the whole point of this blog is to help others with all the questions they have about setting up a similar home climbing gym, and ramble about a variety of climbing related subjects.
There is a variety of subjects... most involving rock climbing, written about on this blog. MAKING VOLUMES OR CLIMBING HOLDS, is probably one of the more popular subjects. just check the labels links or search bar to find your fancy.
of course if you want to go back and start from the beggining, please do! to that end, if there are any question let me know ... i encourage you to add comments for others to read or if you want to get me directly you can email me at treadwallproject@hotmail.com
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME, READ THE MUST READ LIST.... oh!, ...and you have to fight!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


so, Ive decided to take at a stab at the "frequently asked questions" posted on the Brewer's Ledge website. In general I agree with all of their answers and found them to be both accurate and fair. In that same breath I also believe their answer to be generic. Mine on the other hand are more for the private purchaser and have the benefit of not being official and thereby more "colorful". again these are my opinions and only mine.

The obvious answer is your path is as hard as the one you choose. Need it easier or harder, then set the route differently. It should be noted that should you choose the Treadwall KORE model then at least the wall is never easy. I have heard plenty of chatting about how easy the wall is. Not so when you can never put it to a slab setting! At the same time I have set 5.8/5.9 warm up routes with jugs which are considerably harder when placed to 35 degrees overhanging.

This is well answered by Brewer’s ledge, but I will add my opinion. You can climb as fast as you want, but changing your tempo is hard mid workout. Sometimes, when you are climbing harder routes you wish you could dead point longer moves. Unfortunately the set rate of the wall forces you at times to do a lock-off until the wall rotates and reveals the next hold. Arguably this could be considered a good thing as it forces you to train lock-offs…albeit unintentionally. You can avoid this issue through route setting. But generally the walls tempo/speed, is set to you and the function of the auto-stop makes the wall better than powered models which would spit you off just as a traditional treadmill. The adjustment of the speed is in a fine range, you will kinda tweak it in at the beginning of each work out. But I tend to make minor adjustments depending on the climb I’m working at that moment….moving on.

As Brewer’s ledge mentions the auto-stop is great. It is helpful to take a couple seconds to shake out and chalk up. If you are climbing at a faster rate (i.e. speed climbing) the auto-stop can be kinda jerky especially is you don’t keep a good pace in the middle of the climbing height. You may consider turn off the auto-stop in these circumstances. But at a more reasonable pace it’s neither jerky nor distracting. It does take a little getting used to though; if you shift your weight off the stop trigger (the last panel) you can get a surprise exit from the wall. It took my about a week to build a habit that avoids this. Another funny surprise I found to be when falling and jumping off. I generally have an unconscious sense of how high I am by how far I’ve climbed. Makes sense right? But when you blow a move or find your endurance lacking the ground is surprisingly close. The first time I hit the ground much sooner than I expected it I laugh loudly for my instinct had made me believe I had been far further from the pads.

Sooo…gravity! I don’t think I can add much to the Brewer’s ledge answer. To go beyond would just be helping the Chinese to set-up a factory and put our boys out of business.

I agree with the Brewer’s ledge answer… but, not really. I think this “question” is only here for the fitness gyms. I doubt the average private purchase climber would ever try to have two climbers use the wall at once. It would be a crowding issue. It would make it harder to actually train. But I have trained with a partner in a session. Taking turns as you might in a gym and this works well.

This is as they have said all dependent upon your training goals. I am still in the process of developing my own. I hope in the future to publish what has worked for me…stay tuned? I guess…

Again I agree with the published answer. I wish, in addition, to address a similar issue. I have found that one of the few true difficulties of using the treadwall is sequencing and onsighting. This is because unlike with conventional climbing you can look up at the sequence and plan accordingly. Therefore a more technical sequence is easy to blow. Keep in mind you’re the one setting the route so… how much can you really complain? In this vein the repetition of doing the route will help you to focus more on what I call programming a difficult sequence. See, in red pointing a route at your peak level what often makes the difference in failure or sending is truly knowing the route. The treadwall will unintentionally force you to develop this skill. Bear in mind all training programs are inherent with pros and cons!

Yes! If youre gonna train, then train by recreating the conditions as close to normal as possible. At the same time, the treadwall itself does not care which type of shoes, if even at all, you choose to wear.

Nope… there are many who cannot or might find it very difficult to use the treadwall include; individuals with IQ less than 35, Quadriplegics, multiple amputees, and the poor. I know, “the poor?” you ask. Lets be honest kids it aint cheap and there are very few gyms with a treadwall which have a membership program for those of lower socio-economic status. Apply that to the Olympics, are we really seeing the best in every sport, or just the best of the ones who are rich enough to train all their lives and compete. (soap box alert!)

Yes! Dumb question… obvious answer…

NO! again… dumb question … with an obvious answer. But I have to point out that most of the people I have run into who nay say the treadwall fall into one of three categories: 1) not a serious climber/has no training regime. 2) never actually been in the same room with the treadwall. 3) serious climber & used treadwall.. but their use is limited to the M6 fitness gym model with routes either set by an amateur or no actual routes at all. Given this their opinion has little weight in my book!

