My very own Mattehorn

Ask. Answer. Discuss. Any bolting related issues.
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AgentSmith
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My very own Mattehorn

Post by AgentSmith » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:15 pm

Hi all


I have recently purchased a new home and was very excited to see a fantastic brick wall on the side. There is no way I can possibly leave this bare and I am very eager to at least put some bolts in and start some climbing at home. I have a couple of questions which I am hoping can be answered on this forum.

1.) First and foremost, is it possible to put a bolted route up on brick/mortar? I'm assuming that the mortar would be a better anchor to drill into than brick? Is it strong enough?
2.) How does one go about gathering the materials for bolting a route? I have the drill and I am pretty sure you can buy the anchor bolts at most climbing outlets, where can I purchase the glue, top chains and any other materials I may need? Which products should be used?
3.) What process needs to be followed to bolt a route, is there some sort of guide book/manual anywhere?
4.) Are chains still the preferred method for top anchor bolts?


Help will be much appreciated!

Muchas Gracias

Shaun

P.S. Not interested with any sectional title concerns at the moment. The wall faces another neighbour's wall and will mostly be out of sight. I also prefer asking for forgiveness instead of asking for permission.
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Dragon
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by Dragon » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:55 pm

In my experience those bricks shatter and make a terrible mess if you try drilling them. It already is a climbing wall though. Just brush some of the gritty bits out and sand the sharper edges and you have yourself an awesome training wall :)

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AgentSmith
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by AgentSmith » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:14 pm

That's the plan. Not looking to put a lot of grips on. I'm referring mainly to the top anchor bolts that I need to install and a few extra bolts for the quickdraws to climb safely.

Warren G
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by Warren G » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:40 pm

Isn't that a "wet-wall"? That is, doesn't it have a waterproof membrane protecting the interior from dampness seeping through from rain? I remember a few years ago Thomas More College installed a wall on the side of a building (much like this), but they drilled through the membrane costing them lots to solve.

Do some homework, but this is a cool project- good luck and keep us in the loop!
Sandbagging is a dirty game

ziggx
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by ziggx » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:58 pm

The bricks are stronger than the daga holding them together but only if you drill in the centre.
If you drill to the left or right you will hit a cavaty in the brick.

I have rawlbolted grips onto a wall like this but used structural epoxy as well as the bolts.
the wall was single story and only used for bouldering.

I don't think I would trust my life to a bolt in a brick wall.

if it was my life on the line I would use flatbar or plate so that the load of each anchor point was spread over at least 4 bricks vertical. This would allow you to use structural epoxy between the plate and the wall as well as the rawlbolt.

happy climbing

CraigTurvey
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by CraigTurvey » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:59 pm

The best thing to do would be to drill into the brick itself, as opposed to drilling between them
If the brick is hollow, you will need special anchors. I can post details later, but lets assume the
best and say the brick is solid. Then it's a lot easier.

Rawl bolts would be fine for climbing on, Although you might want to use chemical mortar for placing your top anchors.
Drill a grid pattern of holes in the bricks, so that you can arrange a number of holds in various ways.
Then you buy a bunch of grips and screw them on with an alan-key.

Only use this set up for top-roping.

Dragon
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by Dragon » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:44 pm

Just get a big crash matt!

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AdrianT
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by AdrianT » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:11 am

If I were you I'd rather build a plywood wall attached to your face brick. Fewer attachment points (which you can monitor), you can swivel it from the bottom and start off vertical and then when the mood strikes, angle it. You'll also have loads more options for handholds which you can change at will and this won't impact your home as much. Get a civil engineering friend (everyone has one) to give you some better advice. Otherwise drilling straight into the wall means you'll quickly get bored of your placements and end up having to drill more, and more, and more holes each time...

If you're ever in Benoni take a drive down Kei Road in Farrarmere. There was always a chap there who had a big wall like I'm describing. Near Homestead Dam, when driving down, on the LHS :wink:

There is loads of info on climbing walls BTW. Maybe give Wayne a call, from ExtremelySA I think it's called.

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emile
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by emile » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:59 am

I agree with the plywood attachment idea - much more versatile. Your only real issue is making sure the wood is properly coated - the sun & rain is really hard on the wood. The biggest issue is the T-nuts which rust & break. Solving that is as simple as covering the back with a plastic sheet used for painting. Use stainless allencaps - they are not that expensive if you buy at a fastener proper store.

Regarding the top anchors: the closer you get to the top of the wall the more likely you will be to break out bricks, so stay as low as possible. Consider spreading the load using the roof trusses?

I spread the load of the wall anchors over 6x10mm Rawl bolts and 6mm cable. I started off with 8mm, but that was just plain hard to work with and total overkill. Anchor loads

Once you've got it up it's a relatively easy one man job to adjust the angle.
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AdrianT
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by AdrianT » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:49 am

Marine ply. Then varnish it. Or paint. Won't be an issue for many years if you do a proper job with a few coats.

Chris F
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by Chris F » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:45 am

emile wrote: Consider spreading the load using the roof trusses?
This was my thought too. But get a structural engineer to have a look first.

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AdrianT
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by AdrianT » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:46 am

Roof trusses are not designed for the sideways force you're going to exert. I would definitely leave them well alone.

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emile
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by emile » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:23 pm

AdrianT wrote:Roof trusses are not designed for the sideways force you're going to exert. I would definitely leave them well alone.
You're probably right. It depends on the way they were put up & linked I suppose, one can always link them yourself. Frankly I think the slightly overhanging + pad is a better idea, less hassle and you can climb on your own.

@AgentSmith: If you want to drop by sometime and steal some ideas feel free. emile @ twodogsrunning.co.za

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henkg
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by henkg » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:31 pm

Drill right through the wall, then use threaded bar. Unless of coarse Warren G's concern is valid. A vertical wall could be pretty boring though.
You may still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not. Cat Stevens

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AgentSmith
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Re: My very own Mattehorn

Post by AgentSmith » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:29 am

Thanks so much for the input everybody! I don't think the plywood idea is an option at the moment as I would then very definitely run into sectional title aesthetic issues.

From the feedback, it sounds like the best option would be a back plate anchored with rawl bolts and perhaps epoxy at the top? Where can I purchase these materials?

I would then leave a temporary "string" through these bolts and on a climbing day would tie my rock climbing rope to the string to pull it through the anchor bolts for a top rope climb.

Does this sound like it would work if done correctly?

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