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To bolt or.... not?
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cosmin


Apr 8, 2007, 7:36 PM
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To bolt or.... not?
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I have no intention to start an ethics/style debate nor a philosophical thread about the role of bolts in the history of climbing... What i would like is to get some opinions about whether using bolts in a given situation is the better or the worst of two options.

I have been climbing for a while and managed every now and again to put up the odd FA - whether alpine style or big wall. All these years i never placed a bolt - maybe because of ethics, maybe because it looked good, maybe because of ego... Anyway, i always managed to get up and down my objective without needing to learn how to drill.

Yet, now preparing for another trip to come up soon, i found myself doing a "damage count". My no-bolt-approach seems to have had more environmental impact then one or two little stainless steel bolts. I am not discussing here about using bolts for progress - that is something i leave for better climbers to tackle while i go around... what am bothered about is bolts in anchors (that is mainly rap anchors). Rapping off with a haulbag and ledge after a G IV or V climb (FA) i find that the amount of gear (especially slings and cord) i leave behind to build decent anchors is way much more trash left on the wall than one/two bolts; Tat and pegs and nuts, etc are equally 'perenial' fixtures, less secure though, in a greater quantity and let alone a much more expensive alternative too.

So my dilema is - is the (not so)clean, no bolt approach still preferable or bolted rap/belay anchors are the way to go?

Cheers,
C


a.a.


Apr 8, 2007, 7:55 PM
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Re: [cosmin] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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Bolted raps are better in so many ways, I see no reason not to use them.


Partner euroford


Apr 8, 2007, 8:32 PM
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Re: [cosmin] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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i see there being several distinctions.

if you've made an FA of an unclimbed peak, you are in essence establishing the descent route as well. i see this should be done in a sensable logical fashion using the best case permanent anchors. probobly bolts. when doing so the rap route is installed keeping in mind not just your passage, but those of future users as well.

if you have made an FA of a previously climbed peak, you should be using the previously established descent route. unless your a 'local' who knows the peak and can take up the flag of maintance, establishing a new descent route using permanent anchors is not your place. if you are rapping the established rap route, and you can do some needed replacement of bad anchors, perhaps that is called for. perhaps not.

if your just bailing off, by no means should you be putting holes in things.


at any rate, if your going to install a permanent rap route off of a peak, it needs to be the best one. no doubt many poeple have wished well and really fked shit up with drills.


(This post was edited by euroford on Apr 8, 2007, 8:32 PM)


superbum


Apr 8, 2007, 9:26 PM
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Re: [euroford] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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I agree w/ everything said by Euroford...

If there is no sensible walk off, nor any logical fixed rap stations allready in place, bolted rap stations are the way to go. If you rap the route (as opposed to rapping off the back or shoulder of the peak) then I believe it's just fine to make bolted belays that also serve as rap stations.


cosmin


Apr 8, 2007, 11:00 PM
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Re: [superbum] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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Well, what am into it's FAs on walls in remote or quite remote areas. Just to get an idea of what i have in mind: last july we put up a new route in Eastern Tibet. Ground up, onsight, 5000m alt - no bolts, 450m. Yet on the way down, rapping our line of ascent, only in one place for example we lft 8m of cord, slinging some boulders, and in anotrer place three shoddy pegs and a hex.... Sounded good all that 'no bolts' thing, but coming to think of it, our 'clean', trad approach was anything but clean compared to four bolts we should have put in those two anchors....

So far it seems like will have to learn ho to drill by May... unless someone comes up with an argument to prove me misguided.

Cheers,
C


ltking


Apr 9, 2007, 12:18 AM
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Re: [cosmin] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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I see no problem with bolting a belay or rap station. in the long run the gear left behind is minimal and reusable for many years to come. The biggest issue i feel is weather there are bolted rap station, if there are then you should probably stick with the standard descent.


tallnik


Apr 9, 2007, 7:17 AM
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Re: [cosmin] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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Well, how often will your routes be climbed by others? If it's worth the effort, then by all means, bolt it as 'community service' --> but let's remember that drilling takes a lot of time. If you're really doing remote alpine climbs, do you really want to be effin' about with a drill and hammer rather than slinging that horn. (granted, I've had it pretty easy when rapping in the past --> never had to deal with 8m of cordage, etc). I'm no expert as to how pins hold up compared to bolts, but again its a speed thing. Pins are faster, no?

