When Eldorado builds a rock climbing wall that includes rock realistic surfaces and climb-able cracks, those features are hand-sculpted. In the case of the crack for the Gordon Family YMCA in Sumner, WA, the sculptor was Eldo team member James Mobley. Here are a few of his thoughts on his approach and process for carving cracks.
“When I carve a crack for a customer I feel honored to be the one to do it. I know that the cracks I carve may be a turning point in someone’s life. It can inspire a new climber to fall in love with climbing. So this crack is designed to be fun, challenging, inspiring, and rewarding, for both new and seasoned climbers. As I carved every inch of the crack, I placed my hands in it doing a number of hand crack techniques. In every area of the crack, climbers with solid crack skills can climb it smoothly using hand and foot jams and finger locks. For the newer climber, I carved hidden assistance inside the crack, positive features the climber can wrap their fingers around. In the inverted, harder part of the route I made a point to carve in a good place to rest before and after the crux. My goal was to make this crack around the 5.8 range. But if a climber chooses to avoid the easy areas of the crack, it could be in the range of a 5.10.”