Bolt replacement 2009


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Messages 21 - 40 of total 49 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 01:47am PT
A few more photos, so this page can be slow to load, too? :-(

Roger following Perhaps p1 (first pitch above the Grack), while I haul the fixed rope and water.

Hoppy's Favorite - replacing the bolt at the start of the crux 5.10b downwards traverse (another of Vern Clevenger's thin aerospace homemades)

piton belay on Hoppy's - below the traverse pitch

doubled protection bolt midpitch on Deep Throat
(it looks like somebody was scared of the spinner and added a bolt next to it - looked like a tough stance)

cinnamon bear cruises the base of the Grack

California King Snake at the base

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jul 28, 2009 - 02:03am PT
Sweet photos! Man you guys make it look like fun.

Good show out there!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 02:06am PT
Thanks, Josh.

And some from June 26 with Bob Steed - Deep Throat to Ochre Fields:

jugging to the high point on Deep Throat

Bob leading past the mid-pitch high point on Deep Throat, past the wiggling Lost Arrow (a black Alien fits there now)

which way to go above the dike? All smooth 5.9 with no dishes.
"I could'a drilled here!"

long sustained run to the bolt; it's a Zamac loaded with bail slings. Clip with a screamer....

Another, even longer runout to the anchor - nonstop slick and sloping 5.9

Traversing left to join Ochre Fields

probing the heinous runout to the anchors on the 5.10c.
There is a sloping / slick / insecure section way out from the last bolt.

Roger - already replacing the anchor we just left.

belay bolts at the high point on Ochre Fields (top of the "5.8" corner) - note Zamac on right.

Big Wall climber
Jul 28, 2009 - 03:03am PT
best wishes Roger Brown and hope this summer of bolt replacement goes without any accidents. hope to see you soon.

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 03:52am PT
If you use the SDS-type rotahammer carbide drills, they come from the factory with a very blunt edge. This is to prevent breakage by a power drill in the hands of a typical concrete guy. For hand drilling, that blunt edge isn't optimal.

I've used a silicon carbide grinding wheel (green, not gray, as the colors in the U.S. are sold) to sharpen those bits, and they seem to work better. Don't pound the hell out of the drill, or you will break the sharp edge, especially when first going into the smaller hole.

I once took a gray aluminum oxide sharpening stone up onto the Stone for a belay repair job, and it was worthless for sharpening the carbide drill bits. Too soft to cut the harder material, the ALOX played out like teflon on the hard cutting edge. I had no idea, and was too lazy to see if the whetstone actually would sharpen the tungsten carbide before going up.

I was headed up The Wall, Bermuda Dunes, and thought, stupidly, that I could buy drill bits at the store, and then hone them, at leisure, while while sitting belay, when it was all part of a safer means on El Cap with repaired belay anchors.

Store-bought drills, and trying to use those drill bits, right from the store.

I pounded my self silly, and even crazy, using those dull rotahammer rock drill bits that take a thousand hammer strikes - each hole - to repair 40+ holes on that Wall.

The Better Way is to sharpen the carbide drill bits, on a silicon carbide grinding wheel, before the ascent.

EDIT: The write-up is exactly as it played.


Social climber
Jul 28, 2009 - 12:18pm PT
Awesome work Clint and Roger and other GP Apron climbers!

Some of those bolts look frightening! Time for them to be put to rest.

Roger, how's Yellow Pines? I'll try and drop by tomorrow afternoon.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 02:43pm PT

Thanks again for your help in 2007 & 2008 - that lead last year on Exodus was pretty serious!


Bruce Hildenbrand has sharpened a couple of my carbide drill bits, but I haven't done a careful test of sharpened vs. unsharpened on the same mix of granite. I don't hit very hard, and Roger tries not to hit too hard, but he has broken (chipped carbide tip) some regular bits. Bob hits a little harder and has had a lot of breakage problems with the latest box of "SDS Plus" drill bits he bought.
Roger might be the best person to test sharpened vs. regular - I know he (sometimes?) counts the number of hits per hole - about 2600 as I recall.


