Category Archives: Bouldering

Bouldering Wall Part 3 – Basics of building your own wall

So in previous blog posts on the office bouldering wall I talked about some of the company values we at The Mountain People hold dear (see Bouldering Wall Part 1 & Bouldering Wall Part 2). I now want to give you some pointers for building your own home training wall.

 

Most of the practical things like design, construction etc. are very well covered in the free Metolius download available here! Using the pdf as your main guide, I want to add a few things for building an adjustable wall like the one we have in the office. There are some very obvious advantages to an adjustable wall, for example, being able to increase and decrease the angle of the wall to accommodate the full spectrum of angles/styles of climbing from overhanging roofs to slab.

 

Below are photos of the needed elements for making a fully adjustable climbing wall that are not covered in the pdf:

 

Element #1 Solid Anchor: You need a solid anchor high up near the ceiling that a rope can slide over with ease. This anchor needs to be bombproof… we used a wooden beam, cut two big holes in the wall, slotted the beam in the holes and filled in around the beam with concrete and filler (rocks). This works well when you have cinder block walls, as we do here in Morocco.  It is advisable to consult a builder to get the anchor in place and get advice on building regulations. Remember the anchor needs to be able to hold both the wall and a climber!

 

Bouldering wall anchor beam

 

 

Element #2 Strong Base: You need a strong base to hold the wall in place. As you can see in the photo below the wall is sitting on a big square beam with two raised ends to hold it in place.

 

Bouldering wall base

 

 

Element #3 Rope Attachment Points to Wall: You will need to attach a rope on both sides near the top corners. We did this by drilling a hole in each top corner of the bouldering wall and inserting the rope through the hole and round the outside frame of the wall using a re-threaded figure of 8. The rope used was a retired 10.5mm dynamic rope.

 

Bouldering wall attachment of rope

 

 

Element # 4 Attachment Points to keep the wall in place: These points are essential for keeping the bottom of the wall down and on the ground. As you can see from the photo the points are about 1/3 of the height of the wall off the ground. If you don’t put these in place the wall can lift off the ground when a climber is on it.

 

Bouldering wall attachment points

 

 

Element #5 Tie-off Points for the Wall: Another thing to figure out is some sort of tie-off point for the end of the rope. We used similar bolts to the above “attachment points” and fixed them into the walls as shown below. These should be a little way back from the bottom of the wall so that, when using the wall with a steep angle, tie-off points are still easily accessible and haven’t disappeared behind the wall due to it coming forward.

 

Bouldering wall tie off points

 

 

Element #6 Safety Line: This is a rope that is tied off with slack so that you can still lower the wall to the angles you want. If the two side ropes that are tied off fail, the wall will not fall beyond the slack in the safety line. It is placed in the middle of the wall drilled around the center stud on the frame of the wall.

 

Bouldering wall safety line

 

Bouldering wall safety line

 

I hope the above is helpful for those wanting a fully adjustable training wall. If you are coming through Imlil for an adventure in the Toubkal region of the High Atlas and want to come by for a bouldering session drop us an email at: morocco@the-mountain-people.com!

 

Peace

Categories: Blog, Bouldering, James, Morocco, Training
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Bouldering Wall Part 2 – “Life-long learning” – another company value

Bouldering Wall - Imlil, High Atlas

Bouldering Wall – Imlil, High Atlas

 

As mentioned in the first post (Bouldering Wall Part 1), building community is a company value for The Mountain People and I wanted to expand on and share another value we hold as a company and community. We are committed to being “life-long learners” at TMP, and are always looking to grow our skills, better ourselves as climbers and people and a bouldering wall is a good example of a practical expression of such a value.

 

I personally love all disciplines of climbing from Scottish mixed and ice epics to bouldering to sport climbing to hard trad and if you stop and think, these disciplines all feed off each other.  They are all interconnected and the lessons you learn from one help you to reach more of your potential in another. For myself, bouldering has been one of the areas that I have neglected over the years and I am now on a quest to learn, develop, enjoy and grow in the discipline.   It has been noted by some of the top climbers in the world that bouldering is a key component to unlocking your full potential in other climbing disciplines. It provides one of the keys for the crux of a route – when you are at your limit and need every ounce of power you can summon. If you had a look into most of the homes of serious climbers such as Dave Macleod or Tommy Caldwell, you would find a training wall of some sort.

