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Tensile Strength 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 3,355
Submitted By: Steve Marr on Jan 17, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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Rebecca climbing Tensile Strength, surrounded by t...


Tensile Strength climbs the line of old quarter inch bolts right of Pins. The first 3/4 of the climb is fun, fairly easy climbing. Climb a thin crack to a flake that trends up and left. Follow the sloping holds along the flake until you can pull up and stand on top of it. The crux is the blank section above. Strenuous moves on small nubbins and edges lead to the top.


It lies about eight feet right of Pins, just left of an angling, left-facing corner at ground level.


Various anchors located along the top of the wall.

Photos of Tensile Strength Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Just below the crux on Tensile Strength.
Just below the crux on Tensile Strength.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 9, 2015
By Bjorn
From: Leadvegas, CO
Jun 24, 2008

Them bolts were placed by homo habilis. Clip them, but treat this as a gear lead.
By jcullem
Oct 22, 2009

The 4 bolts on this route are mostly old buttonhead hammer-ins, which are rusty and not to be trusted. They need to be replaced with modern stainless steel wedge bolts or glue-ins.
Also, the crux of the route (at/moving past the last bolt) is more like 5.10+/11- if you stay direct on the small crimps and technical foot moves.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jan 31, 2010

The bolts are 5/16" buttons placed by me around '88. The route gets a Quarry rating of 9+.
By Jay Morse
From: Hooksett, New Hampshire
Apr 6, 2014

We climbed this route on 04/05/2014, and there were shiny new bolts, and plenty of them. It is now very well protected and a fun lead.
By Chris Kreutzer
Apr 8, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Who took it upon themselves to change the climb and the experience for everyone? I agree with replacing bolts but not adding new ones and putting them in different places! This has completely changed the climb and robbed myself and everyone else of one of the better climbs in QQ. If people are scared to lead it because it is a little spicy, they should top rope. Don’t dumb down a climb used by many down to your level. Just because you and your buddies are scared or are not climbing strong enough does not give you the right! This is not Rumney, this is QQ, 5.9+ is a 5.9+ and a 4 bolt route has 4 bolts. Don’t rob us of real climbing so you can feel better about yourself. Go elsewhere please!
By David Desmond
Apr 27, 2014

Chris Kreutzer, there is literally nothing stopping you from skipping the new bolts.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Apr 28, 2014

What a BS statement!! Why not bolt everything...everywhere.... The route was fine for 25 years with the number of bolts on it and now it's not?
By Nick Grant
From: Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH
Apr 30, 2014

John is right — the route should have been left alone. Or, if the old bolts were unsafe, the new bolts should have been placed where the old ones were; otherwise, you're changing the style and nature of the route. If someone wanted to add more bolts for some reason, he or she should have talked to the first ascensionist before they moved forward and did anything to the climb. The Quarries might look like hell (especially with the multi-layers of new paint that have been added in the past twenty years), but it is one of THE classic areas with a storied history.
By andrew johnsen
May 5, 2014

I enjoyed the new bolts, well done. Thank you.
PS. I have never seen any one lead with the old bolts.
By Ryan Vetrano
From: Marshfield, MA
Jul 1, 2014

I for one am thrilled that there are new bolts on this climb. The old bolts were 25 yrs old! In a spot as well traveled as The Quarries, safety should be of utmost importance. Much time and effort has been put into keeping access of QQ open to climbers, and people decking off this climb is only going to hinder that. The previous spacing of bolts was beyond spicy and just plain dangerous, possibly due to the climb changing after the big dig fill in (after the climb was bolted in '88). The "it ruins the aesthetic and nature of the climb" is complete bs considering the route has been smothered in graffiti and gallons of spilt paint in the past few years. The Quarries is a training ground, pure and simple. This is not a pristine destination area. A few bolts isn't going to hurt anyone.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jul 2, 2014

Beyond spicy? Dangerous? Really, you need to get around more...the climb was led hundreds of times with the existing bolts and falls were taken.

Please don't lecture on Quarries access, I was one of the people fundamental in keeping the place open in the '80s.
By Chris Kreutzer
Jul 23, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

My first time leading Tensile Strength I was uneasy about pulling up clipping slack for the second bolt. Strongly believing no one climb is worth getting injured over, I ultimately decided to hang on to the quickdraw while clipping. I was not happy about pulling on gear, but I did not go out there with my hammer drill and place new bolts. After a little problem solving, I went back a few days later with a new strategy. I decided to clip the second bolt with a double length sling that had already been clipped to my lead rope before I left the safety of the first bolt. This eliminated the need to pull up slack when clipping my lead rope to the second bolt. I could then pull up clipping slack, without risking a potential groundfall, to clip in to a standard length quickdraw on the second bolt. Call me a chicken if you will, but I have used this trick probably a half dozen times over the years when I felt that falling with clipping slack out would put me in unnecessary danger. Had it not been for the way Tensile Strength was originally bolted, I would never have developed this trick to keep me as safe as I can. For me, Tensile Strength was the epitome of a training ground as it pushed me to develop my climbing, climbing strategies, and awareness of danger. I am sorry to see that future climbers will not be challenged to develop there climbing as I was.
By Ima Fred Knot
From: Victoria, Seychelles
Jul 23, 2014

"I am sorry to see that future climbers will not be challenged."

Pretty easy solution to the problem. Remove and patch. The color match should be easy, just bring some spray paint. If you let this behavior stand at your crag, it becomes precedence. Speak softly and carry a large wrench.
By twellman
From: Cambridge
Jun 8, 2015

The new bolts are especially disappointing because: (1) They start on Tensile Strength and finish on Pins, not following the original line of Tensile Strength. No one would have argued with replacing those old bolts with quality gear, but putting in a new link-up is poor form. (2) The bolting job is not the best. A couple are spinners, a couple are not perpendicular to the rock, and the nuts are suspiciously close to the ends of the studs on others. Also, the anchor below the top is silly given that there are bolts just over the top with super easy access. What's the deal?
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jun 8, 2015

Sounds like a great, fucking job...well done, assholes.
By Nick Grant
From: Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH
Aug 5, 2015

John, tell us what you REALLY think.
By David Schindler
Nov 9, 2015

I'm not going to take sides here, because I have not been climbing long enough to really have a dog in the fight. I will say that I am learning to lead now, and I appreciate more accessible routes nearby that I can learn on; the extra bolts on this route are nice for me in that respect. I doubt that anyone here is arguing that newer sport climbers shouldn't have some safe and accessible routes when they're starting off.

What I would say is that instead of arguing back and fourth here about it, we should do what we can to preserve the history of the route since, at this point, the changes have already been made. Next time I'm down there I'll do my best to get a high-res photo of the route. Some of you more experienced guys who climbed it back in its glory could give some feedback as to which bolts were original and what the classic route is exactly. I can mark those up and that way, if people want to climb it with the original bolt configuration they'll have the information to do so. I understand that this won't make it physically the same again, but let's be honest, at this point it's going to take much more than filling in a few holes to get the quarries looking like a natural crag again.

Contact me through my profile here if you would be willing to give me feedback once I have a photo up.

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