Friday, November 11, 2011

Finally Got a Woody! Sorta.

For the last 5 weeks, I have been helping my friend and business partner, Chris Latham, build a wooden indoor bouldering wall in his garage, more commonly referred to as a "woody."  (This simply confirms climbers' love for innuendo.  Seriously, we talk about how big our racks are and jamming our greasy tips into cracks.)  At times progress has been quick, but generally, things have been painfully slow.  This is probably because it's significantly easier to work on a project when you do it in increments larger than 2 hours.

The woody is planned in four sections:  1) a small vertical wall, 2) a 45 degree overhang, 3) a 20 degree overhang, and 4) a roof section.  While we haven't actually finished sections 3 or 4, we do finally have climbable surface area!  Now we just need to stay undistracted by our new found toy long enough to finish the rest of the project...

The first thing we needed to do was clean out the garage.  This is the garage after it had been cleaned out.  (Note also that the majority of the things still in the garage are actually where the wall is now located.)

Next, we built framing for the kick boards, the small sections at the base of the wall used for footholds.  We also added sleepers for the vertical wall.  (Somehow there is still a large chair right where the wall is supposed to go.)

After that, we needed to recruit some help to put up the angled framing members.  Our friend Gary assisted with the measuring and cutting, and Sam Latone helped with the assembly.  Victory beers seemed appropriate at this point.  (Hey, the chair is gone!)


 Yesterday, Chris and I worked in earnest to try to get the panels up on the wall since we have already missed our self-imposed November 1 deadline by a week.  This is as far as we got.  (The chair magically reappeared, seen on the right side of the photo.)

Last night, Chris called me, determined to get at least one usable section completed.  After a couple hours of work, it was time for a quick session with his kids.  I'm pictured testing and setting a new problem with Chris' son.  I've finally accepted the chair as a permanent fixture.  I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a problem on the wall.


  1. What an awesome project! That looks well-built and solid! Ya'll will have a blast on that baby.

  2. I'm really psyched on it, to be sure. We didn't have any problems with plywood flex, a common issue on many walls, so I think we're good to go. It didn't hurt that my friend Chris is an engineer.