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bolt kit in yosemite
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drunkenmonkey


Aug 20, 2002, 4:29 AM
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bolt kit in yosemite
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Guys

doing some final checks prior to our first trip to yosemite in the next few weeks and after reviewing supertopos one of Chris's essential on his kit list is a bolt kit. if were doing stuff A3 or less are we really going to need to place bolts? do we really need to splash the cash for a drill, bits etc?

see ya all soon


full-time-climb
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Aug 20, 2002, 10:36 AM
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You shouldn't need a kit. All the routes that a person would do no their first trips are all set up...Just go play. If you had to bail you might leave a piece or two behind. No biggy.
John


hallm


Aug 20, 2002, 10:47 AM
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You shouldn't have to place any bolts on established lines in Yosemite (in fact, placing bolts other than on the FA is typically frowned upon). That being said, a bolt kit weighs about 4-5 pounds and is invaluable in a self-rescue situation, as I am sure you know. So, the question is weight versus the additional security provided by a bolt kit.

Of course, if Supertopo says bring a bolt kit, there may be a good reason. You might want to contact them regarding the recommendation, or check on the status of the route when you hit the ditch.

Have fun


apollodorus


Aug 20, 2002, 11:27 AM
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Yeah, don't bring a bolt kit. Unless the route has old dowels on it, like the Trip, or the Dawn wall. They've been known to break.


hollyclimber


Aug 20, 2002, 11:40 AM
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i would disagree!!

(oh isn't that fun)

Not that I have done a ton of Big Walls (actually only two and only one on El Cap).

First of all, A3 is not always that easy, and not all A3 routes have all the anchors replaced by ASCA.

The reason you should bring one is for an emergency. Put it at the bottom of the bag. I hope you don't have to use it. Even on trade routes though, lets say the Nose since I have been on it, there are spots where if there was an emergency, and you needed to attach rescue type loads, it might be beneficial to have another bolt.

We are not talking about bolting for climbing/ascending. We are only talking rescue here.

My boyfriend has climbed El Cap numerous times, and has also been beaten off by a storm more than once. I am pretty sure that he would take a bolt kit on any El Cap ascent (although I will ask him if he would take one on a trade route still) for emergency use only. We are definitely bringing one on the ascents we are attempting, which will not be trade routes, but will be generally moderate and have no dowels (as far as we know).

Holly


radistrad


Aug 20, 2002, 12:04 PM
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So most are saying dont take a bolt kit!
What route are you planning on? Is it a trade route or is it obscure?
I think if your on a trade route you probably will not need a bolt kit, if you doinge an odd route it is probably wise to bring one along.
Far more useful in Yosemite are Hybrid Ailens and HB offset nuts, they'll turn that c3 into C2...


glockaroo


Aug 20, 2002, 12:52 PM
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I don't think the bolt kit decision should hinge on the rating of the route. It should hinge more on the status of the route's anchors. If the route is considered mild but the anchors are rusting 1/4" crap, bring the damn kit.

Consider the consequences of failed dowels/rivets/etc. If one's missing perhaps you can hook the hole, topstep by it, or use a cheater stick to bypass it. I have used all these strategies.

From what I've read on the 'net, routes like Mescalito are generally considered pretty moderate. But that route has some bad dowels that are spaced pretty far apart. If one breaks on you and you can't hook on what remains, you are stuck.

Also consider routes where moves involve hooking or nutting a miniscule flake. If the flake snaps and nothing usable remains, you had better be able to drill a bathook hole. Nasty, I know, and you better not get into the habit of drilling past stuff you can't handle. But frankly, I refuse to bail from 2000' feet up because the windowpane flake that worked for everyone else broke for me and there's no other natural feature to use. Carry the kit, but act responsibly.

Chris Mac/ASCA are about as responsible about bolting as anyone could ask for. If he recommends a kit, I would listen.

You don't have to sink a lot of money into a small bolt kit. Try this selection:

Petzl Rocpecker ($42)
two 4"x1/4" SDS bits ($6 ea or so)
two 6"x3/8" SDS bits ($8 ea)
a handful of rivets ($5 total)
a few 3/8" Rawl bolts ($3 ea)

See Fish or Pika for the bolts. Go to Home Depot or Lowe's for the bits. Go to Karst for the Rocpecker.

More important than equipment is the knowledge of how to use it. Don't throw this stuff in your haulbag and think you're ready to drill. Read up about it at ASCA then get someone who knows to show you in person.


passthepitonspete


Aug 20, 2002, 5:37 PM
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Unless you are making a first ascent, there are two situations, and two situations ONLY, where you would consider drilling a hole in Yosemite.

While you could make the rather substantial investment in a full-on bolt kit, Patrick, you don't need to do so.

In your particular situation, there is a Better Way, and this is to compromise.

But before I tell you how, I will first suggest to you where and why you might consider placing a bolt or rivet.

The first situation in which you might consider drilling a bolt would be to beef up an existing belay.

