Snapping bolts at the Hole

Let everyone know about any suspect/dodgy/misplaced bolts to be renewed or avoided.
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:35 pm

Snapping bolts at the Hole

Post by mrg » Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:47 am

While out climbing at Hell Fire yesterday, I met some Swiss climbers who are on a road trip around South Africa. One of them mentioned that a bolt had snapped on him while climbing \"Le Nauge Neuf\" at the Hole. That was approximately two weeks ago. He is still hobbling around with a tweaked back.
Does any body know anything about this?

Apparently the bolt looked OK from the outside and showed no obvious sign of corrosion. Bearing in mind that these mechanical expansion bolts were placed in 1999. Not that long ago!? Or am I getting old?

It clearly brings to light the urgency of ARF and their mission. Replace the old corroded mechanical expansion anchors with a sleeker corrosion-resistant sealed passive chemical anchor.

A big plus for these \"glue-ins\" is it allows the climber to escape off a route without leaving a binner, malon or behind.

Please support the cause!

Andy Davies
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:37 pm


Post by Andy Davies » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:59 pm

\"Mr Swiss with the soiled underpants\" and everyone else, if you do snap a bolt then please try and find the evidence so that I can inspect it. My email is andy@geckogripsDOTcoDOTza - if you know my other contact details feel free to short cut.

I expect we will have more of these anchors snapping and believe that there is an issue with the UPAT bolts as they are snapping way too early. And remember the first bolt to fail was in Montagu - not exactly a corrosive envionment - some of ADK's old pegs are still there :-) Please please do not use the UPAT bolts - if you have any in your bottom draw then throw them away - including retailers!!!!!!. Only use Fisher or Hilti. If you are unsure about the bolts you have, I will be happy to inspect them for you.

ARF will continue to slowly work away at replacing the old bolts - please support us when we ask for assistance and don't expect the same old people to do the graft........

ARF Chairman

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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:06 pm

Post by DouglasWard » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:46 pm

The wording that mrg used indicates that there might be some more widely held incorrect idea as to how or indeed whether the condition of a bolt can be judged from its external appearance.

For stainless steel bolts of any kind it is NOT possible to judge their condition from their external appearance:

- the cracks that cause the kinds of failures that are being experienced will generally not be visible with the naked eye

- the corrosive product (rust) that is visible on many stainless steel bolts in coastal environments is generally superficial, and not a direct indication of the bolt's state

I am not offering a solution to this obvious problem. But I think this just reinforces the level of self-responsibility required even when climbing bolted routes: never trust a single piece of gear with your life.

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