It’s barely accurate to call this week’s HWOW a “homewall”, perhaps more accurately it’s a “churchwall”? Owner Gregg Eichhorn has filled this former church sanctuary with the best homewall in Cincinnati, OH. Check out past HWOW here.
When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?
I started building my wall in 2018 when I purchased a church building to convert into a home and climbing gym.
How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
It was my first project after demolition of the church sanctuary and I started building our first 30 degree top out boulder and have added on since to include a 72 degree top out boulder, a 26″ auto belay wall, 34′ sport roof, vert climbing, a workout area, and soon to be airbnb. (all directly off our living room in 2/3rds of the old church sanctuary)
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there? Most/Least expensive part?
I probably have about $30,000 into my build mostly being materials. The most expensive part being lumber by far.
What are you doing for padding?
For padding, I have acquired many free pole vault mats, retired climbing gym padding, and autism crash pads filled with foam.
What was your primary Incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
My incentive for the wall was to build a larger climbing community and blend it with our family. We are having dinner join us, my kids are here play with them, get strong for free to all. My wall design was from the love of top out and every other gym I had ever been to. I like boulders and steep.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
The most difficult part of building was the building department not knowing how to inspect my climbing space. Even with a letter from a structural engineer stating the design being great the city gave me problems.
What would you do differently?
If I would do anything differently, I would have easy access to all T-nuts and buy the nicer ones. Spinners suck.
Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?
I have changed a few designs over time which resulted in wasted materials and vert walls I were going to use being covered up and abandoned. The newer steeper walls are better but didn’t need to waste the plywood and T-nuts behind the walls.
What is your favorite aspect?
My favorite aspect is the diversity of the levels of climbers that come to my gym. Everyone from those that can’t get up a V0 to consistent V10 climbers. My favorite boulder is the “Super Bad Boulder:” 72 degrees of brutal and 14′ long with more to top out on.
How often do you use the wall? Do you think you’ll still use it as much when all of the gyms open back up?
I use my gym twice a week and others use it more than that. I have had great setters come and contribute to the walls, so I now have plenty to project all the time. Friday night climbing gets a big crowd over here.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
My best advice for anyone with a home wall or wanting to have one is to be generous with your space. Include other people, invite people into your home, and live life with others, climbers are the best for community!
Do you have any connection to climbing brands or gyms?
My only connection would be for Climb Time in Cincinnati. Patty Law runs two awesome gyms and is a great woman who treats everyone so well. One old school gym and one fresh new gym. Climb Time is the best place to climb in Cincinnati, second to my house if you’re in town! Climbing at the Crux group on Facebook.
Want us to consider your woody for a future Homewall of the Week? Submit your homewall here to be considered. Winners get a $100 giftcard to Atomik to pick out some goodies for their homewall. Thanks Kenny!
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