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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CLIMBING HOLDS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/132865
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates generally to simulated rock climbing and more particularly to synthetic rock designs. The synthetic rock includes a housing and at least one slat forming a crevasse, the housing may be attached to a climbing wall by cutting and removing material from the wall and reinforcing the wall to support the fall of a climber.

Inventors:
HOPE, David (31582 West Street, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651, US)
Application Number:
US2010/035044
Publication Date:
November 18, 2010
Filing Date:
May 15, 2010
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HOPE, David (31582 West Street, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651, US)
International Classes:
A63B9/00
Foreign References:
US20060240949A12006-10-26
US20080246179A12008-10-09
US7524269B22009-04-28
US6074327A2000-06-13
US20050164834A12005-07-28
US6443849B12002-09-03
US4069991A1978-01-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALSPAUGH, Eric (26895 Aliso Creek Rd, Ste. B223Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is,

1. A synthetic rock comprising a housing and at least one slat form a crevasse.

2. A synthetic rock comprising a housing and at least one slat form a crevasse for receiving a tool.

3. A synthetic rock comprising a housing and at least one slat for attachment to a climbing wall.

4. A synthetic rock of claim 3, wherein the housing is attached to the outer surface of a climbing wall.

5. A synthetic rock of claim 3, wherein the housing is attached to the inside surface of a climbing wall and a crevasse is exposed.

6. System of incorporating the synthetic rocks of claims 1 -5 into existing wall systems to simulate natural rock climbing in a controlled environment.

7. Method for incorporating crevasses into existing walls by cutting and removing material from the wall and reinforcing the wall to support the fall of a climber.

8. Method incorporating into existing walls by cutting and removing wall material and reinforcing the wall with metal or polymer to support safety tools.

9. A synthetic rock comprising at least one plate and an opposing flexible material adapted to receive climbing protection.

10. A synthetic rock comprising two plates adapted to receive climbing protection.

1 1 . A synthetic rock comprising multiple plates adapted to receive climbing protection.

12. A synthetic rock comprising an artificial rock out cropping adapted to receive sling types climbing protection.

13. A synthetic rock comprising a natural appearing rock out cropping adapted to receive sling types climbing protection.

14. A synthetic rock comprising a natural appearing root adapted to receive climbing protection.

15. A synthetic rock comprising an artificial appearing root adapted to receive climbing protection.

16. A synthetic rock adapted for receiving a chockstone.

17. A method for reinforcing climbing walls for use with synthetic rocks.

Description:
TITLE: Climbing Holds

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION: United States provisional application number 61/178,868 dated May 15, 2009 the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

ABSTRACT

The present invention relates generally to simulated rock climbing and more particularly to synthetic rock designs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates in general to synthetic rocks, which can be permanently or removably fastened to an artificial wall surface, and more particularly to a new synthetic rock that simulates rock formations with crevasses and other natural formations.

Recreational rock-climbing is a popular sport for many climbing enthusiasts. Several structures and devices have been developed to artificially recreate this experience. A typical climbing wall is comprised of a metal frame and plywood substrate that has holes for attaching synthetic rock formations. The unused holes can be plugged for later use in a variety of different climbing routes. Thus, the typical synthetic rock has an outer climbing surface and a means of attaching the rock to the climbing wall.

Several climbing holds have been developed in art. For example, U.S. Pat. App. No. 20040162190 to Diamond discloses a climbing hold apparatus that can be used on an existing climbing wall. The apparatus comprises a mounting bracket defining a plurality of apertures. At least one aperture is elongated, such that each of the apertures can be aligned with one of the wall attachment points, and wall fasteners are inserted to fasten the mounting bracket to the wall. An elongate track is attached to the mounting bracket such that the track may be adjustably oriented with respect to the mounting bracket. A track attachment point is located adjacent to each end of the track to attach a climbing hold feature.

