Type: Sport, 40 ft
FA: Torresdal, Brown, Edwards 1995
Page Views: 562 total · 7/month
Shared By: Richard Shore on Sep 11, 2012
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin ., Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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A fun climb up huge huecos, jugs, and edges on a near-vertical wall.


See photo. The right-most route on a small east-facing wall in a little corridor.


4 bolts to 2 bolt lower-off (open shuts).


- No Photos -
steve edwards
steve edwards   SLC, UT
This is very common in SB, especially places with softer rock like Potter's, but routes need maintenance everywhere and these routes are 20 years old. Keep in mind the bolts are 1/2X4, so there is very little (like impossible) chance of them coming out as you lower off, even if they become completely disengaged and spin freely. A simple stud in a hole that deep would be safe, and there are two--of course knowing this didn't help me feel very safe rapping off one spinning carrot bolt in Australia. Here's we're talking about a 30' lower and you have a huge margin for error.

Regardless, there should be a community organization (or at least a person, like I once was) who regularly does bolt maintenance around the area. I'd bet you can get some more life out of these anchors by simply tightening them, as the sandstone always erodes over time but there are still some threads left for expansion. A 9/16 wrench in your pack will have you covered. In you invest in maintenance, glue-ins are theoretically better, but I'd check out the Playground (Amphitheater) bolts and see how they are holding up first. SB rock is a bit different than most places and needs to be evaluated on its own. Feb 5, 2015
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
I agree with Steve. I have been replacing bolts here and there as time and money allows, but it's a big job. Steve, my opinion on glue-ins in SB is somewhat mixed. Choss is still choss, and I've seen massive glue-ins simply attach themselves to the sandy crud in to which they've been placed, and after a few months they start wiggling. It happened at San Ysidro a few years back. Totally contextual. I think the Rawls are by far the easiest, most versatile, cheapest, and all-around best bolts for SB stone. Feb 6, 2015
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
I second Andy's endorsement of 1/2" Rawls for Santa Barbara.

The deal with Glue-ins in SB seems to be this --
The cartridge application seems to work well since the components are already mixed before they go into the hole and the glue is more viscous, impregnating the rock just the right amount. With glue capsules, like those sold by Petzl, the liquid inside the capsule seems to absorb completely into the porous sandstone surrounding the whole before all of the various components can mix. There is little to no curing with the capsules. As Andy mentioned, several of these failed within a few months.

I also noticed that, independent of our porous rock, Petxl & Hilti have recalled all unused glue capsules due to concerns about proper mixing.

Feb 9, 2015
It seems to me that at several of the areas the hardware is slowly getting replaced, which makes sense as many of these anchors are approaching 25 years. My favorite in sandstone are glue-ins with Hilti or Simpson cartridge expoxies. My 7 month old son's kids will be able to climb on these. I have never been a fan of the capsule style application of epoxy as you can't spin a recessed Fixe anchor all the way in to ensure the glue is totally mixed thoughout the entire hole.
Powers/Rawl 1/2" x 4 1/2" are a close second and depending on the application, occasionally are my first choice.

To Andy's point, choss is choss, but when cleaning the hole, the dust should stop coming out after a bit of brushing and blowing air. When each brush stroke creates more sandy dust, chances are the rock is too just soft for any kind of long lasting anchor. Feb 9, 2015
andy patterson
Carpinteria, CA
andy patterson   Carpinteria, CA  
Jan, I'm not surprised Simpson epoxies work well for you. I've never placed a climbing anchor using a Simpson product, but I've placed COUNTLESS other anchors supporting substantial weight using Simpson epoxy (background: I'm an ornamental ironworker, and I make lots of heavy iron things that hang off buildings). I've noticed that Simpson epoxy performs very well in porous/chossy contexts, mostly because the epoxy is pre-mixed BEFORE it goes in the hole—at least when I use it. Also, once the epoxy mixture enters the hole, it isn't sludgy and thick—like other epoxies—but even a little bit watery, which allows the epoxy to get in every nook and cranny available. Jan, are you using the mixing nozzles that go on the end of the epoxy cylinders? Simpson doesn't have the fastest set-time, but results have spoken for themselves.

