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Santa Barbara Anchor Replacement

 
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5/16-inch by 1.5-inch compression bolt (sold as 8mm x 40mm): one of three anchors removed from atop "the Nose."  Brand new, in hard rock, this beauty had between body weight and 4,000-lbs of strength (depending upon how well it was placed).  In medium to soft rock (such as ours), this had functionally no strength.
BETA PHOTO: 5/16-inch by 1.5-inch compression bolt (sold as 8m...
Here is the aforementioned 5/16" compression bolt removed from atop the Nose. It is pictured here alongside a brand new 12mm Fixe Triplex expansion bolt. (A 12mm bolt is only slightly larger than 3/8". The Triplex is actually a 3/8" bolt with a stainless steel sleeve.) <br /> <br />
BETA PHOTO: Here is the aforementioned 5/16" compression bolt ...
5/16" by 3" wedge bolt removed from San Ysidro. Best case, this bolt had just 2,300 lbs of strength in medium-hardness (2,000 psi) rock--and even less in our soft central coast sandstone.  These bolts are the dominant type at SY and are prevalent elsewhere in Santa Barbara.   <br />
BETA PHOTO: 5/16" by 3" wedge bolt removed from San Ysidro. Be...
Here is the aforementioned 5/16" lead bolt removed from Face Lift.  It is pictured here alongside a brand new 12mm Fixe Triplex expansion bolt.  (A 12mm bolt is only slightly larger than 3/8".  The Triplex is actually a 3/8" bolt with a stainless steel sleeve.)
BETA PHOTO: Here is the aforementioned 5/16" lead bolt removed...
3/8-inch Star Dryvin (Nail + Sleeve) bolt removed from atop "T-Crack."  Brand new, properly placed in hard rock, this beauty had just 1,400 pounds of shear strength (MUCH less in pull-out).  In medium to soft rock (such as ours), this had functionally no strength. <br />
BETA PHOTO: 3/8-inch Star Dryvin (Nail + Sleeve) bolt removed ...
Here is the aforementioned Nail Drive anchor bolt removed from atop T-Crack. It is pictured here alongside a brand new 12mm Fixe Triplex expansion bolt. (A 12mm bolt is only slightly larger than 3/8". The Triplex is actually a 3/8" bolt with a stainless steel sleeve.) <br /> <br />
BETA PHOTO: Here is the aforementioned Nail Drive anchor bolt ...
3/8" "Drop-In" expansion bolt removed from atop Klingon at Gibraltar rock.  This bolt has functionally no strength in our soft Central Coast sandstone. <br />
BETA PHOTO: 3/8" "Drop-In" expansion bolt removed from atop Kl...
3/8" externally-threaded sleeve bolt--one of two removed from atop the Rapture at Lower Gibraltar. This bolt is actually only 5/16" in diameter (even less on the threaded portion).  It has functionally little strength in our soft Central Coast sandstone.
BETA PHOTO: 3/8" externally-threaded sleeve bolt--one of two r...
The wedge bolt shown in the photo is a 3/8" by 3-1/2" wedge bolt pulled from the summit boulder at the Foot.  The bolt was pulled straight out of its hole using only moderate pressure.  While this is not a climbing-specific bolt (such as a Fixe Wedge Bolt), the lack of pull-out strength is utterly shocking. <br /> <br />The weak link here is the rock.  Climbers should exercise caution when clipping bolts at this crag.
BETA PHOTO: The wedge bolt shown in the photo is a 3/8" by 3-1...
Here is the 1/2" wedge bolt that was pulled from atop Peels/Great Race.  It goes completely against common sense that a bolt this big can be pulled from rock without the use of heavy duty equipment.
BETA PHOTO: Here is the 1/2" wedge bolt that was pulled from a...
To give you a sense how BIG this bolt is, here's the aforementioned failed 1/2" wedge bolt alongside a traditional 3/8" wedge bolt.
To give you a sense how BIG this bolt is, here's t...
(5/16" x 1-1/2", aka 8mm x 40mm, compression bolt)  All of the lead bolts on Miccis and Menage a  Trois are of this type.  Lead at your own risk.
