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replacing bolt's discussion
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By Ben Griffin
From Durango, CO
Jul 7, 2011
Bitches get Stitchez, Golf Wall, Durango, CO

There is a route that has a lot of beaten, bashed, and weathered bolts on it. Many of the bolts look like someone took a hammer to them. I want to replace the bolts with new hardware to preserve this awesome rock climb. I definitely give this route 4 stars and feel like it needs to be preserved.

The route was put up on lead. I don't know what the exact ethic would be for someone to go up a climb and replace the bolts. The bolts aren't expansion bolts, so I think they would have to be hammered out, which would ruin the original bolt hole. I believe the route would need the old holes filled with sand and new holes would have to be drilled.

It seems like the correct ethic would be to take out the olds studs, fill the old holes with sand, pull the rope, and then rebolt the route on lead again.

Anybody with any thoughts on the subject?


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By Tim McCabe
Jul 7, 2011

Depending on the rock you might find that the holes can be reused. I replaced a fair number of bolts in the Custer State Park area back in the 90's. Since you will be using a larger bolt it might be possible to enlarge the hole. You just have to be careful and drill slowly, at the start, so as not to get the bit stuck. A bunch of routes got redone at that time, as I recall we had a bunch of bolts donated. All of the routes had been put up on the lead but every one working on the project as well as most of the old time locals agreed that doing the work on rap was fine. Of course if you want the experience of drilling on lead that would be up to you. The old bolts are likely 1/4 by 1.5 maybe even as short as 1 inch and should come out easily with a crowbar. If you are going to be using a 3/8 by 3, that's what we were using back then, that's a lot more drilling then the original party did. And before you do anything, is the FA party still around, are there other locals who use the route often, check with them, good luck with the project.


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By Ben Griffin
From Durango, CO
Jul 7, 2011
Bitches get Stitchez, Golf Wall, Durango, CO

The type of rock is sandstone. It is either dakota or navajo sandstone.


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By Tim McCabe
Jul 7, 2011

Ben Griffin wrote:
The type of rock is sandstone. It is either dakota or navajo sandstone.


No way to know until you put the crowbar on it. Do you know if anyone has ever replaced bolts in the area before.


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By chosspector
From San Juans, CO
Jul 7, 2011

What route?


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By Larry
From SoAZ
Jul 7, 2011

Your tools and techniques will depend a lot on the type of stone. Those two types are very different. So that's your first step -- figure out what you're dealing with.

Step two is to figure out what kind of bolts you're dealing with.

If you've never drilled before, I'd recommend you get someone who has to do the job.

I also wouldn't worry about doing the work on the lead. That particular bit of boldness only needed to be done once.

safeclimbing.org/education.htm

Edit: maybe those rock types aren't that different. I thought Dakota was a Eldo-type rock. In any case, the important thing is to not botch the job. That takes experience.


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By Ben Sachs
Jul 7, 2011

What do you mean by "they aren't expansion bolts"? Almost all climbing bolts utilize expansion (except glue-ins). Those 2 topics are totally different. Anyway, don't fret too much about "ethics". My personal ethic = if it was bomber for the FA party, it should be bomber now. Rap down, crow bar those rigs out. IF they come out clean, you can totally re-drill to the next size up and use the same hole.

HOWEVER,if the bolts are all hammered to shite(aka chopped), maybe see if this was a retro job that the FA party might have disliked and distastefully removed? I'd check with locals on route history first.


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Jul 7, 2011
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

Larry wrote:
Your tools and techniques will depend a lot on the type of stone. Those two types are very different. So that's your first step -- figure out what you're dealing with. Step two is to figure out what kind of bolts you're dealing with. If you've never drilled before, I'd recommend you get someone who has to do the job. I also wouldn't worry about doing the work on the lead. That particular bit of boldness only needed to be done once. safeclimbing.org/education.htm Edit: maybe those rock types aren't that different. I thought Dakota was a Eldo-type rock. In any case, the important thing is to not botch the job. That takes experience.


Great advice. I certainly agree that replacing the bolts on rap is the way to go. I see no reason to replace bolts ground-up. You'll end up with a much better bolting job on rappel.
Rap down, check out the bolts to figure out what you have to work with, plan your action and plan for a entire day to get the job done. Don't go out thinking you'll climb a bit and spend some time replacing bolts too. That rarely works out and just ends up with a rushed job. Also, once you get into a bolt replacement, finish. Come prepared with all the tools you made need to get the job done. It can be tough work--good on you for taking it on.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jul 7, 2011
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

Who is "bolt", and what was s/he discussing?


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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Jul 7, 2011
Me and Spearhead

Usain, I heard he's tired of sprinting and wants to try his hand in the world cup next year.


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By ABB
Jul 7, 2011

Good effort to do some public service. A few suggestions: 1) find someone who has bolting experience with installation and removal, 2) VERY IMPORTANT: don't make a rookie mistake by just jamming a pry-bar under the bolts and torquing the be-jeesus out of them; you could quite easily pop a significant divot of stone out of the surface, creating a foothold. Best to use a tuning fork or knife-blade and Lost Arrow pins to coax the stud out. Put a rag between pins and rock to avoid scarring the rock. If you're not intending or able to use the same hole, coax the stud out a bit, saw it half-way through, break-off the end with a few taps from a hammer, tap the remainder of the stud back into the hole and patch it. No sense in drilling on lead. Replace with 1/2" stainless steel bolts.


