The ASCA needs your help!


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Gym climber
Oct 3, 2014 - 11:07am PT
OK I got my donation in.
I'm sure this is the type of situation where things aren't done perfectly or to everyone's satisfaction, but I've been very happy with what I've seen in the field (mostly in S. Platte). Perhaps those of us who don't have money can donate time/effort if we enjoy doing the type of routes that are ASCA's focus; most everyone can make some sort of contribution (and the few who can't probably have bigger problems to worry about).

Mountain climber
Tustin, CA
Oct 3, 2014 - 11:12am PT
Fund Raising Idea:

I have suggested many times that some of those "museum pieces" can be sold to me and the proceeds from that can be put back into ASCA's rebolting efforts.

Let me know...

Trad climber
Oct 3, 2014 - 11:46am PT
Thanks for all your work, Greg!

I don't know much about websites, but it seems like an e-mail thank you could be automated? And an e-mail database maintained with the e-mail addresses of all the donaters, to facilitate the occasional mass e-mail blast?

Anyone with webskillz want to help Greg out?

or maybe that's more complicated than I think...
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Oct 3, 2014 - 11:50am PT
"In theory I agree. In realty we're dealing with a tiny non-profit with limited resources (and those "resources" have actual lives - God forbid). Maybe ASCA's volunteer base needs expanding?

Maybe ASCA could use another volunteer to catalog donations and make sure thank-yous go out? Do you have the time for that John Mac?"

I don't have the time as I already spend a lot of time volunteering for mountainproject. I'm sure this could be automated via the website.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Oct 3, 2014 - 01:35pm PT

Those who approached you, were they replacing for ASCA?

Did they in fact replace all of your 500 bolts with ASCA hardware?

This would be, in my opinion, exactly the type of people the ASCA does not want to have on the volunteer list.

I have never replaced bolts where I could have reused the hanger. However, I am not replacing sport routes, or modern routes with carbon steel hardware.

Greg Barnes

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 01:39pm PT
Hi Mike,

We generally do reuse hangers if they are stainless steel and in good shape (or plated steel in the few dry desert porous rock areas where plated steel bolts are sometimes still used). We do try to re-use holes, although the techniques for re-using 3/8" holes are still in their infancy.

Years ago we stopped using stud (wedge) type bolts because they are not removable. We use 5-piece bolts where the hole can - with some work - usually be reused. Of course glue-ins are a different matter, but barring rock fall or other damage most will not need to be replaced for an extremely long time period (by which point core drilling the old hole should be more likely).

As far as old bolt hangers, I do not think many people share your opinion about returning hangers to the first ascent team. The bolts were left permanently, and if those replacing the bolts use newer hangers (or no hangers at all in the case of glue-ins), it just seems weird to return them to someone who never intended to get them back. I re-use hangers I remove regularly - particularly 5/16" hole stainless SMC hangers (for use with new 1/4" buttonheads). It never even crossed my mind to try to return those hangers to people who left them in the rock 25 years prior - if anything those people should be replacing the bolts themselves (and a fair number of folks do replace their own routes, huge thanks!). The amount of work required to replace the bolts is so high that re-using the hangers is not inappropriate in the case where anyone would want to re-use the hanger. Of course if someone just goes and steals hangers off climbs leaving the hangerless bolts behind, that would be a different matter!

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Oct 3, 2014 - 01:59pm PT
Thanks for the volunteer work you do John Mac - everyone should give back and it sounds like you absolutely do.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Oct 3, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
If the hanger is so bad that they need to use ASCA money to replace the hanger why would you then put them on another route. Seems a little shady.

Here you go Mike:

If the unit was bad enough to replace, both hanger and bolt, hanger does not get used.

If the bolt is bad, or spinning, but the hanger is in fine shape, then you reuse it if it is SS, and sized appropriately for the ASCA bolt being placed.

The comment about how much work it is to put them in outweighing the effort to replace? You have not done enough rebolting.

How about "Hours" for removal of one bolt? Then Hand drilling to place the new fat SS rig.

