Loose bolts and rocks (Bronkies)

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jsmcm
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Loose bolts and rocks (Bronkies)

Postby jsmcm » Sun May 04, 2008 5:14 pm

Hi all,

I'm pretty new to climbing, so don't know what to do when you come across loose bolts, and loose rocks while climbing.

At bronkies, on Rastus, bolt 5 was so loose that I could turn the nut with my fingers. The bolt going into the wall was fine, just the nut that was loose. Can I just take a spanner up there and tighten it?

Question two is about loose rocks. On Mini Me, at the crux there is a rock inside the crack that looks like a cool hand hold, but when I grabbed it, it was loose. I know some of the holds on other climbs are loose, but they can't come out because they are too big and stuck behind some other rocks, etc, but this one looked and felt like it was ready to pop out. Can I attach myself to a bolt above with some slings and get my belay partner to move away and then see what happens if I put all my weight on this rock?

Sorry if these questions sound stupid, but that's why I'm asking before I do something stupid...

Regards,

John

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emile
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Postby emile » Sun May 04, 2008 6:25 pm

Hi there

If the bolt is fine but the hanger is loose, you could just tighten the nut (#17 spanner). Don't over tighten, just enough so that the hanger does not turn freely - more than that can cause undue wear on the bolt. Let the hanger hang loose before tightening so as to get the correct orientation - it should hang freely with the edge catching your quick draw directly beneath the bolt / attach a quick draw and pull straight down ( some hangers have an arrow to indicate the orientation ).

Check these out:
http://www.climb.co.za/arf.asp
http://www.saclimb.co.za/bolting.html

Loose bolts should ideally be replaced, but, if it's still firmly stuck (you're not able to pull it out by hand) I personally think they are still ok-ish. All in all in my opinion, if the bolt is firmly fixed, a loose hanger is mostly an irritation / undue wear on the bolt due to the swiveling.

nosmo
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Postby nosmo » Mon May 05, 2008 10:24 am

Hey John,

I know the hold you're talking about, as you rail out under the roof you grab this shard of rock protruding from a crack - it's well chalked you'll notice. I'd also thought that it would go if you pull really hard but it just wiggles. If you just pull on it hard enough to get through onto the next block I'd say it shouldn't come out, but then again...don't quote me on this.

Get you belayer to wear a helmet just in case. As for loose rocks in general, if the route has been open for a while and you find a well chalked hold that moves, chances are that it's been that way for a while. If the route is brand new however there might be real loose rock around. I try to lever all off all rocks that look like they might go when I bolt but you can't get every single one all the time. Be careful and if something is coming down let the dudes on the ground know by shouting like a maniac.

mokganjetsi
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Postby mokganjetsi » Mon May 05, 2008 1:10 pm

some loose rock is very securely wedged-in and will not come out - definitely safe to use as hand and footholds (your said piece on mini me as described by nosmo and a piece on naked orange are good examples) - they can however become unsafe so do not presume anything; check it. use discretion and avoid using loose rock if solid holds are available.

Hector
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Postby Hector » Mon May 05, 2008 1:19 pm

Emile, be careful not to confuse glue-ins and expansion bolts. The bolts used at Bronkies are expansion bolts. They must be in tension to work properly. As the nut is tightened, the \"fingers\" of the bolt expand against the sides of the drilled hole. The bolt manufacturers specify the torque the nut must be tightened to (I forget what it is) but it is a bit more than \"just enough so that the hanger does not turn freely\". It is definately not OK if the hangar is loose. Spinners should be tightened properly. The best way to get a feel for the correct torque is to use a torque wrench set to the manufacturers spec.
Glue-ins are different. Here the bolt is chemically boded to the rock, so tightening the nut will not make the placement stronger. Over-tighten and it will actually weaken the placement. So for glue-ins you are right to say that the nut should just hold the hangar in place.

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emile
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Postby emile » Mon May 05, 2008 1:42 pm

Hey Hector

I did not think of it that way before -> if there's no nut pulling on it / keeping some tension on the \"fingers\", there's a chance that it will contract again and slip out?

