Brian T // South Beloit, IL
When did you build your wall?
It’s been evolving since 2003.
How long did it take you to build?
It will always be a work in progress. Constantly growing and taking over my house.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build?
I don’t even want to think about that. All the custom insets alone is a small fortune.
Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
My wall in my foyer was inspired by red river gorge. 17ft tall @ 15°. It’s a mirrored system wall with the center insets shaped to be a 3pad flat ledge. It really replicates the pumpy RRG climbing. All the insets were inspired by a 4 month climbing trip around Europe in 1999. I wanted to replicate all that European pocketed limestone.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
The foyer wall was done in secret from my wife over the course of a year. When I had all the parts ready to go I waited for a day my wife had to work and I had the day off. I put it up in 12 hours. Sent my wife flowers at work, which I’ve never done before or after. She was not very enthusiastic about a climbing wall inside our house and didn’t talk to me for two weeks. She’s since gotten over it and is the first thing she shows people when they come over to visit. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. The Tensionboard in my garage was also difficult. I had to raise/alter the ceiling by 4ft. That involved reengineering three roof trusses. After several years the roof hasn’t collapsed so that’s a relief. The Tensionboard is also adjustable so that was a little challenging to build. I used an electric cable hoist and it works great.
What would you do differently?
I just wish for more space so I can keep expanding.
What is your favorite aspect?
The Tensionboard is a game changer. The ability to have routesetters from all over the world right in your garage is amazing.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Dream big. Find a place where you can make several upward movements. It better mimics outside climbing. And just invest in a Tensionboard. It is the most versatile climbing apparatus. It’s worth every penny.
Do you have any connection to climbing brands or gyms?
No connections. I live almost 2 hrs from the nearest gym. I make my own wood and polyurethane holds.