/ Removable Bolts Revisited- advice from people who've used them

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Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
Hello again,

A while ago I asked for some advice for a project up here that has no gear opportunities apart from some old bolt holes. I got some good advice then and one nice chap even sent me some micro-tricams to try out.

I've been working the line a lot more and have managed to get the holes totally clean now, but I have a few questions.

The first is a plea for information from anyone who has actually used the removable bolts before. The hole is deep; almost to the second joint on my little finger, but it is an irregular diameter- taller than it is wide. Will this effect the placing of the bolt? And roughly which size would you guess at?

I've thought about just putting a hand-placed something in, but it's too steep- it just falls out. So it needs something with springs.. Thanks again!
jimtitt - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

They are pretty critical on the hole size, more then about 0.5mm over and thatīs it (they have a very shallow angle on the cone). When we used the 3/8" model they were just o.k in a 10mm hole. The minimum hole depth for the 10mm model is 45mm, no idea about the other sizes.
In an irregular hole they might be a bit iffy, there isnīt a lot of contact at the best of times!
The sizes available are 1/2", 3/4" and 1", there will probably be a 10mm version available in the future from another company (Iīve a prototype of these). Youīll have to guess what size the holes are as itīs a bit difficult to tell from 1,000 miles away!
An expensive way of protecting a route though, they cost $59.95, $119.95 and $248.95 plus freight, import duty and VAT respectively.
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to jimtitt: thanks, that's some really useful info- particularly the thing about the contact area and the angle of cone. Sounds like I need to accurately measure the hole somehow... I imagine an old aid hole would be an imperial measurement though?

I'd ideally just solo it, but I don't want to go to all the extra effort of soloing it when there's a bolt hole in the perfect place,just for someone to come along and declare it safe. Interesting to think about I suppose.
The Pylon King on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Whack a peg in. :)

What are those tube spring things like friends? dont they go into old bolt holds?

The Pylon King on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front:

or could you do what this chap did?

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=228823
Tyler - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Have you tried using a ball-nut, they are the smallest camming device there is and have been well tested on the Promise at Burbage
Ade7 on 29 Aug 2012
jimtitt - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to jimtitt) thanks, that's some really useful info- particularly the thing about the contact area and the angle of cone. Sounds like I need to accurately measure the hole somehow... I imagine an old aid hole would be an imperial measurement though?
>
> I'd ideally just solo it, but I don't want to go to all the extra effort of soloing it when there's a bolt hole in the perfect place,just for someone to come along and declare it safe. Interesting to think about I suppose.

The old bolt size will depend on whether they used British or Continental bolts (and how long ago they were drilled, some industries have been metric for a long time).

Personally Iīm of the opinion that using removable bolts on routes like yours is a bad idea since no-one else has them.
That someone else drilled the holes doesnīt make it a trad route, youīve worked it and are going to use bolts to protect it (removable or not) which will make it a sport route. So my opinion is either bolt it properly or climb it without using the holes in any way and itīs trad.
The Pylon King on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Ade7:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson) http://www.climbtechgear.com/kinder-edition-rb/

Yeah thats the thing i saw
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front: what did that chap do?
mkean - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
(In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front) what did that chap do?

Regular bolt padded out with finger tape.
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Tyler: I haven't tried a ball nut as I figured it is too wide- it's a circular hole.

In reply to Jimtitt: Yeh, it's tricky isn't it. The problem is that the bolt holes are the only holds, so if you didn't use them it would be impossible. I think it would still feel very much like a trad route with one of them below you, but I'm not sure. I'd like to learn from past events on routes like clippity clop (I think that's the one), which were first soloed and then later climbed with large friends. If these bolt things become as common as large friends have now, then it will seem rather ridiculous to have soloed the line and it would also be unnecessarily putting myself in an extremely dangerous position.
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to mkean: o cool, that's a good idea, but I take it that it would only be any good with a downward pull? ie, not very good on an overhanging route?
mkean - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
Well I wouldn't hang my coat on one, I'm guessing you've seen the Braille Trail segment of Hard grit? ;-)

It is a difficult one, I'd be inclined to manufacture something to fit the hole but then I'm not sure it seem that ethical. Having a bit of personal gear for the route seems like cheating.

