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Publication numberUS20070164182 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/622,235
Publication dateJul 19, 2007
Filing dateJan 11, 2007
Priority dateJan 12, 2006
Also published asEP1808201A1
Publication number11622235, 622235, US 2007/0164182 A1, US 2007/164182 A1, US 20070164182 A1, US 20070164182A1, US 2007164182 A1, US 2007164182A1, US-A1-20070164182, US-A1-2007164182, US2007/0164182A1, US2007/164182A1, US20070164182 A1, US20070164182A1, US2007164182 A1, US2007164182A1
InventorsNeil MacKay
Original AssigneeMackay Neil L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Releasable Cover for Climbing Hanger Device
US 20070164182 A1
Abstract
The invention relates to a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device such as a climbing hanger plate (28) having an aperture (36) therein which facilitates attachment of a climbing accessory such as a karabiner to the device. A cover (100) for the climbing hanger plate (28) is disclosed which releasably engages the climbing hanger plate (28) to at least partially cover the aperture (36), to thereby prevent a climber from inserting a digit into the aperture (36). This prevents accidental trauma associated with inappropriate use of climbing hanger devices of this type in the event of a fall.
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Claims(22)
1. A releasable cover for a climbing hanger device of a type having an aperture therein which facilitates attachment of a climbing accessory to the device, the cover adapted to releasably engage the climbing hanger device to at least partially cover the aperture, to thereby prevent insertion of a digit into the aperture.
2. A cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a first cover element and at least one further cover element, the first and further cover elements adapted to releasably engage the climbing hanger device to thereby at least partially cover the aperture in the device.
3. A cover as claimed in claim 2, wherein the cover is for an angled climbing hanger plate having an anchor portion adapted to be secured to a rock or wall face and a coupling portion extending from the face at an angle to the anchor portion, the coupling portion having an aperture which forms a loop for coupling of a climbing accessory to the plate, and wherein the first and further cover elements are adapted to straddle the coupling portion.
4. A cover as claimed in claim 2, wherein the first and further cover elements are adapted to be directly releasably coupled together, to thereby indirectly releasably engage the climbing hanger device.
5. A cover as claimed in claim 2, wherein the first and further cover elements are connected by a hinge.
6. A cover as claimed in claim 5, wherein the first and further cover elements are connected in a clam-shell type arrangement.
7. A cover as claimed in claim 2, wherein the first cover element comprises a first engaging member and the further cover element comprises a further engaging member, the first and further engaging members adapted to be releasably coupled together to thereby releasably engage the cover with the climbing hanger device.
8. A cover as claimed in claim 7, wherein the first and further engaging members are adapted to be coupled together in a push fit.
9. A cover as claimed in claim 7, wherein one of the first and further engaging members is a male member and the other a female member, the male and female members cooperating for releasably coupling the cover elements together.
10. A cover as claimed in claim 7, wherein at least one of the first and further engaging members is adapted to extend through the aperture of the device, to thereby releasably engage the cover to the device.
11. A cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a first cover element and at least one further cover element, the first and further cover elements adapted to be directly releasably coupled to the device.
12. A cover as claimed in claim 11, wherein the first and further cover elements each comprise a respective engaging member shaped to engage the device.
13. A cover as claimed in claim 12, wherein each cover element engaging member is shaped to engage within the device aperture.
14. A cover as claimed in claim 12, wherein at least one of the cover element engaging members is shaped to extend through the device aperture and to engage with a surface of the part of the device in which the aperture is formed.
15. A cover as claimed in claim 12, wherein at least one of the first and further engaging members is shaped to have an outer perimeter matching a perimeter of the aperture.
16. A cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover is for an angled climbing hanger plate having an anchor portion adapted to be secured to a rock or wall face and a coupling portion extending from the face at an angle to the anchor portion, the coupling portion having an aperture which forms a loop for coupling of a climbing accessory to the plate, and wherein the cover comprises a first cover element and at least one further cover element, the cover elements each comprising an engaging element shaped to engage around at least part of an outer edge of the coupling portion of the device.
17. A cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a body having a slot shaped to receive the device and at least one engaging member for releasably engaging in the aperture of the device.
18. A cover as claimed in claim 17, wherein the cover is for an angled climbing hanger plate having an anchor portion adapted to be secured to a rock or wall face and a coupling portion extending from the face at an angle to the anchor portion, the coupling portion having an aperture which forms a loop for coupling of a climbing accessory to the plate, and wherein the slot is shaped for engaging around at least part of an outer edge of the coupling portion of the device.
19. A cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover is shaped to cover the entire aperture of the device.
20. A cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover is shaped to cover a sufficient portion of the aperture so as to prevent insertion of a digit of a climber into the aperture.
21. A cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover has an outer perimeter shaped to match a perimeter of the aperture.
22. A releasable cover for a climbing hanger device of a type having an aperture therein which facilitates attachment of a climbing accessory to the device, the cover comprising first and second cover elements, the first and second cover elements adapted to releasably engage the climbing hanger device to thereby cover and close the aperture.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device. In particular, but not exclusively, the present invention relates to a releasable cover for at least partially covering an aperture provided in a climbing hanger device by which climbing accessories are attached to the device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the field of climbing, a wide range of equipment is utilised to assist in the safe ascent and descent of a rock face. Such equipment is also utilised on artificial climbing structures, such as artificial rock walls, which are used by climbers to practise rock climbing and, in particular, to simulate different climbing challenges.

