Title:
Method & apparatus for recovering anchor rope after rappelling
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus and method for retrieving an anchor strap or rope used in rappelling down a structure and including a pass-through attachment secured to a running end of the anchor strap or rope, a blocking attachment secured to the standing end of the anchor strap or rope, and a release member attachable to the standing end of a rappelling rope and passing through the pass-through attachment member with the rappelling rope, but incapable of passing through the blocking member when the running end of the rappelling rope is pulled to retrieve the rappelling rope and the anchor rope.



Inventors:
Hanson, Matthew K. (Holladay, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/062164
Publication Date:
08/24/2006
Filing Date:
02/22/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Matthew K. Hansen (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. Apparatus for retrieving an anchor strap after rappelling comprising a pass-through attachment secured to the receiving end of anchor strap and sized for a rappelling rope to pass through; a blocking attachment secured to the standing end of the anchor strap, said block attachment having an opening therethrough through which the rappelling rope is passed; and a release member secured to the standing end of the rappelling rope, said release member being sized to pass through the pass-through attachment with the rappelling rope and being sized to be blocked against passage through the blocking attachment.

2. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the pass-through attachment has an elongate opening, the blocking attachment has a circular opening therethrough and the release member is thin and sized to fit through the elongate opening and is too large to pass through said blocking attachment with said rappelling rope.

3. Apparatus as in claim 2, wherein the release member has a delta configuration and a tether line attached to an apex to secure the release member to the standing end of the rappelling rope.

4. A method of retrieving an anchor rope after rappelling comprising providing a pass-through opening at a running end of an anchor strap; providing a blocking opening at a standing end of said anchor strap; attaching a release member to the standing end of the rappelling rope; and pulling on the running end of the rappelling rope to pull the rappelling rope and said release member through said pass-through opening and continuing pulling of said running end of said rappelling rope until the release member engages the blocking opening and further pulling of the running end of the rappelling rope to pull the anchor strap free.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

REFERENCE TO MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a method and apparatus for recovering an anchor strap or rope that has been used by a climber while rappelling.

It is common for people who climb structures, such as mountains, buildings and the like, to rappel down the structures. Generally, in preparation for such rappelling action, an anchor strap or rope is looped around a fixed support member and the ends of the anchor strap or rope are tied together. A fixed support member may be a tree, a rock, or a structural member of a building, for example.

2. Prior Art

In the past, it has been necessary to leave the anchor strap or rope that is tied around a fixed support member in place after the strap or rope has been used in connection with the rappelling procedure. Generally, also, a running end of a long rappelling rope is passed through the tied loop of the anchor strap or rope and both the running end and the standing end of the rappelling rope passing through the anchor strap or rope are used to support a person rappelling down a structure.

Once the person rappelling down the structure has reached a desired lower level, the rappelling rope is conventionally retrieved by pulling one end of the rope back through the loop of the anchor rope until the end pulled through the anchor rope falls to the level of the person pulling on the rope. Care must be taken to avoid being struck by the falling rope since the impact of such a strike can be very dangerous. In the past, it has generally not been practical for the person rappelling to recover the anchor strap or rope. Consequently, the anchor strap or rope is frequently left in place. This can be very unsatisfactory in many cases. For example, the mere presence of the rope can adversely affect the ecology of the area and certainly any pristine condition of such area. It is also possible that the presence of the anchor rope can be dangerous to the person rappelling from the height of the anchor rope to a lower level. For example, military personnel who may need to become involved in a rappelling procedure, frequently do not want the anchor rope left in place, since such anchor rope may provide evidence of the presence and location of the person rappelling down from the anchor rope.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Objects of the Invention

Principal objects of the present invention are to provide a method and apparatus that will allow for the recovery of an anchor strap or rope so that it is not left behind to adversely affect the environment or to provide evidence of the rappelling operation.

Other objects are to provide an apparatus that is easily carried by a climber and without having additional substantial weight that the climber must carry. The apparatus must be easily used in connection with an anchor strap or rope and the rappelling rope used by a person descending from a height.

Other objects are to provide a method by which climbers, after rappelling, can recover the anchor strap or rope that has been secured to a fixed structure and from which a rappelling rope is suspended.

Features of the Invention

Principal features of the invention include a pair of attachment members to be secured to the running and standing ends of an anchor strap or rope loop and through which loop a running end of a rappelling rope is passed.

A releasing member that will attach to a standing end of the rappelling rope that is pulled through one of the attachment members and is held from being pulled through the other attachment member as the standing end of the rappelling rope is pulled after rappelling has occurred. Pulling on the rappelling rope then pulls the anchor strap or rope from around the structure to which it has been secured and allows the anchor rope to fall along with the standing end of the rappelling rope.

