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Rock Climbing Photo: The bolted traverse to the arete. Good holds but i...
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By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
May 19, 2010
Now sporting two new 1/2" bolts courtesy of Mike White/ASCA. The first bolt spins a bit but can't be tightened (sign of bomber-ness). I'd recommend unclipping it after getting to the 2nd bolt to avoid rope drag. You're on great holds at that point...
By James Garrett
Nov 30, 2010
Meaning well is a wonderful thing. But misunderstanding may clearly compromise safety in this case.
A bolt, whether it is 1/2" or 1" in diameter can hardly be assumed to be "bomber" if the hanger spins or can not be tightened. Namely, this very symptom of bolt weakness is usually caused by over-torquing the bolt upon insertion (or afterwards). The real fact of the matter is that that bolt MAY be ready to shear right off (even with the slightest stress) and perhaps is even weaker than the aged 5/16" Contor/Taylor bolt that it replaced.
I have certainly been guilty of the same kind of placement, occasionally when drilling by hand, on lead and in a hurry, as perhaps the original bolts were placed on this route. My apologies if this sounds critical or offensive. It may be important for some to clear up this very common misunderstanding about the status and strength of bolts in rock. Sadly, bolts are not always as strong as they appear.
By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Nov 30, 2010
Well thanks for the lecture, I certainly feel foolish now. As an expert in the matter would you assume this bolt to be more or less bomber than, say, an ancient pin pounded in a hole and glued?
That bolt wasn't replaced because it would have been a complete bitch to pull, there's gear to back it up and a second bolt a few feet away. Don't fall until you clip the 2nd bolt or wait until someone retros the line.
By tenesmus
Nov 30, 2010
I think James makes a valid point. I hesitated the last time I led this because of that same issue.
By James Garrett
Nov 30, 2010
Yes, to answer the first question.
And to your second point, We are in agreement....most bolts are very difficult to remove. All the more argument for getting it correct the first time. And as Tenesmus implies with his comment, unfortunately, all protection is in a way only as good as it "looks"....from a leader's psychological standpoint. Ultimately, the only person who really knows how "bomber" any given piece is, is the person who places it. An example in kind was when I clipped a "thank-god bolt" in Thailand long ago and with its presence there, I forged on ahead "feeling secure" to the belay.
It came out into my belayer's hand as Franziska simply removed the QD when she followed. Hey, it sure looked and felt good. i studied it long and hard. Come to your own conclusions....but do you think we trusted the two-bolt belay on top to rap back down after that?
Sorry for the "lecture"...not my intent. I don't know who you are and I am not aware of your experience and I regret that you feel like a fool. My point is that it is foolish for anyone to assume that every bolt that "looks" bomber is bomber.
By zoso
Dec 1, 2010
Silly me. I thought Boissal was being sarcastic when he said a spinner is a sign of bomber-ness.
By mikewhite
Dec 2, 2010
The bolt is a good rawl, yes the hanger rattles a bit but the bolt is not a spinner. A loose hanger does not mean that it is bad. I tried to unscrew it and its welded in place. I felt it better to leave the bolt than make a total mess of the place. Mabey not bomber but gud enough.

Not all bolts need to be replaced!! I aint gona touch it for another 20 years.

Anybody else want to try and funk it out?
Have at it.

Edit to add
Just dont clip it, if you dont like it. RIGHT?
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The bolted traverse to the arete. Good holds but intimidating.

Submitted By: Boissal on Nov 3, 2008
On this route:
To Air is Human (5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b )
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