Table Mountain Bolting

Let everyone know about any suspect/dodgy/misplaced bolts to be renewed or avoided.
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Ray
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Real Name: Raymond Kroger

Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Ray » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:53 pm

Knew that would get everyone's attention!

But seriously, why have the bolts on the Staircase Ledge abseil down the crack in the mountain been chopped? (described on page 63 and 59 in "The Ledge" guide - the Staircase Bolts in the cave/crack). I used these anchors last in 2009 to abseil down when guided there by a friend (Sam). On Saturday, after climbing, I spent a good 20-30 mins exploring the area/cave trying to find the bolts without luck, and getting very confused because I was positive I was the right place as before. Eventually we left a sling and abseiled from slightly higher (there is some dodgy old tatt), only to find the bolts I had previously used were not visible because they have been chopped - and it looks fairly freshly chopped too. Why?? I found the chopped bolts further down on the ledge below - still shiny. Is this recent/is there a reason/another abseil we are supposed to use in this area?

Thanks,

Ray

karlbase
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by karlbase » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:20 am

Ray, haven't used the Staircase crack bolts for a while myself since the Escalator chains were replaced with a set of ARF anchors courtesy of Andy Davies & Douw Steyn.
Use these as they are in a much better position to get to the central area of the ledge. Consists of 2 raps, the next set of anchors down are on the main Staircase ledge, easy to find!

DolphinDawie
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by DolphinDawie » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:40 am

I'm with Ray on this. The nice glue-ins were chopped, and they were in perfect condition. Even if there is a new abseil route it seems a bit silly to chop perfectly good anchors and leave a nasty scar in the rock. Also, the following abseil (below the chopped abseil) down the crack still has the glue-ins in place.

Even though those ARF okes are ABSOLUTE KINGS for replacing the dodgy bolts around the peninsula (and btw everybody should be donating), this particular action doesn't make sense to me.

Can someone please post a picture of the ledge and where the new bolts are?

Ray
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Ray » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:24 pm

Thanks - will look out for the new abseil bolts. That whole gulley is full of old rusted bolts (just the threaded bar left) of previous abseil anchors - none of these have been chopped. Not sure why it was necessary to chop perectly good bolts now when the rock around there is pretty scarred already. (And then leave the chopped bolts lying in the gulley).

Oh well... Will try find new ones in future, sounds like a better plan.

pierre.joubert
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by pierre.joubert » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:40 pm

Didn't you know? Bolting is illegal on TM

Andy Davies
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Andy Davies » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:19 pm

ARF replaced the old bong anchors on Staircase based on a lot of feedback from climbers who felt the pipe abseils were dangerous to get to and of course there was a concern about their physical condition in the damp gulley. We advertised this substantially on the ClimbZA and Cape Rock News, but unfortunetly couldn't revise the TM guide on your bookshelves.

I must admit I really had to think twice about chopping the old bolts as they appeared to be in good condition and as stated, there are a bunch of ugly old bolts from the old pipe and a bunch of litter in the scramble gulley. Not to mention that installing new anchors and chopping old ones is a real hassle. However, the pipe abseils were an accident waiting to happen so even in hindsight it was a good thing they were chopped.

I share your concerns about finding the new rap anchors, but am not keen to go out on a limb personally and put up a sign pointing you in the right direction. (had enough critisizm about this little episode) If you have suggestions to make things better please contact the MCSA CT rock subcom so that it gets dealt with through the correct channels. (email the MCSA CT)

PS you can reach the ground from the new abseils at the bong station with a 50m rope :-)

Andy Davies
ARF whipping boy & MCSA CT rocksubcom non-executive member
AndyDavies

Ray
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Ray » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:09 pm

Hi Andy

thanks, just not climbing enough obviously to follow the latest - thanks for clarification. Will look out for the new ones.

Ray

SNORT
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by SNORT » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:42 pm

I don't like the tone of this thread. It all smacks of entitlement. Hence, I infer, comes Andy Davies' self proclaimed label of "whipping dog".

The Cable Way has recently made available a very cheap ticket to access TM for regular users. How much easier can this get. Once on top walk around. Smell the fynbos.

