What is a climbing wall?
Under a boulder or climbing wall is a solid surface made of wood or hard-wearing plywood panels, which is decorated with colorful treads and handles in various shapes. The goal is to simulate a steep face. It must be securely attached to a heavy-duty concrete or brick wall. The climbing walls are usually steeply vertical in the private sector with dowels on a load-bearing room wall or e.g. attached to a climbing frame. Rarely does it stand at an angle in the room and is screwed to the wood of a play tower or loft bed provided for this purpose.
Climbing walls serve to strengthen the condition, self-confidence and coordination of the users. Climbing walls can potentially be used by children and adults alike. The majority of climbing walls for private use are aimed at children. In contrast, climbing ropes, climbing nets or climbing frames are known from playgrounds.
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What does a climbing wall cost??
The prices for climbing walls can vary widely. From the point of view of handicapped fathers, the cheapest option is to only buy the climbing stones and to build a climbing wall yourself at home. But that doesn’t necessarily have to save money. For safety reasons, it is advisable to invest in a finished product. The cheapest ready-made climbing walls for indoor or outdoor use are narrow and short. They cost from 100 euros and have only a few stepping stones. If you take into account the customer reviews – for example at Amazon – you will quickly find out that it is wiser to invest money in quality.
Good products state in detail what material the climbing wall is made of and what load capacity a single wooden panel has. However, the space on offer often dictates which climbing wall to purchase. In large children’s rooms or hobby cellars with a free wall, instead of a higher climbing wall, a wide boulder wall made up of several panels could be installed. You also have to ask who should use the climbing wall. Depending on the size, an outdoor climbing wall with 40 handles can cost up to 500 euros. If the bouldering wall is twice as wide, 1,000 euros may be charged. It is only cheaper if you can mount the climbing stones directly on a concrete wall.
When buying, you should also pay attention to whether only children or adults want to use the climbing wall. Various follow-up costs can be added to the cost of the finished climbing wall. For example, a seat belt system and a thick mat can be purchased as fall protection. Alternatively, a large hollow with sand or peat garbage could be excavated under a smaller outdoor climbing wall. In this case, a stone border should be avoided.
When can children use climbing walls??
With most of the prefabricated climbing walls that can be bought for outdoor or indoor use in private rooms, the manufacturers say from what age they can be used. As a rule, the children should be at least 36 months old. However, you should only be able to use the climbing wall in older age under the supervision of your parents or another adult supervisor. Young children are not yet able to assess the potential dangers of a climbing wall. The sooner you bring them to the climbing wall – even if it’s just for fun – the sooner they want to imitate the older children.
What components should a climbing wall have??
As a minimum, a climbing wall consists of climbing stones that are attached directly to a concrete wall. This is also the case in the private sector. A purchased climbing wall for indoor or outdoor use ideally consists of a smooth wooden wall, which is composed of individual hardwood panels or boards. Holes for the climbing stones have already been drilled into the ready-to-buy panels. This could change the climbing stones as often as required.
All dowels, screws, drive-in nuts, protective caps as well as differently shaped and colored climbing stones are supplied with a complete climbing wall from specialist retailers. Some climbing walls also have a pull-up bar at the top. Others offer a climbing rope that could be used to lower a child in an emergency. Alternatively, you can knot a few knots in the rope and use them to climb up. The climbing stones can also be bought separately. Their different colors mark different opportunities for advancement.
You can build a climbing wall yourself ?
Climbing walls can be set up yourself without any problems. For finished products, the manufacturer provides assembly instructions, all accessories and the necessary assembly aids. This ensures that the wall anchors are not too short. The climbing stones are fastened using impact nuts. It should be noted that some manufacturers do not supply the fastening material for the wall. The argument for this is that the fastening material for a climbing wall is different after this Material to which it is attached. There is a risk here that the wall anchors will not be properly executed – for example with screws and dowels that are too short. Precise instructions should be given in the assembly instructions. In itself, the argument against the supply of fastening materials is not wrong. However, the majority of manufacturers supply everything they need to set up a climbing wall.
Where should climbing walls be best??
It is important that the climbing wall is mounted on a load-bearing concrete wall indoors and outdoors. A wardrobe is generally not recommended as a mounting surface for climbing walls, as this could tip over under load. Alternatively, a side wall could come loose under load. Inclined climbing walls that protrude into the room can, if necessary, be mounted on a matching loft bed or a play tower from the same manufacturer. For most climbing walls, wall mounting is standard. It is important that it is a resilient wall made of concrete or bricks. The load-bearing capacity of the subsurface must be guaranteed. Old walls where the plaster is already crumbling and where the joints are no longer reliably sealed are not suitable.
How to attach a climbing wall?
The screen printing or wooden panels for the climbing wall must be anchored in the wall with sufficiently long screws and dowels. At least four anchor bolts of sufficient length should have been supplied with each plate. Screws that are too short and dowels that do not fit correctly pose the risk that the anchoring could come loose from the wall under load. Screws and drive-in nuts for the climbing stones must be of high quality. They must not break under stress.
