It is currently Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:23 pm

All times are UTC + 2 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:19 am
Posts: 39
I've been sport climbing for more than seven years and have (finally) started to become more interested in establishing my own sport routes. I've scanned the web for information on bolting sport routes but have not found nearly enough information to feel comfortable bolting my own routes. The conclusion that I've come to (which is the same one I started with but thought worth investigating anyway) is that doing the job right will require getting some first-hand instruction and guidance.

Anyone out there in Limpopo, Gauteng, or Mpumalanga that might be interested in teaching someone proper bolting techniques? I live between Polokwane & Burgersfort (sans car) and would be happy to meet up in any of the major towns in southern Limpopo or north/central Mpumalanga.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:02 am
Posts: 154
Location: Johannesburg
Real Name: Neil Margetts
Hi

I am going to be at Wellingtons this weekend, planning to open a few more lines, glad to help you. There is also going to be 2 Germans there opening a line across the shield to the right of Dream Queen, going to be impressive.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:38 pm
Posts: 331
Hi Ed, I've been doing this a bit recently, with some of the new generation! There is lots to learn, its very easy to bolt a line but not so easy to bolt it well. Your bolts will be there for years and can affect the quality of a climb significantly, so its worth taking the time and doing it right. I rarely bolt a line in day, normally its 2 days. People wont thank you for how many routes you open, but how good the climbs are and how well they are bolted. If the are bolted badly, no one will do them. I assume you know the technical stuff like drilling, overtightening etc. so here are some of the obvious and less obvious things I have learnt, in summary:

- work out where the chains will go and you can place these first.
- then toprope or abseil (with a device that locks off safely) and try the climb. If its steep, use trad gear, a tensioned line or 1-2 bolts to keep you in to the rock.
- take off any loose rock with you hammer, dont be shy, its better you get them of than they come off later!
- figure out where the bolts should go, ideally before hard sections and where clipping is easy (off good holds). put a chalk dot on the wall then try the sequence and clipping position again and again to be sure its perfect. You need to bear in mind where the last and the next bolts are going to be.
- Be sure that the quickdraw will not cover a foothold or cross an edge or corner; hold a draw in place to see exactly where the gate will be.
- The most common mistake is to place the bolt too high, when you are fresh its easy to think that you can clip high from a jug but when you are pumped this is inaviably not the case. Generally, shoulder height is perfect.
- Avoid bolts that will cause the climber to fall or swing into a block or ledge, you can place the bolt to the side to avoid this, or place them more closely together.
- Place the first bolt no higher than it would be safe to fall off while clipping, this is particularly true if the landing is bad. The second bolt should be low enough that if the climber fell clipping, he would not hit the ground.
- Once well clear of the ground and ledges, dont place the bolts too closely, this really breaks the flow of a climb and takes away any excitement. I normally find that on easier sections 2-4 m lead-outs are fine if the fall is clean. If you can reach 3 bolts from the same position its overbolted, almost without exception.
- Try keep the bolts in a straight line or a gradual curve, not a zig zaggy line unless it cant be avoided.
- I often place half the bolts first, the obvious ones, then top rope some more to figure out where the less obvios bolts should go.
- If you place a bolt in the wrong place, take the time to move it. I often do this, there;s always one or maybe two that arnt quite perfect (even as little as 30 cm). Fill the hole/scar in with pratleys putty then use dirt to colour the putty the same as the rock. It will be invisible.
Finally, just bolt the good lines, squeezing in huge numbers of lines just for the sake of it spoils a crag. You should never be able to reach the bolts on an adjacent climb, except initially if they share a start or something.

Enjoy. Its very rewarding if done well.
Andrew


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:24 am
Posts: 160
Location: Durban
Wow, thanks Andrew. Some very good advice.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:49 pm
Posts: 542
Location: Waterval Boven
Quote:
- I often place half the bolts first, the obvious ones, then top rope some more to figure out where the less obvios bolts should go.
- If you place a bolt in the wrong place, take the time to move it. I often do this, there;s always one or maybe two that arnt quite perfect (even as little as 30 cm). Fill the hole/scar in with pratleys putty then use dirt to colour the putty the same as the rock. It will be invisible.

Think carefully here...

The guys who mentored me taught me to do it right the first time around. Mark bolt options with chalk. Think twice, three times or more before placing that bolt in a critical position. Sleep over it, don't rush it. Then get others to toprope the route and see how they do it, note where they would clip from etc.

