|Publication number||US20040162190 A1|
|Application number||US 10/368,515|
|Publication date||Aug 19, 2004|
|Filing date||Feb 18, 2003|
|Priority date||Feb 18, 2003|
|Publication number||10368515, 368515, US 2004/0162190 A1, US 2004/162190 A1, US 20040162190 A1, US 20040162190A1, US 2004162190 A1, US 2004162190A1, US-A1-20040162190, US-A1-2004162190, US2004/0162190A1, US2004/162190A1, US20040162190 A1, US20040162190A1, US2004162190 A1, US2004162190A1|
|Inventors||Adam Diamond, Reto Marti|
|Original Assignee||Adam Diamond, Reto Marti|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (2), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 This invention is in the field of climbing walls and in particular systems for providing a diversity of climbing hold configurations on a climbing wall.
 Rock climbing is an activity enjoyed by many people, however climbing natural rock faces often requires travelling considerable distances. Climbing wall facilities have thus become popular as they provide practice and training for climbers locally. These facilities typically provide a vertical climbing wall with a variety of climbing holds mounted on the surface that simulate a natural rock face.
 A continuing challenge for operators of climbing wall facilities is to provide new and varied climbing routes by varying the location of the climbing holds. The holds also are of diverse forms to further vary the climb.
 Systems to provide a diversity of climbs are known in the prior art. U.S. Pat. No. 5,092,587 to Ulner et al. discloses a series of metal tracks attached to a wall with bolts or the like, with a variety of holds adapted for attachment to the tracks at any location on the track. U.S. Pat. No. 5,254,058 to Savigny discloses a modular rough surface for attachment to a wall to provide a climbing surface wherein the rough surface provides the holds that the climber grasps during a climb.
 Conventionally, many climbing walls use a grid of t-nuts mounted into a plywood wall surface as a means of attaching the climbing holds onto the wall. Some walls have permanent features sculpted onto the surface but use a t-nut grid to attach additional climbing holds. The holds may be relatively simple steps or bars, such as illustrated in the '587 patent to Ulner, or molded from plastic, fiberglass, or the like to resemble features that would be found on a natural rock face. In the apparatus of Savigny, molded feature portions or modules are attached to the wall to form a unified climbing feature that substantially covers the wall. Such larger climbing features covering a portion of a climbing wall are desirable as well.
 Typically a grid of t-nuts is embedded in the wall, and holds are attached with a bolt threaded into a t-nut. A problem arises in that the spacing of the t-nuts in different climbing facilities varies greatly. There may be a regular grid in some facilities, while in others the pattern is substantially random. It is therefore not practical to provide a large climbing feature comprising a plurality of individual portions that must be arranged on a wall in a defined relationship with each other, as the portions would have to be drilled to provide holes that will fit the t-nut pattern that is present on the wall. Where such large features are desired, the wall is reconstructed, as is for example illustrated in the apparatus of Savigny.
 Providing commercially available large climbing features that can be mounted in various configurations on existing climbing walls is thus not practical. While a standard t-nut pattern that would fit such a large feature could be provided in new walls, modification of the pattern on an existing wall would be time-consuming and costly.
 It is the object of the present invention to provide a climbing hold apparatus that overcomes problems in the prior art. It is a further object of the present invention to provide such an apparatus that provides a variety of climbing hold features that can be positioned in varying configurations on climbing walls that have a variety of t-nut patterns.
 It is a farther object of the present invention to provide such an apparatus wherein a plurality of climbing hold features can be positioned in proper relationship to each other so as to provide a modular climbing hold feature.
 The invention provides a climbing hold apparatus for use on a climbing wall that comprises a plurality of wall attachment points fixed to the climbing wall, each wall attachment point adapted to receive a fastener for attaching a climbing hold to the climbing wall. The apparatus comprises a mounting bracket defining at least first and second wall fastener apertures, wherein at least the second wall fastener aperture is elongated, such that each of the first and second wall fastener apertures can be aligned with one of the wall attachment points, and such that a wall fastener can be inserted through each of the first and second wall fastener apertures into an aligned wall attachment point to fasten the mounting bracket to the wall. The mounting bracket further defines a first bracket slot adjacent to a first end of the mounting bracket, and a second bracket slot adjacent to an opposite second end of the mounting bracket. An elongate track defines a track slot along a substantial length thereof such that the track can be fastened to the mounting bracket by a first track fastener inserted through the track slot and the first bracket slot, and by a second track fastener inserted through the track slot and the second bracket slot, such that the track may be adjustably oriented with respect to the mounting bracket. The track further comprises a track attachment point located adjacent to each end thereof. A climbing hold feature defines at least two hold apertures located such that the hold apertures can be aligned with the track attachment points and such that a hold fastener can be inserted through each of the hold apertures into an aligned track attachment point to fasten the climbing hold feature to the track.
