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(S. Ariz.) WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT REPLACING OLD BOLTS?
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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Dec 19, 2012
One Way Sunset

(S. Ariz.) WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT REPLACING OLD BOLTS?

A few weeks ago I attended the Access Fund’s “Future of Fixed Anchors” conference.

www.opengate.org/access-fund-blog/2012/12/the-future-of-fixe>>>

It consisted of two (2) days of speakers and demonstrations about replacing old or weakened bolts.

Among other things, they established standards for replacement.

It was wonderful.

Many local climbing organizations attended. Apparently, elsewhere in the U.S. these organizations exist, in part, to replace old bolts and restore classic routes.

Anybody have any thoughts about what we might do here in S. Arizona?

Scott Mc


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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Dec 19, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)

This seems like a good way to address the issue:
mountainproject.com/v/uncarved-block/107822984

This in particular:mountainproject.com/v/107823229

Some of the old hardware that was replaced.  Dave Merin replaced the hardware on Pitches 1-3; Corrie Ellison and I replaced the hardware on Pitches 4-5.
Some of the old hardware that was replaced. Dave Merin replaced the hardware on Pitches 1-3; Corrie Ellison and I replaced the hardware on Pitches 4-5.


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By Paul Davidson
Dec 19, 2012

I was going to say, those look an awful lot like RR's bolts...

But Daryl, not sure that's the best approach since it took some 25 years or so for them to get replaced.

Maybe you guys can start a fund and hire some of those CO or CA boys that are into the replacement act.


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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Dec 19, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)

Ah, I see your point Paul. Scott, were you asking about the financial aspect of replacement? Or were you wondering about the actual process of keeping things from getting to the point where the hardware falls off the wall before the actual replacement takes place?


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By Josh Janes
Dec 19, 2012

People are out there replacing them. Not asking who's doing it on the internet. You attended the conference, you obviously are concerned, go out and do it! Here in Nevada, just like in California and Colorado, it's a grass roots effort. What does that mean? Someone takes a particular interest in a climb or area and goes and pulls the old bolts and puts new ones in.

I personally held the ropes while somebody replaced several bolts on a classic Southern Arizona rock climb last week and I don't even live there.


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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Dec 19, 2012
One Way Sunset

Hi Daryl,

Nice work,ripping those old monsters! Leeper hangers, yow!

My objective was simply to start a discussion.

Many topics come to mind:

Should we have a local climbing organization to do this?
Should we each do it individually?
Should the first ascentionists do it?
If you put up a route, how long are you responsible for it?
Are you responsible for it at all?

Who should replace old bolts?
What should be replaced?
When should they be replaced?

What are the best practices for replacing bolts in S. Arizona?

Should the local climbing organization hold fund raisers?
Should the Beanfest include a fund raiser?
Should the Beanfest include a bolt replacement party?

What are the liability aspects?

As I write this down, I think of my attempts to discuss etiquette.

Perhaps I should not even be asking these questions?

Should we just continue with business as usual?

The conference prompted these questions and climbing recently with someone who innocently clipped an old Leeper hanger with a quarter incher and thought they were safe.

Scott Mc


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By Larry
From SoAZ
Dec 19, 2012

Hey Scott, WE'RE NOT DEAF :-)

There was some kind of effort started after Jim Boyer's accident, although that wasn't a bolt failure per se.

I've replaced dozens of bolts in So. AZ, and hundreds when I lived elsewhere. Some with the support of the American Safe Climbing Association.

Scott M. McNamara wrote:
As I write this down, I think of my attempts to discuss etiquette.


That didn't go too well, did it! It's so easy for things to spiral downwards, I hesitate to post. Especially when it comes to bolts. Which may be why I've done it quietly (although to the best of my knowledge I have never added a bolt to a route in AZ).

Larry


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By jbak
Dec 19, 2012
A steep climb too.

A council of elders should decide all this stuff. That council would be the currently active local climbers who have been climbing here at least 30 years. That would be me, Scott, EFR and Ray. Ray doesn't care, Scott and EFR will cancel each other out, so that leaves me to decide everything. Surely no one will have a problem with that.


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By Eric Hamer
From Tucson
Dec 19, 2012
Aint nothin like a chihuahua with a backpack. Someone's got to carry the beer

Scott,
I have quite a few hangers and you know I will hike into the backcountry with you if you have some replacing in mind. All we need is bolts and a drill.


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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Dec 19, 2012
One Way Sunset

JBAK,

I kind of like your idea!

Scott Mc


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By K Weber
Dec 19, 2012

Just get out there and DO IT.

Shut UP and Climb.

Put it to a committee.... HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Stop yappin' and get to boltin'.


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Dec 19, 2012
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

I vote Jbak for president of the replacement council. My experience has been similar to Josh Janes. People want to do a route and want solid pro so they replace the old stuff. Many routes will never have the bolts replaced and there is nothing wrong with that. If they are worth doing then someone will eventually replace them.

Jim and I have replaced a number of bolts that we donated. Now we get them from the ASCA. Seems to be working pretty well without any organization. However, if you would like to pay us to replace some on a particular route, feel free to send a check.

Just for the record a lot of folks don't really have a clue what a good bolt is if they see it. Few can tell the difference between a 1/4 inch buttonhead (death) and a 5/16th inch buttonhead (bomber).