Generally speaking, two main climbing styles are employed both in real and artificial climbing environments. In a first climbing style, a first or ‘lead’ climber ascending a rock face couples a safety rope (which is tied to a harness worn by the climber) to climbing hanger devices, in the form of climbing hanger plates, secured in the rock face. The safety rope is coupled to the hanger plates using couplings known as karabiners, and supports the climber in the event of a fall. In more detail, the lead climber couples a first safety rope karabiner to a first hanger plate in the rock face, which is located around the level of the lead climber's head. The climber then ascends and secures a second karabiner to a second hanger plate provided in the rock face at a higher location. This process continues as necessary until the top of the rock face is reached. During the ascent, the lead climber is supported from below by a second climber or ‘belayer’, who holds the safety rope and pays out sufficient slack to enable the lead climber to ascend, and bears the weight of the lead climber in the event of a fall. This technique is employed in real climbing environments, where a ‘sport route’ has been previously set in a rock face, which is defined by a path of hanger plates secured in the rock face, and in artificial environments, where the hanger plates are secured to an artificial wall.

In a second climbing style known as ‘top-roping’, a hanger plate is coupled at or near the top of a rock or artificial wall face, and a climber is coupled to the hanger plate by a safety rope in the fashion described above. The climber is supported during his ascent by a belayer who takes up slack in the rope, and bears the weight of the climber in the event of a fall. Top-roping is particularly prevalent with beginners and in relatively permanent climbing structures, such as artificial climbing walls.

Many different types of climbing hanger plates exist, manufactured by a wide range of different companies. However, each is of generally similar structure. One such hanger plate is shown in the attached FIG. 1, and comprises an angled plate A having a portion B which is secured to the rock or wall face using an anchor bolt or the like (not shown), and a portion C having an aperture D which forms a loop in the plate by which a coupling such as a karabiner (not shown) is coupled to the plate A. The aperture D must be sufficiently large to enable easy coupling of the karabiner to the plate A. The hanger plate A is shown in FIG. 2 secured to an artificial climbing wall E of a type having a number of artificial hand/foot holds, two of which are shown and given the references F and G.