U.S. Pat. App. No. 20030100407 to Barbafieri discloses a removable artificial climbing hold, which comprises a molded or cast body having an opening for a threaded fastener to pass through. A safety means is incorporated in the body around the opening to retain debris in the event of the body breaking.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,074,327 to Franklin discloses a climbing hold that includes a hold body and a reinforcing sleeve. The hold body has an exterior portion adapted to support a climber and a substantially planar mounting face adapted to engage the front face of the climbing wall. The reinforcing sleeve is secured within the hold body and has first and second ends with an aperture adapted to accommodate a fastener for mounting the climbing hold to a climbing wall. The reinforcing sleeve substantially isolates the hold body from fastening forces, which result from mounting the climbing hold to the climbing wall. This and all other above referenced patents are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. Furthermore, where a definition or use of a term in a reference, which is incorporated by reference herein, is inconsistent or contrary to the definition of that term provided herein, the definition of that term provided herein applies and the definition of that term in the reference does not apply.

These devices are functionally and structurally different from the present invention. A major drawback of synthetic rocks in the current art is that they all form convex shapes that the climber must use their hands or feet to maintain friction. In addition, these "climbing holds" do not accurately simulate climbing real rocks where climbers often need to attach their ropes to the rock face by placing tools such as nuts, hexes and wedges into natural cracks and crevices in the rock face and attaching their climbing ropes to these tools as a safety precaution against falling. As a result, climbers on current climbing walls cannot gain the necessary experience in using these tools in a controlled environment, nor can they practice true natural climbing utilizing current techniques and designs associated with current artificial climbing walls.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved synthetic rock that overcomes the drawbacks experienced in the prior art.

A further object is to provide a synthetic rock that simulates crevasses that can be used for the purpose of placing protection in all types of configurations and all media of climbing using protection as a climber climbs.

A further object is to provide a synthetic rock that is compatible with commercially available climbing walls. A further object is to provide a synthetic rock that is adaptable to different surface textures and surface angles of a climbing wall.

A further objective is to provide synthetic climbing wall panels that incorporate simulated crevasses within the wall structure itself that can be used for the purpose of placing protection.

Although various synthetic rocks are known to the art, all, or almost all of them suffer from one or more than one disadvantage. Therefore, there is a need to provide improved synthetic rocks and their method of use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates in general to synthetic rocks that can be permanently or removably fastened to an artificial wall surface and more particularly to a new synthetic rock that simulates rock formations with crevasses and other natural formations. A climber is not limited to using his hands or feet for friction, but can use his tools with this synthetic rock for protection.

Several synthetic rocks used together creates a system that allows the climber to use protection tools as such protection tools would be used in a natural outdoor climbing environment (FREE CLIMBING, CAVING/ POTHOLING, ICE CLIMBING, AID CLIMBING ETC.). The system of synthetic rocks can also be used to simulate safety that is placed in a rock, ice or around a tree or a panicle of rock with a sling, to protect against a fall - any type of equipment in any type of crevasse, crack or as is commonly termed placement. Indeed new styles of climbing wall are envisioned which incorporate both current types of artificial rocks that climbers can use as hand-holds and foot-holds, and artificial rocks of the current invention which allow climbers to place protection within the climbing wall and/or new rocks which they can then use to attach a climbing rope that they are carrying up the wall with them, as is done in real life climbing.

Walls are typically made with steel or timber frame, the face can be a range of materials such as plywood, fiberglass, concrete, etc. The present invention can be used for all existing types of walls and can be adapted for any new surface.

1 . Synthetic Rock with vertical slats adapted for receiving nuts, hexs, wedges, etc 2. Synthetic Rock with vertical slats adapted for receiving Cams, Spring Loaded Camming Device, Friend™, products manufactured by Black Diamond, Metolius PowerCams, DMM 4CUs, Trango FlexCams, CCH Aliens, and all equipment designed for protection in this genre of equipment design.

3. Synthetic Rock with vertical slats that can be shifted in three dimensions.

4. Synthetic Rock with vertical slats, the slats have cut outs to create three-dimensional crevasses. Could be used with any of the above described tools- hex, nuts, wedges, cams.