I use the abseil points regularly for convenience but I always - unless there is a really good reason - walk up and down from the ledge. It keeps me fit and young (I hope) and resilient and it is as fast as taking the car. If the abseil anchors are to be removed I would walk around. More fitness for me. And for you if you did so. It really does not take that much longer - 5min?

Things change all the time, and if you want information ask nicely and discuss it nicely. Leave it that. Don't start criticizing.

Well managed lower offs are standard on crags like TM around the world. But don't expect them!

TM has some fantastic "not-for-sissies" routes but if you only take the cable car up and down and only abseil from the top you will never be able to do them and Jacobs and Atlantic will be the limit.

That will be the norm, and if you have kids they will learn that too and grow up as softies with no resilience and "everyone else is too blame". I see there is even a petition on facebook against the SAvsAus referee?

Get a life dudes. The info is not hard to come by. Provocation is not necessary

DolphinDawie
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by DolphinDawie » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:03 am

Andy, as always you are a voice of reason in this dark, confused world. Thanks for the update, sorry I missed the original missive.

Snort, the SA climbing scene is truly a richer place with characters like you.

I believe there is still a a way to ab down if you have only a single 50/60m rope, so if anyone can post a description I think that would be pretty handy.

Ray
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Ray » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:08 am

Hi Snort/Andy/All

Thanks for the update - I agree it can come across as entitlement, it was just confusing to me as I used the bolts there in 2009 and now suddenly they were gone. Andy has clarified that it was a safety issue and I do agree - was wrong to come across in an accusing way - apologies if I did. Will find the new bolts.

Snort - we did walk around after our second climb. And no, we didnt take the cable car up or down if that makes you happier :bom:

Ray

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Justin
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Justin » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:17 am

Remember the days when you would down climb on the water pipes, clip into the 2m nylon rope to safeguard going around the boulder :shock:

We have come a long way!

Tx Andy
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

Ringalatus
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Ringalatus » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:22 am

Whilst on this topic. Last weekend we couldn't find the abseil points that are/were on the right of the cable station ( looking out ) just above Africa Corner. Have they gone or did we not look hard enough?
Ringo

Hilton
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Hilton » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:51 am

Ray, Dave, Fellas see if this will help,

get to the biggest terrace below the restaurant at the level of the toilets;
go to the north end of the terrace to the point where the path begins;
hop over the low stone wall onto the huge boulders on the other side;
scramble down the gully for about 50 metres to a point where you are forced into the first chimney;
do not go into the chimney but turn north at this point;
either wriggle through a tunnel for 10m (safe but awkward) else scramble over the top (exposed);
the tunnel comes out at the top of the route called Staircase;
at this point turn right and walk 15m towards the cable station (first uphill then downhill);
go to the very end of the ledge system and find the bolts beneath the roof.

The first rap goes down Don't Squeeze I'll Laugh and Boltergeist. It places you directly onto the next set of bolts which are on the main Staircase ledge. This second rappel is a lot longer and definitely requires two ropes of 50m. It goes over the huge Elevator roof and give good views of Boltergeist, Finale and Elevator.

Hope that helps okes,
Hilton

Hilton
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Hilton » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:52 am

Oh, and unless something's changed since Sunday, this information is up to date

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Xharlie
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Xharlie » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:08 am

I have spent a few hours scrambling around, up there, looking for the anchors... and failed... and been told off by the eagle-eyed Abseil Africa people for hopping over the wall without a harness on. They don't like that, for some reason. (Why would I put my harness on before I find the bolts? I hiked up so it was stowed.)

Anyway, I'm over scrambling about in all that litter so I'll offer a six-pack of whatever beer (or cider or lady-drinks) suits their fancy to the first person to post pictures of each step listed above or a video of the approach.