Unfortunately, as illustrated in FIG. 2, there is a tendency for these hanger plates to be used as finger holds or grips, particularly by children, and especially when ascending an artificial climbing wall in a top-roping procedure, which uses only one plate at the top of the wall. This is because, in such circumstances, the hanger plates secured along the route of the climber are not utilised for coupling of the safety rope to the wall face. Whilst this can aid the climber in ascending the wall, it has been found that this can lead to severe finger trauma in the event of a fall. This is because, should the climber slip and fall at a time when their finger H is inserted through the aperture D in the plate A, a sudden load is applied to the finger H which can lead to degloving, breakage and/or soft tissue trauma.

Such disadvantages also exist in relation to other types of climbing hanger devices, such as those used with fall arrest equipment on buildings. For example, modern United Kingdom Health and Safety laws require climbing hanger devices such as eye-bolts to be provided on buildings, so that users may secure themselves to the building using fall arrest equipment. This enables safe access to, for example, clean windows at height on the building.

It is amongst the objects of embodiments of the present invention to obviate or mitigate at least one of the foregoing disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device of a type having an aperture therein which facilitates attachment of a climbing accessory to the device, the cover adapted to releasably engage the climbing hanger device to at least partially cover the aperture, to thereby prevent insertion of a digit into the aperture.

By providing a cover which releasably engages a climbing hanger device to at least partially cover an aperture in the device, thereby preventing insertion of a digit (a finger or thumb) of a climber into the aperture, the invention prevents accidental trauma associated with inappropriate use of climbing hanger devices. Additionally, the invention provides a cover which is releasably engageable with a climbing hanger device, so that the cover may be released from the device when not required, for example, when full access to the device is required, such as to couple a climbing accessory to the device.

In preferred embodiments, the cover is for a climbing hanger device in the form of a climbing hanger plate. The climbing hanger plate is typically an angled plate having an anchor portion adapted to be secured to a rock or wall face using an anchor bolt or the like, and a coupling portion extending from the face at an angle (non-parallel) to the anchor portion, the coupling portion having an aperture which forms a loop by which a climbing accessory is coupled to the plate. It will be understood, however, that the climbing hanger device may be any device of a type which provides an anchor in a rock or wall face (whether real or artificial) capable of supporting the load of a climber through associated climbing accessories. Indeed, it will also be understood that the climbing accessory may be any suitable accessory desired to be coupled to the device, but typically takes the form of a karabiner, loop bolt or the like which facilitates coupling of a safety rope to the rock or wall face.

In preferred embodiments, the cover comprises a first cover element and at least one further cover element, the first and further cover elements adapted to releasably engage the climbing hanger device to thereby at least partially cover the aperture in the device. Where the climbing hanger device comprises a plate having a coupling portion defining the aperture, the first and further cover elements may be adapted to straddle the coupling portion.

The first and further cover elements may be adapted to be directly releasably coupled together, to thereby indirectly releasably engage the climbing hanger device. Thus by coupling the first and further cover elements to one-another, the cover may releasably engage the device. The first and further cover elements may be connected by a hinge, arm, linkage, connector or the like, and may be connected in a clam-shell type arrangement. This may assist in preventing separation and loss of one of the cover elements.

In embodiments of the invention, the first cover element may comprise a first engaging member and the further cover element may comprise a further engaging member, the first and further engaging members adapted to be releasably coupled together to thereby releasably engage the cover with the climbing hanger device. The first and further engaging members may be adapted to be coupled together in a push (interference) fit or snap fit, and may thus be shaped to engage in a push or snap fit. One of the first and further engaging members may be a male member and the other a female member, the male and female members cooperating for releasably coupling the cover elements together. One or both of the first and further engaging members may be adapted to extend through the aperture of the device, to thereby releasably engage the cover to the device.

Additionally or alternatively, the first and further cover elements may be adapted to be directly releasably coupled to the device. The first and further cover elements may each comprise a respective engaging member shaped to engage the device. For example, each cover element may comprise an engaging member shaped to engage within the device aperture, such as through an interference fit with a side wall of the aperture, and/or may be shaped to extend through the aperture and to engage with a surface of the part of the device in which the aperture is formed. In a variation, where the climbing hanger device comprises a plate having a coupling portion defining the aperture, the first and further cover elements may each comprise an engaging element shaped to engage with or around at least part of an outer edge of the coupling portion of the device.

