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Adding a wrench to your rack....


Original Post
Ryan U. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 45

I've added a small wrench to my rack to tighten spinning bolts.  I was tightening a few bolts this weekend on a route we did and it got me thinking what the community thinks of this? I have mixed feelings, on one hand it would be nice to see more people being proactive about bolt replacement/maintenance but on the other hand idk how I feel about anyone just grabbing a wrench and messing with the bolts that we rely on?   Most of the bolts took well to tightening with the exception of one that was definitely bottomed out. Should I ditch the wrench and just report spinners  here on MP or continue to lend a hand when I can?

zoso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 495

2/10 

Try Cam · · Ft. Wayne, IN · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0
zoso wrote: 1/5
Since we are dealing with the lowest common denominator here, I reduced that for you.
Ryan Pfleger · · North Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 20

What the hell, guys? This is a legit and thoughtful question by somebody who is trying to be a good steward of a shared resource.

Yeah, Ryan. As long as you don't overtighten, this is a good idea. Some nut tools even have a wrench built in for exactly this purpose. If you're not sure what to do or the bolt is bottoming, or spinning, or becomes very hard to tighten, just leave it and report it to whoever you think should know. One resource is badbolts.com. Or try Mountain Project. Or the ASCA (safeclimbing.org). Or your local climbers group.

Ryan U. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 45

MP has gotten so lame that literally anytime someone comes on to get some community advise, some a$$hole has to reply lol but hey what else can you expect from the internet. Pull the biner out your ass and move on buddy or I'll shove said wrench.....

Alex Fedorov · · New York City · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

I think all of us should do what we can to help maintain common resources of the community... from bolts to cleaning the base of the climbs to making sure rap/top-rope slings are safe on the popular climbs, etc...  Ofcourse on any given forum there is a smartass present - I would not pay any attention to that... Idiots will be idiots... 

Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 1,140

I think it is a great idea to carry a wrench. I do.  I would suggest a 6" adjustable.  It's good enough to tighten just about every bolt out there and as long as you don't stand on it, it won't overtighten bolts.  Also, don't forget to clip a quick draw into the hanger first and apply some weight to get the hanger in proper orientation before tightening.

Nick B · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 61

If you want to carry a wrench a suggest a gimbal ratchet. It is easy and fast to use and small.  It also will not give you enough leverage to be able to damage bolts easily.   You can add a universal socket to it and it will work for any bolt size.  You can buy them cheap on amazon.

J W H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2019 · Points: 0

Is there a way a nut tool could be used to tighten a bolt? If your nut tool can work, you don't have to carry extra.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air · · Portland, OR · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 70
J W H wrote: Is there a way a nut tool could be used to tighten a bolt? If your nut tool can work, you don't have to carry extra.

Metolius makes a nut tool that has sections cut out of it to act as a wrench. In my experience, It was a PITA to use since you are only able to get a little rotation before needing to take it off and re-position it.

. Mobes · · MDI · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

I enjoy climbing on spinners.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040

I have a wrench in my pack, and occasionally use it. As more bolters switch to stainless steel bolts (a good thing for longevity, obviously), you see more spinners on newly-bolted routes. The old not-stainless bolts rusted/welded in place very quickly, but the stainless ones can loosen, and may need tightening.  

 I’m not particularly worried that my puny self, while hanging on the rope without having much in terms of oppositional force, can produce enough torque to over-tighten the bolt with a one-handed use of the wrench. But you could get a torque wrench to be extra careful. 

Majority of the people do not carry a wrench, and I don’t think there’s been any evidence that hordes of gumbies are compromising everyone’s safety by overtightening the bolts. There has been lots of evidence of bolts loosening up eventually to the point of falling out though... so I think overall the tighten-them-when-you-see-them is a good approach for people who are willing to do it.

But sure, it is possible that there is an inappropriately-overtightened-by-some-random-climber bolt out there, ready to snap next time someone takes a fall on it. Climbing is dangerous.  

Cory F · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25
Ryan U. wrote: MP has gotten so lame that literally anytime someone comes on to get some community advise, some a$$hole has to reply lol but hey what else can you expect from the internet. Pull the biner out your ass and move on buddy or I'll shove said wrench.....

So True!  Oddly, that person is almost always on of the first to respond...  Do They Even Climb?

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,860
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wrote:

Metolius makes a nut tool that has sections cut out of it to act as a wrench. In my experience, It was a PITA to use since you are only able to get a little rotation before needing to take it off and re-position it.

And some (the Grivel nut tool IIRC) are metric and don't fit US bolts. All have the problem of being large and may not fit against the nut if the bolt is in any sort of recess. I just carry a 6" Crescent wrench.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,724
Gunkiemike wrote:

And some (the Grivel nut tool IIRC) are metric and don't fit US bolts. All have the problem of being large and may not fit against the nut if the bolt is in any sort of recess. I just carry a 6" Crescent wrench.

Same.  My general rule is to tighten the nut until the hanger is not able to be moved with my fingers, then give the nut another 1/4 turn.  Seems to work well.  Probably not to specs, but I think there's little danger of over-torquing like this, and it definitely snugs the hanger up nicely.

Jim Urbec · · sevierville, TN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 41
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wrote:

Metolius makes a nut tool that has sections cut out of it to act as a wrench. In my experience, It was a PITA to use since you are only able to get a little rotation before needing to take it off and re-position it.

The regular BD nut tool (not the one with biner gate) will also work to tighten bolts as will the DMM nut buster.  Tightening a loose anchor both with BD tool was a similar experience at Metolius.  but still seems easier than trying/needing to dig a wrench out of a pack.  I just try to keep the number of Single-purpose what-if items to a minimum

Tim Lutz · · Colo-Rado Springs · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5
. Mobes wrote: I enjoy climbing on spinners.

so Trad!

Try Cam · · Ft. Wayne, IN · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0
Cory F wrote:

So True!  Oddly, that person is almost always on of the first to respond...  Do They Even Climb?

You Capitalized on a great opportunity for a burn there.

But I'll bite. OP, I'm missing the exigence of your post. Do you think people would object to climbers tightening bolts? Seems like a good practice to adopt if you have the opportunity. 
. Mobes · · MDI · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865
Tim Lutz wrote:

so Trad!

Just a thrill seeker high on Redbull.

Ryan U. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 45
Try Cam wrote:

You Capitalized on a great opportunity for a burn there.

But I'll bite. OP, I'm missing the exigence of your post. Do you think people would object to climbers tightening bolts? Seems like a good practice to adopt if you have the opportunity. 

Honestly you don't? Seems like 60% of people have to say "righty tighy, left loosey" just to remeber which way to turn a wrench yet you don't see a concern with every random person putting that wrench on the life saving equipment?  What if they crank it the wrong way? Do you know what happens? If not, you're probably not needed in this disccussion because I don't see the exigence of you commenting.


I wouldn't crank it the wrong way but does anyone know what happens? I imagine it hitting a tight spot just like it would to the right, then someone cranking on it could think they're tightening it but in actuality they just knocked it even looser.   Can it be retightened by hand at that point? That senario popped up in my head and got me realizing I may not want just anyone up there with a wrench.

But I'm glad the community seems to agree about carrying a wrench. A bunch of people were watching me tighten the bolts, and it seemed like it could be frowend apon when some gumby like me takes on the job.  

Also, MP only lets me reply once a day lol so I'll check in tomorrow.  
Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,450

Every sport climber should have a wrench. And it wouldn’t hurt to have two or three ss hangers, either.

I’m not worried about someone “cranking the wrong way.” My guess is they won’t make the same mistake twice.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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