Grappling hooks can get you up a vertical wall. But U.S. Special Forces are looking for something better. "These teams are often required to carry hundreds of pounds of gear, making traditional climbing methods strenuous and dangerous," Lt. Col. David Shahady of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) tells PM. http://www.popularmechanics.com/_mo...7466?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews There's a great vid at the end of the link Last August, students from 17 universities and the three armed forces academies were each given $20,000 and tasked with creating a superior vertical ascender for the annual AFRL Design Challenge. After nine months of effort, the teams came together this spring to put their hardware to the test at Calamityville, the National Center for Medical Readiness training facility at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. The goal: get four special ops personnel over a 90-foot sheer concrete face with innovative climbing equipment. The winner among the universities: Utah State University and its suction solution. The team’s "sucking ascender" is made from hand pads that can stick to the wall through battery-powered suction. The Personnel Vacuum Assisted Climber, or PVAC, can stick a soldier weighing up to 200 pounds along with 100 pounds of his or her gear to a vertical, or even horizontal, wall or rock face. Twin electric motors worn on the soldier’s back generate 3.5 pounds per square inch of sucking power. Footrests attached to the pads with cables support the soldier’s weight while he or she shifts the pads, one at a time, to climb up. Rechargeable batteries can run the PVAC for up to half an hour—plenty of time to get over just about any size wall.