BETA PHOTO: (5/16" x 1-1/2", aka 8mm x 40mm, compression bolt)...
3/8" Stud Bolt removed from Permanent Income Hypothesis, in the Fortress.  These bolts can be quite strong in 4,000 psi rock; however, there is no way to know how well the bolt has been placed and how much expansion has been achieved.  As a result, these bolts vary wildly in pull-out strength from one placement to the other.  In soft sandstone, these bolts are scary.
BETA PHOTO: 3/8" Stud Bolt removed from Permanent Income Hypot...
Another 3/8" stud bolt removed from the Fortress.  Notice how widely this unit has expanded.  Clearly, the walls of the hole that was drilled broke away allowing the bolt to expand well beyond the original confines.  In other words, the soft sandstone that this bolt was placed in could not resist the expansion of the bolt.
BETA PHOTO: Another 3/8" stud bolt removed from the Fortress. ...
The arrow indicates the location of the original anchor on "Consumption Dysfunction" at the Fortress.  The bolts were both hardware store-variety externally threaded sleeve bolts.
BETA PHOTO: The arrow indicates the location of the original a...
I recently went out to inspect the anchor atop Peels of Laughter at San Ysidro (after someone had beaten the living snot out on a glued-in eyebolt atop that route).  Next to the eyebolt is a 1/2" wedge bolt which I tightened with a wrench.  The consequence of my tightening the bolt was rather surprising...
BETA PHOTO: I recently went out to inspect the anchor atop Pee...
With only moderate resistance, the bolt withdrew farther and farther from the hole.  Eventually, the bolt withdrew enough that the expansion clip at the bottom of the bolt slipped over the end of the expansion cone and the bolt slid out of the hole.
BETA PHOTO: With only moderate resistance, the bolt withdrew f...
As with so many other bolts in Santa Barbara, the rock around the bolt was simply not hard enough to resist the expansion of the bolt.
BETA PHOTO: As with so many other bolts in Santa Barbara, the ...
Here is another shot of the failed 1/2" expansion bolt from San Ysidro.  Notice that the expansion clip is missing from the cone at the bottom of the bolt--the expansion clip is still inside the rock where the bolt was originally placed.
BETA PHOTO: Here is another shot of the failed 1/2" expansion ...
You see something new every day...this bolt was the third lead bolt on Fine Line at San Ysidro (also the third bolt on Ricks Route).  The 20+ year old bolt appeared to be a 3/8" wedge bolt with heavy corrosion--both appearances proving true.  Upon removal, the surprise was that the bolt is only 2.25" long.  Currently the shortest wedge bolt (of those made for climbing) is 2.75" long.  Once tightened, this little beauty had fewer than 1.75" of metal inside the rock.
BETA PHOTO: You see something new every day...this bolt was th...
Here is the Fine Line bolt alongside the current offerings from Fixe.  The bolt in the middle is a 2.75" wedge bolt (considered totally solid in Sierra granite but sketchy in soft sandstone), while the right-hand bolt is a 3.75" double-wedge. <br /> <br />Notice that on the pulled bolt, the expansion clip is gone.  Like previous removals, when the bolt was pulled, the expansion clip simply slid over the end of the expansion cone and still resides in the rock.
BETA PHOTO: Here is the Fine Line bolt alongside the current o...
This is the sole lead bolt from "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," a variation of "Applied Magnetics" at San Ysidro.  The bolt was replaced at the request of first ascensionist Tom Adam. <br /> <br />The bolt shown is a 3/8" stud bolt that is 2-1/4" long.  The bolt was more than 25 years old and exhibited major corrosion, especially on the part of the bolt that engages the expansion cone and flares outward.
BETA PHOTO: This is the sole lead bolt from "Brush Up Your Sha...
This detail reveals the significant corrosion of a 25 year old 3/8" stud bolt removed from San Ysidro.  Notice that a significant amount of mass has been eliminated from the part of the bolt that actually expands.
BETA PHOTO: This detail reveals the significant corrosion of a...
Interestingly, 3/8" stud bolts like this one are visually indistinguishable from 3/8" wedge bolts which are considerably stronger.  With only the threads, nut & hanger visible above the surface, there is no way to tell this bolt from the one shown 3 slides earlier.
