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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:19 pm 
I started climbing outdoors a couple of months ago, so far I have only climbed at strubens valley, I was reading the article on bolt failure and wanted to know the following: On 2 of the routes I climbed yesterday the U-bolts at the top of the climb had been worn/polished half the way through, I guess from constant top roping? (1) When is it time to replace the bolts and (2) who is responsible for replacng them? is it the MCSA, the person who opened the route or who? Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:01 pm 
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If the bolts are worn half way through, they should be replaced with new bolts. Chains or some kind of links (shackles) should be attached to the bolts (ones that can be replaced if worn through) so the bolts are not worn down.

Check out http://www.safercliffs.org/code/rap_anchors.html (Good pictures of what we are talking about)

And also check out: http://www.climb.co.za/news_detail.asp?newsid=231
with regards to who might replace the anchors.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:13 pm 
Thanks Justin, I had a look and the U-bolt looks very similar, I have emailed the guy at the MCSA (JHB) who is in charge of bolting to see what there procedure is.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:59 am 
Hi we are planning to put shackels on these climbs, they get a lot of milage. Some other maintenence is also required such as a bolt on the 19 on the far right.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:11 pm 
I think I know the 19 you are talking about, there is a bolt missing and someone wrote \"why?\" on the rock. Just so I understand how things work, how are you involved? Are you \"contracted\" to do this on behalf of the MCSA or are you just putting in the effort because you climb there often? Either way thanks for putting in the effort.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:32 pm 
The life of anchors can be extended significantly if climbers do not top rope directly off the u-bolts but rather off quickdraws. People who do not use quickdraws are, in my view, acting with lack of consideration for the long term safety of other users.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:00 am 
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Hi with regards to this issue at Strubens Valley....

This is the problem with having two equally loaded bolts - they wear at the same rate. Having a staggered set-up means that only one wears. Its also a problem with u-bolts, biners or Maillons being used for lower offs as they wear in one place all the time. Rings will wear in different positions within the ring and the ring can last as much as 8x longer. Raumer and Fixe supply a sweet solution that consists of a flat hanger with a single ring. I think Mountain Mail order stocks the Fixe version and the Eiger Equipment in Ct are the agents for the Raumer version.

Bonne courage........

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 Post subject: Bolts & Strubens
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:15 pm 
The simple answer is that the bolts at Strubens are worn because people belay directly through the bolts instead of clipping in quickdraws and running the rope through the bottom biners (which should be back to back). The funadamental reason for this is that this is largely a beginner crag & certainly the most easily accessed crag in the area, so people are lazy, scared or do not know how to set up the top with quickdraws or a sling. Certainly few people would abseil such short distances, which means everyone lowers off- resulting in a lot of rope running through the \"bolts\".

As to who should maintain them; they are on Public Land so it would be either the MCSA or the private individual. Both have done quite a lot of work on the crag, someone recently having paid someone to do a lot of maintenance on the climbs. Quite clearly though it is no one's responsibility, except your own as you take the risk using the facilities, but rather we rely fully on the good graces of others who provide routes for us.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:55 pm 
Normaly its the trad climbers who take the inititive with most things. I bet it will be a trad climber who changes the top anchors.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:18 am 
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Went up 'Another Day in Paradise' yesterday and was really impressed how well the route had been equipped.
RE: the pic below - advantages: The hangers/chains can be replaced, the maillon can be turned (reduces wear in one place) and can be replaced if worn through (without interfering with the bolts). The two bolts are also staggered (see Andy's point ‘above’ about loading only one anchor at a time, so not to wear both anchors at the same time)

The picture below is what I like l see (the route was bolted by Stuart & Regula Brown) See http://www.climb.co.za/wcMontagu.asp for the RD

Image

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 Post subject: The simple, right way
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:58 am 
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Hairy Uncle - I have yet to see a trad climber replace a bolt, equip a route, build a path or negotiate access. I have however seen many trad climbers clipping bolts and walking up sport crag paths. But this is not the forum to discuss this - besides sometimes on a sunny day you might find me stuffing aluminium things in chossy cracks :-)

Justin - \"Another Day in Paradise\" has great chains but please lets not use this as an example for a good standard. You are still lowering off a single point (ie the maillon). We should aim for two seperate rings (stainless near the coast) on two seperate bolts.

PS maybe you can post a pic of such a desired set-up. I'm too blonde to do that.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:07 am 
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Agreed Andy, you want two individual points, so for your viewing pleasure...

Image

Two rings are even better, as they stop the rope from becoming twisted
Image

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:21 pm 
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The hangers on the 1st example there look wrong - loading them will tend to make them unbend, which has to be weaker than loading them in tension as they would be if they were of the petzl type.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:54 pm 
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Thanks Ben,
Agreed, they need to be staggered, this will also reduce/stop rope twisting. I'll get a photo of it sometime...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 6:37 pm 
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Staggering them doesn't solve the issue I was talking of.

The design of the hanger means that when loaded the force will be on the part of the hanger standing out from the wall. This then puts a moment on the hanger, which could unbend the hanger - it will tend to straighten out.

A petzl type hanger Image
is loaded in tension because of its orientation.

Staggering the bolts will just mean one ring is worn before the other, which is probably a safer form of failure.