5. Synthetic Rock with vertical slats

6. Synthetic Rock formed from cutting/etching material out of a block to form a crevasse.

7. Combinations of the above.

8. Synthetic Rock with a natural appearance and having a crevasse formed within for receiving the above described tools.

9. Combinations of the above.

10. Synthetic climbing wall panels that incorporate artificial crevasses.

1 1 . Synthetic rock adapted to receive protection for ice climbing, such as screws.

12. Synthetic rock designed as a modular wall panel with cut-outs for receiving protection and reinforced to withstand the force created by a falling climber.

13. Synthetic rocks designed to simulate outcroppings or tree roots that can be used for sling protection.

14. Synthetic rocks for receiving pitons. 15. Installation methods.

It is to be understood that the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not to be viewed as being restrictive of the present invention, as claimed. Further advantages of this invention will be apparent after a review of the following detailed description of the disclosed embodiments which are illustrated schematically in the accompanying drawings and in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

In the following, embodiments of the present invention will be explained in detail on the basis of the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with vertical slats.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with vertical slats adapted for receiving Cams, Spring Loaded Camming Device, Friend™, products manufactured by Black Diamond, Metolius PowerCams, DMM 4CUs, Trango FlexCams, and CCH Aliens.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with vertical slats that can be shifted and attached in three dimensions.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with vertical slats stacked sequentially from the back to the front of the crevasse.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of two slats to be used in forming a synthetic rock.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock formed from cutting material out of a block to form a crevasse.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with a natural appearance and having a crevasse formed within for receiving tools or safety. FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with a natural appearance and having a crevasse formed within and a nut wedged in the synthetic rock.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of various embodiments affixed to a climbing wall.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is spring loaded.

FIG. 1 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is spring loaded with protection tools showing the orientation for insertion.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is spring loaded with protection tools inserted into the synthetic rock.

FIG. 13 is a side view of a preferred embodiment with the protection tools inserted into the synthetic rock.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is spring loaded and has a natural rock appearance.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with a solid plate and a flexible material adapted for receiving safety equipment.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is spring loaded with multiple adjustable plates.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that has an integrated spring design.

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is spring loaded adapted for receiving protection tools used in ice climbing, for example, a threaded hole for receiving a screw. FIG. 19 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is adapted for receiving protection tools used in ice climbing, for example, a threaded hole for receiving a screw.

FIG. 20 is a side view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that is spring loaded with a non-uniform internal surface.

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a climbing wall that has a reinforcement material affixed to the back of the climbing wall.

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock that has been reinforced by attachment to the climbing wall and the climbing wall frame.

FIG. 23 is a side view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock adapted to act as an out cropping for use with a sling.

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock adapted to act as an out cropping for use with a sling.

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock adapted to act as an out cropping for use with a sling.

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock adapted to receive a chockstone that can then have protection tools attached to the chockstone.

FIG. 27 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock adapted to receive a chockstone that has a protection tool.

FIG. 28 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock.

FIG. 29 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock with a protection tool attached. FIG. 30 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock adapted to simulate a tree root outcropping.

FIG. 31 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock adapted to simulate a natural looking tree root outcropping.

FIG. 32 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a climbing wall with reinforcing material adapted for receiving a single synthetic rock.

FIG. 33 is a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a climbing wall with reinforcing material adapted for receiving a multiple synthetic rocks.

FIG. 34 is an exploded view of a synthetic rock prior to attachment to a reinforced climbing wall.

FIG. 35 is a perspective view of a synthetic fully integrated into a reinforced climbing wall.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 10 comprised of a housing 2, attachment means 3, and slats 4. The slats 4 form crevasses between the slats and between the housing 2 wherein nuts may be placed with the aid of a lanyard to form a safety for a climber. The slats 4 can be flat and inserted into the housing 2 to create angled crevasses 5. Alternatively, the slats 4 could be uneven in shape and texture, for example the slats 4 could be s-shaped, concave, or convex. The shape of the slats 4 is not intended to be limited, as the slats 4 could be attached to any portion of the housing 2 to create unique crevasses 5 shapes. A climber would use a tool such as a wedge, a hex or a nut to create friction in the crevasse.

