Bad Bolts on Kalymnos

© Chris Craggs/ Bruno Fara

French climber and prolific route equipper Bruna Fara, has reported a worrying incident on Kalymnos. His wife Renee Guerin led a recent route on North Cape - Reise (7a) which was put up by the Remy brothers in April this year. As she was lowering off, the tension on the rope pulled the 5th bolt out of the rock. On further examination the bolt was seen to be broken in half (see below).

The bolt was one of a batch produced by Greek company Rocklands. The batch has been recalled but several hundred of the bolts were placed earlier this year - full list of the routes which may be effected is below. All these routes should be avoided until they have been inspected.

NOTE: all the routes were put up this year and none of the routes in the current guide are implicated.

Here's a list of routes where defective Rockland bolts may have been used. It is likely that most of these routes are safe, but until they have been checked and/or replaced, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT climb the routes below.

More on the ClimbKaymnos web site


Circus 7a+, 17 bolts, 35 m,
Ingo 6b, 14 bolts, 25 m
No Exit 6a+, 15 bolts, 45 m
Metro 6a+, 17 bolts, 47 m

SECTOR GREAT CANYON (new sector between Arhi Right and Sea Breeze Left)

Melomakaronas 6c 35 m
Mystic Land 7a 35 m
Plastic Surgery Disaster 7b 32 m
Art in the Air, 7a 34 m
Vromikos 6c, 33 m
Boulderhoelle 6b+, 33 m
Xazouli 6b, 32 m
Xazouli Ext 6c, 38 m
Me Ponaï 6c, 32 m,
Rock Out 6c, 20 m
Loubis's Angels 6b
Brave a New World 5c+, 16 QD
Divine Comedie 7a,
Sex Pistols 7a
Tzatziki kai Sokolate 7b
Beta Lambda 7b+

SECTOR GREY ZONE (left of Pocket Wall)

Fasolada 6a slab
In Dubio 6a
Falakro 5b+
Saphirniac 6c 38 m
Utopia 6a, 20 m.
Utopia Ext 6c, 36 m


Bolt-Obsession 4c
BB 5a, 20 m
Takis rare 4a
No Blabla Do It 4b
Mammut Step 4c
Kolhinet Kafhouille 7a Extension of Avri


Ratten 7a, 10 bolts, 20 m
Metralos 6a+, 12 bolts, 30 m
Cacou 6a+, 10 bolts, 25 m
Vicking 6a, 12 bolts, 25 m
Directos 6b, 13 bolts, 30 m
Grim 6b, 13 bolts, 30 m
Grim Ext 6c+, 20 bolts, 50 m
Cosi 7a+, 15 bolts, 30 m
Taupe the Rop, 7b, 13 bolts, 28 m


Reize 7a, 14 bolts, 25 m
Leone 6a+, 14 bolts, 30 m

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19 Oct, 2011
I think it's a bit poor for people to still be putting routes up on expansion bolts when glue-ins are so superior. Particularly on a coastal limestone in a hot country. I know they're cheaper but if you're willing to go to the effort to establish new routes it should be done in the best style. I've seen a lot of truly terrible crap done with expansions so i'm a little bias but I just don't think there's room for them anymore. A glue in last longer than a expansion, as climbers we should be responsible for taking care of the rock for the future. Nothing pisses me off more than when you start to see clusters of bolts because people are too stingy to do it right the first time round ...../rant
19 Oct, 2011
Why's that?
19 Oct, 2011
"The stainless steels used today in almost all climbing bolts are susceptible to a failure mechanism called Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking or SCC. Just like it sounds, the chlorine ion, which results from dissolving salt in water, and stress must both be present. A typical multi-piece expansion bolt has the shaft in tension, and the hanger has complex stresses placed on it when it is clamped against the rock as you tighten the nut. This type of bolt placed in a sea cliff is a bomb with a short fuse. Once started, SCC spreads like a disease following the stress lines in the steel, much like grass grows in small cracks in concrete and forces the pieces apart. The cracks get larger over time, and soon the microscopic grains of the metal are no longer in contact." from
20 Oct, 2011
I am living and bolting in Thailand near Bangkok and I only use glue-in's. I was amazed to see that people are still using expansion bolts on limestone by the coast!!! After all the researched that has been conducted, isn't it common sense to use glue-in's with Hilti RE 5OO glue????
20 Oct, 2011
Glue-ins are a pain on steep routes bolted from the bottom and even I resort to bolt-ins for this. Also the culture of more new routes on ones tick list and the ethical standpoint of some climbers of only opening routes from the bottom means glue-ins aren´t so attractive either. There are regrettably a lot of crap bolts out there on the market and I have just this morning wasted 2 hours of my life testing and rejecting a new delivery of apparently satisfactory bolt-ins which don´t in anyway conform to any known standard. 9.6kN really isn´t good enough when a comparable European quality bolt will get 38kN and the requirements for EN959 are 15kN and 25kN.
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