Friday, 4 February 2011
Oh la la, New Volumes at EICA:Ratho!
Having worked in climbing walls for well over a decade now, the big change I have noticed over the past few years has been the introduction of volumes onto the climbing surface. Volumes really allow you to open up the variety of movement you can create whilst setting, as you no longer have to climb face on, on flat panels. You can incorporate 3D style climbing which adds so many more posibilities when setting. Volumes also allow you to constantly change the climbing surface as you can remove them and re-position them as you like.
The down side to volumes is that they are fairly expensive if bought commercially, however, if you're handy with a saw, plainer and drill the best method is to build your own, unfortunately, this isn't quite as easy as it sounds. I have built a few basic volumes in the past and have always found the most difficult part being able to keep the volume lying flush against the wall. I think I have spent a fair few hours hand plaining my volumes until they sit this way, usually with the volume decreasing in size and my usually pretty relaxed demeanor vanishing fairly rapidily....
Luckily, on the way to work this week I mentioned my volume building dilemma to Mr Gilles Moulin (french man in top pic). "I am building something like this all the time in France" was his reply.
So, with the help of a handy frenchman (Gilles) Calum Forsyth, Gaz Vincent and myself, we locked ourselves into the empty unit next to Tiso's (sorry Bruce for all the noise!) and got to work designing, building and painting some pretty radical volumes.
I'm pretty happy with the results and I really think that they'll add a new dimension to climbing at Ratho. You can see the fruits of our labour when we show case our new volumes at the EICA:Ratho Fun Bouldering Comp on Saturday the 19th February from 11am-4pm.
A special thank you has to be given to Gilles for sharing his secret french volume building formula with us. He definitely deserves a big high five if you see him in the arena!