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Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Original Post - May 26, 2012 - 11:26am PT
When I was drawing the plans for our home back in 1999, I envisioned a climbing wall in the livingroom.....which I never got around to building.

This past February, with a couple free days, I decided to make that long-ago vision a reality.

First step...erecting scaffolding that would allow access to the 28 foot-high ceiling.

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The main attachment point for the wall was this 3 x 6, which I secured to each stud as well as the central post which supports the ridge beams for the roof. I used Timber-Lok screws for this process.....BOMBER!

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My vertical joists were made out of LVL Micro-Lams that are 1 3/4" thick by 11 7/8" wide.

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I wanted the wall to overhang, and also wanted to get two joists out of each lam, so I ripped them corner to corner. This produced an overhang of 7 degrees. I also put a 45 degree cut at the top, in order to produce a small ledge at the top of the wall.

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I secured the outer most joists to the end of the 3 x 6 first...

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....then filled in the center joists in equal layout...about 18" on center. The center joists were notched around the 3 x 6, then pressure blocked and screwed to the 3 x 6. I added two more rows of pressure blocks at the mid-height point, as well as the base.

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I prepped the plywood out in the garage, drilling holes and applying T-nuts on a 10" grid. I then painted the panels with a textured paint to give them the look and feel of stone.

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I designed a toprope anchor bracket and had my welder fabricate it, and utilized it to haul the panels into place. The bracket is secured to the main post that supports the ridge with (6) machine bolts that are 3/4" by 9".....not going anywhere!

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With a fixed rope, I jumped on the jumars and began applying over 250 holds.

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Micah got the honor of the first ascent. To access the wall, this natural stone column is climbed, then the light box above needs to be mantled and stepped over.

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I designed the anchor to have multiple clip-in points, allowing for someone to hang out and take pics from the top.

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Marina gets her first ascent on "her" route...what we call "Marina's Yellow Hueco Road".

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The belay adds new meaning to climbing "off the couch". Utilizing the GriGri allows for safe belays while watching a game, movie, whatever....

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Flanders has been a regular....

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....and the kids have been having regular "climbing parties" with their buds....

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The view from the wall is pretty decent too.....

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Stop on by for a beer and a belay!


Facts: Total building time - 16 hours
Cost - $850.00
Overall Height - 28 feet
Wall is 8 feet wide
The Arete routes are RAD!!!



socialclimber

Trad climber
CA
May 26, 2012 - 11:32am PT
Dean! Rad, good to have you back... Well done man.

Charles
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
May 26, 2012 - 11:32am PT
Alas, a gym with Class! NICE job Dean!!! Always thought COUCH belays were da bomb!
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
May 26, 2012 - 11:34am PT
Cragman that is so damn cool. Well done.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 26, 2012 - 11:42am PT
Nice project, Dean. Looks like a lot of fun for the kids especially. Nice ceilings, man! The climbing wall has a visual relationship with the existing river boulder rock work, too.
Gene

climber
May 26, 2012 - 11:44am PT
The 4th picture from the bottom is perfect for the cover of the next Belay magazine.

Nice work!

g
go-B

climber
Habakkuk 3:19 Sozo
May 26, 2012 - 11:49am PT
Cudos to your wife!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 11:52am PT
Yeah, the kids are LOVING this thing...and SO IS LEAH! This was not a hard sell for her at all!

A few more pics.....

A close-up of the texture....

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Micah about to start a burn....

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Occasionally, the kids even let me climb on it...I prefer the crimps.

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Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
May 26, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
Pretty mind blowing.That's nothing short of awesome!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
May 26, 2012 - 12:02pm PT
what sort of "licensing" must one go through to climb ??
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
May 26, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
That's pretty awesome, Dean! How do you minimize the chalk issues?
gonzo chemist

climber
Fort Collins, CO
May 26, 2012 - 12:25pm PT
now THAT is AWESOME!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 12:27pm PT
Excellent question, Tom!

We do not allow chalk bags on climbers, as it tends to rain down on the wood floors and make them GREASED LIGHTNING!

There is a tub of chalk in the light box to dip into, and a Bison Ball in a chalk bag at the top anchor.

:)
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
May 26, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
COOL!

is this a chalk free crag?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 26, 2012 - 12:35pm PT
Holy frig, Dean. You're not saying I'll have to free climb when we come visit next month?!

Fabulous job, mate! Will the snows seen through the window last til the 4th of July?
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
May 26, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
Outstanding!