At least one of the first and further engaging members may be shaped to have an outer perimeter matching a perimeter of the aperture. This may provide a close fit of the engaging member(s) in the aperture, to prevent unwanted movement of the cover, in use.

In an alternative embodiment, the cover may comprise a body adapted to engage around at least a part of the device, to thereby close the aperture. For example, the body may comprise a slot, channel or the like shaped to engage the device in an interference fit, snap fit or the like, and may comprise at least one engaging member for releasably engaging in the aperture of the device. Additionally or alternatively, where the climbing hanger device comprises a plate having a coupling portion defining the aperture, the slot may be shaped for engaging with or around at least part of an outer edge of the coupling portion of the device.

Preferably, the cover is shaped to cover the entire aperture of the device. However, it will be understood that the cover need only be shaped to cover a sufficient portion of the aperture so as to prevent insertion of a digit of a climber into the aperture. By providing a cover which covers a part or portion of the aperture (whilst preventing insertion of a climber's digit into the aperture), a part or area of the aperture may be left open for access of, for example, a safety rope, karabiner, or other climbing accessory shaped to fit the open area.

The cover may have an outer perimeter shaped to match a perimeter of the aperture. The cover may therefore be provided as a plug for closing the aperture.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device of a type having an aperture therein which facilitates attachment of a climbing accessory to the device, the cover comprising first and second cover elements, the first and second cover elements adapted to releasably engage the climbing hanger device to thereby cover and close the aperture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional climbing hanger device in the form of a climbing hanger plate;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the climbing hanger plate of FIG. 1 mounted on an artificial climbing wall of a conventional type;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the device shown in FIG. 3 in an open configuration prior to engagement with a climbing hanger device;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention, shown from a first angle and illustrated engaged with a climbing hanger device;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the cover and climbing hanger device of FIG. 4 taken from an alternative angle;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are front and plan views, respectively, of the cover and climbing hanger device of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device in accordance with a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, shown engaged with a climbing hanger device;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device in accordance with a still further embodiment of the present invention, the device shown in FIG. 9 in an open configuration prior to engagement with a climbing hanger device; and

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device in accordance with a yet further alternative embodiment of the present invention, shown engaged with a climbing hanger device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning firstly to FIG. 3, there is shown a releasable cover for a climbing hanger device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the releasable cover indicated generally by reference numeral 10, and shown in the Figure in an open configuration prior to engagement with a climbing hanger device such as the device A shown in FIG. 1.

The releasable cover 10 is adapted to releasably engage the climbing hanger device A to at least partially cover the aperture D and thereby prevent insertion of a digit such as the finger H of a climber into the aperture D. In this fashion, accidental trauma in the event of a fall from the artificial climbing wall E of FIG. 2 is prevented, as the climber is unable to insert his finger H into the aperture D following engagement of the cover 10 with the hanger plate A.

The cover 10 generally comprises a first cover element 12 and a further cover element in the form of a second cover element 14, which is connected to the first cover element 12 in a clam-shell type arrangement by virtue of a hinge 16. The first and second cover elements 12 and 14 are shaped to engage around and straddle the coupling portion C of the hanger plate A and are generally elliptical in shape, and curved in cross-section, to provide a smooth, contoured shape which prevents a climber from gaining a foot or hand hold during ascent or descent of the climbing wall E.

The first cover element 12 includes a first, female engaging member 18 which is generally oval in shape and the second cover 14 includes a second, male engaging member 20, which is shaped to cooperate with the female member 18 in a push or interference fit. Additionally, the female and male engaging members 18 and 20 are shaped to closely fit within the aperture D of the hanger plate A, and thus outer perimeters 22 and 24 of the respective female and male members 18 and 20 are shaped to correspond with a perimeter of the aperture D. In this fashion, a close-fit is provided when the cover 10 is engaged with the hanger plate A.