"Shady" might not be the right verbiage as you are obviously not aware of ASCA's effort to MINIMIZE the cost of replacement. I.E. using a perfectly good hanger that was removed from a spinning/destroyed bolt placement.

Nobody is popping out brand new hardware, and replacing it with ASCA gear.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Oct 3, 2014 - 02:19pm PT
Greg, please elaborate on using old hardware taken off routes because it was bad and the using it on new routes. Do you then immediately hit up the ASCA to replace that route. Seems like a waste of the ASCA's resources to do this. if it is public property left by the fa it is not yours to use as you see fit. Replace it if it needs it, but then don't use it for your purposes because you are only replacing it if it is bad hardware. Bad policy

I reuse much of the 1/4" and 5/16ths hangers I remove for ASCA replacement.

I hand drill routes with 1/4 bolts and use the hangers I pulled off the crusty routes. Then I go back and replace them with MY NEW PERSONAL HARDWARE.

It is my choice to use what I remove and considered bad for the masses. Most would not complain about not having to clip a 1/4" bolt with old hanger? Maybe you would?

I would never go out of my way to give back any of the hardware I remove for the ASCA unless the owner wanted it back.

Sounds like you are missing the whole picture?

Edit for clarity.


Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Oct 3, 2014 - 03:19pm PT
Mike M,
I will try to answer you concerns. Most, if not all of the re-bolters doing the bulk of the replacement in TM and Yosemite are volunteers in the most basic sense: They are few, they are not affiliated (including the ASCA) and give UNCONDITONALLY (no pay, no t-shirts, not NOTHING) of their time. I have replaced quite a few routes in TM and all the bolts have been old crap; not a single piece of gear have I replaced been re-usable in any form. If it is a good anchor, I leave it but I focus on the worst and hardest to access.

Anything I've kept is junk but may be sentimental in that it has history (the bolt I just replaced on the Eunuch in TM placed by Bob Kamps for instance)and if the FA wanted the gear, I'd gladly give it to them if convenient.

As to the work involved. I have placed many 1/4" and 3/8" bolts. It takes much longer to pull and replace then place a new bolt. A 1/4" on lead takes 3 to 5 mins on average but much longer to replace and 5/16' and up button heads are a real pain in the ass.

And I agree with what other posters have said. If you clip a bolt with the ASCA stamp on it, that should be more then enough thanks especially to those who have never donated to the cause.


Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Oct 3, 2014 - 03:25pm PT
Using the best hardware avoids controversy.

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Oct 3, 2014 - 03:31pm PT
I don't know of anyone using old gear and REPLACING another route with that gear. I didn't even THINK to do such a thing but now that you mention it...........

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Oct 3, 2014 - 04:03pm PT
Mike M....The ASCA has done far more good then what appears to be a minority complaint. What if the ASCA had NO funding? Would it then be OK to try and mix and match to try to make more climbs safe? Do you think they replace other routes with old gear for their own personal benefit? Greg Barnes is one of the nicest most honest cats on the planet. He's worked his ass off more then anyone in terms of trying to make it safe for all of us including you. Roger Brown and all the folks who give selflessly would not be able to make it safe for all of us if it weren't for Greg's efforts.
Greg Barnes

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 04:06pm PT
Mike, I don't know who replaced your stuff in the Black Hills, and as far as I know it's not ASCA gear, but I don't know for sure.

That being said, the vast majority of "early U.S. sport routes" are perfectly fine stainless hangers with old, rusting bolts. Generally speaking when we run into these, we re-use the hanger on the same placement. You typically know that ahead of time and you'd just bring fewer new hangers - saves weight in your pack too.

However, if the new bolt is for instance a 1/2" bolt with a 1/2" hole hanger, or a glue-in bolt, or even a similar new stainless hanger that is factory camouflaged instead of non-camouflaged, the old hanger that is removed is now the rebolter's to deal with. Whether it goes to a climbing museum, straight to the recycling/trash bin, or to a rebolter's own new route is no one's business but the people who remove the bolt. Obviously in particularly significant cases, there is interest in the climbing community to preserve the bolt, so hopefully they don't just get tossed.

