Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Indoor Gyms: Building a Bouldering Room: Edit Log


Jun 12, 2011, 10:33 AM

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Registered: May 2, 2011
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Building a Bouldering Room
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Hi, short time lurker, first time poster here. (TLDR version at the bottom)

Some background on myself (which will be relevant to the questions at the end)

I am a 30 year old overweight programmer who up until about 3 months ago lived a happy sedentary lifestyle pretty much in front of a computer screen for 10-12 hours a day (either working or playing). A visit to the doctor 3 months ago forced me to change my lifestyle completely or risk some serious issues. I've dropped over 40lbs in the last 3 months and have been enjoying hiking and trail running as my primary means of exercise. My goal has been to get into climbing because quite frankly no other organized sport appealed to me and I love the outdoors in general. I live a little less than an hour from the Gunks so the plan is to get out there by september or so. A friend and I (future climbing partner) have started some indoor gym sessions and have been loving it (We can both do 5.4/5.5 right now (indoors)). However an almost hour drive to the gym and busy weeks leaves us really 1 day to go/week and I'm looking to get something going on a more frequent basis which led me to the plan of building a decent sized room to "play" in.

Some background on my project:

So I am looking to build a room for bouldering / traversing to hone my technique etc. This will be an external structure close in size to a large shed. Unfortunately my house has rather low ceilings and a wife who doesn't like the idea of me taking over a room so building one indoors is that's not really an option.

So what I am looking to build will be an X' by Y' by 15-22' tall (OLD: 12' x 12' room with a 10'ceiling ) that will be dedicated to only bouldering, no other storage or aesthetic concerns (inside). (DEPRECATED: 147 sq feet / 10' height are the maximum size allowed without getting into zoning board stuff with the town) Based on what I have seen people build at home this seems like plenty of space.

The walls will be insulated and the room will have a small A/C unit (capable of heating as well) for all season use.

The floor will most likely be a large non-portable crash pad/gymnastics mat or a few mattress' depending on what I can reasonably obtain.

Other than the door and square for the A/C unit all other wall space / ceiling space can be used / shaped as desired.


Basically I am not sure of what "features" to have (given both my skill level (low) and future needs). My thought based on reading anything I can get my hands on and watching videos/pictures of peoples home setups is to some subset of the following:

1 wall vertical for the entire width
1 wall divided into 6' widths with 1 at X(5?) degrees and the other at Y(10?) degrees
1 wall with a 4' section in the middle with an X(20?) degree overhang
1 gradually arcing (4' width) section up to the ceiling
1 small overhang off the top of the door frame for a hangboard

What I'm not sure is are my angles way off, too shallow, too steep again for a beginner with some progression options available? Ideally I want to be able to traverse the entire room with increased difficulty the further along you go and maybe some sort of obstacle in the middle (4' section with steep incline). Keep in mind I have very little experience now but plan on doing this for some time.

I accept the fact that what I build to train on now may not be as useful down the road and some rebuilding may be necessary later.

I am also not looking to get into handhold discussion yet though I fully realize how much of an impact that will have on difficulty, right now I am looking to mainly get the framework down.

TLDR Version:

If you had a X' x Y' x 15-22' (tall) (OLD: 12'x12'x10') room to build out however you wanted for bouldering that was accessible to a beginner and designed with some growth in mind (progressive difficulty options) what would you do?

Thanks in advance for any ideas/thoughts and apologies if this is in the wrong place.

(This post was edited by Idako on Jun 15, 2011, 9:53 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Idako () on Jun 15, 2011, 9:53 AM

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