Bad bolts & clipping tips

Ask. Answer. Discuss. Any bolting related issues.
Post Reply
Greg Hart

Bad bolts & clipping tips

Post by Greg Hart » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:18 am

People were moaning recently about bolt placements on 'my precious'. I will still swear blind to my grave that those bolts are well placed, be that as it may, but I must humbly apologise to Thom for the scathing attack launched at him, sorry dude - got pretty worked up there. For those of you struggling to reach far off clips try to do this as often as is possible/safe: Climb up to the next good hold/rest and clip the bolt at your waist (or even your shins) it is a lot safer as you pull up less slack (if any at all) meaning a much shorter fall if you botch the clip, also you save energy by pulling up less slack and therefore clipping quicker. Energy better used for the climbing ahead. Hope that helps. There are however quite a few bolt placements locally the really arent safe. Please note I am pointing these out not to slag off the bolters (I salute their efforts) but simply to make people aware of them and in the hope that they will get fixed. The second last bolt on Scott Miller's 'All Mine'at the Mine is driven in too deep. There is hardly any thread left in contact with the nut. The bolt is highly suspect and should be replaced as soon as possible. Scott, or anyone with a drill, please. Also 'Saddams bad hair day' (I think) has a bolt placed such that the lower biner sits on the lip of a rail. Not necessary to replace the bolt but be aware of it and use a longer draw on that clip. 'Blockhead' at Lower Silvermine; the clip below the wide crack -the top biner sits over an edge. This bolt should be moved. These last two mistakes can be avoided by clipping a draw to a hanger and placing this experimentally against the rock before you start drilling the hole. That way you can sus out exactly what will happen. 'Jono Gordons Route' at Silvermine main crag has a clip that is impossible to clip if you are short without first pulling through the crux. This puts you in a position where its possible to fall onto a ledge/outcrop -not great and another possible candidate to be moved. 'Jedediah' sports a runout that is above a ledge also not great but certainly not the worst of them. Does anyone have any solid info to add to this list? I know some of the bolts at the Hole are suspect but dont know the crag that well. Lets compile a list of bad placements so that we can then discuss which need fixing and go and do it before someone does get seriously hurt.

Short arms

Post by Short arms » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:18 am

The chains on Kool Sans the Gang are in an impossible position to clip. Judge Dread at Hellfire also has a dreadful last bolt.


Post by erik » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:18 am

hi i think that peers cave should be rebolted or atlest the chains replaced. peers cave is a great place for beginers. it has also got some quality harder routes. bur the chains are rusted and some of the bolts look very dodgy.

Short Arms

Post by Short Arms » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:19 am

I'm sure there are alot of people who wouldnt mind putting in the effort to bolt stuff if people would sponser the bolting.


Post by climberjames » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:19 am

if the ppl r there & the crags r used by all, y not ask the MCSA or MSC at uct to set up a fund (i think they might have one, not sure) purely for the correction of faulty/dodge bolts/hangers and chains? the fund would in theiry require contributions from the climbing community, not just the members of the relevant organisations. as it stands, the bolters of routes are often under enormous pressure to correctly do the routes, but the equip does not come cheap for them. maybe approach RAM or Outward Ventures to sponsor kit or at least offer it at a discount if bought on bulk?

Derek Marshall

Post by Derek Marshall » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:19 am

Any one who feels strongly about poor bolts placed or routes needing maintance should be willing to implement the nessasary changes themselves. Take responsability.

Short Arms

Post by Short Arms » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:19 am

Yeah right. Struggle to come up with cash for new routes as it is, why would I replace other peoples mistakes. Give the cash and I'll do it. Not all of us make hangers for a living!!


Post by kY » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:20 am

The KZN Bouldering league raises money for replacing old/rusty/unsafe hardware. The idea has worked well and a good number of dodgy anchors have been replaced as a result!

Derek Marshall

Post by Derek Marshall » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:20 am

What I was trying to say is if you are unable or not prepared to improve routes...thats fine...but then quit bitching and be thank full for what bolts have been placed. Short-arms...there is no \"living\" in making hangers in SA. The idea is to make it a cheaper for developers to develop. And to subsidise Eastern Cape bolting. SA needs way new routes. My first coment does not nessarly apply to you

Short Arms

Post by Short Arms » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:20 am

Yeah I know things tend to get personal very quick. It's a topic that everyone moans about but nothing gets done.


Post by Brent » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:21 am

Hm, I haven't been to Peer's cave in ages (since car break-in's reached epidemic proportions). The MCSA has a limited fund for this (as, i think, does the MSC). If you know of specific anchors that need rebolting, please bring it to the attention of the MCSA, you can send them an email at and mark it for the attention of the Sport Climbing Working Group. If you're offering to do the bolting, we will be able to sponsor you if there's bucks in da pot.


Post by Dave » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:21 am

Ward's Walk Up (Peer's Cave): the 3rd bolt allows for a groundfall (I think) if you fall just as you take up slack to clip your quickdraw. I reckon the bolt should be lower. Otherwise use a long sling so you need to take up less rope for the clip.


Post by grigri » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:21 am

Ok dont despair as something is going to be done about the bad bolts. I am happy to do some of the work (other volunteers welcome!). And this thread actually is going some where, from comments here I will compile a list and will approach the MCSA for aid in purchasing the necessary hardware, if necessary further sponsorship will also be sort. For the moment my feelings are that we should focus on bolts and anchors that are dangerous (meaning: rusted badly or not in working condition, in a position that compromises the strength of the biners[ie puts them over an edge]) This should provide ample to keep me busy for a while! Bolts that are placed such that a groundfall may result from a blown clip are very numerous in the Cape Town area especially at the shorter crags such as Peers Cave. I feel that this is a bit beyond the scope of what we should aim to achieve, and that thinking of sorting those out will open a Pandoras box of arguments. Some routes are just like that. Always sus out a route before leaving the ground (its your ass after all!) and read the tips I gave in the first entry of this thread. Keep the comments and suggestions flowing and soon I will publish a list of the seriously dodgey bolts and make recommendations for their replacement


Post by Brent » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:22 am

Thanks for the offer of some serious public service Greg. I'm sure there won't be a problem to get the MCSA to pay for the replacements. Just compile a bit of a list, and contact Andy Davies, or myself or just send it to the mcsa. We can take it from there. Cool.

Post Reply