#1100: ScreWalker

Crampons are all very well for ice climbing, but today’s invention represents an attempt to upgrade them to something better than the era of heroes like Hillary had access to.

Imagine boots whose soles have an array of studs. These studs are in the shape of sharp screws of differing diameter.


When the studs sense that they are pressing against a surface, a motor in each boot rotates the studs in contact with the surface so that the boot is temporarily screwed to it.

Another sensor then detects any pronounced tension as the wearer attempts to lift the boot and rapidly unscrews the studs from the ice.

In this way, more secure contact is established when walking or climbing, even enabling someone to walk on overhangs or eg the roof of an ice filled cave.


  1. well, it sounds very good, just some concerns about this kind of invention.how do you want to have a motor small and powerfull enought inside those boots, what about the energy? where should it get it from, now from a pure risk and reliability analysis, what do you do when the motor just blow up and your trying to climb, or you’re already out there climbing some Ice wall?

  2. “risk and reliability analysis” are you kidding ;)?
    You are right, this is a pretty stupid idea, but kind of fun. Even if screws were used which were at least as sharp as standard crampon spikes, the walking-on-the-ceiling trick would always be crazy.

    As for power, well you would need probably three cordless drills per boot -and currently-available battery technology would allow a two hour climb on ice, maybe.

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