BETA PHOTO: Interestingly, 3/8" stud bolts like this one are v...
Here is the stud bolt that was removed from "Brush Up" alongside a stainless steel Fixe Triplex bolt, like that one that was used for replacement.
BETA PHOTO: Here is the stud bolt that was removed from "Brush...
1/4-inch Compression Bolt (a.k.a. "Button Head") removed from the wall at Sespe Gorge.  Amazingly, this bolt was pulled out of the wall by simply sliding a nut tool under the hanger and using it as a lever. <br />
BETA PHOTO: 1/4-inch Compression Bolt (a.k.a. "Button Head") r...
Another view of the (truly) 1/4-inch compression bolt removed from Sespe Gorge.
BETA PHOTO: Another view of the (truly) 1/4-inch compression b...
Here is a comparison between the recently-removed 1/4-inch bolt (on the right) and one of the 5/16-inch bolts removed from another wall.
BETA PHOTO: Here is a comparison between the recently-removed ...
Here is a view of the two sizes of compression bolts to scale (5/16 on the left; 1/4 on the right) as they appear in the wall.  The difference in size is subtle but noticeable.
BETA PHOTO: Here is a view of the two sizes of compression bol...
1/4-inch Star Dryvin (nail & sleeve) bolt removed from Wheeler Gorge.  Wheeler is a true sport climbing area with reasonably solid gear that is mostly less than 12 years old--the presence of this bolt came as a bit of a surprise.
BETA PHOTO: 1/4-inch Star Dryvin (nail & sleeve) bolt removed ...
Here is another view of the 1/4-inch Star Dryvin as it appears in the wall.  In the foreground is a 3/8-inch Star Dryvin for comparison.  The 3/8-inch variety is very common at nearby climbing areas.
BETA PHOTO: Here is another view of the 1/4-inch Star Dryvin a...
The bolt on the right is a 3/8" by 4" Rawl expansion bolt. It is the 2nd lead bolt on "Black's Crack" at Fire Crag. The first bolt on that route (also a 3/8" Rawl) recently pulled out during a lead fall. This was the second lead bolt failure at the crag in recent years. For comparison, on the left is a 1/2" Powers expansion bolt. <br /> <br />Bolt failures like the one on "Black's Crack" are actually predictable. Test data compiled by Duane Raleigh and printed in Climbing Magazine in 1992 reveals that these bolts have little holding power in soft rock like that at Fire Crags. In this case, the real-world result is even scarier than the data. The first bolt, which failed, was located 13 feet above the ground. The second bolt is located just 36-inches above the first bolt. The fall that resulted in the failure of the first bolt was therefore of a very low fall factor.
BETA PHOTO: The bolt on the right is a 3/8" by 4" Rawl expansi...
Fire Crag also sports dozens of 3/8" externally-threaded sleeve bolts. These bolts actually consist of a 5/16" bolt that is even thinner on the exposed, threaded end of the bolt. The possibility of shearing or pulling one of these bolts is real.
BETA PHOTO: Fire Crag also sports dozens of 3/8" externally-th...
This is an externally-threaded sleeve bolt at Fire Crag with a Fixe Sport Climbing Anchor attached to it. It is the ONLY anchor bolt that protects an easy climb on one side of the crag. Apparently people are clipping a rope through the hook and using the bolt as the sole protection for this route.
BETA PHOTO: This is an externally-threaded sleeve bolt at Fire...
The good news at Fire Crag is the pair of Petzl Bat'Inox capsule-style, glue-in bolts on the very top of the crag. These bolts, if properly placed, are rated to 50kN each. With a 40-foot piece of static cord, these can be used to back-up any top-anchor at the crag.
BETA PHOTO: The good news at Fire Crag is the pair of Petzl Ba...
5/16" x 3" wedge bolt removed from Vanishing Flakes.  This bolt is the sole piece of protection through the route's second crux--if this bolt goes, the piton below will not keep you off of the ground.  The bolt has been replaced by a 12mm Fixe Triplex.
BETA PHOTO: 5/16" x 3" wedge bolt removed from Vanishing Flake...