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Jan 19, 2012
. Cunning Linguist
Joined Feb 15, 2007
1,175 points
Jan 21, 2012
My thoughts, Any fixed gear that is Toproped and dogged on all day, 9 months a year in sandstone is going to have a limited shelf life.

Also, thank you for uploading a proper avatar killis.
Dustin B
From Steamboat
Joined Jan 29, 2006
1,065 points
Jan 21, 2012
I would think that someone like Sam Lightner would have the best input on this; I've helped replace a few anchors at the Creek, but never with glue-ins, though, like at other soft rock areas, it seems like these probably will be the wave of the future.

IC has a pretty long history of bad anchors, going back to the fact that a lot of the FAs in the 80s never thought that it would be a group toprope gangbang destination in later decades. I know that there has been at least one fatality there from toproping on bad bolts (anyone remember the specific incident/route? I think it was at Cat Wall, but can't remember).

Ideally, I would think that the best thing large toprope groupd could do would be to just toprope off of bomber removable anchors, and then have the last climber remove them and rap off the bolts. Hehe, like that's ever going to happen, though.
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Joined Jun 27, 2006
1,190 points
Jan 21, 2012
My bolting in the creek is pretty limited. 5 piece are standard in the desert as far as I know. I don't have any experience with glue in but imagine rapping back down might not work out so well. I checked out the FOIC page and couldn't find any info. Timmamok Murphy
From Durango, CO
Joined Sep 1, 2008
60 points
Jan 21, 2012
Thanks for getting me over here Killis.

There is no question that Glue ins (GI) would be the best. As a matter of fact they are the best in any application for climbing. A GI uses the entirety of the hole to adhere into position. In virtually all the tests, the bolt does not come out of the rock but instead pulls the rock apart in a big cone around the hole.

Also, they won't twist. I have watched as much my replacement working the area has led to spiners. The inside of the hole, with a 1/2 inch five piece, seems to hold up fairly well (except in vertical placements where water goes down the hole), but Killis is right that the back and forth action on the surface weakens the outer pressure point for the bolt. I think this will happen over time to all of the expansion bolts... we know how fast our medium erodes. BTW, I like to contersink mine to give that much more strength. All you see is a loop of SS protruding from the wall with a little glue around it. I paint them brown and throw sand at the glue to hide it.

The other nice thing about GI's is they seal the hole. No water will get in to weaken the stone with freeze thaw. Also, having the glue handy and right there makes one ore likely to do a good fixup job on the old hole (if you have the time... I can't tell you how many times I have been up some tower and run out of time for removal, and I know it upsets some. Sorry).

So there is simply no question the the GI is a better system, and it is far better in places where the rock is weak... like the Colorado Plateau.

Now the bad. They are simply a huge pain in the ass. To get good adherence you must clean out the hole thoroughly... as in blow it out, brush it, repeat twice more. If you leave dust on the walls of the hole then the glue adheres to the dust and not the main bit of rock. In truth, I have seen many glueins placed by people in Thailand when they forgot to clean the hole and not one of those bolts ever came out... the system is just too secure. However, to do it right you need a clean hole.

Then you have to put in the glue. You do NOT want to use the glass vile method for gluins... You lose a lot of glue with those viles and you do not seal the hole. So, what you have to do is use a caulking gun type system. Hilti has a really good one, as does Redhead. Most large anchor manufacturers are doing this now. You simply fill the hole with the glue and press the bolt in...

But here is the next problem; the glue must cure. You do not want to disturb the bolt in any way while it cures as this messes with the adherence to the rock. In other words, you cannot use this bolt to get up or back down.... you gotta wait a bit. With hilti, 12 hours, with Red head, about one hour.

There is a guy making a bolt called the Wavebolt in the midwest. His name is Isaac.... His glue ins are designed to be weighted while the glue adheres... they are banged into the hole much like a baby angle. He shows how this works and I am now using the bolts. HOWEVER, I do not use them until the cure time has elapsed. The design of the bolt is ingenious, but much of our rock is so much softer than what he designed them for that I simply do not want to take the chance. I use his bolts because they are good quality material and are inexpensive (half the price of Petzl collinox). I will let folks with granite or east coast sandstone weight the bolts while the curing is taking place.

Also, you have to keep other people off the route. I did this in Thailand by threatening to have 5 Thai friends practice Muai Thai for ten minutes on anyone who touched a bolt before the curing, but I am fresh out of Thai thugs here. In seriousness, you just have to leave a note... but a lot of climbers feel that if they dont get to tr Incredible Hand Crack 14 times at the end of the day, then their weekend is ruined... by you.

So, the short of it is that glue ins are a much better system. They are stronger, they last longer, they protect the rock, and they hide better than a bolt hanger. However, they are much more of a pain to place... and in an area where people still argue that its ok to use a baby angle, its hard to ask them to go the extra TWO miles of the glue in.

my 77 cents.
Sam Lightner, Jr.
From Lander, WY
Joined Apr 9, 2006
1,915 points
Jan 21, 2012
Sam....Thanks for the very thorough and informative explanation of your experience with Glue Ins. We definitely appreciate your 77 cents worth. As for JLP....please go back to your hole and crawl back in to it. Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Joined Jan 2, 2007
12,592 points
Jan 21, 2012
thanks Sam. I was gonna post up a shorter version of what you just said from en e-mail, but never did.

another thing that you mentioned to me once... you said that the rock does contain lots of salts. Stainless then is a much better option. Surprised me since I figured it would be dry enough, but I', sure you have seen way more tat than most.
Zac Robinson
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Jul 18, 2006
350 points
Jan 21, 2012
I'd happily team up with either/both of you for an anchor replacement party! I'd also be interested in getting some exp. with glue ins, as all I've worked with is the expansions. Sam Feuerborn
From Durango, CO
Joined Aug 4, 2009
630 points
Jan 22, 2012
I look forward to it Killis. And thanks for the kind words... and thanks even more for the easy-on-the-eyes pics! Sam Lightner, Jr.
From Lander, WY
Joined Apr 9, 2006
1,915 points
Jan 22, 2012
having climbed over your glueins in thailand and five piece bolts in the same area, i would like to personnally say thank you sam. also, thank you for spending the time making such a reasoned response. roundhead
Joined Mar 4, 2010
0 points
Jan 22, 2012
Killis Howard wrote:
We've both contributed a lot to this site and that's the response I get?

What has JPL contributed to this site....Nothing. Ignore that troll. Good luck with your endevors.
From ?
Joined Aug 26, 2008
120 points
Jan 23, 2012
camhead wrote:
I know that there has been at least one fatality there from toproping on bad bolts (anyone remember the specific incident/route? I think it was at Cat Wall, but can't remember).

IIRC a single bolt anchor pulled (i think on fat cat at the cat wall(?)), around '95 or so.
Joined Dec 1, 2004
885 points

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