 The mounting bracket can be attached to walls having a varied t-nut pattern, since the spacing between the first wall fastener aperture and the elongate second wall fastener aperture varies. A plurality of first apertures can be provided to increase the range of variability in t-nut spacing that can be accommodated. Providing elongated first and second apertures also increases this range. The mounting bracket is held securely to the wall by two fasteners that are separated across the face of the mounting bracket. The track is secured to the mounting bracket such that it can be moved longitudinally, and also laterally. This allows the mounting bracket to be mounted at whatever angle is required to align it with two wall attachment points, and yet allows the track to be oriented vertically, as will be the typical desired orientation. The climbing hold feature is attached in turn to the properly oriented track, and is typically a hollow molded member that covers the mounting bracket and track, with edges close to the wall for safety and aesthetics.
 The flexibility the apparatus of the invention provides in adjustably positioning the climbing hold features allows for individual features to be attached to the wall to form a larger modular climbing hold feature, with the individual features properly oriented closely adjacent to each other.
 While the invention is claimed in the concluding portions hereof, preferred embodiments are provided in the accompanying detailed description which may be best understood in conjunction with the accompanying diagrams where like parts in each of the several diagrams are labeled with like numbers, and where:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention mounted on a prior art climbing wall;
FIG. 2 is front view of a track and mounting bracket of the apparatus;
FIG. 3 is perspective view of a track and mounting bracket attached together;
FIG. 4 is a front view of a prior art climbing wall showing a typical t-nut pattern;
FIG. 5 is a front view of upper and lower mounting brackets and tracks mounted on the climbing wall of FIG. 4.
FIG. 1 illustrates a climbing hold apparatus 1 for use on a prior art climbing wall 3 that is best illustrated in FIG. 4. The climbing wall 3 comprises a plurality of wall attachment points 5 fixed to the climbing wall 3 in a pattern or grid that varies from facility to facility. A typical grid that might be found is illustrated in FIG. 4. Each wall attachment point 5 is adapted to receive a fastener for attaching a prior art climbing hold to the climbing wall 3. Typically the wall attachment points 5 comprise a t-nut that is fixed to the rear of the wall 3 behind a hole such that a bolt fastener can be inserted in the hole and screwed into the nut.
 As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the apparatus 1 comprises a mounting bracket 7 defining first and second wall fastener apertures illustrated as wall fastener slots 9 and I 1. At least one of the wall fastener apertures is elongated, such that each of the first and second wall fastener apertures can be aligned with one of the wall attachment points 5. In the illustrated embodiment both wall fastener apertures are elongated, configured such that a distance between the first and second wall fastener slots 9, 11 varies along a length of the mounting bracket 7. This configuration increases the variety of orientations of the mounting bracket 7 that can be used to align the first and second wall fastener slots with respective wall attachment points. FIG. 2 also illustrates a plurality of first wall fastener apertures in the mounting bracket, which could further increase variety if desired.
 Once the mounting bracket 7 is oriented such that the wall fastener slots 9, 11 are aligned with respective wall attachment points 5, a wall fastener, typically a bolt 13, can then be inserted through each of the first and second wall fastener slots 9, 11 into an aligned wall attachment point 5 to fasten the mounting bracket 7 to the wall 3.
 The mounting bracket 7 farther defines a first bracket slot 15 adjacent to a first end of the mounting bracket 7, and a second bracket slot 17 adjacent to an opposite second end of the mounting bracket 7.
 An elongate track 21 defines a track slot 23 along a substantial length thereof. The track slot 23 illustrated is actually two slot portions cut into opposite ends of the track 21, leaving a portion of the track 21 in the middle of the slot 23 to strengthen the track 21.
 The track 21 can thus be fastened to the mounting bracket 7 by a first track fastener, illustrated as bolt 25 inserted through the track slot 23 and the first bracket slot 15, and by a second track fastener, illustrated as bolt 27, inserted through the track slot 23 and the second bracket slot 17, such that the track 21 may be adjustably oriented with respect to the mounting bracket, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 5.