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By Sam Feuerborn
From Durango, CO
Jul 7, 2011
Castle Wood Canyon, May '09

What route? I might be down to lend you a hand. If it's at East A it's Dakota.


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Jul 7, 2011
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

Rap or lower and drill. You are replacing hardware that is old and needs to be replaced. The ethic here is that you do a good job.


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By smassey
From CO
Jul 7, 2011

Ben-
Quite a few of the OG first ascensionists still live in town. It's usually not too hard to get ahold of them. Sometimes worthwhile to check in with them and see what the story is with that particular route. In terms of the work itself, definitely find someone local who knows what they're doing. The ASCA is a great resource, and may be able to guide you to any local folks that have been doing work in d-town. Check in at Pine Needle and ask Ian as well. He knows a bunch of locals.


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By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Jul 7, 2011
Thumbtastic

Find someone to show you the ropes. You will undoubtedly learn a lot watching someone else who knows what they're doing fix the route. Watch carefully, ask questions, and talk to the FA team first.

Good luck man.


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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Jul 7, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan

Monomaniac wrote:
Who is "bolt", and what was s/he discussing?


And why must that discussion be replaced?


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By ABB
Jul 8, 2011

'...if we are to assume it's strong rock and he's unable to get the old bolts out, what advantage is there to a 1/2" bolt over 3/8"?'

Hey johnL, good question. The OP noted that the rock is either Dakota or Navajo sandstone. On a density scale expressed as specific gravity, neither is considered 'hard'.

Three important points to consider: 1) compressive strength of rock, 2) bolt flexion and 3) bolt's surface area. The compressive strength, think 'crushing', of D and N sandstone is less than that of a hard stone (e.g. granodiorite). A 1/2" bolt is not as apt to flex as a 3/8". Flexing may crush the surface rock at the leading edge of the hole, just behind the hanger. A 1/2" bolt, having more surface-area, distributes force over a larger area and, again, is not as apt to crush the rock at the leading edge. After sufficient flexion and crushing, the edge of the hole goes south, along with...

I can't provide scientific data but it seems that 1/2" stainless steel is increasingly becoming the standard ('become' the standard?) replacement bolt anywhere a power drill is permitted and, in many instances, even where it is not permitted. The primary suppliers of replacement bolts, American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) and Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) would have a better idea as to the ratio of 3/8" vs. 1/2" bolts being distributed and used.


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By Jaaron Mankins
From Bayfield, CO
Jul 8, 2011
San Juans.

I think it would be nice for the local community to know what route we are discussing. In the butter soft sandstone around Durango, 1/2" bolts are the way to go. Save the 3/8" for dense stone like granite. Rappel down and do it right.


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By ABB
Jul 8, 2011

Who's objecting to glue-in bolts?


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By Gunkiemike
Jul 9, 2011

ABB wrote:
The OP noted that the rock is either Dakota or Navajo sandstone. On a density scale expressed as specific gravity, neither is considered 'hard'.


While you clearly understand bolt stress dynamics, hardness has nothing to do with density. Two different things. (quartz is hard but not esp. dense. Quartz-based sandstones can be very soft while quartzite can be bullet-hard. Lead - or galena if you want a mineral - is way dense but very soft.)


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By Jesse Davidson
From san diego, ca
Jul 9, 2011
n cascades <br />

glue ins have the advantage, as well, of easy replacement. Heat the metal sticking out with a propane torch until the glue is soft, slide the bolt hot out with vicegrips, drill out the remaining glue and reuse the existing hole with almost no damage.


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By chosspector
From San Juans, CO
Jul 9, 2011

3/8" is fine in the sandstone at east a. Just use 3.5" or longer 5 piece bolts.


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By Sam Feuerborn
From Durango, CO
Jul 10, 2011
Castle Wood Canyon, May '09

chosspector wrote:
3/8" is fine in the sandstone at east a. Just use 3.5" or longer 5 piece bolts.


+1 the rock is not that soft


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By SeanKuus
From Steamboat Springs
Jul 10, 2011
PS

chosspector wrote:
3/8" is fine in the sandstone at east a. Just use 3.5" or longer 5 piece bolts.


+1 There was an article in one of the mags recently called "Is Bigger Better?" or something of that sort (couldn't find it online). It compared pros and cons of 3/8" and 1/2" bolts. One issue it raised was that while stronger, 1/2" bolts have more surface area and thus allow more water to creep into the hole, which rusts the bolt out quicker. However, there's more bolt to rust through. The point was that 1/2" isn't necessarily stronger or longer-lasting.

As for replacement, here are a few other discussions that have taken place on MP regarding replacement:

mountainproject.com/v/bolt-removal/106196177#a_106201208

www.mountainproject.com/v/sport_climbing/rawl_replacement_ph>>>

And a more provocative post that showed up on the taco a while back:
www.canyoneering.net/forums/showthread.php?953-Bolt-Chopping>>>

Good luck.


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