A. Bill Palmer, former editor of Concrete Construction and the president of Complete Construction Consultants in Lyons, Colo., responds: There are several ways to build climbing walls. John McGowan, president of Eldorado Climbing Walls (303/447-0512, eldowalls.com) in Boulder, Colo., says glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels are the best solution for realistic-looking rock walls.
His company casts GFRC panels in 6-foot-by-6-foot silicone molds made from imprints of actual rockfaces. During wall assembly, embedded steel plates within each panel are welded to a structural steel frame. The seams between the panels are reinforced with steel, then filled with GFRC sculpted to match the panels. Bolt holes fitted with tee nuts...
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