Additional objects and features of the invention will become apparent to persons skilled in the art to which the invention pertains from the following detained description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF THE INVENTION

In the Drawings

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view showing the prior art conventional method and apparatus used in rappelling from a height;

FIG. 2, an enlarged pictorial view of the apparatus of the invention assembled for rappelling according to the method of the invention;

FIG. 3, a view like that of FIG. 2, but showing an anchor strap and a rappelling rope being pulled through attachments to the running and standing ends of the anchor strap;

FIG. 4, a view like FIG. 3, but showing the release member attached to the standing end of the rappelling rope being pulled through a pass-through attachment member fixed to the standing end of the anchor strap; and

FIG. 5, a view like that of FIGS. 3 and 4, but showing the release member pulled through the attachment member on the standing end of the anchor strap and engaging the blocking attachment member on the running end of the anchor strap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring Now the Drawings

As shown in FIG. 1, rappelling from a height has generally involved securing an anchor strap 10 around a fixed structure, such as tree 12. Generally, the anchor strap is wrapped around the fixed structure and it may be wrapped more than once, if desired. The running end 14 and standing end 16 of the anchor strap are tied together so that the anchor strap makes a loop around the trunk of tree 12. The fixed object could as well be a large fixed rock, or other structure. If rappelling is to be down the face of a building, for example, the anchor rope could be wrapped around a chimney or other suitable support structure.

Once the anchor strap has been looped around a fixed structure, a running end 20 of a rappelling rope 22 is passed through the loop and both the running end 20 and the standing end 24 of the rappelling rope 22 are dropped from the support structure tree 12, down the face of the structure, i.e., cliff face 28, or building, etc. A climber 29 will use both the running end 20 and the standing end 24 of the rappelling rope 22 to descend from the tree to a lower level.

Once at the lower level, the climber 29 can pull on either end 20 or 24 of the rappelling rope 22 to pull the other end through the loop formed by the anchor rope. The rappelling rope 22 has then been retrieved, but the anchor strap 12 must be left behind.

Using the apparatus of the present invention, it is possible to rappel from a height and to retrieve both the rappelling rope and the anchor rope.

As best shown in FIGS. 2-5, an anchor strap 30 has a running end 32 to which a pass-through attachment member 34 is secured. The standing end 36 of strap 30 has a blocking attachment 38 secured thereto. As shown, both attachment members 34 and 38 are connected to the ends of strap 30, with the ends of the strap passed through openings in the attachment members. Knots 40 and 42 tie the attachment members to the strap 30 such that a loop 46 is formed by the strap 30 to pass around a fixed structure, such as tree 12, previously described.

A rappelling rope 50 has a running end 52 passed through each of the attachment members 34 and 38. A release member 56 is tethered by a line 58 to the standing end 60 of rappelling rope 50.

Attachment members 34 and 38 are each preferably made of stainless steel and are made to be strong enough to support the weight of a climber and to have a very large strength safety factor.

Release member 56 is also preferably made of stainless steel, but does not need to have the strength of the attachment members 34 and 38 since it does not carry the weight of the climber.

Pass-through attachment member 34 preferably has a hole 70 in one thereof through which the running end of strap 30 is passed to be tied and to secure the pass-through attachment to strap 30. Pass-through attachment member 34 also has an opening 72 through which the running end 52 of rappelling rope 50 is passed. In addition, release member 56 is shaped to be pulled through opening 72 along with the standing end 60 of rope 50, to which the release member 56 is tethered.

Blocking attachment member 38 is a ring having an opening 76, therethrough. Opening 76 allows rope 50 to pass freely through but is too small for the release member 56 to pass through.

In use, the anchor strap 30 is looped around a fixed support structure. The ends of strap 30 are provided with a pass-through attachment 34 on a running end 32 and a blocking attachment 38 on the standing end 36.

Running end 52 of rappelling rope 50 is passed through the pass-through attachment 34 and through the blocking attachment 38.

A knot 80 is formed in the extreme end of the running end of rope 50 and both ends of the rappelling rope are dropped from the anchor strap 30.

The release member 56 is attached by the short tether line 58 to the standing end 60 of rope 50 and near the tip end 82 of the rope 50.

After a climber has used both the running and standing ends of rope 50 and has rappelled down to a desired level, the climber can retrieve both the rappelling rope and the anchor strap. Retrieval is accomplished by pulling on the running end 52 of rappelling rope 50. The running end is easily identified by the knot 80 tied in the tip 84 of running end 52 to be used for such identification purposes.

When the climber pulls on the running end of rope 50, the standing end 60 of the rope passes through the attachment members 34 and 38. The release member 56 is pulled through the attachment member 34. When the release member 56 reaches the blocking attachment member 38 it cannot pass through. Thereafter, continued pulling on the running end of rappelling rope 50 will pull the running end 60 through the pass-through attachment until the release member and the running end are fully through the pass-through member. The pass-through member is then free of rope 50 and strap 30 is released to be pulled down with the standing end of rope 50.

Although a preferred embodiment of my invention has been herein described, it is to be understood that the present disclosure is by way of example and that variations are possible without departing from the subject matter coming within the scope of the following claims, which subject matter I regard as my invention.