Terms of the beer-offer:
1. Pictures or video needs to show:
A) The point of the "low stone wall" to hop over
B) Which direction to scramble in (50 metres is a big radius)
C) The entrance to the tunnel
D) The view after executing the mentioned right-turn and which way to walk.
E) The bolts - with a sufficiently wide angle to find them on the rock

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d0nK3y
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by d0nK3y » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:25 am

Guys, by far the easiest way to find those abseil bolts is to go and climb the Staircase route (Which is worth while doing if you haven't done it before) as you top out of the crack (last pitch) onto a huge ledge with some bushes around, look to your left, and about 10 meters along, maybe less, and at the end of the ledge, you'll see the roof described above, with the bolts nestled nicely beneath it.... you really can't miss them!

Now scramble through the worm hole on the right end of the ledge (facing up) and up to the small wall/tourist area at the top...

Now you've found the bolts, you'll be able to find them from the top for ever more, and you've done a great climb in the process! :thumright

Andy Davies
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Andy Davies » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:03 am

Hi Ray et al...... no offence taken, it was a fair question. Douw and I spent quite a bit of time sorting out these anchors and there was a bit of backroom critisizm regarding them so we may come across a little stressed :alien:

I still believe a discrete sign could help people find the new Staircase anchors and even prevent some one getting hurt whilst tryng to find the old ones. It might not blend in with the old bongs, trash and old pipe bolts though.

PS Snort you can't really take credit for the walk-in if you stash your gear boet :lol:
AndyDavies

Andy Davies
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Andy Davies » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:10 am

The new rap anchors are the red dots, which are next to the old bong / tat anchors (black dots). The yellow dots are the Teazers & Mavericks kiosks :jocolor:

Like I said a single 50m will reach the ground - don't forget to tie a knot!!!!!!!
Fountain_Ledge.JPG
AndyDavies

ant
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by ant » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:48 pm

What Donkey said.

Anyone who needs a recap on the layouts of fountain ledge - do Staircase and all will become clear.

Ant

jgb
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by jgb » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:12 am

Wow Snort, last time I took the cable car it took exactly 2 minutes to get to the top? I agree beter style to walk in, but there is no way in hell you can make it up there in 2 minutes no matter how fit or younge you might be? Considering the ample walk in's I do to most other trad area's I welcome the fact that if I want to, I can enjoy TM without budgeting 4 hours of hiking with a heavy trad pack?
But thats just me I guess. :(

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:19 pm

Ringalatus wrote:Whilst on this topic. Last weekend we couldn't find the abseil points that are/were on the right of the cable station ( looking out ) just above Africa Corner. Have they gone or did we not look hard enough?
Ringo
They are still there, they have just been moved about 1m lower on the same boulder as before so that people under 7ft tall don't have to risk death (or rig an anchor) to thread them.

To find them:
Climb over the little gate with the no entry sign on the east of the cable station, go down the stairs, climb over the wall and down a few meters.
From here you can scramble down easily on the left or more trickily on the right to a point with a fixed rope.
Climb down the fixed rope to the bottom.
From here the anchors are on the front (under the overhanging edge) of the ledge you are standing on.
You will need to do two abseils to get down to Upper Africa ledge, the first is about 40m, the second is 30m. With 60m ropes you can get from the second set of bolts all the way to the ground.
SNORT wrote:TM has some fantastic "not-for-sissies" routes but if you only take the cable car up and down and only abseil from the top you will never be able to do them and Jacobs and Atlantic will be the limit.
I'm fascinated by this, SNORT, please explain which routes I will not be able access if I take the cable car up and abseil down to Fountain or Africa ledges, rather than walk up Venster?
Happy climbing
Nic

pierre.joubert
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by pierre.joubert » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:41 pm

I don't think he means you wouldn't be able to get to them - SNORT means you wouldn't be hardcore enough to climb them if you're the type to ride the cable car and not walk like him. Correct interpretation Doc? I mean, Jacobs starts pretty close to some of those not-for-sissies routes.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Table Mountain Bolting

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:43 pm

If what you say is true Pierre, then that is amongst the worst reasoning I have ever heard. How does my method of reaching the climb affect my ability or desire to climb it? It is like saying that if you wish to climb Sterling Silver (or any of the hard routes) at Silvermine you must walk from the gate to the Main Crag rather than drive to the parking area...
Happy climbing
Nic

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