So it came to depart my adopted home of four years, Portsmouth, for the last time and move back to the droll seaside retirement town of Worthing, on the Sussex coast. Unfortunately for me this meant moving back in with the parents; although I’m working back at Peglers – nearly all of my foreseeable paycheques will be going towards my BASI Ski Instructor Course in Val d’Isere next January.
To keep myself from going crazy from the sheer boredom of living here, from day one of moving back I devised a project to build my own little bouldering wall in order to keep a high level of fitness and improve my climbing strength. The plan called for a wall 6ft wide by 8ft tall and overhanging by 20 degrees. The beams which the frame would be built upon would be bolted solely to the one wall, as opposed to the ceiling and floor attachments similar to designs by Metolius and others.
Since starting in my spare time 2 weeks ago the frame is now complete, rigid and reinforced. I am just waiting to get a batch of nuts and bolts so that the wall panels can be prepared and then attached to the frame. From then it’ll just be a case of setting routes!
Come next weekend I’ll have a personal bouldering wall which will be invaluable in raising the standard of my climbing abilities. The value of the wall is emphasised by the lack of climbing facilities within easy reach of Worthing – the closest centres are the Adur Centre (routes reset once a year) and K2 in Crawley (overpriced and inconsistent setting), the premier southern centres of Craggy Island, Calshot and the Castle are just too far away for a casual, regular training session and so the need for a personal wall is obvious.
In financial terms the wall will have cost me approximately £300. This includes materials and climbing holds. I was fortunate enough to hear that the climbing centre at Surrey Sports Park were selling off a large number of holds for between 30-80p a piece, these included everything from tiny crimps to large jugs. I snapped up 30 holds for a mere £15 – A rare opportunity that absolutely had to be seized upon! In contrast, the Metolius 50-piece mega pack I’ve ordered through work will be costing me £81 (Trade+VAT), which equates to £1.62/hold.
The wall is now completed! It took over 400 screws, 11 masonry bolts, and more wood than I care to think about, but it’s a complete masterpiece in my eyes. It has 96 hold locations in a rough 20x20cm interval square grid including 4 extra locations on the edges of the upper panel. This offers a great variety of route options in both problem and circular style to ensure I get as good a training regimen as possible.