On the Trade Routes, you will NOT need to do this. Each and every belay station will be festooned with "spit." [If you are a Euro, then you will know that "spit" means "bolts".] On El Capitan, besides The Nose and Salathe Wall, the Trade Routes from left to right are Lurking Fear, The Shield, Mescalito, Tangerine Trip and Zodiac. You might be able to add North America Wall to this list now.

On these routes, every station will be able to support the weight of a medium-sized thermonuclear device, and there will always be good places to hang your ledges.

On moderate to hard routes that have seen a fair number of ascents, you will still find that the belay stations are more than adequate to support the weight of you, your team and all your pigs, so you will not need to beef it up.

However, you may wish to add a bolt or two for the convenience of hanging your ledge.

If you are travelling alone, then chances are that you will have more than enough anchors to set up your power point, hauling station and portaledge in the proper orientation. However if you have two or more ledges and two or more pigs, then you may not have the necessary "spread" between anchors to set up the optimal bivi.

You can click here to read about how to manage the clusterf*ck at your belay, which includes the optimal way to set up your station and ledges. This will generally require a minimum of twelve feet of "spread" from the left side to the right side of your station. If the existing anchors are spaced too closely together, then you may wish to consider drilling an extra bolt from which you can hang your ledge.

Generally speaking on El Cap, adding a bolt to an existing belay is a Good Thing which is appreciated. You should use at the very least a quarter-inch STAINLESS steel bolt, or better still if you're feeling motivated, a three-eighths incher.

If you are lazy, even a rivet [which is a 3/4" long by 5/16" stainless steel machine bolt which you whack into a quarter-inch hole drilled only about a half-inch deep] will hold two people and their ledge.

The second situation in which you may consider drilling, or may even need to drill, would be if you either pull a rivet or else rip off a loose flake. In either case you will be faced with a blank section of rock.

But before you pull out the drill, you must carefully apprise the situation. Can you bypass the move somehow? Can you make a killer topstep? Can you make a hook move? How about a head?

If you are an aid climber, you should have a substantial bag of tricks at your beck and call. You should know if the move can be avoided or not. Could a better climber than you find a way? If you are not sure, then you should not drill.

In this case, you should use a cheat stick, which you can improvise with a couple wired stoppers girth-hitched together, and duct-taped to the end of your hammer. If you are camping the Better Way, then you will have a long collapsible tent pole that you fit inside your portaledge fly during storms, and you could use this, too.

If you are absolutely certain that there is no other option than to drill, then please place a rivet and do the route a favour. This is what I had to do on my first attempt to solo Native Son when the flake I was hooking suddenly ripped. [It scared the livin' bejeepers out of me!] You can click here to read about my twenty-foot screamer onto a duct-taped hook! [Scary]Count Floyd!]

Even on a Trade Route, there is always the possibility of a flake ripping or a rivet pulling. You should be prepared, but not necessarily over-equipped.

It is for this reason, Patrick, that I suggest the following compromise.

Rather than spending all that money on a bolt kit, instead all you need to do is to buy a couple 1/4" tungsten-carbide SDS bits, and a half-dozen 1/4" bolts and a handful of rivets which I describe above. [In a pinch, you could substitute grade 5 steel bolts for the stainless ones, but this is not recommended.]

Oh yeah, and you'll need a roll of duct tape.

Note: Do not even THINK of venturing on a big wall without several rolls of duct tape. The stuff is indispensible, and no lead rack is complete without it!

Take your duct tape, and wrap a big wad around the handle end of the bit so that you can hold the bit in your hand. The wad should be about two or three inches in diameter - enough that you can easily hold the drill as you hit it with your hammer.

Remember to turn the bit an eighth turn after you hit it three or four times, and allow some pneumatic action of the bounce of the bit to help clean dust out of the hole. Make sure you scarf a few soda straws from Degnan's Deli so you can blow the dust out of the hole when it is deeper.

Voila!

You have an improvised bolt kit that will allow you to drill a rivet on lead, or even to beef up belay in a pinch.

In your situation, I believe this compromise to be the Better Way.

I am Dr. Piton,

and I know how to be a dirtbag when I wish


justsendingits


Aug 21, 2002, 2:54 AM
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Wish i would of had my bolt kit at the top of my pig when i was bailing on T-trip(solo)

Had to rapp on the Virgina anchors,they suck!!!


drunkenmonkey


Aug 21, 2002, 8:54 AM
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guys/gals

thanks for the advice i think we'll leave the bolting to those pushing the limits rather than our team winding our way up one of the trade routes this fall. thanks for all the great advice over the last year or so. me and the guys have learnt sooooo much. i don't think we would of stood a chance if we hadn't come across the RC.com site and more to the point the aiding forum. special thanks go to the esteemed Mr Pee'd ON and all the resident hardmen to belayers out there that have given over their ahrd won information and ideas. we're flying out in 10 days so will be working our buts off to wrap up with the 9-5 (more like 24-7) so we all have jobs to come back to...

once again thanks

drunkenmonkey/Patrick


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