/ Removable Bolts Revisited- advice from people who've used them
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!
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.
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.
Whack a peg in. :)
What are those tube spring things like friends? dont they go into old bolt holds?
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
> 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.
(In reply to Pylon King Liberation Front) what did that chap do?
Regular bolt padded out with finger tape.
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.
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?
> 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!
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?
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.
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!
You could always hold it in with blu-tac?
That's a selection of beaks and peckers (ha. Yes, I'm still mentally 5)
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!!!
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
Someone out there may have one which they're never going to use.
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
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:
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.
> 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.
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.
But unless you abseil and check what will fit the hole then you wont know what to take?
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.
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.
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
I cant believe how many projects youve got up there - what a place to live!!
I know exactly what you mean!
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