I think Roger has been doing great in Yellow Pines. Thanks to you for setting it up so he can maximize work time these past 2 summers, instead of commuting in from Crane Flat!

Jul 28, 2009 - 03:08pm PT
Roger, Clint, and Bob,

Thanks for the good work. It's nice to see rebolting being done the right way instead of all the retro bolt madness that seems to have been done of late.

Clint and Bob,

Hope you're having a good summer - I've been hiding out in SoYo avoiding the crowds and the tool! See you guys this winter!


Jul 28, 2009 - 03:14pm PT
Again, great work (and documentation).

I'm not super hip to what's going on at the Apron these days in terms of rock stability. Are these routes in an area that is considered out of the path of the slide activity if recent years? Thanks for insights...

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 03:47pm PT
Fabulous work, you guys, and great pictures. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The user formerly known as stzzo

Sneaking up behind you
Jul 28, 2009 - 04:27pm PT

Is it just me, or does this baby look like it's been hit by a few rocks?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 05:41pm PT

In terms of recent past rockfalls on Glacier Point Apron:

 a big one on the far left which blew down the trees with one death at Happy Isles. This is well to the left. I haven't gone way down and left to Synapse Collapse or The Calf to see how close they are to the impact zone. You can see the source ("McDonald Arch") and impact areas on the overall photo above.

 a rockfall in early May 2009, apparently hitting Hall of Mirrors and Springtime Dry Variation in spots below the level of Goodrich Pinnacle. I don't know exactly where it originated and if it hit up high also.

 rockfall hit the top of Monday Morning Slab, about 20 years ago. I think it took out some trees, and the rock along the top is still kinda fractured in places.

 rockfall (1996?) which came down the Punch Bowl, hit the talus cone, and rolled down the talus cone along the base, killing Peter Terbush, who was belaying at the base of Apron Jam. I would not try to climb Punch Bowl or anything to the right of Green Dragon - there seems to be debris still up there. Opinions vary on whether it's safe enough to do Mr. Natural. I did it last spring and it seemed fine. A friend of mine went over there about a month ago and said the talus at the base looked too fresh.

 rockfall this past winter on the Nine O'Clock Wall above the west part of Curry Village. Not any Apron free climbs that far over, except for the old Glacier Point Terrace descent.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 05:42pm PT

We think that "unofficial" benchmark at The Mouth has been hit by some hammer blows. Like the bolt anchor nearby, it's protected from rockfall by the small overhang which forms the smile/Mouth shape.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jul 28, 2009 - 07:54pm PT
Great stuff guys.

Big Wall climber
Jul 29, 2009 - 11:33am PT
Clint always a pleasure.


Jul 29, 2009 - 01:14pm PT
Awesome info--thanks for running it down, Clint.

Jul 29, 2009 - 01:56pm PT
Kudos to the dudes doing the hard brutal dirty dangerous and often thankless task here.

Thanks fellas.

Social climber
Santa Cruz Mountains/Los Gatos
Jul 29, 2009 - 03:53pm PT
thanks guys

Ice climber
Kiruna, Sweden
Jul 30, 2009 - 06:22am PT
I put up a couple of routes on the righthand side of the Apron in the early 80s - Ephemeral Clogdance and Chiropodist Shop. Can anyone tell me what the status of the bolts is on those routes, and whether they are exposed to rockfall danger?

Rick McGregor - now in the far north of Sweden (not far from great granite in northern Norway!)
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 30, 2009 - 06:26am PT
Used to enjoy those nicely named Apron Routes. Rocks didn't fall anywhere near them.

But I don't think anybody replaced the bolts on them either. They'd probably hold a slab fall but are worthy of maintenance.

Sadly, the Apron age is over and they don't see much, if any, traffic anymore.

I remember Deep Throat and Hoppy's favorite as worth doing but only have done Deep Throat within the past 15 years. I backed off Ochre fields when my rope would reach a belay.

What seemed worthy to climb and not death (or almost death) to climb out of what you replaced?


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