Do you think you need the gear for your head or to keep your arse off the deck?
jimtitt - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
>
> In reply to Jimtitt: Yeh, it's tricky isn't it. The problem is that the bolt holes are the only holds, so if you didn't use them it would be impossible. I think it would still feel very much like a trad route with one of them below you, but I'm not sure. I'd like to learn from past events on routes like clippity clop (I think that's the one), which were first soloed and then later climbed with large friends. If these bolt things become as common as large friends have now, then it will seem rather ridiculous to have soloed the line and it would also be unnecessarily putting myself in an extremely dangerous position.

Thatīs one for the ethics police where you are! Putting up routes which have subsequently become safer because of gear advances in natural features is something most guys of my generation are familiar with. Putting up routes which depend on drilled holds and protection is Mark Edwards speciality!
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to mkean: I haven't seen hard grit, but I take it that they're not very good...

If I placed something, it would only be for real protection as it would make the climb significantly harder to actually do.

Perhaps a filed down micro tricam might work?
Dave Warburton - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to jimtitt: Or freeing old aid lines?
The Pylon King on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

sounds very intriguing!

Is it this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=198943
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to jimtitt: It's quite a common issue in the moors- particularly with the harder lines and unclimbed lines. Aiding was very popular in the 50s, 60s and 70s and there are old bolt holes all over the shop. In my view they've become part of the rock around here, almost natural, but I don't think putting fixed gear in is really sensible. A peg would work quite well, but it's really rather dodgey. I'd even draw the line at those removable bolts that you have to ab down to place (with the central screw bit). I reckon stuff should probably be placed on lead, but it's definitely a contentious issue.
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front: yeh. Like I say, someone on here sent me a tricam that almost fits in. Perhaps I could ask his permission to file it down. That could work fairly well, but could be hard to place. It's only 3kn though!
Jimbo C - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Is it possible to get a small 'backwards' nut in there (i.e. with the wire folded over). Perhaps something with a square-ish section like one of the larger sized IMPs. Not saying I'd want to fall on gear like that tho.
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Jimbo C: the largest thing I could get in was a micro wire, which is really not ideal! Good idea though.
jimtitt - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Like you say, a contentious issue. Using man-made features which were created for a completely different purpose like shot-holes is one end of the scale, using peg scars from established aid routes somewhere in the middle. Someone elses bolt holes on an unclaimed line is something else since then the only question is the time scale, can I get my mates to drill some holes this week for me to claim the ascent next week? If not then why not and who decides on the timescale, an old bolt hole from way back in the 60īs might even be from me!
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to jimtitt: I suppose the line is whether or not the holes have anything to do with you and if they do, then did you drill them with the idea of one day free climbing it? Surely people must have seen all the old aid cracks getting freed in the 70s and thought about giving them an extra bit of widening prior to their attempt at the FFA? Interesting thought...
Rob84 - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: how about a hand placed peg? Hand placed beaks and sawn off angles, whilst not in the same league as a bomber wire, can be relatively good depending on the placement. Just a thought based on aid experience in the States where this sort of gear is commonplace these days on Yosemite walls, with the current ethics encouraging clean (ie hammerless) aid wherever possible to preserve the rock. Beaks in particular can key into old peg scars really well and give decent gear where nothing else would work - I guess these old bolt holes might be similar to a peg scar?
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Rob84: I had a little fiddle with normal pegs, but the wall is too steep-they'd just pull out in a fall. What do these beaks look like? The holes are almost a perfect circle- just slightly elongated.

thanks.
mkean - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
Beaks:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/880047/TOMAHAWKS

You could always hold it in with blu-tac?

tspoon1981 on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: http://cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/500/medium/Resized_Beaks.jpg

That's a selection of beaks and peckers (ha. Yes, I'm still mentally 5)
jimtitt - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

I also use a "sort-of" beak for aiding new bolt routes, Iīve a DMM Bulldog (a drive-in ice hook) cut off and ground to fit the normal 10mm hole we drill. Seems to hold quite convincingly even hand placed though it normally gets a thump with the hammer for what Iīm doing.
Probably going to be about the best bet for what you want.
How strong? No idea at all!!!
Franco Cookson on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to mkean: thanks all, some good info there. The beaks look good. My skyhooks were too wide to fit in.
ads.ukclimbing.com
andyr - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