 The illustrated mounting bracket 7 comprises raised flanges 40 along opposite sides thereof, such that when the flanges 40 are placed against the climbing wall 3, a central portion of the mounting bracket 42 that defines the wall fastener slots 9, 11 and the bracket slots 15, 17 is removed from the wall 3 to provide access for securing the bolts 25, 27 through the track slot 21 and the first and second bracket slots 15, 17 with nuts to hold the track 21 to the mounting bracket 7. The flanges 40 also increase the rigidity of the mounting bracket 7.
 The illustrated first and second bracket slots 15, 17 are arcuate facing each other, and a radius of each bracket slot 15, 17 is substantially equal. With the bolts 25, 27 loosely inserted, this configuration allows the track 21 to move smoothly with respect to the mounting bracket 7, since sliding of the bolts 25, 27 in the track slot 23 is reduced.
 If further range of movement is desired for the track 21 with respect to the mounting bracket 7, spacers can be provided between the track 21 and the central portion 42 of the mounting bracket 7 such that bolts 13 attaching the mounting bracket 7 to the wall 3 do not hinder movement of the track 21, and the track 21 will move over the bolts 13.
 The track 21 further comprises a track attachment point 29, typically a nut welded to the track 21 or a threaded hole in track 21, located adjacent to each end thereof. A climbing hold feature 31, illustrated in FIG. 1, defines at least two hold apertures 33 located such that the hold apertures 33 can be aligned with the track attachment points 29 and such that a hold fastener, typically a bolt 35, can be inserted through each of the hold apertures 33 into an aligned track attachment point 29 to fasten the climbing hold feature 31 to the track 21, and thus to the climbing wall 3.
 The climbing hold feature 31 illustrated is a hollow molded feature having an outer edge 37 that is located closely adjacent to the wall 3 when attached to the track 21 such that the track 21 and mounting bracket 7 are covered by the climbing hold feature 31. This prevents a climber from contacting the track 21, mounting bracket 7, or attaching hardware, which contact could cause injury. Aesthetics of the wall and mounted apparatus I are improved as well.
 The apparatus of the invention provides sufficient adjustability that a first hollow molded climbing hold feature 31 A attached to a first track and a first mounting bracket can be aligned in close proximity with a second hollow molded climbing hold feature 31B attached to a second track and second mounting bracket, as illustrated in FIG. 1, thereby providing a modular hollow molded climbing feature 39 comprising the first hollow molded climbing hold feature 31A and the second hollow molded climbing hold feature 31B.
FIG. 5 illustrates the attachment of the modular hollow molded climbing feature 39 of FIG. 1 to the typical prior art climbing wall 3 illustrated in FIG. 4. Upper mounting bracket 7A is attached to wall attachment points 5A, 5A′, while a lower mounting bracket 7B is attached to wall attachment points 5B, 5B′. Upper and lower tracks 21A, 21B are oriented via bracket slots 15, 17 and track slots 21 into the closely adjacent and vertically aligned positions illustrated, such that when the first and second hollow molded climbing hold features 31A, 31B are attached to the respective tracks 21A, 21B they form the modular hollow molded climbing feature 39.
 End caps 38 can be provided for each hollow molded climbing hold feature 31, to allow each hold feature 31 to be used individually or at either end or in the middle of a modular hollow molded climbing feature 39. The end caps 38 can be attached by a bolt into a t-nut embedded in the adjacent hollow molded climbing hold feature 31. Further t-nuts can also be provided on the hollow molded climbing hold feature 31 itself, allowing further holds to be mounted to the surface of the feature, again increasing options for climbing routes of varying degrees of difficulty.
 While the various parts will be sized to suit any perceived need, typically the track 21 will be about 48 inches long, and about 3 to 4 inches wide, and the mounting bracket 7 will be about 28 inches long and 16 inches wide. It has been found that such a size accommodates the t-nut pattern found on typical existing climbing walls.
 The apparatus can be used on existing climbing walls with a wide variety of t-nut patterns, thereby allowing mass production of the parts and a resulting reduction in cost. Facility operators can thus economically provide variety to their customers.
 The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous changes and modifications will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all such suitable changes or modifications in structure or operation which may be resorted to are intended to fall within the scope of the claimed invention.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5092587 *||Sep 27, 1990||Mar 3, 1992||Ulner Eric R||Climbing system|
|US5254058 *||Oct 1, 1991||Oct 19, 1993||Entre-Prises S.A.||Artificial climbing wall with modular rough surface|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7594874||Apr 12, 2006||Sep 29, 2009||Meissner Richard K||Quick connect climbing hold|
|US7819778 *||Feb 12, 2007||Oct 26, 2010||Everlast Climbing Industries, Inc.||Safety mat securement assembly|