I want one!

( but I can touch my ceiling while standing flat-footed on the floor )
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
Pete, I left some holes empty for a hooking route......JUST FOR YOU!

Yes, there will be snow on the peak when you guys get here. Looking forward to your visit!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 26, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
Nice, but I'm at an age where, when it comes to a woody, I'll take any room.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 12:44pm PT
Jim, at your age I figured that wood would be petrified by now.

:)
zBrown

Ice climber
Chula Vista, CA
May 26, 2012 - 12:45pm PT
That is so cool. UV protection to the max.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
May 26, 2012 - 12:52pm PT
when non climbers stop by ,, do you pull the ropes and call it "art"??
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 12:53pm PT
For "non-climbers" that bag on the thing, the rope becomes a noose.

Actually, everyone says what Lolli said above.....the room is enhanced by the position of the wall.

And yeah, it is a conversation piece to some.

:)
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
Leah was very positive about the whole thing.....it gives us one more thing to do TOGETHER as a family, especially when the weather is punk.

The kids favorite part is having the surround sound blaring...."....it's like climbing at a concert!"

:)
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
May 26, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
Now THAT's what I call a real "home improvement!"

Nicely done, Dean!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 01:00pm PT
I hung my portaledge up at the top and Micah got to practice before our first wall......spending the night above the dining room.

:)
Robb

Social climber
The other side of life
May 26, 2012 - 01:05pm PT
Excellent Dean!
Nice to see you back around.
Robb
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 01:14pm PT
Well, I make is SOUND like I did it for the kids, but truth be told.....I made that anchor so STOUT in order to haul me AND my wheelchair up someday.

We'll just call our place the Eastside Annex to the Old Climbers Home one day.

:)
E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
May 26, 2012 - 01:51pm PT
Too cool!...Always wanted one like that, but have to settle with the backyard versions.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
WML, yeah, I use the Mini Traxion when alone...though we're training Cush to be a slave.....

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He's figuring it out.
Captain...or Skully

climber
May 26, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
That is just too dang cool, Craggy.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 26, 2012 - 02:14pm PT
Imaginative, cool and great fun!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
Gonna get some GOOD use tonight......big climbing party/going away party for Micah, who leaves this coming Monday for a 2 month stint in Ecuador.

Perfect day to utilize the wall too....45F, windy and spitting snow.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
May 26, 2012 - 03:17pm PT
That's awesome cragman...You can climb inside where it is warm while wearing your thong...RJ
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 26, 2012 - 03:37pm PT
Woo-hoo! I'll bring my hooks. And duct tape, for pro.
MisterE

Social climber
May 26, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
Way cool, Dean!

Pete, also bring your ledge, as that is where you will be staying...

;-)
OR

Trad climber
May 26, 2012 - 04:07pm PT
Nice Crag. My first thought was not to ugly up a beautiful livingroom but I gotta say....very well done!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 04:23pm PT
Dang it, Erik!!!! You weren't supposed to tell him!!!!!!!!!!

:)


Micah enjoying the room with a view!

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Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
May 26, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
Cool. I was thinking that this was clearly fake since there wasn't a dog at this crag...then you posted the photo with the dog. :) Good work!
GLee

Social climber
Missoula MT
May 26, 2012 - 05:15pm PT
What a beautiful piece of work Dean!!!
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
May 26, 2012 - 07:26pm PT
Proud effort Cragman! You have some lucky kids!
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 26, 2012 - 09:14pm PT
Cool for the kids! And lower maintainance than a pony or a pool
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 26, 2012 - 09:44pm PT
Training for Climbing at Apathy House
We had a climbing route, a traverse, of the kitchen in Apathy House in Pacific Gorve back in the day of Tommy Quadraphenia. We would crank up the Stones or Whoever on the turntable in the living room. No ear-jacking in our gym. We kinda ended up climbing the walls over the dank foggy days of that winter. We had a big skylight in the recess in the middle of the ceiling of the kitchen.

A long step-across the hallway entrance to the waist-high wood trim on the north wall, a HVS or "Hard Vertical Slats" 5.8-ish traverse left, an easy step over to the stove across a steadily-accumulating pile of refuse, then a careful move over the range top, avoiding the sourdough and yoghurt starter stuff, and a very, very gentle weight transfer on the knob of the back door, to the shelves, which would not go, too loose to trek.

