Frequently Asked Questions
Who determines the safety guidelines for climbing structures?
The Climbing Wall Industry Group, a sub-group of ORCA (The Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America) which is a panel of engineers, builders and manufacturers that establish guidelines for climbing walls. These standards determine load capacity, anchor spacing requirements and belay specs. A wall built to the specifications of the CWIA is considered safe.
Can I provide design input and ideas during the process?
Yes! Outdoor Escape encourages clients to participate in the design and development phase of all the walls we build. It is a pleasure to be able to collaborate with clients on design and we do our best to accommodate the ideas and tastes of all our clients.
How long will it take to design and build my new climbing wall?
The process of design and installation typically take between 1-4 months depending on the scope of the project. Outdoor Escapes team needs to factor in time for design, engineering, construction and finish out into the timeline. Call us and we can give you an estimated timeline depending on your needs.
What are the different structure types and which one is best suited for me?
Outdoor Escape offers several different types of walls and combinations thereof.
Arapaho Tru-Sculpt is hand sculpted and stamped from real rock molds to replicate natural rock walls, it provides the most flexibility in customization and design. This material can accommodate lighting and water features and is considered the elite choice.
Hueco Tex Stone is a concrete seamless panel system accented with hand-sculpted Huecos throughout; making a variety of natural routes. This material can accommodate vertical towers, boulders and can be used in combination with portable climbing systems. A great choice for many different environments and applications.
Climbing panels are easy-to-install rock-textured panels for semi-permanent applications are molded 4'x 8' rock-textured panels that attach to an existing wall. Installation is simple and can be do-it-yourself. This is the best option if the budget is tight.
How do I evaluate builders?
When investigating builders for your project, be sure to call references and visit the manufacturing facilities when possible. The building process is important, but so is the communication with your builder and their service structure. With pricing, be sure to compare apples to apples and make sure you are asking builders to bid on the same type of wall.
How do I know how big to build my wall?
To understand how much wall you will need, you need to know how many people will be climbing at peak times. As a rule, two active participants will require an eight foot wide section of wall (the two active participants include one climber and one spotter). At peak times, you can expect to have one passive participant. Using this rule, every eight linear feet of wall will accommodate four climbers.
How high should my indoor wall be?
Vertically, the best height for climbing walls is 30-35 ft. Because space is at a premium for many indoor climbing gyms and facilities, walls are often built at 20 ft. or less in height. It is necessary to allow 6 feet in front of the most protruding feature for landing space. Horizontally the width of the structure should be at least 15 to 20 feet across for features and flooring.
How do I know how many square feet my wall occupies?
To calculate the square foot size of your wall: take the approximate height and multiply by the approximate width then add 20% for the wall relief. Then add an additional 25% for boulders and pinnacles. This should approximate the square foot coverage of your wall.
What is a fixed feature?
A fixed feature is an element of the climbing structure that is permanent such as an arête, or crack. These elements are consistent and never change throughout the life of the wall. Climbers may come back to these consistent routes to gauge how they are progressing. An example of a variable feature is any element that can be moved or changed to change a route or structure, for example handhold placements or t-nuts. Variable features allow an infinite number of route possibilities.