Here's what I often use to install ironwork of a heavy nature (disclaimer: this is an endorsement by me, Andy Patterson, not Simpson. Take this with a grain of salt):


Jan, exactly what product are you using? Just curious. My love of Rawls comes from their affodability/strength/versatility/size, but I'm open to other products.

I love talking about epoxies, by the way. Feb 11, 2015
Ha, yeah dorking out on epoxies, materials, embed depth, etc. can be fun (and a giant waste of time - see below.)

I typically use either the SET (formally SET22) or SET XP from Simpson and Hilti's RE-500(SD) (the Thailand favorite.) The Hilti is pink and the SET XP is blue so you need to throw a lot of sand and drill dust at them to blend the epoxy to the rock. The Simpson SET is grey so throwing a little sand or dust is mostly to take the sheen off and for texture reasons. For both Simpson and Hilti, I have the side by side application guns to which you attach the long mixing nozzles. The extra Simpson mixing nozzles are expensive ($5 ea) but overall I have found that if placing a number of anchors in batches (min 6-10) I can get the average cost per install down to less than $10 a pop. At times when gluing multiple routes in a day I have gotten this down to $8 ($1.75 glue and nozzle expense per, yes I have spread sheets...) with a SS Fixe 80mm assuming retail anchor price. Compared to a 1/2" x 4 1/2" SS Rawl (~$9-10) with hanger has averaged $12 a pop for me.

Jim Titt from wave bolts has mentioned a Redhead epoxy and an acrylic one for anchors that work well, but I stick with epoxy-based adhesives that have been tested for structural anchoring cracked/uncracked concrete and well as seismic standards. The lab tests for these materials are awesome but our average sandstone PSI is likely 70% of the softest concrete cited in the lab reports. Taking this into account, using load tables and reducing it by a factor (disclaimer - not a structural engineer so my "factor" is my factor...) generally still yields a tension strength higher than the fatty Rawl.

The slower set time you mention really helps in being able to do batch installs but you have to come back tomorrow to climb on them. In terms of an FA, if done on lead, I install Fixe Triplex's along the way - which takes hours, now on rappel (and could be another day) - remove triplex's, re-drill/shape holes and install glue-ins, finally coming back on (often) the third day to huck laps on "finished" rig. Reeeeaally time-consuming. But like I said, it will be cool when my grandkids are whipping on those anchors with me flaming from below!
Dork out. Feb 11, 2015
Jeff Mahoney
Santa Barbara, CA
Jeff Mahoney   Santa Barbara, CA
What's the difference between listening to epoxy nerds rant or having chronic tinnitus? (I'll let you come up with your own punchline...)

Obviously, the quality of the epoxy, cleanliness and depth of the hole and size of the bolt are key, the problem I see a lot is just poor execution, primarily people not recessing or countersinking the edges of the eye so the bolt doesn't turn. (There are some laughably placed glue-ins around the area with the eyelets sitting so high out of the rock they look like someone got halfway through a game of Hangman and then gave up.)

I can vouch for Jan's stellar (some would say OCD) glue-in placements, primarily at Invisible Wall, where they are recessed to the point of looking like U-bolts (and made Menzo think they were "unsafe" when he first saw them, haha). They're not going to move a millimeter in the next 40 years, so the whole grandkids thing will definitely come to fruition. Feb 12, 2015
Oh yeah, that was pretty funny, I think it was Jan (McCollum) leading Menzo to think that they were garage made U-bolts/staples and not Fixe anchors. Maybe if someone else hadn't painted them after they were installed so they could still read the "Fixe"... Those guys have seen enough jenkie sh*t in their time that their first response is to question anything different (and I haven't seen a lot of glue-in use out west.) Since then they have tested one or two to their satisfaction. ;-)

In the end, there are peeps working on replacing fixed anchors one for one at the various SB crags and using what they view to be "truck hardware." Maybe someone will give Ms. T some love soon. Feb 12, 2015
Jeff Mahoney
Santa Barbara, CA
Jeff Mahoney   Santa Barbara, CA
Just came across this vid that Kevin at Fixe did for glue-ins. Textbook:


Other bolting vids are here:
fixehardware.com/shop/fixe-… Feb 23, 2015