On the SCC - I understand it's not really a factor inland, but
- Are our inland bolts usually 316?
- Are 316 bolts immune to SCC or just more resistant?
- Does the manufacturer's torque specs take this into account at all?

Cheers & thanks for the correction

AJS
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Postby AJS » Mon May 05, 2008 2:11 pm

Hi Hetcor

When you say that the fingers need to be under tension, are you refering to wedge anchors or only the expansion bolts. the way i see it wedge anchors dont need and should not be left tightened as it makes them susseptible to SCC

I have always (using wedge anchors) tightened my bolts up really tight then lossened them and tightened just enough to stop hanger spinning. I may be wrong, but i dont see why wedge anchors need tension.

Emile SS316(S4) is susseptible to SCC as is the lesser grade SS304(S2), SCC as you probably know is only possible with chloride, and attack is highly increased when a bolt is under tension.

ant
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Postby ant » Mon May 05, 2008 3:42 pm

Jsmcm,

Stuiped questions - not the case at all. People will respect you for the regard you have for your safety and that of others, and will trust your judgment when you do express it. Much better than those people who know almost everything, but will try absolutely anything when there are others around.

Regarding loose holds:
The bottom line is that climbing is not entirely safe, and every person at a crag should be wearing a helmet, in order to make it as safe as possible.

However you have probably never seen a helmet at a sport crag...

The good-ol theory behind this is that experienced climbers make the educated and informed decision that sport crags pose very small environmental danger (ie falling rocks from above the crag or off the crag - owing to many of the reasons mentioned above) - and therefore make an informed decision not to wear one. (For comfort / fashion - neither of which are really valid in a discussion about safety)
The reality is that most people start off sport climbing, never see a helmet, and are making an uninformed decision about the set of rules they are choosing to play by.
The argument about the climber wearing a helmet for protection is well documented, but something that will influence your understanding of this is that all the 'hard' climbers are climbing things that are really overhanging, with really clean falls and much less chance of connecting your pip with the rock in the process.
The irony is that easier climbs are in fact more dangerous, because of the easier angle and the increased likelyhood of hitting the rock during the fall.
It's been years since I wore a helmet at a sport crag, and occasionally don't on trad - so yeah hypocrisy reigns - the point is it's about making and informed choice

Re bolts - I'll bow to superior knowledge that already seems to have been posted - but the basic idea behind single bolts and non-locking carabiners (quickdraws) is that you should always have one standing between you and a sprained ankle, and always two between you and serious injury/death. Alas this is not always the case particularly when clipping the second bolt.

Hope this helps

nosmo
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Postby nosmo » Mon May 05, 2008 4:45 pm

Hey moks,

Where on Naked Orange is the loose rock? I can't recall such...

mokganjetsi
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Postby mokganjetsi » Mon May 05, 2008 5:05 pm

loose grip on NakedO: somewhere below the little roof just below the last bolt. used to be marked with an X but i guess guys then realised it is secure. usefull foothold to push off when pulling through on the crimpers.....

on helmets: always always wear it when climbing (especialy leading) and belaying where ever when ever

jsmcm
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Postby jsmcm » Mon May 05, 2008 6:47 pm

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the answers....

Hector, do you know where to get the torque for these bolts? I don't mind buying a torque wrench and tightening these bolts to spec, but I just need to know what that spec is. Also, do you think that all bolts of that type would be the same spec, or can they be different?

Thanks again,

John

Marshall
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Postby Marshall » Mon May 05, 2008 9:51 pm

For Hilti bolts; 30Nm is recomended on the box. With the normal size 17 Gedore spanner it would be quite difficult to aply much more than 30Nm.

Turning hangers would be the same strength as fixed ones. They would turn before they break anyway.

John, before you spend R1600+ on a torque wrench, please donate the bucks to a bolting fund or use the bucks on your own bolted lines. A torque wrench would be a terrible waste.