 

Again it may seem a bit odd to be talking about company values, climbing disciplines, and a bouldering walls all in the same post, but our actions flow from our values: those things we hold dear and sow our time and energy into.  For us it is important and a key value to keep growing and developing, and so we see a modest training wall in our compact office in a mountain village in Africa as small expression of two of our core values: community and a commitment to being life-long learners.   In my last post I will give the basics of building a wall and point you in the direction of some good free online resources!

Categories: Blog, Bouldering, Business, Community, Company Values, James, Morocco, Training
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Bouldering Wall Part 1 – “Community” – a company value

TRAINING!

training

Well… at the end of December I had some help finishing off the office bouldering wall from the Climb Morocco guys.  A bouldering wall might seem like a funny thing to have as a priority for an office space, but think with me for a minute… don’t a lot of us like to make the space we spend a lot of time in a bit more comfortable? A space that reflects a bit of our personality? You know what I’m talking about! It may be something very simple like a picture of our family, a calendar that you took great time over choosing… and the list goes on.  For me, it’s a bouldering wall.

 

There is, of course, another obvious reason for the wall… TRAINING! A bouldering wall provides so much in the way of power, endurance, technique and strength training.

 

And lastly, the other main aim of the wall is to create a bit of a hub for climbers, mountaineers, and boulderers alike. We at The Mountain People Morocco are hoping in the long run to have an office space that draws in both curious locals and visiting climbers – a space for community and connecting for people who, like us, love mountains and the adventures we have in them. We want to create a place where climbers can feel free to drop in for a cup of tea or coffee and a quick bouldering session, and get some local beta on routes, conditions, etc.  Please, if you are in the Imlil (the striking point for Toubkal), feel free to contact us! Send us an email if you want to come by, just to be sure we’re around.

 

And, if like us you value community, adventure and learning new skills, or if you have been on a trip or course with us and are looking to reconnect, then check out the upcoming Scotland Winter Trip at www.the-mountain-people.com/community/

 

To come…

 

Bouldering Wall Part 2 – “Life-long learning” – another company Value

 

Bouldering Wall Part 3 – “Basics of building your own wall”

 

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Come and join us!

Categories: Blog, Bouldering, Business, Community, Company Values, James, Morocco, Training
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Potential Bouldering – Imlil

IMG_4663I was out yesterday afternoon working the traverse problem I mentioned in the last post and took some photos to give and an idea of the potential bouldering in the Imlil area.

 

Check them out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bouldering – Imlil

 

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Check out this bad boy!

As a family we generally like to take a rest day once a week (turn off computers and let go of work/admin and spend some quality time together)… My wife and I  look to get out in the beautiful area of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains where we live. We feel quite privileged and thankful not to have to drive or travel a significant distance to get to a beautiful spot. We often go for walks… and this time I wanted to show Miriam an area I discovered a week ago. I had other motives too (that I was upfront about!) – to explore a boulder that looked to have some potential.

 

So, Sunday afternoon we headed out and about 30 minutes later I was cleaning holds, getting rid of bad rock and trying to link a couple of sections together to get a decent traverse problem for training… still a way to go to crack this one though! We enjoyed the afternoon out despite it being on the cold side… it is now properly winter here :-). There was a small dusting of snow on the higher mountains and hopefully we will get some more soon!

 

I can’t wait to get my bouldering pad out from the UK. I will be back there soon for a long weekend to finish off bringing out more equipment and I have booked an extra bag for the pad :-). Be on the look out for further bouldering developments in Imlil area!

 

 

View is from the South... you can see the start of the track (path in the river bed) to the Toubkal refuge.

Potential bouldering above the village of Aremd! View is from the South… you can see the start of the track (path in the river bed) to the Toubkal refuge.

Having a go at linking the potential traverse problem!

Having a go at linking the potential traverse problem!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Blog, Bouldering, High Atlas, James, Morocco
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