If we had to have any rules in our gym, they would have run like this--
Cheapo-cheapo shoes not allowed, only rock boots.
No chalk allowed (landlords...).
No chocolate allowed.
Take your Da Brim off indoors.
Difficulty of climbing is subject to the amount of ganja involved.

I could never reverse the traverse, sorry to say.
But it was just so much fun!
The trash was removed prior to a parental visit, composted in the yard.


You climb together you enjoy life together and thanks for showing how its done. Enjoy the Memorial holiday.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2012 - 11:58pm PT
My kids and a few of their friends having a good time tonight....

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Took this shot from outside, of Micah on the wall......

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Cool Beans!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
May 27, 2012 - 02:18am PT
It would be cool to set in the couch barking out directions lol! Armchair GUIDING!!!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2012 - 08:42am PT
LOL..I do that a lot, Ron!

Actually, since I do not have any of the routes marked with tape yet, I use a laser pointer! Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

High tech guiding!!!!!!

Kinda like guiding the hokey pokey.

:)
Vulcan

Sport climber
May 27, 2012 - 09:05am PT
Cragman
Did you get the "hueco" large holds that are in the
center of the wall at The Gear Exchange in Bishop?
Just wondering since I have sold a lot of holds there.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2012 - 09:09am PT
Vulcan, those hueco holds came with a bunch that I bought from a friend in Mammoth.....I believe he got them through Mammoth Mountaineering, where he works part-time.
Vulcan

Sport climber
May 27, 2012 - 09:13am PT
Yep, those are the ones I put up for sale at the Gear Exchange.
So glad they ended up at your place.
Vulcan

Sport climber
May 27, 2012 - 09:15am PT
Credit: Vulcan
I would suggest a "no chalk' policy.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2012 - 09:16am PT
Me too....they're sweet!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2012 - 11:40am PT
Proof that Pass The Pitons Pete can actually free climb! Notice the penalty slack for using holds that are off route.

:)

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Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Jul 7, 2012 - 11:51am PT
Nice Dean, I hope you can get a woody in your bedroom too.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2012 - 11:54am PT
Yo Erb, no room in this house is immune.

:)
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jul 7, 2012 - 12:44pm PT
Cool birdhouses. Those ARE birdhouses, are they not ???
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
Yep Tami, birdhouses they are!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 06:48pm PT
Marina pulled off a 30 minute, continuous burn on the wall today and never hung on the rope.

She be gettin wicked strong!
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Nov 20, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
Way cool Cragman!

However, with the texture it doesn't qualify as a "woody."
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
We have 20 foot ceilings, and when I showed your work to my wife, she immediately said: "No f*cking way!"

You have a pretty cool wife.
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:24pm PT
Dean, I don't know you but I'm stoked for you and your family that you found such an amazing way to share your passion and keep the family engaged with it! I'm surprised I didn't see this thread earlier.

I know practically nothing about construction, but I've been thinking about buying vs. building the house where I'll live long term and this tips the scales big time.

Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 09:43pm PT
"You have a pretty cool wife."




Understatement!

:)
T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:49pm PT
Take Marina over to Aeolian Buttes for a walk-about and boulder.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 09:52pm PT
No way, Biotch....taking her to the Gorge to rope gun for my old self!!!

:)
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 20, 2012 - 11:57pm PT
Sick wall Dean!! So cool! I wish I had the room to do something like this!!
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Nov 21, 2012 - 12:03am PT
GREAT!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 06:39am PT
I can't state enough how much this wall has meant to our family...it really is something we all do TOGETHER.

In fact, our gathering for Thanksgiving tomorrow will involve the wall, not only with our family, but the friends we have over for dinner.

It's really special to be able to offer a unique experience to non-climbers. We have had so many people climb the wall....people who would otherwise have never tried any climbing at all. Pretty cool.

Our two olders kids have moved out, and miss the wall big time! Micah will be here for dinner tomorrow....with shoes and harness in hand.

If you build it, they will come. :)
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2012 - 01:54pm PT
Open invitation to climb here this afternoon with Flanders, Marina and I....stay dry, watch some football, get pumped!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Dec 2, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
That gym climbing is too DANGEROUS Crag! It takes out HE MEN OF MEN!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Dec 2, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
Cragman;
DON'T invite Largo over!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
No HE MEN allowed here Ron, just us poseurs!