M@
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Postby M@ » Mon May 05, 2008 9:52 pm


mokganjetsi
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Postby mokganjetsi » Tue May 06, 2008 9:06 am

you might have seen this one - whoaaaa!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWzQt6qP ... re=related

shorti
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Postby shorti » Tue May 06, 2008 11:20 am

with regard to the loose rock on naked orange, just don't use it, it is not a crucial grip at all. Mok, where's that little roof you're talking about, I can't remember a roof. Anyway the loose rock is about 2/3 of the way up (its the loose one :o ) And for crying out loud, get yourself some proper shoes so you don't need to push of that loose rock :wink:

The loose rock on mini me is not needed either, 'cause I can't remember one. It's probably a chock stone in the crack, they are often loose, but will wedge if pull in the right direction (but in mini me's case you can just jam your arm in the crack). Don't worry to much about it, if you happen to pull a rock out just make sure it doesn't fall on someone.

mokganjetsi
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Postby mokganjetsi » Tue May 06, 2008 12:34 pm

well yeah shorti not really a roof but not straight up either - between the 2nd last and last bolt. you're right, that loose grip is not essential but it is nice.......

nosmo
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Postby nosmo » Tue May 06, 2008 2:07 pm

For shorti, so moks can mark the loose rock:
Naked Orange (22) Bronkies, unknown climber on left (green Machine - 19) and unknown climber on right (Wild Apricot - 15 I think)
Image

mokganjetsi
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Postby mokganjetsi » Tue May 06, 2008 2:42 pm

how do you friggin get a picture in here? (no url)
[/list]

nosmo
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Postby nosmo » Tue May 06, 2008 2:59 pm

You need to get the image hosted somewhere online - I put mine on photobucket.com

Registration is quick and free and it gives you a direct link you can post in here to show up the pics...

shorti
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Postby shorti » Tue May 06, 2008 3:02 pm

cool nosmo!

haha, put it on picassa or photobucket like nosmo did. I remember that bit you described, that hard to find flat crimp just over a lip for your right hand. My money (for the loose rock) is left of the blue dude's left foot (top of the orange part of the wall)

mokganjetsi
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Postby mokganjetsi » Tue May 06, 2008 4:15 pm

right-on shorti, its called a lip then.... the loose grip is a bit higher up - about a meter up from the blueshirtguys' head and just to the left of the yellow line (a little below the lip) - you can see the big grips clearly on the photo

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Justin
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Postby Justin » Tue May 06, 2008 4:22 pm

Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

nosmo
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Postby nosmo » Tue May 06, 2008 4:23 pm

Here ya go... green arrow
Image

nosmo
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Postby nosmo » Tue May 06, 2008 4:34 pm

Justin, i'll write a short tutorial of how to register on photobucket.com. Will you post it as a sticky/whatever?

Their procedure for uploading (and linking to )files is a bit simpler than trying to get your ISP to host them. Plus I'm sure a lot of our users don't just have web space to throw their stuff on...

shorti
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Postby shorti » Tue May 06, 2008 4:35 pm

rats! guess I owe you a beer then :) See you on saturday.

mokganjetsi
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Postby mokganjetsi » Tue May 06, 2008 6:04 pm

he tks for pointing it out nosmo

rocklooney
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Re: Loose bolts and rocks (Bronkies)

Postby rocklooney » Sun May 10, 2009 4:18 pm

Two things stand out here. 1. Always be on the look out for loose rock. Especially on routes that aren't climbed that often. Having said that, just because rock is solid, doesn't mean it can't break. I took a big fall at Chosspile recently that could have ended badly. In my enthusiasm on what was an easy and satisfying route I failed to see and clip the bolt on the face to my right and climbed past it. As I approached the next bolt I pulled up on what seemed to be a solidly wedged brick to my left and it simply snapped in half. I took a longer fall than I should have and was lucky not to hit anything on the way down. 2. Always wear a helmet. It may look cool to climb without one, but when you fall unexpectedly, you often have no control over your body position. Bones break easily (I know) and the best one not to break is the head-bone (you know - the one with the brains inside). I normally remove or re-place potentially dangerous and loose rock.


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