There is nothing wrong with re-using old bomber stainless hangers that are in good shape, and there is nothing wrong with using them for personal routes if they don't get used in replacement.

I realize that in your case it sounds like bolts you considered fine were replaced which annoyed you, but perhaps the rebolters were just being thorough since some bolts were super rusted and others were not too rusted. Maybe they thought that while they were there they might as well upgrade everything to stainless.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Oct 3, 2014 - 04:10pm PT
Reusing old 1/4"/5/16ths hardware garnered from replacement, to establish a route ground up with 1/4 drilling is very common.

Then after the route is finished, the replacement effort includes removing the OLD hangers and new 1/4" bolts and replacing them with 3/8th hardware purchase for personal use.

Nobody is doing the routes in between, it is all one process.

No "modern" hardware is used from a rebolting effort.

Are we talking about the same usage of hardware? Or are you inferring that modern 3/8ths hangers are then placed on personal FA's?

Tripod? Swellguy? Halfwit? Smegma?

Trad climber
Wanker Stately Mansion, Placerville
Oct 3, 2014 - 04:29pm PT
few things make me more content than finally making it to that bolt and reading ASCA on that gleaming stainless wonder.
Donation on the way man
Greg Barnes

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 05:06pm PT
Generally with late '80s-early '90s sport routes, it's the bolts that are bad, not the hangers. And I think most people out replacing just re-use the (perfectly fine) original hanger. There are exceptions, but mostly not.

And to be clear, yes those thick 5/16" hole stainless SMCs get re-purposed to hangers for new 1/4" buttonheads, which people then replace - sometimes the same day - with their OWN new bolts & hangers, not ASCA! It's just that it's hard to find good hangers for new 1/4" bolts, and hand drilling 3/8" from stance is a pain (not that it stops some people from doing exactly that even on super hard, desperate routes!).

Mike, it sounds like the locals up your way respected your opinion and didn't go out and replace all your bolts - it's really good of them to check with you first. Hopefully over the next few years, before your bolts do need replacement, rebolters will perfect replacement of 3/8" bolts in the same hole. I'm heading out tomorrow with some folks who've been working on cool innovative ways of doing exactly that, hopefully I'll learn something (and I'm crossing fingers that I can figure out ways of adapting some of these power-drill-intensive methods to hand drilling areas…that might be pretty tough).
Rockin' Gal

Trad climber
Oct 3, 2014 - 05:41pm PT
Thanks for all you do, Greg and all the volunteers! I just made a contribution. No need for a t-shirt or thank you--I know it's the right thing to do. I'd much rather see a new bolt than one of those sketchball open cold shuts that were popular for too long. Carry on!
Greg Barnes

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 07:01pm PT
Weird, I've never heard of that sort of thing, replacing good bolts with worse quality gear? Of course in most of my replacement, a 3/8" no matter how rusted is so much better than the nasty spinning 1/4" bolts with Leepers that we didn't mess with the 3/8"!

I'm hopeful that your bolts will be replaced in the same hole in the future. Check out the following:

Jim Taylor at the New River Gorge has done some great work with core drilling 3/8" bolts out. Google "Jim Taylor bolt replacement" for some videos.

Take a look at some of Greg German's innovative replacement methods - just google "Greg German bolt replacement" - he's got some cool tricks which he has on videos.

There's also the "blunt force" core drilling method which doesn't require any specialized equipment beyond glue-in familiarity (it does require a power drill legal area) - drill a bunch of holes around the bolt with the smallest size SDS bit, pull the bolt with vice grips, then expand the hole to 5/8" and use a fat glue-in (requires glue rated for oversized holes unless you use a huge Petzl Bat'inox glue-in). Here are some photos of this method from this May at Courtright Reservoir (in the Sierra south of Yosemite). Also it may not work in very soft rock since the 5/32" bits may track out into the rock.

So Mike, hopefully your bolts will be replaced in the same exact hole sometime in the future!

Trad climber
Oct 4, 2014 - 07:34am PT
bump for helping keep climbers safe
Messages 21 - 40 of total 55 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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