Of out-of-the-box climbing inventions

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Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 16, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
You must forgive the unfettered audacity of the inventive mind -- which I possess in abundance and madness -- but eons ago I invented some unique climbing devices that never found their way into the marketplace for various reasons. One was a combination ascender-rapeller, the other a self-belaying system to allow any climber of any degree of skill to solo climb without fear of taking a screamer. I invented the combination device in 1979 and the solo-belay system in 1993. I named the solo-belay system "Solo-Dare", and filed the patent application accordingly.

My timing was just not right as what I confronted when I approached all the main players in the climbing equipment arena is that they were all moving away from high liability ideas, and my devices were seen as potentially of high liability.

So just as dozens of my inventions spanning several fields have been banished to my mildewed filing cabinets, those two climbing devices most likely shall never see the light of day again. Most prolific inventors understand this as very little of our unique ideas ever come to market. But the intellectual rush is in knowing nobody but you came up with the concept.
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
Mar 16, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
you invented a device
that stripps the self-belayed climber
of any fear or regret?

i will begin praying to you tonight,
once im exhausted of my abundant sin.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 07:53pm PT
Funny response!! Love to swill a few brewskies with you!!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 16, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
Hi. . . I'd love to take a look at your patent. . . could you please post up the number?

Thanks.

Kath
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
Mar 16, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
im a big fan of the silent partner,
though i most emphatically harbor fear
when im driving and she's braking.

Credit: Norwegian

beers. they are readily consumed without trepidation.
who invented the fearlessly-swilled beer?
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 16, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
YeahBaby. . . I'm kinda partial to the SilentPartner, too!

:-)
Prod

Trad climber
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:02pm PT
According to Czech legend, deity Radegast, god of hospitality, invented beer.

Prod.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 08:05pm PT
The only problem with a silent partner (in and out of bed) is the lack of that very twisted and morbid sense of humor that flows so freely with the flood of adrenalin.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
It's never let me down so to speak...

Now. JVM, If you ever need beta testers....
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
i named my daughter annapurna,
after the goddess of substance;
the provider of harvest.

i didn't realize that i was
assigning her such an exaggerated expectation;
i merely threw a monumental hissy-fit
when my wife won the name-the-child coin toss.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
Damn, Norwegian, you's a poet and don't know it!!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
So. . . post up a link to your patent, already!

:-)
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
I am with eKat; make this real
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 08:17pm PT
Wish I could post it, but I abandoned the application when all the manufacturers turned me down. If you know the "game" then you know that you begin the patent process to acquire "patent pending" status then you start trolling for interest hopefully via NDAs. I got nowhere after the NDA level because my Solo-Dare system was seen as potentially of high liability because it promoted solo climbing which the industry does not want to promote.

A wise general knows when to retreat. Now I invent in arenas where liability is not a major concern, like the plumbing industry, CO2 sequestration, automotive security systems, and so on.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
Open Source.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
When one knows that his/her idea/concept/invention is never going to make it into the marketplace then one can choose to bury the idea out of ego, or one can "gift" it to the Universe. I will now gift my Solo-Dare to the climbing world right here on this website.

Picture hydraulic-activated camming devices linked together via ultra-lightweight cable with the "master cylinder" on your harness.

That's the only crumb I will give you. There's a lot more to the system, a lot more versatility, but if you've got an inventive mind you should be able to deduce a fair picture of the system.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
Yeah. . . I know the game. . . and went about it completely differently than how you outlined it.

Thanks anyway.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Beer was a byproduct of the construction of the pyramids, but coz needs to get into the fish tale spirit if he wants somebody to buy him a brew. lol
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:38pm PT

Where the heck have you been, Prod?????
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
god already claimed your patent.
i have a hydraulic-actuated master cylinder,
it lives right near my tie in point.
it rearranges stars.

it is impartial to solo travel
or engagement with a partner.

no disrespect.
im sure that you're a smart cookie.

you are just way f*#king bizarre,
like most of us here.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 08:40pm PT
Rush to judgement, Coz? You've no doubt availed yourself of some of my inventions and you don't even know it. Ever used a chainsaw? I invented a safety device for chainsaws in 1972 when you probably didn't even know what a chainsaw is. Do you use modern plumbing? Well, I'm currently in negotiations with the #1 plumbing products manufacturer in the US to begin production on a sewage device that most likely will protect you someday from poop invading your home. My oldest son is taking the charge to get my retro-fit fit-all anti-carjack security device to market, a device you might someday have on your car. Need I go on? Don't be so cynical.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:42pm PT
Well. . . I have a real interest in solo devices. . . but. . . I'm outta here!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:45pm PT
this thread's weird.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
Super weird.

Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Belmont, as in SF Bay Area? Methinks an old friend of mine -- Greg Schaffer -- was co-owner of the Belmont Climbing Gym. I know he asked me once about some engineering issues on that building when it was under construction. He also was partners in Planet Granite and Rockzilla, but I think he divested himself of all climbing gyms investments.

Haven't seen Greg since 2007 when we went to a HAI pool party at a Woodside estate. Still in constant contact with his twin brother Jeffrey, the well-known hiking guide author and maverick geologist.
John M

climber
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:54pm PT
Hey Jeffrey.. Just so you know, there are a number of inventors on this forum. Ekat and her former hubby came up with the silent partner.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 08:56pm PT
Hmm, not spewing, dude-o-roni. Did you bother to read my response regarding why I abandoned the Solo-Dare? Do you have any idea how much money it takes to acquire a utility patent on an invention with lots of claims? Would you waste thousands upon thousands of dollars to complete a patent process when the industry is telling you it does not want to buy into a product with potentially high liability? Sorry, Coz, but my inventor's ego just ain't that out of control to acquire an issued patent with no hope of monetary reward.

I've given you the germ of the idea -- my gift to the Universe -- so now let's see how clever you are to do something with it.
monolith

climber
SF bay area
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
I'd call it Solo Dare too if involved a 'master cylinder' on the harness. Surprised if you could even get a call back from a manufacturer.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 16, 2013 - 08:59pm PT
I saw some kick ass Dead shows in Mountain View.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
Methinks you need a strong beer, Coz. If you remember a time when there were no chainsaws then either you're an old acid hippie out of the Sixties with fried neurons, or you're extremely old, older than my 63 years, or you're just a smart-ass who loves to talk smack and accuse others of it.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
I also invented toilet paper before any of you knew how to use it! As a trade I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
But back on point--What's the point? Don't we get to see the mysterious things that are already patented?
I am thinking of inventing something called "jack" but I'm going to keep it in the box.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
Without a pic or drawing of the device...

This thread sucks
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
Hmmmmm, did you by any chance invent Grecian formula?
John M

climber
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
I wonder how many devices have gone to the grave because it cost too much to get a patent, or they run into something like bad timing.

My neighbor across the street is an inventor. He is not a climber but he designed the black diamond camelot. He also invented something to do with snorkels which is on every snorkel out there. Right now he is working on a device for belaying two people. He has a dozen or so patents.

Interesting stuff.. inventions.
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
Not cost effective if the target market is small or may die when using the invention. But I say if its fun just do it!

photo not found
Missing photo ID#294581







Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 09:22pm PT
Grecian formula? What's that? Sounds sodomistic!

To one and all on this thread, you have the idea of Solo-Dare, I've gifted it. I don't know what Silent Partner is unless it's that device I've seen in climbing gyms. You are free to take the idea of Solo-Dare and run with it, maybe upgrade it from its clunky 1993 concept to a remote-control idea with no connecting hydraulic cables. The whole reason for this initial post was to elicit CREATIVE input and feedback, not attitudes.
Mark Sensenbach

climber
CA
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
i have a awsome climbing invension that would make butt loads of money if made right. it would be some sort of hand crank machine that you fed your rope into and it got all the twists outa it. just like when you make rope length rappels and your repel device gets em out!!

sound worth making?
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 16, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
Hmm, Mark, that was one of the challenges to my 1979 combination ascender-rapeller device, the damned twisting of the rope.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
¿The Mexican ones too, Coz?
John M

climber
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
This is a the silent partner. Its a solo belay device.

http://www.rockexotica.com/products/belay_devices/all_solo_belay.html

I only brought it up so that you might understand that you aren't the only person here who has invented risky things, or who understands the invention process.

Your idea is too far out for me to process. I can't see it.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
C'mon, spill the beans. Is there a flux capacitor involved?
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
I had a client once who claimed her husband invented the leisure suit. he never patented it because everyone told him it looked ridiculous. The rest is history.

