ve had other opportunities to figure things out!

Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?

Other than moving the wall from house to house and the difficulties that brought, there wasn’t anything major that went wrong.

CBJ Homewall of the Week

What is your favorite aspect?

I love the small roof side of the wall, and the fact that there is so much angle variety. We’ve got a -5, 0, 10, 15 and some other small sections in between. The variety and ability to move laterally around the boulder makes many amazing problems possible!

How often do you use the wall?

1-2 times a week.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?

Keep it simple for your first wall and then grow from there. If you’re going to make something elaborate, it’s going to take a lot longer to build than you might think!


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 like this (prizes vary each week):

CBJ Homewall of the Week