EDIT: Largo would be welcome..we need something to tie the belayer to.
John M

climber
Dec 2, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
t's really special to be able to offer a unique experience to non-climbers. We have had so many people climb the wall....people who would otherwise have never tried any climbing at all. Pretty cool

Makes me smile Dean. I'm happy for you.

Can you see the lake from your house? Is next up a zip line down to the lake? :-)
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Dec 2, 2012 - 02:36pm PT


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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Dec 2, 2012 - 02:38pm PT
gettin sum mileage outta that one hehehe! Knowing its meant with LOVE!;-)
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2012 - 02:48pm PT
John M, you can see our pond...does that count?

:)
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2012 - 07:28pm PT
Team Knucklehead pulled down today!

The Chief Knucklehead gettin' after the arete...

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My own self....flailing.....

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bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Dec 2, 2012 - 07:44pm PT
I envy you, Dean....you, my friend, are living the life!

Radz!!!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2012 - 07:53pm PT
Thanks Bluey...I'm a lucky guy....craggin' in a rain storm!

:)
micronut

Trad climber
Dec 2, 2012 - 08:06pm PT
The word "cool" has been used 51 times in 81 posts.

I agree. Supercool.

You need to hang a leaky Slurpee machine at the top and loosen some holds for alpine climbers to simulate wintry conditions and choss. Great family fun man, way to dream it up and commit to getting it done.
J Wells

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Dec 2, 2012 - 10:44pm PT
Very nice.
Thanks for sharing.
What kind of textured paint is that? Looks good.
Double D

climber
Dec 2, 2012 - 11:40pm PT
saweeet!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 3, 2012 - 09:50am PT
J Wells, the paint I used was a Rust-O-leum product...their American Accents line that is simply called..."Stone".

They make 3 different shades, and I combined two....one that looks very much like Sierra granite, and the other similar to JTree quartz monzonite.

There is actually enough texture there that if the wall were a slab, you could friction on it.

And of course, being a spray, it was very easy to apply.
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Dec 3, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
Nice Cragman! I'm sure others have pointed out the obvious next step....Looks like you've got the perfect wall link up over the sheet rock to the ready to bolt ceiling! Roof angle looks perfect. Just start lagging.....
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Dec 3, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
Hmm looks like to get on route you have to either exit the chimney, or traverse across the thank god ledge. Probably could just recarpet the room with about 12 inch thick pads.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2012 - 07:24am PT
wstmrnclmr, my wife was supportive of the wall, but bolting holds on the ceiling....not so much. It would be awesome though...that ceiling is at 52 degrees.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 2, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
Sweet wall Dean! The family that plays together stays together!
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jan 2, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Missed this thread the first time around. Really awesome idea Dean,Glad this wall has been so much fun and brought people closer together.
bjj

climber
beyond the sun
Jan 2, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
That is pretty sweet.

I wish I still had pics from the bedroom gym I built in my old house at Lake tahoe in the mid 90's. One of the upstairs bedrooms of the modified A-frame style house had huge exposed beams on every wall and the roof. No supports of any kind needed to be built. We just screwed plywood to the beams.

There was a 45 degree overhanging wall that was 8 feet wide and 15 feet long. A 10 - 15 degree overghanging low traverse wall on the other side of the room that was 15 feet wide and ranged from 8 to 12 feet high, and a section of horizontal roof 10+ feet long connecting them. I think we had upwards of 750 holds in total. I worked for an outdoor sports shop, so I was able to buy holds at wholesale / pro deal price. Several up and coming hold companies such as Groperz and Pusher would send us stuff for free just to try them out. I may possibly have exaggerated the shop's climbing department and clientele and fudged the fact that holds were destined for a home gym and not so much for the display cases in the shop...

When I got injured and "quit" climbing 10 years later, I was able to sell all the holds for pretty much what I paid for them. Can't beat that with a stick!

In the dead of tahoe winter, it was THE place to come train. Though using it was unthinkable if there was any climbable rock anywhere within a reasonable drive. Eventually though, it was just me in there training for hours on end as most of the other peeps who used to stop by preferred to go skiing, or smoke pot and watch tv all day, etc.

Must find old pictures!
em kn0t

Trad climber
isle of wyde
Feb 19, 2013 - 03:00am PT
A serendipitous visit to Cragman's climbing wall this morning...met the sparkling Marina and lovely Leah in person, loved "Marina's Yellow Hueco Road" and watching her climb like a pro. Hard to put into words the warmth and beauty that shines there both inside and out.

Thank you, Cragman!
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