An additional feature of the slats 5 is that they can be textured to simulate a rock or crystal or other naturally occurring material. Additionally, the slats 5 can be fixed to the housing permanently with screws, nails, glue, or common welding methods. Additionally, the slats 5 can be removably attached so that the synthetic rock 10 can be reconfigured easily, for example by using slots or runners in the housing 2 as guides for placement of differently shaped slats 5. The disclosed attachment means 3 is intended to include screw holes in this particular embodiment; however, the housing 2 could be fixed to a climbing wall by screws, snaps, hooks, glue, welding or other common means for attaching synthetic rocks to climbing walls, see the patents and patent applications incorporated by reference above. The slats and housing materials may be manufactured from metal, alloys, or polymers strong enough to support the great pressures that can be exerted during simulated rock wall climbing, and in particular by a climber that falls and is attached to the synthetic rocks as protection (it is assumed in most cases the climber will also be attached to a second rope that are typically found on current climbing walls as secondary protection against falling). All further housing, slats, and attachment means disclosed below may be adapted as disclosed above.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 20 with slats 14 adapted for receiving Cams, Spring Loaded Camming Device, Friend™, products manufactured by Black Diamond, Metolius PowerCams, DMM 4CUs, Trango FlexCams, and CCH Aliens, for example. The housing 12 comprises slats 14, and attachment means 13, the slats 14 create crevasses 15 between the slats 14 and the inside walls of the housing 2. For example, a spring loaded camming device 16 is inserted into a crevasse 15 formed between two slats 14 wherein friction is created and the climber can attach a line to a lanyard 17 for protection (a safety).

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of synthetic rock 10 with slats 4 attached to the housing 2 in various shapes and dimensions.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show a perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 30 with slats 24 stacked sequentially from the back to the front of the crevasse in substantially parallel planes. The slats 26 are substantially planar and can be inserted into the housing 22 using guides, runners or slots to maintain the slats 24 relative positions. Further, the slats 24 can have cutouts 26 to form unique crevasses 25, such that changing the sequential order of the placement of the slats 24 in the housing 22 could create unique crevasses 25.

FIG. 6 illustrates a preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 40 formed from cutting material out of a block housing 32 to form a crevasse 35. Additionally, the housing has attachment means 33 for attaching to a climbing wall. The attaching means 3 could be as simple as a hole for receiving a nail or a screw.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 50 with a natural surface 46 appearance and having a crevasse 45 formed within for receiving tools or safety. Additionally, the synthetic rock 50 comprises and attachment means 43 for mounting to or in a climbing wall. A nut 6 is inserted into the crevasse 45 where a climber can pull on the lanyard 7 attached to the nut 6 to create friction.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of various embodiments affixed to a climbing wall. The above and below described embodiments should not be interpreted that a particular embodiment can or should be used exclusively on a single climbing wall. In fact, to simulate a rock formation it may be important to mix and match the tools required to climb a particular rock formation. New competitive styles of climbing are envisioned where the climbing wall can be reconfigured quickly so that competitors can not take advantage of watching a prior climber or knowing the climbing route prior to their turn. In all competition climbing the climbers are put in isolation once the comp starts and do not get to look at the previous climber.

