Carrot Head

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Carrot Head

Post by gripit » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:28 am

i was speaking to a friend that is visiting Aussie land. They seem to use some thing called a \"carrot head\" on there crags. it is a fix bolt in the rock that the climber sliders a plate over it and then clips the draw to the plate.

I was just wondering has any body climbed using the system? and what are the pro and cons if it. The first question why not just climb sport or trad

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Post by gripit » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:09 am

Does this mean that no one has heared of this system ?

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Post by Justin » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:06 am

Have heard of it, I think it is mostly used by cavers!?

Something similar was done on a couple of routes at Paarl Rock (a long time ago) whereby a bolt was placed and a large washer was put on (the washer had a little play) -
The lead climber would then come along and loop a wire (Wallnut / Nut) over the washer and clip the wire for protection.
As you can imagine this is quite a mission and will make climbing a route a little harder to do (putting the plate/nut on, maybe dropping it, making sure the bolt is tight enough and then clipping it).
** As you can see, the system thankfully never took off here!

Normally if a bolt is placed in a spot where very little traffic is expected the bolter will remove the bolt hanger and mention it in the RD.

The first question why not just climb sport or trad :)
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Post by nosmo » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:40 am

The plate in question is actually not as much of a mission as described above...although you do obviously need to place the hanger plate over the bolt, it simply clips on (i.e. no tightening required).

It's also a lot safer than the nut + washer + wire solution - once a draw is clipped to the plate it constricts the hole where the bolt slides in, thus preventing the plate from coming off (while being able to swivel around the bolt, good/bad I'm not sure?)

One use for this could be routes in very sensitive areas like the Rocklands :wink: where policy requires that all bolts, nuts and hangers need to be camouflaged (painted). The practice of sanding all the bits rough so the paint sticks is something you'll pay someone else to to once you've done it a couple of times (unless someone knows someone who'll sandblast them for free??). With this you can reduce the effort required and the 'environmental impact' to just having a painted bolt-top and nut stick out.

Added bonus: you get to add another group to hate on and hate from:

Trad climbers can look down on > Hangerless sport climbers can look down on > Hangered sport climbers

Hah! Plus a whole new set of ethics! Fun...

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Post by carlkritzinger » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:33 pm

I've climbed in Aus a bit and clipped a few carrot bolts. Like any bolts they vary quite a bit, from shiny bomber ones that you whip on happily to horrible rusted hellish ones that you pull out with your fingers, then push back in gently so as not to break them, pray and clip.

The best ones are glued in stainless steel, the worst ones are old coach bolts that are just pounded into a too-small hole.

Most aussies have a few bolt-plates that they carry in their chalk-bag or on a spare biner for these routes. The keyhole design of the plates makes the things surprisingly easy to place and clip, once you get the hang of it. Not that you REALLY want to be faffing with the plates when you are pumped and sketchy but i have seen routes of 28 climbed with bolt plates. There is also a little complication that not all plates fit all bolts so you need a selection of brands and flavours to be safe.

The plates are rated to 20kN or something so they are pretty bomber. I think the bolts are pretty strong (also because there is only one type of metal, there is significantly less corrosion) but because the hanger is not always flush with the rock, there can be more leverage on the bolt. I've seen some bolts that are bent from people falling on them, especially when they arent placed well (too much sticking out).

The huge plus side of these bolts is that they are so cheap and easy to place, making it super cheap and easy to equip long multi-pitch routes, or even put up trad routes with bomber belays, or supplement nasty runouts on trad routes. You just need to look at how many long awesome multi-pitch routes there are in oz to see the advantages of carrots.

I reckon carrots find middle ground between really hardcore trad epics that people seldom climb because they are too intimidating (like most routes on Yellow Wood for example) and join-the dots clip-up sport routes like the multi-pitches in Cogmans or at Harrismith

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