With the cheap climbing stones there are often strong chemical vapors to complain about. In addition, over-tightening the drive screws can break bad qualities. This often happens with guide sleeves cast at an angle. It is worth exchanging the inferior climbing stones for better quality if necessary. Products “Made in China” should be avoided.
Which wood or material is used for a climbing wall?
All warp-resistant, well-seasoned types of wood are suitable for building a climbing wall. Hardwoods such as spruce, beech or birch are best suited. Untreated wooden boards or solidly glued plywood as a square panel should be attached to the wall on two or more solid wood supports. The wood of the climbing wall should be sanded smooth so that the children climbing on it cannot injure themselves. Some owners coat the climbing wall with sand. However, this could lead to abrasion in careless children. Treatment with wood preservatives should be avoided due to the risk of toxic fumes. Painting the climbing wall makes sense for hygienic reasons. Children’s hands leave sweat and fat on the climbing wall. Therefore, you should periodically clean and disinfect them with a damp cloth.
Which plates are used for a climbing wall?
The alternative to raw wood are multilayered screen printing plates made of birch. They should be at least 18-20 mm thick and have more than 10 layers. Simple chipboard is also not suitable for thicker walls. There is a risk here that the impact sleeves for the climbing stones will come loose after repeated loads. The maximum load per plate should be when using Children and Adults are 150 kilograms. Outdoor or indoor bouldering walls do not necessarily need such panels. You can also attach the climbing stones directly to a concrete surface outside.
How high can a climbing wall be??
There are no limits in terms of height. Climbing professionals climb high walls with built-in slopes, as documented, for example, by a photo in Wikipedia. In the school area there are occasionally climbing walls with a higher level of difficulty on the facades. If you use the climbing wall in the living area, it should end one meter below the ceiling height. This criterion does not apply to external walls. The climbing wall ends here at a maximum height of 2 meters. It is also important for the height of a climbing wall who wants to try it out on the climbing wall. If it is only to be used for small children, the height should be set differently than if adults also want to use it.
What fall protection do you need for a climbing wall??
As a minimum, a soft mat of sufficient thickness and size must lie below a climbing wall. It must be at least as wide as the climbing wall. It would be better if it were 20 centimeters wider than this. If you fall without a safety belt, you could otherwise end up on the outside edge of the mat so unfortunate that you sustain serious injuries in the head or spine area. Bouldering is called climbing at a lower altitude. Here you only climb so high that you can jump off at any time – and the climbing stones tend to move in width.
For higher climbing walls, a safety belt with a leading rope (a so-called top rope) is recommended for children. This softens the fall when slipping off the climbing stones. Alternatively, you can climb in the “lead”. In this case, the safety line is attached to intermediate safety hooks after each step. This principle is not recommended for small children. For short climbing walls between 1.50 and 2 meters, you only need a thick soft mat or another soft underlay – for example a 30 cm deep pit with sand or bark mulch. With boulder walls you can do without fall protection.
Which climbing wall is the best?
The best climbing wall is the one that puts safety at the forefront of all endeavors. The presence of quality seals, exact measurement data and safety information on the part of the manufacturer, positive customer reviews and test results assure the buyer of high quality. As a precaution, boulder and climbing walls in the private area should not be able to be climbed over.
What safety regulations are there for a climbing wall??
For adults, a climbing wall should have a load capacity of up to 150 kilograms. It must never be attached to plasterboard, thin pressed wood panels or masonry made of hollow Ytong stones. Even so long dowels and screws do not offer enough hold here. Basically, a climbing wall should meet the DIN EN 12572 standard. This means that it was subjected to a load test at all load points using tensile force measuring devices. Static checks are equally important. The manufacturer must indicate the maximum weight for which the climbing grips and climbing wall panels are designed. The owner of a climbing wall assumes liability according to § 823 BGB. He should therefore be well insured accordingly. He must ensure that children of his own or other children do not have unattended access to the climbing wall. A sign saying “Use at your own risk” cannot protect owners from punishment if they were negligent.
How to minimize the risk of accidents with a climbing wall?
It makes sense to regularly check all screws, climbing holds and the anchoring of the climbing wall. The climbing wall should only be used under supervision and should only be climbed with a safety rope and harness at the appropriate height. The position of the soft mat must be corrected regularly. In principle, a brochure from the umbrella organization of statutory accident insurance, which is intended for climbing walls in kindergartens, also applies to the private sector. Liability and accident insurance cover the event that an accident has occurred despite all safety precautions. Accident avoidance is the better way for both sides.
How often should you maintain / check a climbing wall?
It is best to check all climbing stones, the anchorages and the wall to which the climbing wall was attached before each use. A basic check should be carried out at least once a week. The more often the private climbing or bouldering wall is used by different people, the more thorough the security check should be. This makes sense for insurance reasons alone. You shouldn’t have to reproach yourself if an accident occurs due to material fatigue, carelessness or other causes.
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