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What is a Mobile Climbing Wall?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A mobile climbing wall is a type of rock climbing surface that can be transported to different locations, either by breaking the mobile climbing wall into sections and transporting it in boxes, or by mounting the one-piece unit to a hydraulic lift that is in turn mounted to a large truck. This latter design allows the user to set the mobile climbing wall up anywhere with sufficient space for the truck and the wall, and the set-up and tear-down processes are both quick and easy. Such walls are popular at parties or large events such as carnivals and festivals.

Certain walls designed for home use can be built in such a way that the entire structure can be broken down easily for transport to a new location if necessary, essentially making this type of wall a mobile climbing wall. The wall in this case is usually built from prefabricated panels that can be attached or removed quickly and easily with the correct tools; this design is not as quick and easy as other designs, but it allows for transport of a wall should a homeowner move to a different home and desire to take the wall with him or her to the new location.

Woman exercising
Woman exercising

The more common mobile climbing wall is the truck-mounted version. These walls are usually built on a steel frame that is mounted to a hydraulic lift, which is in turn mounted to the back of a flatbed truck or similar vehicle. Some mobile climbing wall versions are instead built onto a trailer that can be towed by a large pickup truck or similar vehicle, and the trailer can be released from the truck once the wall is set up. This cuts down on the amount of space taken up by the wall and the truck, as the truck can be parked off site instead of supporting the wall on-site.

All mobile climbing wall units feature holes through which the climbing holds can be secured. The pattern of the climbing route can be altered easily by moving holds to different holds on the wall, which allows the owner or user of the wall to customize different routes for climbers of differing ability levels. The top of the wall features climbing anchors through which ropes can be run; this allows a person to belay the climber on the wall, or support the other end of the rope in case the climber falls.

Discussion Comments


My son's school has an outdoor carnival every year and they always have some kind of kids climbing wall as one of the attractions. The kids seem to love it, especially the boys. I am terribly scared of heights myself so I have wanted to get anywhere near it (and it is less than 20 feet high). Still, I am glad that someone is enjoying it.


It seems like mobile climbing walls used to be a lot more common. I feel like you couldn't go to a single outdoor event in the late 90s without there being a mobile climbing wall.

I have a feeling that they are less common these days because of liability issues. Really they are not dangerous at all but they appear dangerous and so they cost a lot to insure. It is way easier to put up a bounce house and not have to worry about it.

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