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Here’s How to Build an Ice Climbing Wall in Your Backyard

Wish you had some local ice climbing, here's a DIY project if you have some space for an ice tower

Ice climber Robb Oliver has built an ice climbing wall in his backyard. He constructed the 10-metre artificial tower using some in-expensive supplies with a snow fence wrapped around it.

Oliver, based in Calgary, has put together a short video demonstrating how he farmed the ice on which he and his family can climb without heading to the Rockies. Watch below.

DIY Ice Wall

Artificial Ice Walls

Across Canada, dozens of artificial ice walls have been built over the years. Earlier this winter, The Edmonton Ski Club built an ice climbing wall with the Edmonton Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) section. It’s become a busy training wall where countless Edmontonians have tried ice climbing for their first time.

Northwestern Ontario’s Eagle Canyon once farmed 30-metre ice climbs in a canyon north of Thunder Bay. However, they stopped after only a few seasons. Downtown Banff had a reappearing wall on Main Street where new climbers could experience steep ice. It was built by MEC and an event called the Knucklebasher that used to take place every winter.

In Manitoba, Brad Friesen, who lives north of Winnipeg, was inspired by the St. Boniface Alpine Club of Canada’s ice wall and built his own. He told us in 2013, “The tower was made using three hydro poles that were planted in the ground for the support. Then I framed up the wall and hung snow fence for the ice to form on. I had to build a custom sprayer that spanned the width of the tower. For spraying I started near the bottom and then slowly raised the sprayer as the ice formed. I can crawl out of bed in the morning and go do laps to start my day. My tower isn’t the only tower in Manitoba. A friend of mine has one in his backyard, so I had several resources to gather info from.”

With chilly temps from coast to coast to coast in the forecast, this might be the perfect time for you to build your dream backyard ice tower.