Joe M’s Homewall in Neenah, WI

    With holds for practically every t-nut and a MoonBoard thrown in the mix, Joe M.’s home-gym hosts an endless amount of boulder problems.

    CBJ Homewall of the Week

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

    2017. We built the wall before COVID. We did have to cut back on the access to the wall and we require anyone climbing to wear a mask currently.

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

    On and off for 6 months. We framed 3/4 of the wall in a day with the help of a builder. The last 1/4 and sheeting of the wall was completed in bits and pieces over the next 2 months after that.

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

    I’d venture a guess of ~$2500 for materials (excluding holds). There have been roughly 25 sheets of 3/4” plywood, ~35-40 2×6 or 2×8 at 14’ or 16’, and 1600 t nuts. Holds are by far the largest cost for this wall. We’ve been thrifty by going second hand and foraging the online forums for holds. The goal is to create an epic spray wall in conjunction with a Moonboard.

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

    Consideration from friends. We knew we wanted a training space – not a rec wall. We knew there would be time to fill in the gaps and continue to add holds as funds and opportunity arose. We also wanted to maximize the 9.5ft of vertical.

    CBJ Homewall of the Week

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

    Working around piping on the ceiling while maximizing wall space.

    What would you do differently?

    I love board climbing but we started the wall before the boom. The Moonboard is a fixture – but the tension and kilter boards look awesome…maybe someday.=

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

    The slab and 10-degree section are the weak link of the wall. We will eventually redo that area to create space for the Moonboard moves on the right side.

    What is your favorite aspect?

    The community we have developed and the gains we can track. Using the spray wall and the Moonboard to see progress is gratifying and infuriating.

    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?

    The wall gets climbed on 3-4 times a week. I use it as much or more than I expected. I have 2 little kids and no gyms within 1.5hrs – I created my own gym to get by.

    CBJ Homewall of the Week

    Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?

    Go for it. If you are on the fence – focus on what you want to use it for and develop a plan to have the wall help you achieve your goals. Also, varying angles and features make a huge difference. Building volumes isn’t hard and adds tons of variety to a wall.

    Do you have any particular climbing goals that your gym will help you with?

    When we built the wall, I’d been in a 3-4 year hiatus from climbing. When built, I was unable to climb any Moonboard problems for about 3 months. Now that I’ve been Climbing regularly for a few years, I’d love to tick a double-digit boulder outside – still a long way to go but it’s possible.