Making the crack machine!

I’ll admit that my major weakness in climbing is climbing itself. This is true of a lot of us. When you head to a climbing gym you don’t see too many people with good climbing technique. At the crag it’s worse! Many of us resort to huffing and puffing as we contort our bodies and power our way up routes that should be easy given a different approach. I have always had the worst climbing technique of anyone I know, but that is something that has to change if I want to enjoy a wider range of routes.

Christmas 2017 was amazing! By far the best gift I received was The Crack Climber’s Technique Manual by Kent Pease (thank’s Chris). Of course it got me thinking about the upcoming rock season. I’ve always had an affinity to cracks and particularly off-width cracks. Now if I could only learn how to climb them with good technique…

Enter the crack machine! I found a spot in my basement where I could build a small crack machine. This simple training device consists of three of four simulated cracks of varying width. Using Kent’s book as a reference for size, I settled on a 1.5inch crack (semi-thin) 

These simulated cracks will be made from 6x4s screwed onto plywood and mounted on the wall studs. My trusty architect buddy, Jason, wanted to help out. The whole idea of a crack machine is to help you tune jamming technique for hands and feet so that you can send climbs at the crag with good technique. It’s a training tool that doesn’t need a lot of horizontal space or vertical height.

A bunch of wood, a chop saw and a table saw later and we had the bits. Measure twice, cut once! And don’t get your fingers in the way.