/ Bolting Quartzite?

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Chogg 13 Jun 2019

Does anyone have any experience bolting a quartzite crag? Can it be bolted, will it crumble? Is it worth the effort? 

We have a huge potential crag area, which if developed would be fantastic. We've looked at quite a few routes, and the rock seems very good, but a bit extreme and not great for trad. Landowner permission seems to be forthcoming, and its not an area currently climbed.

Not experienced bolting, so before we embark on a mission, whats the deal?

Simon Caldwell 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

No experience, but it's been done elsewhere

Le Bosc

ian caton 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Lots of bolted quartzite around Briancon. 

MTL 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Might be worth contacting Gustav at Roc and Rope.  The cliffs at Waterval Boven are Quartzite I believe so he should know.

Sl@te Head 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Bolted quartzite in the UK = The Cad (E6 6a) 

smally 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Quartzite is a tough rock, it's hardness measures higher than granite. It's going to be abrasive on the drill bits, so go for quality brands .

On an ethical note, you say the crag would potentially give harder trad climbs. Is it worth exploring this route to development first ? How close are other trad venues to this site ?

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TobyA 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

I think https://27crags.com/crags/brensholmen is Quartzite and its has some sports routes and bolted belays in some areas.

Presley Whippet 14 Jun 2019
In reply to smally:

Steady on there, there is no indication that this is even a UK crag. No need to wheel out that argument. 

12
spenser 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Arapiles has plenty of bolts of various ages. It's been mentioned above about considering the potential for trad routes, however some quartzite formations don't really lend themselves to trad climbing.

smally 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Oh dear ! No need to try and build a consensus on potential bolting of a crag, possibly in the Highlands, then?  I would say there is no indication the crag is outwith the UK, perhaps you are being skewed by the other replies ?

Kudos to Chogg for seeking opinion/ advice. It's all about consultation.

I'm all for sport crags and happily clip bolts on NW Gneiss etc. Quartzite has had relatively little development for sport (one retro-bolted crag at Onich ?).

1
Davy Gunn 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Sport is now very much a part of Scottish climbing. As long as it's not on a mountain crag with trad routes and purely from an ethical point if there are natural lines then maybe give them a trad approach first, otherwise go for it. Many folk happy to contribute to a bolt fund I am sure. First a good drill with batteries (lots of re charging) needs sourced, and £££ for bolts, rings, epoxy etc. What the guys in the NW and East coast have achieved and how popular the venues there are is a testament to hard work, creativity and tenacity against the established order. Both aspects of the sport live in harmony all over the rest of the world and in particular its bringing young and older climbers back into "climbing" and also leads on to progressing hard trad climbing.  Some of the UK's best trad climbers got strong in comps and sport. Regarding Quartzite, "Dallens Rock"  is Quartzite and seemed to be bolted ok.  Tons more Quartzite  crags in the woods around Duror, Appin and Port Appin and  other raised beaches. A bit like Moy they make good sport but shite trad. Fill your boots.

3
ianstevens 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Steady on there, there is no indication that this is even a UK crag. No need to wheel out that argument. 

To the contrary, its an important consideration regardless of the location. The OP says they're new to bolting - and hence may not necessarily be aware of the ethics (equally they may have an in-depth understanding). Not hard to ask is it? Serves as a reminder that it may have slipped the OPs mind. 

3
Nik Jennings 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Quartzite eats drill bits but otherwise take the usual care as with any bolting.

studgek 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Chogg:

Drilling quartzite is difficult and very time consuming. I drilled all the existing routes on the quartzite crag at Dallens, south of Glen Coe (with the help of some others). I was lucky if I could get three holes from a single drill bit (12mm) so you need lots of them plus one or more large batteries. A heavy duty wrench is also worthwhile to extract bolts which sometimes get stuck part way in (and a hard rubber mallet). Eye protection whilst drilling on such a hard rock is a good idea but I'm sure you know that.

Iamgregp 14 Jun 2019
In reply to smally:

F*cks sake.  

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Davy Gunn 14 Jun 2019
In reply to studgek:

Some room for more at Dallens?

ewanjp 14 Jun 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

Surely if the land owner is happy to have the crag bolted, then what people on the internet think is kind of irrelevant. They own the land and can do what they want with it - sounds like the OP has done the right thing and spoken to the land owner and got permission thus avoiding an access nightmare.

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