Free Standing Climbing Wall

Hi Steph,
Not sure the world needs this, but as the guy to first make and sell modular holds in America (1987, Alan Watts brought some early EP holds back from France but Metolius thought they’d be too expensive and no one would buy them, so I kind of ended up doing it first by default) — anyway I’ve been trying for about 25 years (ok, off and on) to solve the problem of a portable, shippable, affordable home wall system that at it’s smallest configuration still provides a decent range and quality of climbing experience. Not sure this iteration solves all of those things, but we’ve had enough fun with it to want to expose it to some public scrutiny.

You can see some pictures at and

A couple of other features — the panels are dimensioned to come out of US or metric plywood — the goal being that the apparatus is the same worldwide so problems, routes, training routines can all be shared moonboard style. And because it’s free-standing and multi-angled, it can be setup in a bedroom, garage, workout room, or under a porch in a roof/cave format. The plan is to offer a range of kits, from DIY panels, to ready-to-bolt-together-IKEA-style (out of the box to climbing in under 2 hours).

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. And happy to have you share it in any way you see fit. I’m guessing we’ve got a couple iterations to go before it’s market ready (assuming there’s even interest) — but if there are early adopters interested in a pre-production prototype we’d be happy to explore providing a current design.

Kent Olmstead
(I’m a bit of a fringe/wannabe-more-enthusiast-than-real climber who had the pleasure of ratting around the edges of the emergence of sport climbing at Smith Rocks–Alan Watts is still a good friend, my brother put up Churning, I had the pleasure of building most of the Snowbird wall with Dale Bard for Jeff Lowe–I spent a decade at the beginning of the ‘industry’ in it, and now have spent more years away from it, but there’s still a passion to figure out how to bring a bit more of it home for those of us who don’t have either the will or way to get out a bit more…pathetic, maybe, but the truth.)
P.S. Too funny that I would send you my email and then spend some more time at your blog and see:

I really think we’ll eventually see some kind of molded, modular panel system that is both light weight and highly reconfigurable. I’ve even got a concept for what that system might look like. But the tooling is tens of thousands of dollars — a little more capital than I can risk at present. Anyway, great site. (learned about you from Outside Magazine).

Kent Olmstead

Hi Kent,
Thanks, this is another really cool self-supporting wall design: I really like how you can make your own angles. Have you considered a Kickstarter project? Obviously you’ve already had a few REALLY GOOD ideas….like climbing holds 🙂

  • Harry

    I think what Mr Kent has produced here seems really cool, I would surely love to get one of these at home, it’s looks like a perfect product for a beginner like me to start of with.

  • Kent Olmstead

    Steph, We may do a Kickstarter project in the near future, and in the meantime anyone who signs up at will be locked in for a wholesale pro-deal once we’re in production. We’re gathering some pre-production feedback, doing some final refinements, connecting with hold companies, all to make sure we’ve got a really solid product to offer, from design plans, to framework for DIY panel builders, to the complete, ready-to-assemble package. So, we encourage anyone interested to signup and we’ll keep them up to date on our progress. Thanks again for your kind words and sharing.

  • Neil

    This looks like a really great home training tool! I love how you can adjust the angles and create a mini-roof too!

  • I like that too..


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