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This posting is partly in response to the Route at Blaze of Glory posting: Having been in Thailand recently, bolts placed there have to be Glue-Ins (Chemical), standard bolts (in Thailand) last only a year until they are deemed unsafe to climb on, they also don’t show any signs on wear (which is why a number of people have taken extra long falls due to bolts failing In Austria glue-ins are also the standard type of bolt used. Should we in ZA possibly consider making it 'regulation' that only glue-ins are to be used? When the MCSA replaced anchors at crags round the Western Cape they used only glue-ins which says something (I can remember someone did tests some time back indicating that glue-ins are a LOT stronger). It takes more time and effort to use glue-ins, but I think it is well worth the effort owing to a stronger and longer lasting bolt! Comments?
Jus I think you should try and place a few of these things before you suggest making them a standard anchor. They typically take three times the amount of time to place. They cost between 1.5 and 4 times mechanical anchors depending on your choice of bolt. They are also a lot more demanding in terms of the criteria that must be met for the anchor to be satisfactory, ie its a lot easier to f_ck it up. 90% of our local stone is way hard and mechanical anchors are more than strong enough. There is no indication that a standard hilti glue in rod will last any longer than a hilti stud anchor. Note I say hilti stud anchor, these are the only stud (express) anchors that should be used near the coast as they are made of 3160 stainless steel and the thread is rolled in avoiding micro cracking of the steel. (See Andy Davies article in latest SA mountain mag) The other makes of anchors use 3045 steel which is machine grade but not proper stainless with the requisite high chrome content. As the hilti rep puts it would you rather trust your life to a bolt made in Taiwan or one made in Switzerland? I agree that Glue ins avoid the possibility of stress crack corrosion but so far there has been no firm evidence to indicate that this occurs locally. It would be great if all anchors on the peninsula were Petzl or Fixe glue ins but its just not practical to suggest that people should spend R6o plus per placement.
Agreed, it takes more time, more effort, more know how and more money to put a Chemical anchor in (not to mention placing them on overhangs). Having never placed a chemical anchor, I cannot speak from experience. What I am trying to get across is: If Glue-ins last longer why not use them and avoid having to replace standard anchors so often? Thereby avoiding unsightly holes and old bashed bolts (what will a route look like in 50 years?). Climb to the top of Sickle Moon and take a look to see what I mean. Anybody got a solution?
Jus as I pointed out in the last post there is no evidence to suggest a standard glue in will last longer. Possibly a Petzl glue in will last longer but they are hellishly expensive. The top of Sickle moon: The anchors were replaced as a matter of course by Sean Maasch even though they did not need to be replaced. This was part of a larger programme to put sound anchors in all the peninsula crags. (Pity they missed Peers cave!) Anyway as I say Sean decided on his own to replace the anchors (unnecessarily in my opinion) and in doing so moved them to a higher rail. Unfortunately this made the top of the route a bit runout. Somebody took it upon themselves to chop the last bolt and put in two instead. In previous posts I bitched about this but having since gotten on the route can say that the new bolts are better placed, allowing the rope to run safer and cleaner and eliminating the runout. All that is needed is for the 'stompie' of the old bolt to be countersunk and the scar covered with some epoxy. Yeah all the crags will be full of scars in 100 years. Check out some of the french crags. What we need to do is switch to removable/replaceable bolts. This would solve having to chop and redrill. Check out Rebolts made by harsh realm solutions. Bolting alters the natural appearance of a crag for ever! Think very very carefully before you pick up the drill!!
Not sure why they use glue-ins everywhere else. Possibly the hardness of the rock would be the main factor. In Europe most rock is limestone which is fairly soft. I've used alot of glue-ins. Its a total mission. There are so many agrovating factors. It can't be recomended unless you have to...Ie Swinburn. We have some of those removable bolts. Very cool. Bomb proof. There will never become a big hit, but for sea cliffs they are the trick. A bit more tradish than sporty. Good for mixed run out trad routes. Will e mail photo if any one is intrested.
They can be hard to remove. Take a thin flat swrew driver to knock back the block. They cost about R380 including shiping from the US. Buy now before they pull out of IraQ and send the dollar soaring. Mine were sorced from Bentgate Mountaineering. Very relyable croud to deel with. Its more tradish than sport. Mixed routes.