There was a buzz on the Climb.co.za forum recently around bad things happening when good men do nothing…and removable bolts (RBs) were mentioned.
I thought the idea of taking bolts out was a good idea 10 years ago, so I bought a couple from ClimbTech in the US. The truth is that they really sucked back then. After reading the posts on the forum I had another look at the ClimbTech website and discovered that the RBs had been redesigned. Simon Larsen at VSS got me a bunch to try out.
Whats the verdict?
This a true technological advance in climbing safety. The RBs are easy to place and come out just as easily, even after hanging on them. They work pretty much like friends although they are designed more like expansion bolts.
However, the holes you need for placement can be pretty hard to see and the RBs are as expensive as Cams. But if you are looking for a protection on a death run-out without the need for fixed protection, you’ll find those holes. Great for places like Paarl!
I looked into the Environmental Management Programme for Climbing on the Peninsula Mountain Chain and drilling holes rate as: Low to No Impact. The holes aren’t going to rust and need replacement after 15 years like bolts, but RBs are also not going to replace bolts in Sport Climbing areas any time soon. So where do they fit in? Add this great piece of new technology to your trad rack and stop shaking with fear.