Friday, October 1, 2010

How Those Bolts Got There

The Canadian guide, Mike Barter, put up the following video on bolt placement. This is a rather rudimentary look at bolting. He gives the basics so that you know how that bolt actually got there, but there is a great deal more to placing bolts.

The best way to learn how to place a bolt properly is to work with an experienced bolter on replacing old bolts. This process will allow you to see where others have made mistakes. Understanding the most basic bolting mistakes is a great way to avoid making such mistakes.

The unfortunate reality is that most bolts are placed improperly. The fortunate reality is that most of these bolts that were placed improperly only have minor mistakes in their placement that make them unlikely to pull out most of the time. It's incredibly lucky that more people aren't injured or killed every year from poorly placed bolts.

If you decide to start bolting, it's important to do it right. Don't go out there and "just-figure-it-out." Seek out advice and guidance first...

--Jason D. Martin


Anonymous said...

I know very little about rock climbing but can someone explain to me how pounding bolts into walls is an acceptable "leave no trace" scenario?

American Alpine Institute said...

Some people don't believe it is an acceptable thing to do. This is a long argument that people have been having for decades.

The question is whether we should be climbing in places where natural protection is not available. Most modern climbers believe that this is acceptable. However, there are still battles raging all over the country as to what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to bolting.


Eddie Gianelloni said...

The ASCA is also a great source fort information. I have been bolting lines lately with someone who has climbed and bolted for 25 years. I think Jason would agree that learning from a book or website is 1/4 of it. An important 1.4 but just that. The rest comes from doing it. And the only way to know for sure that you are doing it correctly is to do it with someone that knows what they are doing to double check your work.

On the ASCA's site they have VERY valuable info that Chris has put up. Anyone looking to start bolting should check this out.