Dangerous Bolting Leads to Climber's Deathby Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Feb/2009
This news story has been read 27,211 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.
Dave MacLeod has made the third ascent of Dave Birkett's Return of the King E9 6c on Scafell in the Lake District. Adam... Read more
Four athletes from the GB Paraclimbing Team won medals in the IFSC World Paraclimbing Cup in Campitello di Fassa, Italy last... Read more
Canadian climber Sonnie Trotter and Will Stanhope made the first free one-push ascent of the Ewbank Route on the Totem Pole,... Read more
Something remarkable happened in the Llanberis Pass last week. Eighty women climbers from 24 different countries – Iceland... Read more
We all have that one friend who can just keep hanging on and will manage not to fall off no matter what you throw at them.... Read more