Really?... my initial response is… boo hoo, if youre asking if climbing is too much for you to learn, then; YES! It is too hard for you, go play Badminton little Maid Marian. …I guess this could be a legitimate question. No its pretty user friendly and intuitive. The boys did a good job designing and refining the treadwall over the years.

I think this too is a fitness gym question. The archetypal climber physique is the V-shape torso with thin legs. That said who hasn’t seen climbers come in all shapes and sizes?

Um.. I do

Umm…. I do. Oh, im not good enough for you?! Well my main climbing partner is sponsored and on the US climbing team (she gets embarrassed when I point that out…its funny). But, she uses the treadwall with me and likes it… also, there is a whole group of climber in the Red River Gorge area who swear by it... Crediting the treadwall with giving them the endurance and strength to do their harder tics.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

pro·pri·e·tar·y ed·u·ca·tion

so i have gotten several request for information about the treadwalls.... thats awesome, its what the blog is all about. but some come in asking not for information to help them make a purchasing decision but to help them build their own. hence....

pro·pri·e·tar·y ed·u·ca·tion ...sorry guys, i wont be supplying anyone for any reason with schematics, blue prints, diagrams, drafts, jpegs, mpeg, bitmaps, or photos for the purpose of building a treadwall. all that belongs to Brewers Ledge and frankly im just not into the pirate business. in general i wag my finger at all of you if your looking to start your own little climbing wall business. if its for your own private use...well i appluad you, i really do (im a do it yourself kinda guy as well), but... keep reading!

i hear your sob story... i know the treadwall is expensive. i know it costs a lot to ship it. i know the world economy in general is in the toilet. i also had similar ambitions before i started to really research this fine machine. i would like to point out that there are very few home built rotary climbing machine in existence (in my search i have found two...how many do you really think im missing). thats because they are almost as expensive to build yourself as it is to get from the company. you see odds are you dont have access to the tools to build such a complex machine.... you dont have the mind to design it (or you wouldnt be sniffing at my door) ...and you dont have the initiative that you think you do.

first initiative, if you had it... you wouldnt be contacting me or youll blow me off right now and go make it happen...but im betting you keep reading (im going for the rule here not the exception). plus let me point out i have plenty of initiative. i fabricate things all the time, but after very little research on my part, i realized how silly and cost prohibitive it would be to reinvent this wheel. in my opinion brewers ledge has boiled this machine down to the simpleist design with best level of function. there's a japanese rip-off model that is essentially a copywright infringment but i dont think they care. ...sorry tangent,

next issue... i have access to tools, a machinist, welding equipment, and the funds to fill in the blanks. given that i could make or have made all the parts.... but because in the end there is no way im gonna make a one off part perfect, im bound to have plenty of mistakes because i/you never built a treadwall before...all those little errors and experiences in the learning curve translate into worthless expense and waste. also tools are worth buying, but not if i will only use them three more times in my entire life.

last of all... im a smart guy... well im at least marginally intelligent. i have reverse engineered my way through building plenty of things for myself. im a big fan of it! but, this is a different story. your talking abouy a large machine with custom parts or something rigged that is either painstakeningly tuned or will be a clunky POS that you will hate training with. (keep in mind if its not fun you will quit using it!) i have friends with plenty of knowledge in the building a designing of things... structural engineers, industrial engineers, in the end i realize two things... i could do it with our combined efforts. but it would take far long to design it and get it right, plus.... i/you dont actually have access to all the little lessons that the brewer's ledge have accumulated while perfecting their design!

in summation, its HIGHLY UNLIKELY that in trying to do this yourself you will be successful and be happy in the long term with your finished product. but maybe not.... who am i to judge. regardless, i will not make myself judiciously actionable by providing anyone with proprietary documentation of Brewer's Ledge. i know... im a big dick!

rainbow? i will suggest that you check out Moon Boards to supplement your home gym setup! a moon board is a set up were you can get specific holds and thereby do specific training problems. eventually i hope to get a similar thing going for the treadwall.... **hint hint** Brewers Ledge if you guys want to send me the holds you sell and i will make route maps for you to provide to your customers.... no? really? its a good idea! okay.. worth a try.

anyway check out moon boards! the site has free info for building it and training!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

fully retractable

yeah i just like to have ideas...then try them out... then ramble online about them weather is all crappy. enjoy it, now that my wall is set up and i get back into rock climbing... as opposed to blogging about it, youre probably not gonna get thirty post a month. (blogging is kinda of a sad made up word that i am unfortunate to have in my vocabulary... just to be honest with myself)

getting to the point. so you all know im a fan of the adjustable leg stands for the treadwall KORE. but i found i need a little something more. the legs dont have graduation marks on them. so... what to do?... what to do?... i know... engrave it! crap i dont have an engraver, in fact i dont know how to engrave something... no experience with even watch a youtube video of engraving. but if you can ...by all means, go for it. instead you can use my sharpie method!

all you need is a sharpie, preferably one with the wide tip end and a T-square.

extend the leg to their tallest setting, then place the square as shown in the picture. from here make some marks as you see fit. i went with one inch spaces...seemed like a good idea at the time.

