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Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:33 pm
by Keith
The third hanger on Seven was sideways, so I loosened the nut, adjusted the hanger, then tightened the nut. Without much torque, the bolt snapped. You can see in the attached photo that it was quite rusted.

So don't be too trusting of older bolts---especially at Oudtshoorn
seven_bolt.jpg
seven_bolt.jpg (43.53 KiB) Viewed 8026 times
(Jimbo has subsequently replaced the third bolt, but I certainly don't trust the other bolts on the route.)

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:00 am
by XMod
Hi Keith, do you guys still have the broken stud? If so and it has not been handled by everyone by now send it in to the CSRI for analysis, they will be able to ascertain if the failure is SCC related or not. If you come across this sort of thing bag the stud without touching the broken end so that it can be checked, unfortunately touching it contaminates the sample so hence the bagging. Scary stuff, glad no-one was hurt!

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:38 am
by Andy Davies
Looks like classic "Stress Corrosion Cracking" to me (nice shiny bolt from outside, but breaks with ragged corroded surface inside hole). I will have a look at it. I was hoping Oudtshoorn was not susceptible to this, but I think the limestone is doing something naughty. Expect more.........

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:12 pm
by Sam
Wouldn't it be great if bolts were stamped with a placement date?

This is why I prefer trad climbing.

:wink:

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 pm
by Warren G
HECTIC!

on the topic of main crag i pulled of the hold that Sean glued back on, the one at the chains of Fin Fang Fly. its here in cape town if anyone wants to glue it back on.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:05 pm
by Oakley
Warren G wrote: hold that Sean glued back on

Wow. glueing holds back?!?!

I'm with Sam on the Trad.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:53 pm
by Warren G
I don't question the ethos of the first ascentionist, or those that maintain routes but i willl defend the glueing in this case as other holds on the route are glued on, or at least reinforced. if they came off it would be impossible, however this one is not crucial.

A more interesting topic regarding oudt main crag is "when does consensus tell us to stop bolting there?" and "are we happy to treat our only limestone crag like a gym?"

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:39 am
by XMod
If the hold is non crucial then leave it off, in fact throw it away so it cant be glued back, unless of course the glue left behind looks terrible and it would just be aesthetically better to put it back.

A gym? Whats the matter Warren? Are there too many bolts tnere for your tastes? I suppose its better to treat a crag like a climbing gym than a public beach???

The bolt does look a bit like SCC yet with deeper corrosion than the others We've seen which is why I think it should be analysed, hopefully its not some nasty chemical in the limestone instead?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:02 pm
by Andy Davies
Greg I think the point Warren is making is the crag has been grid bolted and it looks like a bit of a scrap heap at the moment. Have you been there lately? Some beautiful lines have been tarnished due to the cluster of bolts in close proximity (I believe Mr Pedley made the same observation)

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:10 pm
by Forket
you could start from seven and finish on the oppisite side of the crag ontop at the chains of paws or something without leading out i think, looks crap

--------------------------
funny when u hit a bolt, on one of the most climbed routes in boven, once with a hammer and it pops:P

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:05 am
by XMod
Andy Davies wrote:Greg I think the point Warren is making is the crag has been grid bolted and it looks like a bit of a scrap heap at the moment. Have you been there lately? Some beautiful lines have been tarnished due to the cluster of bolts in close proximity (I believe Mr Pedley made the same observation)
Is it? Bummer, you mean you guys didnt keep any lines for me?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:17 am
by pierre.joubert
Hijack: Ebert, which route (in Boven) was that?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:29 am
by Warren G
I just think that in spite of our best intentions we risk being the frog in a pot of cold water: happy to swim around while the water is slowly raised until it is too late. Rock is a resource that we destroy by bolting. To add new (contrived?) line simply becasue it is our only resource of one type of rock is tarnishing the crag (and the name of those first ascentionists names') forever.

I think it would be more honourable for those budding first ascentionists to find a new crag to open-whether it be limestone or otherwise. If, in fact Oudtshoorn proves to only offer the crags that we have opened then we must resign ourselves to this fact: content ourselves with the good routes we have and not kill the goose that laid the golden egg. What is interesting that its not young guns opening stuff there, but those that mentor them, lets hope they are teaching the right lessons.

