BOLT REPLACEMENT TR (Fear No Evil 5.9R) @ the Leap


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Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 22, 2009 - 08:39pm PT
I have always had this one on my ticklist, however the stories of the old bolts always guided me away from this classic climb.

So after reading a great TR of the latest ascent:

I thought a little rehab was in order. I got a couple of days off and showed up on monday afternoon, hiked to the rim and fixed my ropes to the ground in the midst of the heat. 380' with rope stretch, on the way down I scoped the whole route occasionally fixing off anchors and bolts on the way down.

The first bolt is pretty tough to get to from above, I had to climb left after swinging in to the bolt to Haystack to rig a directional just to keep myself oriented under the bolt.
This one was by far the worst on the route, It took a couple of tugs and POP!

25 feet later (read: ground fall) I met the second protection bolt:

Fear no Evil right?

50+ feet later I hit the first belay, the bolt on the Left was very solid and looked to have been a replacement itself (3/8 button head) So I just replaced the right anchor bolt. The threads sheered on me so I was forced to break the stud and patch the hole. The new anchor bolt is 2" below the old one now.

I finished drilling and fixed off the newish anchor to the ground, went to the bar, hung out with some cool people around the camp, and turned in to the cot.
I got up at around 8 am and headed back up to the fixed ropes. There was a team topping out on Bears reach and me all alone on the east wall. I started jugging up to the anchor and realized I was having a great time!

Soon enough I was lowering out from the anchor under the last protection bolt on the route. This one came out almost too easy (spinner)

New steel and I'm off to the second belay anchor:

American death triangle followed by the euro death Knott! I pulled the right bolt first: ON the way OUT!

Oh and I forgot to mention my tuning fork was swooped by those flying monkeys from outerspace, so the Iron Maiden was my partner for this trip:

This one was a bit longer: Split shaft 1/4 x 1.25"

Here is the new second belay:

So off to the rim via a very airy jug to pack it up and take the walk, Here is the tally:

All bolts placed were SS truebolt 3/8 x 2.25 with Metolious hangers.
I placed all but the one anchor bolt on P1 in the original holes.

I have to give a shout out to Booth and Smith, what a line! Steep, exposed climbing that you need to bring your A game for. The stance for the second bolt on P1 was Marginal (tough for me with a line from above!) The pro is there about every 20 feet or so but there are alot of good dikes on the way. There were also 2 Pitons, 1 was above the bolt on P2 (thin arrow half way in and flexing) I could not replace this one, it was sort of placed in the only crack around and the rock was very mungy so rather than destroy the placement I left it. Keep it together around this pin my friends! The second pin is just off of the 2nd belay, It's a 3/4 inch angle and in a descent placement but once again keep it together!

I had a great time out there, any climbing or ropework in the mountains is OK by me. I just hope this Classic route gets some more attention now, It is said to rival Fantasia.....

My hands hurt from the drilling and it was a good 2 days work that I thoroughly enjoyed. A thanks to a couple of guys who helped me out after my "Dropsey" Episode, Gravity is the soloist worst nightmare!

I hope this TR motivates at least one person to pick up the hammer and restore some of our timeless classics!


Social climber
WA, NC, Idaho Falls
Sep 22, 2009 - 08:43pm PT
Thank you so much for your tireless work!

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Sep 22, 2009 - 08:48pm PT
That first pitch is one of my favorites and now maybe I will try the second again..

Social climber
Davis, CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 09:07pm PT
Nice going dude!

Trad climber
concord, california
Sep 22, 2009 - 09:10pm PT
thanks dude


Sep 22, 2009 - 09:21pm PT
(tough for me with a line from above!)

I'm still wondering and thinking about CTA or BBDC for this
summer upcoming?

Sep 22, 2009 - 10:16pm PT
"tireless work" my ass, Josh was prolly drunk!
Save those hangers brah - we can use them for new 1/4 inchers!
Good job.....


Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2009 - 10:18pm PT
All business up there!

HA- Thank god you weren't around!@
Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Sep 22, 2009 - 10:19pm PT
Good job man!

Social climber
Sep 22, 2009 - 10:27pm PT
Mucci U got the spirit!


RE: "save the hangers...brah"


Gym climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Sep 22, 2009 - 10:29pm PT
Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Sep 22, 2009 - 10:53pm PT
Those hangers if signed by the FA will go for giant coin on Ebay...

Unsigned... maybe 3x retail. It is a karma kickback for bolt replacers. Don't ask me why...

Social climber
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:15pm PT
Russ, really I mean let kev use those
40 year old fukked over total crap corroded stress
fractured complete garbage over-heat treated SMC hangers on
one of his proud death runout numbers...

Kev, don't worry, metal NEVER fatigues...
Go for it..."brah"

South of Black Rock City
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:50pm PT
THanks for the hard work and dedication. Glad you had fun doing it.

Trad climber
East Bay, CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:52pm PT
Nice work, bro!

I was just out there this last weekend and we did East Crack (scared the hell out of me because it was runout in a few places with no good cracks to place gear (or maybe I was just too focused on getting up the rock to take the time to pay attention)) but just about 10 feet below the huge ledge to the left of Haystack's 1st pitch belay station was this ancient piton...I hooked it with a sling and biners because I was already a good 20 ft above my last placement, but that thing looked like it was at least 50 years old.

Anyone know the history on that one?

Pics below show about where the thing was on East Corner.

The sling/biner that Joyce is about to remove is hooked to that Piton.


Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 23, 2009 - 12:01am PT

Educate me. BITD, how were those button heads (the four on the right in your picture, say) meant to hold to the rock?

The engr in me is guessing they we're hammered into a slightly smaller drilled hole causing them to expand. Is this right? Also, were bolts BITD (or ever) glued in place?

Lastly, the one on the left in your picture, was that just a standard bolt bought from a hardware store? If so, how was that made to seize the rock so the nut could be tightened?

Thanks for the input in this area.

And good work! The Leap's my backyard so next time I'm there, I'll give it a go.


Social climber
Sep 23, 2009 - 12:11am PT
Hey footloose - good questions;

The old bolts were hammered into a
Slightly smaller hole causing them to

These are masonry anchors.
A google search will answer much.

Greg Barnes

Sep 23, 2009 - 12:16am PT
Nice work!

kev - I'd reuse Leepers before the old thin SMCs...(at least the fattest 3rd-generation Leepers). You want the stainless ones for new 1/4" bolts.

mucci - that's a 5/16" buttonhead with the stainless SMC hanger. Good call on not trying to pull it. My experience is to never, ever mess with pulling a 5/16" buttonhead unless you really really want it out.

Footloose - the split-shaft buttonheads are compression, not expansion bolts. You can see what new ones look like here (they are still made in 1/4", 3/8", and larger sizes):

Glue-in bolts are rarely used in the US, and mostly recent (last 10-15 years), with large diameter modern glue-in bolts. You do see old examples of people placing bolts with silicone sealant to keep out water, which in my experience is counter-productive (more rust, not less - traps the water in with the bolt).

The last bolt on the left in the picture is just another compression bolt with a thread head instead of a buttonhead (thread heads are no longer made).

Social climber
Davis, CA
Sep 23, 2009 - 12:36am PT
Hey mason, I think that is the first pitch of east corner. Although it might be far east.

The leap is full of old pins. Some are FA material but some were nailed in later.
mark miller

Social climber
Sep 23, 2009 - 12:39am PT
Hey Mucci thanks for your work on that route the last time I climbed it 15+ those bolts were considered "solid"..... Glad my young climber yelled hammer or You would have cut my thick skull in half.....with that blue crowbar. Good hard work, nun the less. I'll do it later this season.
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