It can make or break the quality of the experience.

_________________
Gustav
Roc 'n Rope Adventures
Waterval Boven
013 257 0363
climb @t rocrope dot com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:38 pm
Posts: 331
sometimes toproping 2-3-4 times isnt enough, even the first few redpoints.. its only when you are properly on redpoint that it becomes apparent, or when someone shorter, weaker, or with different beta tries the route. I guess this is for real perfection, which I think is important. Its easier to get it right first time on easy routes, as the clips are normally obvious, but on a harder line where you have a split second to clip, 15 cm can make the difference and the clipping position is far less obvious until you get really dialled in to the sequence. If you cover the old hole lovingly, its almost impossible to see. Does anyone even find this remotely interesting!? ..I must get a job.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Posts: 706
Location: Port Elizabeth
Real Name: Derek Marshall
A bit intresting, arn't you guys taking it a bit too seriously.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:48 pm
Posts: 265
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Guy Holwill
And ALWAYS bolt a route as if the grade was your limit. Lots of easy routes have been screwed up when good climbers bolt easy routes and make the leadouts too big.

_________________
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:13 pm
Posts: 565
Toprope, toprope and toprope some more to get the correct bolt placements.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:15 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:38 pm
Posts: 796
Real Name: Greg Hart
Too seriously? No, I reckon getting the bolt placement perfect on really hard lines is paramount. Its also really, really hard to do first time. Ideally you want the clip a few cm's more than a draws length above your harness when you are in the middle of the hardest movement. Sounds obvious right? But its F-ing hard to visualise all of this prior to doing a lot of work on the line whereupon the nuances and tricks slowly reveal themselves. I reckon its better to replace the odd bolt on harder lines if they are in awkward or unhelpful positions. Everyone benefits if the placements are perfect. Routes should not be a massive mission to work simply because one or two bolts are half a foot or so from where the should really be, if a route is bolted well working it is relatively easy and enjoyable.

On some steep lines you cant even get at the rock without bolting first so the chances of getting it spot on first try are very slim. If a clip or two are out rather take the time to sort it out, and live with the visual cost of a scar or two, than struggle epicly to work a badly bolted line and then leave the same struggle for all the ppl who are unfortunate enough to chose that line to work!

I have made my fair share of 'messes' that need to be sorted out. mostly on lines that were a bit beyond me. EG: One clip in particular on Import Tax is almost impossible to reach and yet it would have been perfect if it was just 20cm to the right, the result of rushing to beat the sunset and end the screaming pain in my legs. If you ever find yourslef rushing a bolt job, please just stop, pack up and come back when you have time and are fresh. Mistakes creep in when you are tired and rushed, mistakes that everyone else will have to live with. Definitely mark and remark lank with chalk first and if possible toprope it to death so that when you do pick up the drill you have the absolute best chance of doing a clean job. Bolting routes properly is not fun, but climbing them after is f-ing great! :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:31 am
Posts: 2961
Location: Montagu
Real Name: Justin Lawson
If you would like to bolt a new line in Montagu but have never bolted before drop send me an email (justin@climb.co.za) and I’d be happy to bolt the line for you and show you the in and outs of bolting (you supply the hardware).
Best contact me before you purchase the hardware, so that we can be certain its the correct spec.

In particular there are plenty of (easy to moderate) lines to grab at the The Bold and the Beautiful – New Crag in Montagu.

_________________
Climb ZA - Administrator


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:31 pm
Posts: 61
This is a topic that really has started to interest me greatly. I would really like to start bolting my own lines too but lack not only the expertise but the equipment too. What would the average 10 bolt climb cost to put up?

Also, in related matters, I recently saw a top anchor system that incorporates a fixed 'caribener' type gate so that there is no need to tie off at the top. Would there be merit in using such a system or does the cost / functionality ratio simply not justify using this setup?

I'm keen to learn (and help) bolting so I'd definitely be willing to lend a hand when required (Boven, Chosspile etc)

Thanks,

Matthew


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 376
Location: CT
Real Name: Paul P
Crouching Cricket wrote:
Also, in related matters, I recently saw a top anchor system that incorporates a fixed 'caribener' type gate so that there is no need to tie off at the top. Would there be merit in using such a system or does the cost / functionality ratio simply not justify using this setup?


