WARNING: Bad Bolts at Smalldale in The Peak - UPDATE

Richardh wrote: "Yesterday, climbing at Smalldale on a newish route - Summat Outanowt (7a), two of the lower bolts pulled out with the tension of the rope on lowering off. On examination the glue hadn't gone off, and I hadn't noticed on the way up that it hadn't...I presume the glue had set on the 6th because I sat on it rather than fell on it."

We have had reports of bad bolts at Smalldale Quarry in the Peak District.

See this forum thread

UKC contacted Dan Middleton the Technical Officer at the BMC and the BMC ask that everyone avoids climbing at this quarry until the bolts have been checked. This should happen tomorrow, Tuesday 8 May.

Update Wednesday 9 May

First published by Dan Middleton - BMC Technical Officer on the BMC web site

This is an update on the warning issued recently regarding loose bolts at Smalldale Quarry in the Peak District. A number of routes which may have been affected were checked by the re-equipper, with no problems reported, and the two missing bolts were replaced.

The BMC received an email from the re-equipper, explaining what steps he had taken to check the bolts there:

"I have thoroughly checked all of the following:

Sock it to 'em
Learn the Lingo
Mr Love Pants
Riding the Bullet
Open Season
More Chattery Teeth
Upminster Kid
Friend 15

And the route Summat Outanowt on which the first two bolts pulled has been checked: all the remaining glue in's are fine and extra bolts have been added to replace the two that pulled.

Of interest is that the first batch of routes are almost all well-chalked which emphasises the efforts taken to improve the place.

I did reclimb Summat Outanowt after it was rebolted - 25th March and rebolted 28th December - and abbed down to unclip the gear which did not pull as I did not overtly place any shear stress on them, otherwise I would have had the problem clearly identfied. I can only apologise that this happened.

I will endeavour to cross check every route I regear in the future. Lesson defintely learned!"

This incident highlights the need for climbers and equippers to be careful and diligent when using and placing any fixed gear. Sport climbing has inherent risks which the climber should be aware of - more information on how to spot a suspect bolt, and guidelines for good practice when equipping can be found in the BMC bolt guidance documents.

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