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Bolting routes

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

Nate - Our success rate in Eldo for wedge bolts approaches 90%. We have also used core bits to remove Mammut ring bolts after chopping off the ring. Although core drilling seems daunting, in practice it isn't totally unworkable. I also have found core bits that cost between $10-$15. The limitation is the depth to which they reach and the fact that you have to carry extra water and use more battery than with other methods. 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523
Nate Ball wrote:

I have also been successful in removing wedge bolts and reusing holes, however the success rate was fairly low. So, considering this along with the amount of time it took to spin/extract each bolt and the number of bolts that needed replacement, I eventually decided to ditch this technique in favor of torquing off, patching, and redrilling a new hole nearby. Although it does mean a bunch of new holes, I only used stainless sleeve or glue-in (non-beveled) bolts, so hopefully when the time comes, they will be more easily replaced.

The idea of "reheating" the glue seems to involve a blowtorch while hanging from a rope, which just seems ludicrously dangerous and unappealing, and this from someone who's cut hundreds of glue-in bolts with an angle grinder.

I'll contact the AF and see if they will send me a spinner tool to replace the one I've been used in the past. Perhaps that will increase my success rate and the amount of wear-and-tear on my drill.

The ASCA will also provide spinner tools for free. They are a lot lighter than the AF ones, but in use I prefer the AF tool. The AF will also provide a bolt puller if you don't have one of those. Also a little on the heavy side compared to what I imagine the doodad feels like but you also don't have to build it yourself. And it has a nice little cord loop easily lets you clip it in to a sling so you don't drop it. 

I agree with you about the unappealing aspect of reheating glue-ins but other people have told me I'm crazy.

Honestly, the bolts that have given me the hardest time are a bunch of 3/8" splitshaft bolts where the threads are smashed at the end to prevent hanger theft. Apparently that practice also prevents removal and replacement, which is quite lovely in hindsight. It would probably be no big deal if I had an angle grinder, but even a hacksaw and half an hour only got me around 1/3 of the way through. I wish I had one of those, but they're a bit expensive for me to afford. 

I also tried to over torque it in hopes of snapping it off to then patch but these bolts are only threaded for around an inch of the length, which doesn't give me enough travel before the nut reaches the end of the threads. I need to go back there armed with either an angle grinder or some spacers and a much longer wrench. 
Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,321

Eli -
This tool may solve that problem for you (although I haven't tried it):

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523
Gregger Man wrote: Eli -
This tool may solve that problem for you (although I haven't tried it):

Looks like it would. I'd have to borrow a drill but totally worth it. Are  they expensive?

Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 7,894

Yes, find a mentor prior to doing the Palin, ie. "Drill baby Drill"   Really, this will give you a good deal of info. not found until many bad bolts later.

Ma Ja · · Red River Gorge · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 116

If you're new, excited, and have the skills, just take youre time on the first few, and be sure to mock lead it a couple of times, and look at the "proposed" chalked bolt placements from the ground. If you say to yourself, "that looks run out", then add more bolts and change the spacing. Also, don't be afraid to ask climbing partners if the bolts look like they're spaced well. Second and third opinions are super helpful, even if they're not developers. If someone points out that it looks sketchy, maybe you need to move some bolts around.

dnoB ekiM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 3,131
eli poss wrote:

Looks like it would. I'd have to borrow a drill but totally worth it. Are  they expensive?

You can buy a standard chuck adapter for your SDS drill. They are <$30. 

Tom MacD · · San Miguel de Allende, MX · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
M Sprague wrote:

Some good points, but a few issues: It sounds like you need to put more effort into cleaning out your holes. A lot of people don't take that seriously enough. Just blowing them out with a straw isn't good enough. You really need to cycle through blowing and brushing them well with a tube brush a few times to get them properly cleaned. A blow bulb, or better yet a plunger style blower (or even a battery powered blower with a piece of tubing taped on) works better because you aren't getting condensation from your moist breath mixed in. Cleaner holes (and a good bit) will help reduce some of the bolt issues you have

Secondly, just cranking down as hard as you can may easily lead to over torquing even quality bolts. A small wrench  helps avoid that, but it is still a good idea to figure out what your target torque feels like.

No argument on the importance of cleaning out the holes properly, but in my experience (500+ bolts and counting) in volcanic rock, having a long straw and blowing vigorously (and I mean vigorously - over and over until there is zero dust coming out) works just fine.  I've never used a plunger or tube brush as, in my experience, those are not at all necessary if you blow the hell out of the hole.  And as to tightening, I think with much practice you can tell when the bolt is tight "enough" but not too tight.  Hitting the wrench with a hammer or such or jumping up and down on it would obviously be bad, but putting your body weight into it and getting it tight as you can while hanging in a harness can't really overdo it - just getting it good and tight works.  I'd also suggest keeping a wrench in your pack and checking bolts that you've placed a month or so later.  At least here in central Mexico, with vast temperature swings, I've seen a few bolts that benefit from a later bit of additional tightening, but I wouldn't say that's common.  My 2¢.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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