Anywho, minimizing your impact is an ethical thing to attempt to do, so I applaud that effort. G'luck.


Nik


Partner euroford


Apr 9, 2007, 8:31 AM
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Re: [tallnik] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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if your doing the fast n lite alpinism thing on super remote peaks, drilling rap stations sounds like a rediculous waste of time.

and no, i don't find a couple of pins, some tat and a hex to be some horrable amount of pollution.


akicebum


Apr 9, 2007, 9:13 AM
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Re: [euroford] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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Bolting takes forever to do right. A bolt hole goes several inches into the rock, that hole will be there rain or shine for a lot longer than a pin or a chock left in a crack. Anyway, take care have fun, be safe.


cosmin


Apr 9, 2007, 9:29 AM
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Re: [euroford] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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euroford wrote:
if your doing the fast n lite alpinism thing on super remote peaks, drilling rap stations sounds like a rediculous waste of time.

not the fast and lite alpine routes am worried about (they usually have alternative descents) but the odd grade IV/V A3+ 5.10ish business which sometimes happen to be in remote areas or, as will be the case now, in a less remote area but without climbing traffic.


tradmanclimbs


Apr 9, 2007, 9:47 AM
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Re: [cosmin] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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hand drilling from a decent stance or on rapell is reasonably fast. SS2.25 x3/8" power bolt can be drilled in under 20 min by strong climber. Cnristian has done it in 11 min. My record is 17min. make sure you use stainless steel and not zinc plated. McMaster-carr has best price and fast delivery. Fixe single ring rap hangers are best hanger but you may end up fudging somthing with cord taped gate leaver biners? bundles of tat arround dead shrubberys suck!!!


cosmin


Apr 10, 2007, 8:49 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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The climbs am looking at are in quite remote areas or with little or no climbing traffic. There is no walk off and no alternate rap stations. I'm most likely doing the FAs of the face itself and sometimes of the mountain. Not talking alpine climbs with horns to be slinged, but grade IV/V A something 5 something.

Normally i would climb/aid, build anchors and clean everything (whether am alone or with partner) and when coming down build anchors again, this time for abseiling. With a ledge and haulbag on my rope and my sorry arese attached on top of it i would try to build the best anchor the palce will allow - usually lots of cord, pegs and nuts for a 60+m abseil.

What am thinking now though is that on the way up, instead of building an anchor, break it down and then have another anchor built on the way down with lots of shiz in it why not drill in two bolts with hangers. Good for the belay, hauling, setting the ledge, good bidirectional when soloing (which is what i will be doing next trip) and good on the way down. In the end will save time, money and will have a lower environmental impact. Plus, no more cutting short pitches or abseils but can do full length 60+m pitches/abseils

These were the arguments for the bolts that i came up with....

C


papa_eos


Apr 10, 2007, 9:10 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
McMaster-carr has best price and fast delivery.


Just some more info on bolt prices, been using this company for several years and their prices usually can't be beat.

http://fastenmsc.stores.yahoo.net/ram38x214wed.html


moose_droppings


Apr 10, 2007, 9:53 PM
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Re: [cosmin] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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cosmin wrote:
Normally i would climb/aid, build anchors and clean everything (whether am alone or with partner) and when coming down build anchors again, this time for abseiling. With a ledge and haulbag on my rope and my sorry arese attached on top of it i would try to build the best anchor the palce will allow - usually lots of cord, pegs and nuts for a 60+m abseil.

My gawd. You must leave a lot of gear behind you if you do this much.


cosmin


Apr 10, 2007, 11:20 PM
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Re: [moose_droppings] To bolt or.... not? [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
cosmin wrote:
Normally i would climb/aid, build anchors and clean everything (whether am alone or with partner) and when coming down build anchors again, this time for abseiling. With a ledge and haulbag on my rope and my sorry arese attached on top of it i would try to build the best anchor the palce will allow - usually lots of cord, pegs and nuts for a 60+m abseil.

My gawd. You must leave a lot of gear behind you if you do this much.

only in the abseils, but am a chicken so i like them beefy enough (if possible) for a 60+m ride...
Not THAT MUCH but still reasonably more than two bits of stainless steel.


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