As for my report on the hold that I fulled off: I posted this as an option for the First Ascentionist or those that have been maintaining the crag to consider, but as I was able to climb the route afterwards I can't see why the next person should demand this hold

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:06 pm
by Marshall1
I like all the new routes, just wish I had spotted some of the lines. No sour grapes though. If you snooze you loose.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:27 pm
by Andy Davies
So below is how the bolt would have looked when we were all cranking off it (lekker hey!)
Seven bolt3 exterior SMALL.jpg
Seven bolt3 exterior SMALL.jpg (75.03 KiB) Viewed 7328 times
And this is how it looks after it broke :puker: The grey surface is all the material that would have been left to hold a fall. The rest is SCC (stress corrosion cracking). Anybody keen for some whippers?
Seven bolt3 surface1 SMALL.jpg
Seven bolt3 surface1 SMALL.jpg (72.17 KiB) Viewed 7328 times
And if you have eyes as good as mine (still under 40!!) you will see the bolt has been machined. The little dot on the end is not a stamp, but rather evidence of the machining process. So I am willing to bet big bucks its another UPAT bolt.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:49 pm
by brianweaver
I completely agree! Stop with the grid bolting!!! Extensions are fine but there are really enough lines side by side for the majority of the main wall. What is the point of adding yet another line when you are using the same holds as previous lines. An example of this is the first half of the Quickening. One climbs half of sid vicious and the first part of Up for Grabs in the process. It is unnecessary to continue cluttering up the crag and decorating it like a Christmas tree. There are not many places in the country that are this overbolted, I can name one but I'll skip it. I'm sure a few other people who know me would know the answer anyway.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:00 pm
by Stu
Man that's scary stuff :shock: It looks brand new from the outside..

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:41 am
by Hann
Warren G wrote: Rock is a resource that we destroy by bolting.
Perhaps not the best tread to add this, but Warren has a point.

Think about it next time you complain about loo paper or cigarette stompies left at a sport crag.
By bolting we are scarring the rock forever.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:04 am
by Justin
Warren G wrote:Rock is a resource that we destroy by bolting.
This is so true, what will the rock look like in 100 years!?

The best thing we can do right now is use the best quality bolts available to us so that they last longer.
So... hands up of those who would be happy to climb Seven without new bolts being put in!?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:05 am
by Marshall1
Rock is a resource that we destroy by bolting...

Destroy? Its not like its blown up, crushed & turned into cement.

Clearly it matters more to the bolters who are committing time, effort & money; than to the folks who sit back & after the fact squeal about what has been done.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:24 am
by Hann
Perhaps you are missing the philosophical argument Marshall.

If a 100 year old Yellowwood tree is obscuring the view from your stoep, is it your right to chop it down so you may see a better sunset?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:06 am
by kyle
It would be good to know if any other routes might be affected by this aside from Seven? Probably possible if we work out who bolted it and what other routes may have been bolted at the same time? Kinda makes me nervous to get onto anything at Oudtshoorn from that era. Looking at the route guide it seems that all the original routes were bolted within a year of each other in 1996/7?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:27 am
by Hann
Can anybody confirm if the following is true?
This is what was taught at the Ntaba rock bolting course years ago:

"Expansion bolt = Lifetime of 10 years"
"Glue in bolt = Lifetime of 20 years"

That makes the bolt in question about 15 years old.
Potentially all routes bolted before 2001 with expansion bolts should then be seen as suspect.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:24 pm
by Andy Davies
Hann - It would be very foolish for anyone to forecast when SCC [stress corrosion cracking] will result in a failure. It is dependent on many issues such as:

- material
- machining method
- cleaning chemicals
- handling / contamination during transport
- residual stresses
- applied stresses (ie torqueing)
- environmental factors (salty air, damp, shady, rain washing etc)

Personally I would treat all UPAT anchors with suspicion. Hence my irritation when some of my dear friends are still using the old UPAT anchors (heads are right up their bums). If you want to TRY and identify a UPAT anchor, the end of the stud will have no stamp. If you would like me to help with any inspection, I would be VERY happy to help anyone.

For now I suggest one of the Oudtshoorn regulars takes the initiative and gets a plan together for rebolting Oudtshoorn.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:32 pm
by Justin
Andy Davies wrote:a plan together for rebolting Oudtshoorn.
Would that be with glue-in's or mechanical anchors?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:18 pm
by proze
Would it be alarmist to say one shouldn't climb at Oudtshoorn until it's been rebolted?

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:47 pm
by Marshall1
If a 100 year old Yellowwood tree is obscuring the view from your stoep, is it your right to chop it down so you may see a better sunset?

Yes, but who would want to. You could sit-back-under-it & enjoy or enhance it to suit somebody(normaly the person doing the effort)... attach your washing line, build a tree house in it, hang a hammock & 101 non-destructive uses... to suit somebody (but not everyone).

Nodody has chopped down/destroyed any crags. They are still all there, just adapted to suit the people that it matters most too.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:53 pm
by Hann
Marshall1 wrote:Nodody has chopped down/destroyed any crags. They are still all there, just adapted to suit the people that it matters most too.
Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.......

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:18 pm
by Marshall1
Ja. I missed intellectual & philosophical argument bus

I caught the effort/just-do & I-can...how-will-you-stop-me bus.

Re: Oudtshoorn bolt breaks

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:21 pm
by Hann
:mrgreen: .. touchè.

And that is the other point you put so well:

"Who's gonna be policeman?"