How to properly place bolts

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Blowboarder

Boulder climber
Back in the mix
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 15, 2007 - 02:43pm PT
Could someone please provide some instruction on bolting, both for limestone and granite. The time has come to develop some areas that have long laid untouched by human hands.

There are plenty of threads to discuss the ethics of bolting, please go spray slander in those, this thread is for technikal aspects of bolting.

Thanks in advance.

BB
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 15, 2007 - 02:58pm PT
Drill a hole;...hammer the bolt in the hole....tighten the bolt......I know I make it sound simple;...it is. there are all sorts of little details which make this simple process more efficient;...this will come with practice. Be responsible with your placements. Once you start puttin' bolts in rocks, EVERYONE will want to tell you all about it;...too many, not enough, wrong place, ...this and that;.....it's sticky business, but rewarding, interesting, challenging, and alot of fun. Good luck, and have fun!
Blowboarder

Boulder climber
Back in the mix
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2007 - 03:09pm PT
Thanks Todd. The drill the hole part was especially enlightening.

:)


Couple more questions:

1. Ground up, I can put em wherever I want, top down I put them where they make the most sense?

2. On aretes and routes traversing the lips of caves, the bolts should all be on one facet of rock, correct? IE, doesn't cross back and forth across the arete or under the roof/on the headwall...

3. My neighbor is a machinist and we'll be making hangers. Any recomendations. He's all up on what's strongest/most brittle/etc...but some practical experience would speed things along.

Cheers!
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jul 15, 2007 - 03:15pm PT
Make sure you brush and blow out the hole.

304 is what most hangers are nowadays.
Blowboarder

Boulder climber
Back in the mix
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2007 - 03:19pm PT
Blow out the hole I get but what do you mean by brush? Brush around the surface of the hole? Or do you have a brush for the inside of the hole?

Thanks!
ec

climber
ca
Jul 15, 2007 - 03:22pm PT
1. Ground up, I can put em wherever I want, top down I put them where they make the most sense?

Uh, I believe that you have this BACKASSWARDS!

 ec
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 15, 2007 - 03:22pm PT
BB.....I always put bolts in on the lead;..it's a silly game I play......most people are smarter than me and put them in on rap;....then you ALWAYS put them in the perfect places. Tap the rock to see if there are "bad" or hollow/loose sections. Home-made hangers are cool, cheaper, and funky;....but it's probably best to stick with the store bought ones;...they are tested, very safe, and people don't whine about quality control with the homemade ones.....(Personally;..I like funky home-made stuff....it's interesting to me...) A bad bolt habit can get expensive;..then you need to go to a 13-step program with counciling and group meetings to get rid of your bad habit, so be careful. Make sure you follow local guidelines about what and how things have been done in your area in the past. Try hand-drilling FIRST;...then you will appreciate fully the ease and speed of the electric drill.......try both on the lead and rap. Take alot of pictures, and bring along hot chicks to watch your heroics. And don't forget the beer! Have fun!...(Beer, bolts, and babes.)
Blowboarder

Boulder climber
Back in the mix
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2007 - 03:29pm PT
EC, I don't get it. Ground up, I put in a bolt when I want to, either because of the stance or I'm gripped. Top down, I toprope the sh#t out of the route, think about clipping stances and rests and place the bolts where they should go.

Toddo, the local ethics at this place suck: chipped holds and redtagged first bolts everywhere, the odd bolted crack. I'm going to put in routes of a higher quality and ethical purity. Homemade it is for now, maybe someone with the hookup will fear for all the lives I'll be endangering with homemade junk (I love urosite bolts btw!!!) and send me a pile of hangers.

I don't know any hot chicks besides my wife and she wants no part of this endeavor but beer and bonghi...wait, you didn't mention those. Anyway, fun it is!
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Jul 15, 2007 - 03:37pm PT
Oh BB, this troll is so beneath you. Can't you do better? You have posted some of the more hilarious threads in the past. What's up?
ec

climber
ca
Jul 15, 2007 - 03:45pm PT
EC, I don't get it. Ground up, I put in a bolt when I want to, either because of the stance or I'm gripped. Top down, I toprope the sh#t out of the route, think about clipping stances and rests and place the bolts where they should go.

Ground-up: actually you are placing a bolt because as you say, your gripped (most likely, for good reason), thus that is where the bolt should go.

Top Down: You are actually placing them where YOU want them. Maybe in your mind this is where they should go. IMHO, it may not be the best possible placement, depending on the type of route you are doing.

Reality: After climbing the route with the bolts placed from the top, you may feel like your doing someone else's route...the thrill just may be gone (or taken away).

