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Drilled/manufactured non-bolted protection


John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 612
Ian F wrote:
Has there ever been a case of drilled threads and/or manufactured gear placements being used on a route? My thought is that this would have some utility in areas that are not necessarily closed to climbing but bolts would attract too much attention. Just a thought I had and I was curious if anyone else had thought of this before.

It's my understanding that, back before Ti bolts were available, there was a significant number of drilled threads created in Thailand because of the corroding and breaking stainless bolts.   You might try to contact some of the guys that were around then.

But my personal experience with natural threads is that they're a pain in the ass.  I eventually replaced them with Ti bolts.  The nylon has to be replaced every year or so due to deterioration from the sun & wind, not to mention potential animal gnawing.  Are you gonna do it?    And BTW, no one is gonna want to thread each one as they climb, and then clean it on the way down: a total PITA.

And they can be hard to clip, the draw moves around and creates situations were it might unclip itself.
Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 9
John Byrnes wrote:

It's my understanding that, back before Ti bolts were available, there was a significant number of drilled threads created in Thailand because of the corroding and breaking stainless bolts.   You might try to contact some of the guys that were around then.

But my personal experience with natural threads is that they're a pain in the ass.  I eventually replaced them with Ti bolts.  The nylon has to be replaced every year or so due to deterioration from the sun & wind, not to mention potential animal gnawing.  Are you gonna do it?    And BTW, no one is gonna want to thread each one as they climb, and then clean it on the way down: a total PITA.

And they can be hard to clip, the draw moves around and creates situations were it might unclip itself.

Yes and for cost reasons too.

In principle threads are a great idea (cheap, readily available etc) but the issue is replacement and when to replace. Threads (drilled or otherwise) have particular vulnerabilities that necessitate a regular inspection and replacement programme, something rarely in place in a sport climbing area the extent of Tonsai.

I have data from recovered in-situ threads that were sent to BD China for tensile loading to failure and the strength reduction was significant (up to 50%) due to UV exposure and physical wear on the rope.

Preferable to install a certified anchor of material matched for the environment rather than threads. Even on a good day they're weaker than a correctly installed glue-in.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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