I've seen this in a few places in SA and I'm not a fan. In all cases I've seen it the biners used have nasty sharp edges around the gate opening and really stiff gates, so I'm not comfortable clipping my rope through them. So I end up clipping draws to the chains as usual. My R0.02 anyway.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:57 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:38 pm
Posts: 796
Real Name: Greg Hart
The inclusive biner anchors are awesome from a safety perspetive, but are quite a lot more expensive than the simple two rings. Interestingly the anchor manufacturers do not spec the rings as sport anchors at all but as abseil anchors, those equipped with biners are the real sport anchors. But most ppl dont have much money and so just use the rings.

If u do go for biners its well worth using a purpose built for climbing system, with proper climbing biners [no sharp edges or nasty gates].

It would be great if all beginner and high use crags could be equipped with gd biner lower-offs. Maybe a fund should be started to that end?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:13 pm
Posts: 565
XMod wrote:
The inclusive biner anchors are awesome from a safety perspetive, but are quite a lot more expensive than the simple two rings. Interestingly the anchor manufacturers do not spec the rings as sport anchors at all but as abseil anchors, those equipped with biners are the real sport anchors. But most ppl dont have much money and so just use the rings.

I disagree, those rings are bloody expensive these days - for some of my latest routes I've used a hanger + u-shackle (rated) + stainless-steel biner - these are solid 10mm stainless steel biners. Simple and highly effective system - no need to untie.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:37 pm
Posts: 303
Nice one Pedley - all good advice. I hear you even went back to retro clean Monster and removed the chockstone :puker: How is a tired old man like me gonna get up that route now? :?

_________________
AndyDavies


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:38 pm
Posts: 796
Real Name: Greg Hart
Making your system can save you a packet provided you know what you are doing. Not only must the various components be rated but the steel types must be compatible. To many times I see ppl using stainless hangers linked to aluminium biners by a mild steel maillon. This is a recipe for disaster as the resultant eloctrolytic corrosion makes short work of the biner (ally having the free-est flow of electrons) creating a primary anchor that is literally a ticking time bomb!!!

I and others have been at great pains to advise ppl (particularly those starting to bolt) to stick with purpose made systems from a recognised climbing equipment manufacturer. If a homemade anchor fails you (the bolter) will be liable if the anchors fail resulting in injury or death. In the inlikely event of a proper anchor (see above) failing, the liability will most likely rest with the equipment manufacturer. So, PLEASE, protect your own ass as well as the asses of all those who might follow your route and use properly made equipment.

This has all been discussed here at great length before. Again - I dont believe the net is the right place to learn how to bolt at all! And, - not all such good advice Andrew, lets please encourage ppl, particularly new comers, to use proper equipment and not cook up their own systems which may or may not stand the test of time!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Posts: 706
Location: Port Elizabeth
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Greg I think you are making too big a deal out of bolting. Sure learn, do it right & with best-posible gear. But, rather risk a few off placements & a few kak lines, than to never starting. Rather do, than find reasons not to.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 376
Location: CT
Real Name: Paul P
So I've since climbed at The Mine for the first time and the biners-at-the-chains thing is done really well there. With the exception of one, all of them were proper stainless climbing biners, not hardware-store variety (one was an old ally biner). Thanks very much to those who equipped the routes!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:38 pm
Posts: 796
Real Name: Greg Hart
Hi Marshall, Ja for most recreational level routes there is little difference if the bolt is within about a half meter radius of the ideal spot, on harder routes the placement becomes increasing crucial to the route not only being do-able but being enjoyable to be on and work.

But as I say thats on hard lines, this perfectionist ideal should not be a deterrent to anyone wanting to start bolting. You have to learn the ropes somehow, personally Im glad there old farts like us (well ok me) to give pointers, saving the upcomers the hassle of learning by error. I think when we started this lark there wasnt anyone to show how its done.

RE Mine anchors, I think these were retro-equipped with yachting equipment(?) which is often cheaper. The guys that put them up did know what they doing, please make sure you do too if you opt to install something other than climbing-equipment-manufacturer's gear. As far as I know the Parks authorities were keen to see only certified equipment put in place, which makes the Mine biners a little cheeky but fantastic from the climbers point of view with regards to convenience and safety.

I think I need a job too..........hmm and to climbing again sometime soon....... too much writing too little cranking. He he ... all this sitting around is making me cranky! :jocolor:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 2 hours


Who is online

Registered users: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot]


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group