Dangerous Bolting Leads to Climber's Deathby Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Feb/2009
This news story has been read 27,298 times
Simon Carter has written two in-depth reports on the accident at his site here: Onsight.com.au.
Nick started climbing a route called Bunny Bucket Buttress but went off route after a few pitches, following a line of new bolts. When he sat on one of the bolts it failed and he fell, unfortunately cutting his rope on a very sharp edge of rock. An investigation followed during which it was discovered that this route (Last Chance for Happy End) had been bolted with 8mm expansion bolts which are not suitable for the soft rock in that area.
All of the bolts (including belays) failed at ridiculously low loads. Many were simply tugged out by hand.
On Saturday (1st February) Mike Law, Andy Richardson and Simon Carter, acting with the support of National Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers, fixed rope down the entire 270m route and removed ALL of the bolts from this climb.
See their video below:
As climbers we take responsibility for our own safety. We assess each placement as we climb and use our experience to judge the strength of any anchors we use, both natural gear and fixed gear (bolts/pegs). However we also have a duty to ensure that any fixed equipment we do install is adequate for the job. If a bolt looks shiny and new, then it looks strong.
If you are planning to bolt routes in your area, please check with the BMC as to which type of bolts they recommend. There are several useful documents available on the BMC website here: BMC bolts
This incident was originally flagged up on the UKC forums by Adam Lincoln. UKC were asked to wait until more investigations had taken place before publishing a news report.
US climber Jonathan Siegrist is renowned for his hard sport climbing ascents, with repeats of La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana,... Read more
19 year-old James Squire has just returned from a successful two-week trip to Averstal (AKA: Magic Wood) in Switzerland, climbing... Read more
Mina Leslie-Wujastyk has ticked the world-famous Punks in the Gym 8b+/32 at Arapiles, Australia. First climbed by Wolfgang... Read more
As widely reported in mainstream media, the iconic block perched precariously at the top of Lord's Rake on Scafell in... Read more