 ec
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 15, 2007 - 04:01pm PT
OK....some more ideas. Things are alot more complex if done on the lead, but WAY more fun and WAY more exciting. My granny can rap bolt, but she can't put in bolts on the lead. On the lead,...ya got to be organized. Have the bolts already in the hangers; ready, cocked and loaded. Have the bolts, blow tube, wrench in one bag, but nothing else;....don't want too much in the "business" bag. Have flexable plastic tubing for blowtube;...some use a bic pen exterior, but that's for rap bolters who like dust in their face anyways. Bring hooks (talon is best), rurps, copperheads, pins ( mostly thin bugaboos, L A's, KB's), and skinny slings to tie off bumps, chickenheads, horns. Bring aiders, and lots of extra biners.
When I hand-drill, I will leave more Fixed pins just because it's alot of work and time to hand-drill;...when I use power, I will just as well use a bolt as a fixed pin;...creeps steal fixed pins..(guess they aren't fixed then, are they?). Did I mention the beer and babes part? I dont' use a wire brush or hammer to clean ;..just hands and feet....wire brushing often leaves ugly marks and hammering on loose holds is WAY cheating....Place bolts high enough so midgets can't clip them, and shrips have to use "stiffies." Don't create "death" routes, and don't get hurt or your wife will be pissed. You are not "supposed" to remove vegetation (bushes, branches, plants, sticker-bushes), and you are not supposed to drive over 55 mph or smoke pot. (your call). If you are hand-drilling, please be courtious and supply your belayer with lots of booze and cigarettes;...it's a very boring, time consuming process....Belayer need the helmet more than the leader...loose stuff is always coming down. Don't carry alot of stuff;... just keep it at the base and ask for it, and haul it up on the haul line. Don't come down from the lead if you can help it.....unless you got to moan the pipes or take a bong hit;....once you come down, you sometimes grow chicken feathers. If you are using 5 piece rawls, don't forget to take the little blue sticker off the end of the bolt;...this sticker is placed on your t-shirt;...when you are finally finished with the route, you get to check out all the cool little blue stickers you have on your shirt. Bring plenty of chalk and make sure you get chalk on your face for the photos;...it's more dramatic;...sort of like war paint on a warrior. Always remember;...you can always go up, down, left , or right. Putting up routes on the lead is usually so involved and ingrossing, that the usual mocking , jeering, and belittling from people on the ground or your belayer...is much more easily ignored , or not even heard....(It's a strange phenomina.....)....Try to climb when others are NOT around;....many people have very STRONG feeling about people who drill permanent holes in mother nature's rocks. Never forget that rock is ugly until it has chalk and bolts in it. Nothing finer than to look up a rock face and see some petzel hangers winking at ya. Have fun! Hope this helps. If this is a troll, and I'm giving away my hard earned "secrets".....well......shame on you;...maybe someone ELSE can use these valuable hints;...especially the beer and babes part....(although that is pretty much common knowlege, isn't it?)
Blowboarder

Boulder climber
Back in the mix
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2007 - 04:21pm PT
Todd, Robert gives me too much credit, I'm not smart enough to troll. Good advice for sure. Since this will all be done solo (neighbor will make me hangers but has no interest in seeing them placed...), and one of the intended targets is a giant limestone ampitheater, with the lip of the great cave 60' out from the base, not sure how much ground up will be going on. The other area, granite, will probably be ground up except for this one arete (12c ish on TR) that I don't want to f*#k up by ground upping. Plus it has no holds other than the arete so I'm not sure what I'd hook, unless there's some sideways hooking techniques I need to learn.

EC, I feel you now. My friend who bolted all these limestone routes (and wrote the name and grade at the base) has his wife TR them as well as other people of differing heights to try and come to a consensus for best bolt locations.
jackass

climber
Jul 15, 2007 - 05:17pm PT
"Don't come down from the lead if you can help it.....once you come down, you sometimes grow chicken feathers."

Yes. Depending on what you are climbing (think desert sandstone) the chicken feathers grow very fast, and there are a lot of reasons/excuses that you will give yourself to go down. Don't, because getting your ass back up there is easier said then done. Also, drilling on lead is a lot harder, both physically and mentally, than it looks.

One tip: clip a quickdraw or the like to the hanger before you start to tighten the bolt, pull down on it with one hand while you start tightening the bolt with the other. This gives you better balance, but more importantly makes your chances of getting a spinner much more rare. Spinners be damned. Oh yeah, maybe most importantly, don't OVER tighten/ over torque the bolts.

Your home made hanger idea is pretty short sighted if you are going to be bolting things that are going to see much traffic. Not only that, but ultimately people are going to be trusting their lives to your work. If you f*#k up, any accidents will be on your conscience. I don't think you want to take that chance, it could keep you up at night. You can get pagan gear hangers for a buck and a half each, no need to go broke. However, if you are putting up obscure routes or bolt ladders, then weird and wild hangers are welcome.
hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Jul 15, 2007 - 06:02pm PT
"Never forget that rock is ugly until it has chalk and bolts in it."


Hahaha, I love it. (assuming we are staring up a blank face and not a fantastic splitter..)
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Jul 15, 2007 - 06:29pm PT
Carefull BB, if you take Todd's advice you'll end up pregnant...
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 15, 2007 - 06:37pm PT

Power to the people, right on!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 15, 2007 - 06:40pm PT

Oh, my aching back....
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 15, 2007 - 06:42pm PT

Use a power drill in the wilderness...go to jail....(This is a very bad man...)
Blowboarder

Boulder climber
Back in the mix
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2007 - 07:29pm PT
However, if you are putting up obscure routes or bolt ladders, then weird and wild hangers are welcome.

Guidebooks have caused more damage to access than a dumptruck load of bolts. These routes will be obscure to say the least, and anyone climbing there will know me personally and the full history of the mank.

Anybody with some limestone bolting experience wanna chime in? I belayed a d00d in thailand aiding on vietnamese wood screws, I don't wanna go that route!
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jul 15, 2007 - 07:35pm PT
My neighbor is a machinist and we'll be making hangers. Any recomendations. He's all up on what's strongest/most brittle/etc...but some practical experience would speed things along.

In the olden days, people would cut short lengths of angle-stock (steel or aluminum) and then drill two holes, one for the bolt and one for the carabiner. Some of them now only accept ancient oval biners because that hole was made too small.


There was a notorious case of somebody jugging the last pitch of the Nose, coming off the jugs, falling to the end of the rope tie-in, and a square-topped hanger cutting the rope. I don't remember when this was. It might not have been the last pitch of the Nose, but that is what I remember.


Make sure the upper surface of your ghetto hangers have a sloped surface, like the commercial ones do. Make sure you also radius the bottom corner near the clip-in hole.


EDIT: Your hangers will cost more than commercial ones, unless your neighbor works for free. Also, the dimples on the back of the commercial ones keep water from getting trapped and speeding the inevitable corrosion process.
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