I’m at the airport right now for an Ontario slide show tour and I’m feeling the need for quality crack.  So, since spring is coming and I have 10 minutes, I thought I’d compose a new blog post. IT’S ALMOST MARCH AND IT’S TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF INTO A CRACK MACHINE!

Last summer while living in Squamish, I built a portable crack machine (photo below, not above).  I needed it to be something I could take with me to the crag (as it was a crack climbing workshop after all) but could still demonstrate the full range of crack sizes.  It was a very simple design, relatively lightweight, took me 10 minutes to build, and it got the job done.  It now lives in my friend Jamie Selda’s garage.

Summer is coming again and it’s time to build yours.  Like everything, there are MANY ways of building crack machines, and for a variety of different reasons.  It all comes down to what you want.  Some people want to learn how to crack climb, some want to improve,  and some want to train for the prize project at their local crag.  Some have portability issues, size restraints, angle and depth preferences, etc…so think about your needs, take notes from others and draw up some plans and bob’s your uncle.

Building a crack machine is a lot cheaper than you think, and often, depending on your lifestyle, cheaper than spending a month in Indian Creek.  But unfortunately, not nearly as much fun:)  Below are just a few different ideas floating around on the wide world of web.  Some great pictures, ideas and inspiration.  I love this stuff, so I’m sharing other peoples ideas and vision and hard work.  So, Thanks and enjoy.

  • ryan

    hey Sonnie, this post gave me a great idea for a crack machine that doesn’t take up a whole wall or cost more than 25 bucks. What can I say I’m practical. Plus I built it in maybe an hour. Instead of using wood to space the 2X10s I used nuts and bolts, but use one for the front and one for the back. If you want flaring hands/ringlocks/tips you can make the back smaller. Also instead of building a long crack machine you just make it 2 feet and attach it to some cordelette. Then run it through a pulley hanging from the ceiling to some weight and hang on as long as you can!

    Anyway its a design that makes more sense than the home crack climbing setups I’ve seen if you don’t have a 30 foot garage or a ton of space.
    I realize your a super busy dude but feel free to shoot me an email at if you want me to send you some photos of the setup.

  • Beast! just awesome. Did some easy stuff at Fairhead in Northern Ireland canny wait to get back to a bit of Wee cracks !

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