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Replacing anchors - first time

Original Post
Jillian Nicole · · Cottonwood Heights · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 5

I’m new to climbing (one season) and I’d like to replace a worn anchor or two in the Moab area when we visit next week. Here’s some questions I have; all advice appreciated :)
- is it okay for a newbie to do this or do you need permission or a certification???
- route suggestions that need replacing (up to 5.10b only, please)
- thanks!

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Will you be replacing bolts or just worn hooks and rings?

If the latter, do it. Do it with similar metals with adequate load ratings. Not some janky crap.

Don't replace bolts if you don't have the experience and knowledge. Let someone else replace bolts. Donate to ASCA and contact the local climber's coalition or gear shop.

safeclimbing.org

Scott E · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 342

Like Frank said, do not replace bolts if you do not have significant experience with placing bolts along with a thorough understanding of the pros/cons of each bolt type and different metals

Adam Fleming · · Moab · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 315

I appreciate your desire to do some stewardship!  Donating to the ASCA would be the best way for you to help at this point in your climbing career.  There's a great community of bolt replacers in SLC that you could learn from.  With more knowledge and experience, you could come back to Moab sometime in the future and replace an anchor yourself!

Another way to help would be to buy a bunch of Wag Bags and stock the dispensers in Indian Creek.  I did that two years ago and Pagan Mountaineering (local gear store in Moab) gave me the bags at cost.  PM me if you want to know where the dispensers are.  

You could also reach out to Moab Trail Mix and see if they're doing any work you could volunteer for.  It might not be a climbing trail, but it probably would be (they just started redoing the Abraxas trail).

M Mobes · · ME · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 910

Just bring some unwanted biners and leave them as needed when anchor wear is concerning.

Jillian Nicole · · Cottonwood Heights · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 5

 Thanks so much for all your replies!! I definitely wouldn’t be replacing bolts, just the nice chains and rings I can get from my local climbing store.

I’ll keep my altruistic dreams more grounded this trip and go with those other suggestions ;-)

- Jill 

Adam Fleming · · Moab · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 315
Jillian Nicole wrote:I definitely wouldn’t be replacing bolts, just the nice chains and rings I can get from my local climbing store.

I think this is something you can totally do on your upcoming trip.  If you're purchasing from a climbing shop, you can ask the employees there if the hardware is appropriate.  Make sure to get stainless steel.  Chain, rings, and quicklinks should be all that you need.  Threadlocker and two wrenches would be useful to bring along as well.  

Adam Fleming · · Moab · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 315

On second thought, ASCA donations are matched in November, so that would be an excellent way to give back!

Matt Pierce · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2010 · Points: 278

I also appreciate your initiative but I gotta tell you - I don't want a newb replacing anchors (especially in sandstone)

Please do not do this

Give to those that know what they are doing

Joey Jarrell · · SLC · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 140

Sounds like you just want to replace chains...

Talk to your local shop and try to match the existing bolts with similar metal. Plated with plated, 304 stainless with 304 stainless.

Don't put in bolts without a mentor.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 674

My $0.02-

Don't mess with the bolts unless you know what you are doing, except maybe to tighten up loose nuts.

On the other hand, please replace worn quicklinks, rings and mussys.
It's not brain surgery.

Unless it's a wet environment, I don't think it really matters if you use plated links and plated mussys.
I doubt it matters if you use a stainless link on a plated hanger, but it isn't best practice.
IMHO, mussys are better than rings.
Others may disagree.

Chain is really heavy and you kind of need to have more or less the correct length, so unless you know ahead of time what you are replacing, it's not that practical.

When you replace or add elements to the anchor, make sure they lie properly and won't twist the rope.
For example, if you are adding to a plain bolt hanger, you need two links, or a quick link and a ring. If you just use one, it twists the rope mercilessly.

Scott E · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 342
Adam Fleming wrote:

 Make sure to get stainless steel.  Chain, rings, and quicklinks should be all that you need.  

A lot of the bolts in the desert are plated steel so by adding stainless steel hardware into the equation, you’ll cause galvanic corrosion on the bolt and hanger. It would probably be better to use plated chain and quicklinks unless you are positive the bolt/hanger is stainless. And if you do put plated chain or quicklinks on stainless steel bolts/hangers, the chain and quicklinks will corrode before the bolt/hanger and are easily replaced 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern Utah Deserts
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