The cover 10 is engaged with the hanger plate A as follows. With the cover 10 in the open configuration shown in FIG. 3, the cover 10 is fitted around the coupling portion C such that the coupling portion is received in an opening 26 defined between the first and second cover elements 12 and 14. The female and male engaging members 18 and 20 are aligned with the aperture D, and the cover elements 12 and 14 are then brought together, pivoting about the hinge 16. This brings the female and male engaging members 18 and 20 into engagement, extending through the aperture D. The female and male engaging members 18 and 20 are pushed together in a tight fit, thereby clamping the cover elements 12 and 14 around the coupling portion C of the plate A, closing the aperture D. It will be understood that, in a closed configuration of the cover 10, a spacing is provided between the first and second cover elements 12 and 14 which is equivalent to the width of the coupling portion C.

With the cover 10 releasably engaged to the plate A, it is no longer possible for a climber to insert his or her finger H into the aperture D during ascent or descent of the climbing wall E.

When it is desired to release the cover 10 from the hanger plate A, for example, if it is desired to couple a climbing accessory such as a karabiner to the plate A, the cover plates 12 and 14 are levered open using a blade, screwdriver or the like, to release the female and male engaging members 18 and 20 from engagement. The cover 10 may then be fully opened and removed from the plate A. The cover 10 is typically of a plastics material having a degree of resilience such that the hinge 16 may be provided as a living hinge. However, it will be understood that alternative suitable materials may be employed.

Turning now to FIG. 4, there is shown a releasable cover in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the cover indicated generally by reference numeral 100. The cover 100 is illustrated in the Figure from a first perspective angle, and is shown coupled to an alternative climbing hanger plate 28. The cover 100 is also shown in the further perspective view of FIG. 5, which is taken from a different angle to the view of FIG. 4, as well as in the front and plan views of FIGS. 6 and 7. The cover 100 of FIGS. 4 to 7 is of similar construction to the cover 10 of FIG. 3, and like components share the same reference numerals, incremented by 100.

It will be noted that the plate 28 shown in FIGS. 4 to 7 is of similar construction to the plate A shown in FIG. 1, but that the overall shape and dimensions of the plate 28 are slightly different. In a similar fashion to the plate A, the plate 28 includes an anchor portion 30 for securing the plate 28 to a wall, such as the artificial wall E shown in FIG. 2, by an anchor bolt (not shown) extending through a bolt hole 32. The plate 28 also includes a coupling portion 34 defining an aperture 36 for a climbing accessory. Only the differences between the cover 100 of FIGS. 4 to 7 and the cover 10 of FIG. 3 will be described herein in detail.

In addition to being of similar shape and construction to the cover 10 of FIG. 3, the cover 100 is engaged and disengaged with the plate 28 in the same way as the cover 10 is with the plate A. Accordingly, the cover 100 is engaged with the plate coupling portion 34 by aligning female and male engaging members 118 and 120 on cover elements 112 and 114, respectively, with the aperture 36, before coupling the engaging members together. However, the cover 100 is more closely shaped to match the hanger plate 28 and, as shown in particular in the view of FIG. 5, includes a flat front face 38 shaped to define an abutment surface for abutting a face 40 of the anchor portion 28. This provides a more secure coupling of the cover 10 to the plate 28, by restricting movement of the cover 100 relative to the coupling portion 34.

Turning now to FIG. 8, there is shown a plan view of a releasable cover in accordance with a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, the cover indicated generally by reference numeral 200. The cover 200 is shown coupled to a climbing hanger plate such as the plate 28 of FIG. 4. The cover 200 is of similar construction to the cover 10 of FIG. 3, and like components share the same reference numerals, incremented by 200. The cover 200 differs from the cover 10 in that it includes cover elements 212 and 214 which are not coupled together by a hinge, but provided as separate components. The cover elements 212 and 214 define female and male portions 218 and 220 which define engaging structures that releasably engage within the aperture 36 of the plate 28, for coupling the cover 200 to the plate 28.

