2Cam Rock Anchor

University of Colorado - Boulder, 2000 - $14,932

Seth Murray, an avid rock climber for many years, was climbing in Yosemite National Park when he noticed trails of small craters leading up the rock's face. The craters were formed by climbers hammering pitons, or climbing nails, into the rock to serve as anchors. Bothered by the environmental impact of the relatively few climbers, Murray was determined to design a new device that would utilize existing holes without damaging them further.

In the Spring of 2000, Murray formed a team of engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder to design his idea, a two-cam rock anchor. Seth's design was much smaller than other designs on the market and arguably more efficient. That summer, the team filed for a patent, created a business plan, and developed twenty prototypes to help market their idea.

The following year brought much success for the team. At NCIIA's March Madness for the Mind exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute, the team found investment money for their newly created company, Splitter Gear Inc. The money helped the new company, and in August 2001, it sold 140 2Cam Rock Anchors, the official name of the proprietary device. They currently have a deal with an exclusive distributor to help sell their product, and are working on a 4Cam and a 6Cam rock anchor device, among other climbing gear. Although Murray has his hands full with all the worries of a new business, he hopes to soon expand Splitter Gear to become the leader in the climbing industry.