Mind you I'm just looking at it intuitively as an engineer & climber - I have no bolting experience.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 6:43 pm 
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Looking at the fixe website the reason for using the horizontally mounted hangers seems to be so the ring stands perpendicular to the rock - making it easier to retrieve the rope after abseiling.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:40 am 
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My 2 cents worth:
Having staggered hangers means that only one is always taking the strain.
The other (or backup) one never gets loaded, it might be dodgy and you will never know. Only when you really need it!
It is better to have the load equally distrubuted between 2 totally seperate anchors.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 9:07 am 
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Ben, yes you're right about the difference between the Petzl and the Fixe. The Petzl hanger seems to hold more than the Fixe ones.

Rastaman, you make an interesting point :roll:

P.S. I'm no bolt/steel expert

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 5:24 pm 
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I think that's crap, how many times do you fall onto a single bolt and don't question it. It makes sense for only one to take the strain so that two anchors don't fail at the same time.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:30 am 
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The only time you fall onto a single bolt is at the first bolt of a climb.
If a bolt fails higher up the one below it will catch you.
I was taught to never trust a single bolt.
The same principle applies to setting up trad anchors, multiple points all equalised to one. You don't place a nut and then have a backup with slack connected to it. The other problem with un-equalised anchors is that if one fails you will place a large amount of force onto the other, much like a lead fall.
That was my 4 cents worth. :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:42 am 
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We need to take into account the wear that those anchors are going to receive. If the bolts are staggered they will still (both) get loaded when people clip-in to thread the rope.
With regards to the force generated - if the top bolt failled, there will be minimal force onto the lower bolt (if you consider some of the lead falls people take onto bolts)
You're hanging on one bolt, with one as a backup.
Thats my 5 cents worth :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:54 am 
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Sure that makes sense.
I think the only way to really know whats best would be to do some tests.
Maybe somebody from UCT could do this. I have seen results of them testing different types of bolts, but never different types and setups of top anchors. :?:
I will personally check as many top anchors as possible this weekend :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:13 pm 
An intresting study would be the comparison of climbers injured as a result of both top anchors failing & those injured, because they did not thread the anchors correctly.

Maybe some on at Fort Hare Uni could do this.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 11:26 pm 
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I've had a second thought about this type of hanger

Image

Loading the hanger at outside edge like they do could make them tend to pull on the bolt.

If you can't visualise this put your index finger up with your thumb out (hola 7 :D ) and push down your thumb.

As the distance that the hanger sticks out from the rock looks about equal to the distance from the bolt to the ring the force outwards on the bolt would be aprox equal to the downwards force on the hanger if the hanger is at all loose.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:37 am 
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This is going to become the standard in the Cape. The two anchors will be staggered as well.

Image

Opinions welcome :)

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Last edited by Justin on Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:17 am 
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Me like


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:02 pm 
Andy Davies wrote:
Hi with regards to this issue at Strubens Valley....

This is the problem with having two equally loaded bolts - they wear at the same rate. Having a staggered set-up means that only one wears. Its also a problem with u-bolts, biners or Maillons being used for lower offs as they wear in one place all the time. Rings will wear in different positions within the ring and the ring can last as much as 8x longer. Raumer and Fixe supply a sweet solution that consists of a flat hanger with a single ring. I think Mountain Mail order stocks the Fixe version and the Eiger Equipment in Ct are the agents for the Raumer version.

Bonne courage........


Once again, Andy you are WRONG. It is safer to have both anchors loaded. Who cares if they wear at the same time, at least the load is shared. You are meant to replace the anchors long before they pose the threat of wearing right through. Andy, you are the guy who 'retro' bolted and ruined 'Atmoic Aardvark' at boven. One of THE classic 24 and a benchmark route. The job you did was apalling. You absolutely ruined the climb and it will never be the same. It is by far some of the most amatuer bolting I've ever seen and the climbers I've spoken to are disgusted by this. Who are yo to divulge these pearls of wisdom and act like this f*cking climbing guru when your actions reveal disgraceful practices like that in 'boven. I'd say you're probably just some over-keen climber who's always putting his hand up and eventually people think you know what's what. I agree with Rastaman about the anchors and he's correct, you dont place two trad anchors without equalising them.

Andy, explain yourself regarding Atomic, did you rebolt it? and if you did, who gave you the right to, and why did you do such a disgusting job? I would appeal to Gustav, the official custodian of the 'boven area to be the decider of which routes get rebolted and who does it.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:51 am 
Dingo...it's absolutly fine to give someone a rev in public, but if you identify them...then be prepared to identify yourself fully.

There is no perfect anchor system. Every system has some draw backs. The last system posted is a very good option. Better than most systems currently in use in SA. Some of the draw backs may be:
Cost, 3 weld points & it has to be threaded. The weld on the 'P' bolt is in an unfortunate place.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 8:03 am 
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It always amazes me that people diss people left right and centre anonomously (spelling?). Dingo I think you should grow a set of balls and use your real name when dissing people like that. If I was to guess Andy was problably bolting routes while your mommy was changing your nappy.

Have you ever considered that not everybody bolts a route perfectly everytime?

Russell Warren


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 8:04 am 
Dingo...just read the rest of your post again. You should stop your self!

Its a question of equalising or backing up. Both are fine. Both have their advantages & disadvantages. It is only where the gear is marginal that equalising becomes important. Top anchors should never be marginal.


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