Turning now to FIG. 9, there is shown a perspective view of a releasable cover in accordance with a still further alternative embodiment of the present invention, the cover indicated generally by reference numeral 300. The cover 300 is shown prior to coupling to a climbing hanger plate such as the plate 28 of FIG. 4. Like components of the cover 300 of FIG. 9 with the cover 10 of FIG. 3 share the same reference numerals, incremented by 300.

The cover 300 is provided as a single-piece structure, comprising a hollow cover element 312 having a flat front face 338 in which a slot 42 is formed. The slot 42 is shaped to receive the coupling portion 34 of the plate 28, for mounting the cover 300 on the plate 28. An engaging element in the form of a resilient tab 44 is provided within the cover element 312, which engages within the aperture 36 in the plate coupling portion 34, for releasably securing the cover 300 to the plate 28.

Turning finally to FIG. 10, there is shown a perspective view of a releasable cover in accordance with a still further alternative embodiment of the present invention, the cover indicated generally by reference numeral 400. The cover 400 is shown coupled to a climbing hanger plate such as the plate 28 of FIG. 4. The cover 400 of FIG. 10 is of similar construction to the cover 10 of FIG. 3, and like components share the same reference numerals, incremented by 400. In fact, the cover 400 is of the same basic structure as the cover 100 of FIG. 4, save that the cover includes an aperture 46 which extends through the cover element 414, through the cover plate aperture 36 and through the other cover element (not shown). This aperture 46 permits a karabiner or the like to be coupled to the plate even when the cover 400 is mounted on the plate. However, the aperture 46 is shaped such that it is too small to permit or encourage a climber to insert his or her finger during climbing.

Various modifications may be made to the foregoing without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

For example, the climbing hanger device may be any device of a type which provides an anchor in a rock or wall face (whether real or artificial) capable of supporting the load of a climber through associated climbing accessories, or indeed in the wall of a building. The climbing accessory may be any suitable, alternative accessory desired to be coupled to the device, such as loop bolt or the like, which facilitates coupling of a safety rope to a rock, wall or building face.

The first and further cover elements may be adapted to be directly releasably coupled to the device. The first and further cover elements may each comprise a respective engaging member shaped to engage the device. For example, each cover element may comprise an engaging member shaped to engage within the device aperture, such as through an interference fit with a side wall of the aperture, and/or may be shaped to extend through the aperture and to engage with a surface of the part of the device in which the aperture is formed. In a variation, the first and further cover elements may each comprise an engaging element shaped to engage with or around at least part of an outer edge of the coupling portion of the device.

At least one of the first and further engaging members may be shaped to have an outer perimeter matching a perimeter of the aperture. This may provide a close fit of the engaging member(s) in the aperture, to prevent unwanted movement of the cover, in use.

Where the climbing hanger device comprises a plate having a coupling portion defining the aperture, and the cover a slot for receiving the device, the slot may be shaped for engaging with or around at least part of an outer edge of the coupling portion of the device.

The cover may be shaped to cover a sufficient portion of the aperture so as to prevent insertion of a digit of a climber into the aperture. By providing a cover which covers a part or portion of the aperture (whilst preventing insertion of a climber's digit into the aperture), a part or area of the aperture may be left open for access of, for example, a safety rope, karabiner, or other climbing accessory shaped to fit the open area.

The cover may have an outer perimeter shaped to match a perimeter of the aperture. The cover may therefore be provided as a plug for closing the aperture.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7594874 *Apr 12, 2006Sep 29, 2009Meissner Richard KQuick connect climbing hold
Classifications
U.S. Classification248/300, 248/925
International ClassificationA47F5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/0048, A63B29/02
European ClassificationA63B69/00M