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Dealing with missing bolts/pitons on desert aid
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Nov 9, 2011
On Blanca after traversing from LB
So all of my aid experience has been in the desert so this is mostly geared toward that. I wanted to know the best overall way folks deal when standing in your aiders on something way harder than you can free climb staring into an empty hole (or old stardrive that can be pulled out by hand). Until now I've used various ways to bypass these (stick-clip, hooking) but wondered what everybody else does. Is there something standard you carry on these desert routes if you know that there will be missing bolts? Brian C.
From Longmont, CO
Joined Feb 9, 2010
812 points
Administrator
Nov 9, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
if i know ahead of time that it might be an issue, i bring a tent pole with a long piece of cord (wilth loops every 4 feet or so) and a hook taped to the end. you can fish a hook through the eye of a bolt pretty easily from quit a distance. also, with the pole being bendable, and having the piece of cord to help guide it, you can kind of curve it around features like bulges, minor aretes, etc.

another option is to hand place a pin, but you kind of need the right size and length. not knowing these details ahead of time can get heavy (ie carrying a selection). another option that only works in certain cases is a 'sideways' placement of a tricam. yet another option i have used is to literally throw a large hex (again with a really long cord) into a crack that was about 20 feet overhead. you'll want a helmet for this last option :)
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,067 points
Nov 9, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
why not just bring a small drill kit with some new bolts and do some maintenance? rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Joined Dec 20, 2009
253 points
Nov 9, 2011
Batman Pinnacle
For that, I use hooks. Scott O
From California
Joined Mar 30, 2010
26 points
Nov 9, 2011
On Blanca after traversing from LB
Thanks for all the good ideas so far. I hadn't thought of using a pole to get a hook into a bolt. Seems easier than trying to get a taped carabiner attached. Hand placing pins would also work and the size would be easier to guess since most crappy placements are the old 3/4 star drives.

rock_fencer wrote:
why not just bring a small drill kit with some new bolts and do some maintenance?


Not a bad idea but I don't feel that I have the bolting knowledge to really do anybody a favor.
Brian C.
From Longmont, CO
Joined Feb 9, 2010
812 points
Nov 9, 2011
rock_fencer wrote:
why not just bring a small drill kit with some new bolts and do some maintenance?


+1
JPVallone
Joined Aug 25, 2004
199 points
Nov 9, 2011
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Epic stick clip on a tent pole. Big reach. The Epic holds a carabiner open, and, can also hold a variety of cams too, so, you can plug in a cam from a distance too. A bit of duct tape, and, you can attach a hook, etc.

I popped a Kor rivet on Dolomite Spire a bunch of years ago. I stick clipped a fixed piece past it. Long reach on both counts (feller is TALL).
Brian in SLC
Joined Oct 6, 2003
11,031 points
Nov 9, 2011
Me on top of Chianti Spire
It's a good question, so I did a little googling and came up with this: crystalcanyons.net/Pages/TechN...

Some interesting ideas there, as well as some really scary ones.

I know in granite it's common to use a bathook in an empty (or intentionally very shallowly-drilled) hole, but I don't know if sandstone is strong enough.

slim wrote:
yet another option i have used is to literally throw a large hex (again with a really long cord) into a crack that was about 20 feet overhead.


Well that is nuts, my hat is off to you sir.
Eric Fjellanger
Joined May 8, 2008
774 points
Nov 9, 2011
Casual Route Pitch 3  Photo by Mark Cushman
Brian C. wrote:
Not a bad idea but I don't feel that I have the bolting knowledge to really do anybody a favor.


I am with you on this one.
When ever I see someone ask about learning the proper ways of adding or updating bolts. Lots of answers are always, "It's pretty simple, drill a hole and put in the bolt", followed by "It's actually much more complicated then that and you shouldn't just go out and do it."

I would still love for some real instruction on this, I am happy to buy someone dinner in exchange for the lesson as well.

-Jon
cheifitj
From Boulder, Colorado
Joined Jun 24, 2008
110 points


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