It is nice to see clean stainless bolts and hangers, yet a 25 year old rusty 3/8ths around here will take a ton of whippers (Hard Day) without failing.

I suggest no councils, no organizations, just access to ASCA bolts.


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By jbak
Dec 19, 2012
A steep climb too.

Since I've never heard of a 3/8 failing in S Az, I don't worry too much. If you are going to replace bolts on a classic (espec a multi-pitch classic) it might be worth thinking about 1/2 inch SS. Those should last forever basically.

No committees. Although it would be nice if replacement was done by someone who actually knew what they are doing.

Scott, I don't see how you can really talk about people being "responsible" for bolts. FAers move away, quit climbing, die. And just because someone does an FA does not mean they drilled the route in the first place. I've drilled routes for others, and had others drill routes for me. Better for people to accept that there is some danger in the sport. Or take up tennis.


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Dec 19, 2012
Toofast

I don't think we need a committee on replacing bolts. I like the idea of bolts being replaced on a grassroots level as Josh mentioned.

Generally speaking I think we should keep a couple of guidelines in mind:

1) Replace bolts with good hardware
2) Re-use the original hole if at all possible

It would be great if we can agree that people interested in replacing bolts receive some training from people who have done a lot of it. It's very easy to make a mess of things when trying to replace a bolt; a couple of pointers from people who have been doing it for years will help tremendously.


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By Nick Wilder
Site Landlord
From The Bubble
Dec 20, 2012
Personal Photo

FWIW, Mountain Project will soon be adding a Fixed Hardware database where all these things can be tracked (and displayed) for a given route. Things like date installed, exact type, current condition, etc will be available. It will probably be tested with data from Eldorado Canyon and go live in a couple months.

It will obviously be "sparse data" and never be remotely complete, but in locations where people have a lot of passion for these things (or strict regulations... Boulder), it might be a valuable tool.


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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Dec 20, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)

Just catching up here. Scott, sorry if I mislead you - that wasn't my intent. That picture I posted was the fruits of Geir's labor, not mine. :)


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By Jason Mullins
Dec 21, 2012

After Jim's accident we did start the TSCA, worked with Chris at the ASCA and got a discount from Fixe. There was a website for donations and a database for reporting what needed replacing then what had been replaced. I think even a public google doc spreadsheet that anyone could update/report would do the trick and be appreciated and used.

There were a couple of donations right after the accident, we made a couple of orders with Fixe for their trad anchors The idea, and agreement with the USFS, being to get rid of all the old webbing on the Mountain like what failed for Jim. The process still ended up being a few of us just doing what needed to be done, which is probably how it should be.

Another task, i think, would be educating those that blindly trust things that should be replaced. The ASCA did a great job of this on their site with their "which bolt would you trust" campaign.

p.s. Ben made a great tool he called a "tuning fork", just a slot cut in a lost arrow or piton for removing bolts.


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By Bud Martin
From Bozeman, MT
Dec 21, 2012

I have some experience, a good amount of Fixe hardware (anchors and hangers), a power drill and a hand drill. I will be in the Tucson area for the first two weeks of January and have lots of free time. Let me know if any of you local folks want to get out and fix some some stuff up.


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By Jonas Salk
Dec 21, 2012

Some good 'how to' here.


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By Hugo Almanza
From Phoenix,AZ
Dec 27, 2012
morrells wall

I've been wanting to replace many of the older bolts at the granite crags (Mcdowells etc.) in the central valley area, unfortunately don't have the experience and expertise. Yet I'd be willing to learn and help out in replacement of said bolts.


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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Dec 31, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)

Anthony Almanza wrote:
I've been wanting to replace many of the older bolts at the granite crags (Mcdowells etc.) in the central valley area, unfortunately don't have the experience and expertise. Yet I'd be willing to learn and help out in replacement of said bolts.

I believe THIS ^^^ post is what we should be doing. Folks report it or make it known somehow to those that have the means and willingness to make required updates. The fact that Anthony is offering to help and learn is icing. Not just spraying about what's 'broken' but offering to help fix as well. FWIW, I agree there are some scary looking bolts up that way I absolutely did NOT want to test. ;)


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Dec 31, 2012
Toofast

Daryl Allan wrote:
I believe THIS ^^^ post is what we should be doing. Folks report it or make it known somehow to those that have the means and willingness to make required updates. The fact that Anthony is offering to help and learn is icing. Not just spraying about what's 'broken' but offering to help fix as well. FWIW, I agree there are some scary looking bolts up that way I absolutely did NOT want to test. ;)


+1000. FWIW it is permitted to replace old bolts 1 for 1 in the McDowells but the locals would prefer this is done under the radar. One of my friends has started replacing these and I bet he would appreciate the help. Anthony I will have him PM you.


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By Hugo Almanza
From Phoenix,AZ
Jan 1, 2013
morrells wall

Thanks Geir for the hook up. As well everyone for their contributions on this post. I'm thankful there is access to those willing to share and teach these skills. Happy New Year everyone and safe climbing!


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By Tony @ AZClimbersZone.com
From AZ
Jan 2, 2013

I'm also down to help out if someone needs it. Like the other Anthony, I don't really have any idea how to (PROPERLY) replace a bolt but certainly willing to learn. Off the top of my head there's some stuff in the Pancake House in QCC that was a little spooky but I don't think it sees much action so I don't think it'd be on anyone's priority list.

Tony


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