FIGS. 10-14 illustrate an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 70 comprised of two plates 71 , 72 that are compressed together by springs 73. The plates 71 ,72 and springs 73 are aligned on rods 74 wherein a protection tool 75 can be forced in between the plates 71 ,72. If the synthetic rock 70 is mounted on a climbing wall face at one-hundred eighty degrees or less the springs 73 need only apply enough tension to the plates 71 ,72 for a protection tool 75 to be inserted far enough to create a leverage point for supporting the climber. If the synthetic rock 70 is at a greater than one-hundred and eighty degree angle, i.e. facing towards the ground, then the springs 73 must exert a much greater amount of force to support a climber. FIG. 14 illustrates the synthetic rock 70 with plates 71 , 72 having surface modifications to look like natural rock. Various attachment means are available to affix the synthetic rock 70 to a wall, for example a screw hole 76 in this embodiment. The attachment means can be separate or integrated into the plates 71 ,72.

FIG. 15 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 80 comprised of a plate 81 that is attached to a flexible material 82 with bolts 84. The plate 81 and flexible material 82 can be spaced apart with a spacer 83. The spacer 83 can be made of any suitable material such as metal, wood, rubber, or polymer. Optionally, the plate 81 and flexible material 82 can be attached directly without the need of a spacer 83. Typical attachment methods include but are not limited to screws, bolts, adhesive glue, etc. The flexible material 82 may be heavy duty cloth, synthetic polymer, rubber or other material which can exert a force on the protection tool 75 when inserted into the synthetic rock 80. The shape of the plate 81 and flexible material 82 are rectangular in FIG. 15; however, the shape can be round like a circle or oval. Additional shapes could also be used to simulate different rock formations. FIG. 16 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 90 comprised of multiple plates 91 ,92,93 that can slide on rods 95 when protection is inserted between the plates 91 ,92,93. Springs 94 can be placed around the plates 91 ,92,93 to adjust how much pressure a climber must apply to force protection into the synthetic rock 90. This embodiment allows the synthetic rock 90 to have crevasses adapted to receive pitons, ice screws, and other protection all in one location on a climbing wall. The method of attachment to the climbing wall can be through any technique described herein; however, a set of screw holes 96 illustrate a common method of attachment.

FIG. 17 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 100 comprised of a box 101 and a tongue 102. The tongue 102 can be integrally affixed to the box 101 such as by cutting material away from the box 101 to form the tongue 102. Alternatively, the tongue 102 could be welded or bolted to the box 101. The box 101 is adapted to form a crevasse 103 between the box 101 and the tongue 102. The tongue 102 exerts spring like pressure against the box 101. Protection can be inserted into the crevasse 103 and the force exerted by the tongue 102 will create friction for holding the protection in place for a climber.

FIG. 18 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 1 10 comprised of plates 1 1 1 , 1 12 that can slideably move relative to each other on rods 1 16. The rods 1 16 can have springs 1 13 that regulate how much force a climber will use with their protection tool 1 15 to penetrate the crevasse 1 14. In this embodiment the crevasse 1 14 is adapted for receiving screws, ice screws, and other protection tools with a twisting motion.

FIG. 19 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 120 comprised of a housing 121 , frictional material 122, and a crevasse 123. The housing 121 can be attached to a climbing wall via conventional methods. The frictional material 122 can be permanent and reusable such as metal that has been rifled for accepting protection tool 1 15. In this embodiment the crevasse 123 is adapted for receiving screws, ice screws, and other protection tools with a twisting motion.

FIG. 20 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 130 comprised of plates 131 ,132 that form a crevasse 133 that is uneven to create differential friction for receiving protection. The plates 131 ,132 can slideably move relative to each other on rod 135. Springs 136 apply pressure to the plates 131 ,132. FIG. 21 illustrates a method of attaching synthetic rock 140 to climbing wall 142. Climbing wall 142 can be reinforced directly at the back of the wall with a reinforcing material 143. Reinforcing material 143 should be strong light weight material such as aluminum although other materials suitable for use would include wood and polymer. In this particular embodiment the synthetic rock 140 has attachment means 141 for bolting the synthetic rock 140 to the climbing wall 142. Alternative attachment means are disclosed herein.