I use the old style Climbtech units a lot for new routing. As Jim wrote, the 3/8" are a bit sensitive to hole size; but I've occasionally used the 1/2" ones in a number of natural holes and they've adapted well. Probably the mixture of one flat side being wedged by a round ball can better deal with a slightly irregular hole profile

http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-80617121555911_2050_21119569

Someone out there may have one which they're never going to use.
Rob84 - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: Black Diamond peckers are probably the only beaks you'll find in this country but they are good bits of kit and available in a fair few shops: http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=black+diamond+pecker&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-gb:I...

How many do you need? If you're still Manchester based you're welcome to borrow mine (I have 4/5 I think of different sizes) to see if they fit. Drop me an email if you want to get hold of them. Rob
gi - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
Hi there,

I belayed Cailean Harker on Whole Lotta Love, the route mentioned above and yep he just used a P-bolt wrapped in finger tape hand placed on the lead.

You can see what he does and how he does it in this video:

http://www.caileanharker.co.uk/?p=180

The amount of tape is pretty crucial as too little and it rattles about and can come out with rope drag, too much and it wont go in..

As he was headpointing it he could dangle about checking the exact amount needed, plus he clipped into it with a quickdraw whilst top roping it and I dropped him onto it.. Bomber, no problems.

I don't know if it will work for your route but it seemed to be the most ethical, cheap, safe and straight forward way of using the hole the route above.

Gi
The Pylon King on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to gi:
> (
> The amount of tape is pretty crucial as too little and it rattles about and can come out with rope drag, too much and it wont go in..
>
> As he was headpointing it he could dangle about checking the exact amount needed, plus he clipped into it with a quickdraw whilst top roping it and I dropped him onto it.. Bomber, no problems.
>
So theoretically impossible to give it an onsight grade?
gi - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front:

Well! Cailean has said that he'll lend the bolt to anyone who wants to try Whole Lotta Love but I suppose it depends on how much you think that blows the on sight?! you can see the hole from the ground (actually you can see most of the gear from the ground!) so its pretty obvious where it goes and what you need to take.

Unless of course you do the walk in blindfolded which at Spion Kopp would be pretty sketchy.

Gi
The Pylon King on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to gi:

But unless you abseil and check what will fit the hole then you wont know what to take?
gi - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front:

Hehe.. I can see this becoming a debate about ethics!

Well yep, it would be pretty despreate to onsite as you would have to climb past the bolt placement to the gear in the cracks above.
The thing is though that Spion Kopp isn't exactly the most popular crag and there isn't that many people who onsight E8 who are going to make the jouney there so who ever wants the the second accent (unless it's had one?) will probably need to give it a brush anyway, its pretty green and sandy there.

Gi
Franco Cookson on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Rob84: That would be great, thanks! I'll be there all next academic year. There's no rush- I haven't even linked it yet ;)
In reply to Franco Cookson:

If it sandstone a beak would probably cut right through the rock if you lobbed on it. I haven't read the whole thread, but if it is an old bolt-hole you might get a sawn-off peg to fit it.


Chris
uncontrollable - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:


Okay weird idea:
You mentioned a micro wire would possible fit,
how about you stick the biggest IMP you can fit in the hole, than a well fitting channel peg, pull on the wire while pushing the peg the whole thing should theoretically wedge tight.
If you fall it hopefully jams solid, if you don't fall just jank the peg with some funk and the whole chabang should come out clean.

Now I have no idea if that's going to work (Jim Titt) might have some opinions but if it does it should qualify as handplaced trad gear
Franco Cookson on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to uncontrollable: good idea! Full marks for creativity. I'll have to try that- might be a bit tricky one handed like...
The Pylon King on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

I cant believe how many projects youve got up there - what a place to live!!
Franco Cookson on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front: tell me about it. The only problem is that you never lead anything- shunting is just too much fun.
The Pylon King on 31 Aug 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front) shunting is just too much fun.

I know exactly what you mean!

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