I tried to get her to hook me up with a bitch'n burnt orange, 100% polyester suit with white stitching. Never happened, she was just another bull shitter

It could have been me
It could have been me
Credit: Jon Beck
MisterE

Social climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 02:19am PT
Flake-pinching cam.

I have been waiting on my prototype from my mad inventor friend for what? 8 years now?

This wide-mouth vice-grip with the Stealth pads is sketchy...
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2013 - 03:32am PT
Ok, I see the confusion. The Silent Partner is way different from my abandoned Solo-Dare. My "system" was comprised of as many hydraulic activated camming devices and bolt-hanger engagers as one chooses to rack. As one ascends "solo" up real rock and places pro (has to be integral and operational with the system) said pro is linked into the hydraulic feed from the master cylinder on one's harness. Once you get to the end of a pitch you disengage the entire set of pro below you in one action, and you start the next pitch. You essentially protect/belay yourself the entire climb, regardless of the number of pitches.

I agree that the 1993 version was clunky but if one was inspired to update the system I suppose it could be made to operate by remote control, like radio-activated solenoids.

And no, Cuz Coz, I never said I invented the chainsaw, I invented a key safety device for chainsaws that McCullough picked up in 1972. Stay on your meds, dude!!
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2013 - 03:48am PT
Tip for do-it-yourself-prototype inventors. Just north of Mountain View where I reside, right off "101" in Redwood City is a place called the TechShop where you can do 3D printing, metal fabrication, welding, etc, etc. You join and you have run of the processes. I'm finishing up my technical drawings to begin yet another prototype in ABS plastic and I will be using the TechShop 3D printers. It's pretty cool stuff.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Mar 17, 2013 - 11:45am PT
JVM, having seen a bit of Hydraulics in my time, I have to but wonder what that would have weighed?

PS, Coz, you do yourself, and the rest of us too, a disservice with those kinds of attack posts.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Mar 17, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
Oh Mr. Loman...
Oh Mr. Loman...
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Mar 17, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
Jeffrey, You need to invent a cure for boredom, or is this it?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
So you can't do a pencil sketch or sketch-up so we know what you're talking about?
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
One of JVM's Books

Clothing Optional


;>)

kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
Creepy.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
The link from two posts above


"Decent Exposure
I am an avid nude hiker, and this most naturally healthy pursuit has forced me to seek out the unbeaten paths of the Sierra and the Big Sur mountains near my home. It makes me laugh with irritated irony at those Sierra Clubbers who complain about someone wearing a bikini on your cover (May/June) when any true wilderness devotee would appreciate humanity's natural state, which is to be nude in the wilds.
Jeffrey Van Middlebrook
Pacific Grove, California"


Is this one yours?

http://www.amazon.com/Jeffrey-Van-Middlebrook/e/B001KMCPJ6
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:45pm PT
That leisure suit is what Tom Evans recommends for El Cap climbers.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
How about nude offwidth climbing?
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
I am an avid nude hiker,

Well. . . that explains the MASTER CYLINDER!

:-)
MisterE

Social climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
I hear that male nude hiking is in full swing!

Edit: v v LOL, coz! v v
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 17, 2013 - 08:05pm PT
^ ^ ^ ^ YAY, coz! ^ ^ ^ ^
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 17, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
I think Bullwinkle has that, um, covered Kennyt.

Coz with the fast lowball!
Prod

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
Coz with fast lowball!

Well he is 50.
SicMic

climber
two miles from Eldorado
Mar 17, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
Master Cylinder
Master Cylinder
Credit: SicMic

Master Cylinder from Felix the Cat.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 17, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
TheMasterCylinder was my all time favorite cartoon dad!

TOO FUNNY!
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Mar 17, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
youll laugh so much your side will ache yer heart will go pitterpat...
jabbas

Trad climber
phx AZ
Mar 18, 2013 - 12:05am PT
Norwegian, that is a cool pic you posted. Looks like enough ropes yer haulin' to pull cable on the San Francisco bridge. Beastly !!!
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Mar 18, 2013 - 01:18am PT
I couldn't even get the fecophiliacs interested in my re-usable toilet paper. Big wall climbers maybe?
NorCalNomad

Trad climber
San Francisco
Mar 18, 2013 - 03:19am PT
idk this guy could be legit. He has the ego of an engineer. :P
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 18, 2013 - 08:21am PT


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