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Unsorted Routes:

Queen of hearts 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 75'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Jesse brown
New Route: Yes
Season: Summer/fall
Page Views: 731
Submitted By: Jesse Brown on Aug 29, 2013

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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Description 

Interesting start, leads up seam and then out into pockets . Really fun crux to fun bulge/roof finish. A bit dirty at the anchors .

Location 

Located down and around the bend from "medicine man" follow faint trail down into boulders and pop out under the big buttress.

Protection 

Sport 11 draws


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By Jeremy Steck
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 3, 2013
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Hard move at the bulge after climbing through the vertical pockets. Finding the proper feet for the deadpoint is challenging.
By alex-la-chapelle
Jul 24, 2014

This route is dangerous! It needs rebooting and cleaning.

I attempted to climb this route on July 20, 2014. I took a bad fall at the crux - the bulge after the vertical pockets. I expected a small fall, as the bolt was at the level of my hip. But the BOLT NUT BROKE, and I took a 10 m (30 feet) fall, head first into the slab.

This is one of my worst experiences in more than 40 years of climbing - the first time in my life that a bolt breaks! When I clipped it, it looked ok. Other climbers hanged on it a few minutes before my accident.

The route has also another issue - There is "death" block very close to the top anchors, which is prone to be used as clip hold.

After the fall I had a concering exchange with two local climbers. They mentioned that breaking nuts is not unusual in this area. They recommended me to always carry a wrench, and expect bolts to break. I gave them the hanger, as they seemed to be friends with the route setter.
By Jesse Brown
From: Laramie,wy
Jul 28, 2014

Alex, Im glad your ok.

I bolted this route last year and i will be going out there soon to fix this problem.

The local climbers here in Lander take safety seriously, in no way is a nut or bolt breaking usual.

I just want to clarify, the crux bolt broke, so the bolt needs to be replaced? The nut broke? both? Im confused, and i don't understand how a wrench would help if you take a fall and bolts/nuts are breaking.

You have every right to state your poor experience on this site, and again I'm glad your ok.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Jul 28, 2014

Alex, we met at the crag that day and two weeks before... question. Was the hanger loose on the bolt, or was it tight against the wall and thus not moving?
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jul 29, 2014

The bolt appeared to be fine from the ground, so it must be that the nut itself broke or more likely just fell off? I guess its conceivable that the nut was loose enough so that when the hanger was loaded the nut was being torqued in a weird fashion that led to the failure (perhaps the fact that the bolt is placed on a mildly overhanging section of rock made this effect worse?)

Still, it is indeed disconcerting that a route that went up so recently would have loose hardware. I would suggest that this problem could be avoided in the future by using a torque wrench and some loctite. FYI, I ran into Steve Babbits this weekend and he seemed to imply that he would try and come back with a hanger in the near future.

Edit: I have been thinking about this for a while longer and I am a bit skeptical that the nut actually broke. Alex, are you sure that the nut didn't just fall off? Did you find pieces of the nut?
By alex-la-chapelle
Aug 1, 2014

Hi Jesse, Sam and j Albers,
Thank you for your questions.

Jesse, Just before I attempted the route another climber was on it and fell from that bolt. When I clipped it, the hanger was fix and the nut tight. There was no sign that something was loose or wrong. After my fall I had the quickdraw with the hanger dangling in the rope. The other climber also didn't notice anything unusual.

The bolt (without hanger and nut) is still in the wall. My partner saw it as he recovered the gear. The nut is gone, hidden somewhere, entire or in pieces, between boulders at the base.

As already mentioned I gave the hanger to two local climbers, and I expected them to give it back to you. They said that they are friends with you. They were top roping "When I was a young girl…". One of them pulled a wrench from his pack to make their point about safety. Strage thing that they haven't returned the hanger.

Sam, it was a pleasure to see you. We met indeed that day. As said, bolt, nut and hanger all looked tight, when I clipped them.

J Albers - I definitely agree with your observation about the overhanging bolt position and the recommendation to use a torque wrench and some glue. I think that a new placement, a few centimeters higher, where the rock surface is vertical, would be a good idea.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Aug 2, 2014

No matter where the bolt was placed, it was not designed to malfunction in this way. Perhaps there is a more optimal place, but this problem went far beyond any placement. I guess what I'm trying to say is this had to be a manufacturing defect. If the hanger was tight, the nut was tight, If the nut was tight, it should not have come off with less than 30kn of force, which you did not exude. The assumption has to be the Spaniards made a shitty bolt.

They cannot test every single bolt, and in our industry it is hard to imagine them x-raying every bolt for imperfections. Sadly, this is going to happen sometimes. "Climbing is inherently dangerous."
By alex-la-chapelle
Aug 4, 2014

I think that we all agree. To summarize: this route needs some inspection, rebooting and cleaning. Outstanding issues are a missing bolt (broken through a minor fall) and a potentially loose block under the top anchors.
By Andrew Hudson
Oct 2, 2014

I was the climber before Alex. I also re-climbed after Alex's fall to retrieve draws from above the missing bolt. My appraisal of the situation was that the nut was likely loose. I assume this because:

1.) The hanger was completely intact and showed no signs of damage
2.) The threads of the bolt were completely intact, and appeared to be normal.

Repeated vibrations and movement due to falls likely caused the nut to loosen over time, and eventually come off. It's debatable what measures could have been taken to prevent this, some of the things that occur to me could be:

1.) If the bolts were not tightened to the manufacture's specifications using a torque wrench, it could cause the nuts to loosen prematurely.
2.) The use of loctite, lock washers, or some other mechanism that is meant to reduce loosening due to vibration.
3.) Making sure that a number of threads are past the bolt to assure that a loose nut does not immediately come off the bolt.

Anyways, those are just my thoughts and observations, for whatever those are worth.