FIG. 22 illustrates a method of attaching synthetic rock 150 to climbing wall 152. Climbing wall 152 can be reinforced from the back of the wall with framing members 155 to support the climbing wall 152 when the incline or orientation are not attached to a standard support structure. In this particular embodiment the synthetic rock 150 has attachment means 154 for bolting the synthetic rock 154 to the climbing wall 152. Alternative attachment means are disclosed herein.

FIGS. 23-25 illustrate an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 160 that is adapted to simulate a natural rock outcropping when attached to a climbing wall 161. Climbing protection 162 can be looped over the synthetic rock 160.

FIGS. 26 and 27 illustrate an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 170 that is adapted to receive a chockstone 172 in crevasse 171 . A climber can then attach protection 173 such as a sling to the chockstone 172 to support the climber during a climb. The synthetic rock can have a flat surface or textured surface to simulate natural rock.

FIGS. 28 and 29 illustrate an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 180 that is adapted to simulate exposed tree roots that can be affixed to a climbing wall via attaching means 181 , for example a screw 182. Climbing protection 183 can be looped over the synthetic rock 180 to support the climber during a climb.

FIGS. 30 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a synthetic rock 190 that is adapted to simulate multiple exposed tree roots 191 that can be affixed to a climbing wall via attaching means 192. Space 193 surrounding the roots 191 allows climbing protection to be looped around or wedged between the roots191 to support the climber during a climb. FIG. 31 illustrates a synthetic rock 190 adapted to simulate multiple natural tree roots 194. FIG. 32 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a climbing wall 201 with reinforcing material 202 surrounding crevasse 203 and adapted for receiving a single synthetic rock 200. FIG. 33 illustrates an alternative preferred embodiment of a climbing wall 201 with reinforcing material 202 surrounding crevasse 203 and adapted for receiving multiple synthetic rocks 200.

FIGS. 34 and 35 illustrate a method of attaching a synthetic rock 210 with a crevasse 212 and attachment means 21 1 to a climbing wall 213. The climbing wall 213 is adapted for receiving the synthetic rock 210 with holes 214 for receiving bolts or screws that are aligned with the rock attachment means 21 1.

The present invention brings a new type of competition to the artificial climbing sport as now the climbers have to look at the route and select the equipment to take up to protect themselves as they climb, poor selection, taking too much time to select, inexperience at placing protection, or taking too many tools, or the wrong gear gives other climbers a competitive advantage.

In alternative embodiment, the synthetic rock may be blanked by applying a cap over the open housing. Thus when the climbing wall is to be used by persons that are not utilizing protection methods, such as nuts, hexes, etc., they will not be tempted to grasp these holds with their fingers. Thus this provides a safety mechanism for novice climbers. Additionally, while climbing a climber often uses the same crack or crevasse to hold as a climber would use to place protection which further enhances the natural climbing experience.

In an alternative embodiment, the artificial crevices may be cut, molded, or otherwise inserted into actual climbing wall panels, so that they need not be affixed separately.

In certain instances, a climbing wall may include sections to represent rock overhangs, as are experienced in natural rock climbing. Therefore in another embodiment the artificial crevasses are designed to be affixed at any angle on any section of the climbing wall to simulate such crevasses as are found in natural rock climbing.

In certain instances, when climbing an actual rock face, there may not be a suitable crevasse available. In such instances climbers often have to resort to hammering a sharpened tool into the rock face or ice wall to which the climbing rope can be attached. Therefore, in another embodiment the synthetic rock is made from a material into which such a sharpened tool may be hammered by a climber. Similarly, the invention can be adapted for ice climbing wherein the synthetic rock has a threaded recessed hole for receiving an ice screw.

The foregoing description is, at present, considered to be the preferred embodiments of the present discovery. However, it is contemplated that various changes and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art, may be made without departing from the present discovery. Therefore, the foregoing description is intended to cover all such changes and modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the present discovery, including all equivalent aspects. In addition, the climbing industry is continuously creating new tools to help climbers affix their ropes to crevasses and the like, and it is contemplated that the disclosed embodiments of the current invention can be designed to accommodate said new tools.