next take the wide tip and make a thick line using the larger jacket (dark gray) to trace your line. you can slowly drop the crank to make each lower line.

it will look something like this when your done. oh... and when you done you can also mark it with some refrence numbers. might help a bit. in the end, you are all set to advance your angle of difficulty as you get stronger, all the while being relatively certain that youve kept the wall level.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

on display

so i have mentioned that i think the distance counter is worth while to get. and i ordered one with my wall. unfortunately they guys forgot to include some of the wiring for it. see an extra power line needs to split off from the auto-stop to light the display and i thought for a while that i was missing something. but i eventually call Conant. we rapped for a bit and in the end he told me he would throw the wire in the mail. i only mention this because it illustrates these guys and how they treat their customers. several times i have gotten calls and emails just to check and make sure things were up and running as it should. they have the "small company that cares" thing working for them...

anywho... i got the wire. in plenty of time as we all know i took my time assembling the treadwall. did a little bit of testing with and electrical meter to make sure i got it right, plugged it in and the first thing i saw.... HI. ha ha haa ah ha! my treadwall just said HI! worked no sweat. and its nice cause it can also count down. so you can preset it with your target. which is a mind game but it helps motivate me that much more. picture?

almost forgot ... because its not included in the standard assembly the directions dont mention that the display bolts on with the spacer bar. this non-standard is the reason that they forgot my power wire by the way. also, wrap the wire around the spacer and i suggest taping it with route/duct tap just to keep it from getting snagged to caught in the chains. it's all kinda a no brainer but i would also hold off putting it on until after youve raised the unit. or maybe brewer's ledge has a better way? comment?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

first flight

oh here are a couple pics from my first session. im sorry theyre not very good. basically the shed is too small to get really good angles. ill see what i can do to improve that!

after that i broke out all those holds ive been making! and did something i havent done for a year!

oh and check out my newest mega pinches!

back on track.

so once i had all the frame, channels, covers and shafts on, it was time for the chains. they were officially the messiest part of the job. they come WELL greased from the factory... i suggest some rubber gloves be on hand. they go on easy and adjusting them so theyre in sink with each other is easier than i would have thought. i had a little hiccup that ill talk about in a different post, but that shouldnt be a problem with anyone else.

my panels came unfinished like i wanted... i did them up with a "royal mahogany" stain. the panels need to be pre-assembled with some additional components prior to mounting on the treadwall. then there is this whole left/right orientation thing... none of it is that big of a deal. a little time consuming, but they make it easy not to mess it up. below you see blair checking the orientation of the next panel. later i started assembling the panels in bulk. note: the white and black taps do help keep them straight.

so each panel gets two screws and two lock nuts per side... 4 per panel x 20 panels = 80 bolts. given that, i really suggest you get a drill gun and a socket wrench! otherwise your gonna be there a little while... i know because i did the first twelve with blair, each of us using a screw driver and a wrench. boy that was dumb!

needless to say, we spent a lot of time putting on panels....

and then, put on more panels....

eventually i got to a place where there were so many panels on the treadwall that it makes it hard to work, so then you use a stick to lock the wall and keeping it from rotating. see, the panels want to rotated so theyre at an even level... but this isnt help to put on the next board.

the last panel was kinda fun...you have to insert it at the bottom of the wall and reach through this access hole. not bad, but a little blind.... i guess that isnt super important info.

now thats it for the basic assembly. i have a couple of add-ons that ill put in my next post but in general between myself and the others who have been posting you get the picture.

real men dont need maps

...sorry for taking so long to write these. things were just against me getting to this sooner. but then again, i dont really owe you anything anyway.... so tough?

alright here we go.. recap: i research the wall. i looked online at the brewers ledge site and it told me the treadwall "lives" in a box 7x9x12ft. well, sorta... in fact the treadwall with the hand cranks is actually more like 8ft wide. 12ft tall works but if you want the full height range i would go for 13ft-ish. so while they are correct 9ft is deep enough for the wall i would suggest you go for 12ft deep so you have room to assemble your wall per instructions. my shed i built has outer dimensions of 8x10x14ft. so the indoor height works great. the width came up about 3inches too short... crap! and the depth was such that i could in no way assemble as brewer's ledge intended.

well, gotta make lemonade. i really didnt want to tear down the shed and start over. so, after hatch several plans i start to build it in standing up. i already gave some info on that so go check out that past post. needless to say it went well, heres a couple pictures.

the significant thing i found is that one guy can do this alone. where as the other way you cant...or so i have been told. the hardest parts are putting on the right channel (it's the heaviest piece). so if you have a second guy great. if not put a bolt in the upper frame where it bolts to the spine and duct tape it to keep it from moving. next lift the right channel into position and and hang it on that bolt. get the left channel on the same way. then add the center spacer bar and the lower shaft. the lower shaft takes some fiddling to get thing done. there is nothing in the directions from BL about moving the collars on the shaft to install it but i found no other way in the upright assembly.

next put up the upper shaft, and the shroud. this pretty much goes the same as in the BL instructions. it will be a little heavy and awkward but doable for one person. all the same, Blair was there to help me out. thanks big guy!