Friday, March 30, 2012

Big Concerns About Bolting

I recently heard of a couple things that have made me concerned about people bolting rock faces around St. John's. Terry told me that the Outfitters had brought in some bolts. I went down to have a look at what they have.

I began asking some questions of the sales person. They obviously didn't know much about bolting for rock climbing. He went on to tell me that they have actually been selling a fair number of these bolts. They have also sold just the hangers. So why am I concerned?

In that discussion, the people he had sold the bolts to were thinking of placing them in Flat Rock. The guys he sold the hangers to said he had some other bolts at home. I asked what kind of bolts the guys had at home...he didn't know. I mentioned that if the metals were different that it could accelerate corrosion under the hanger. He didn't realize that nor seemed to care!!!

If you are planning to bolt something outside, PLEASE do your homework! Expansion bolts should not be used down at Flat Rock. There is a lot of water spray during the winter and multiple freeze-thaw cycles which weaken the bolt and the rock around it. The salt water mixed with dis-similar metal accelerates corrosion under the hanger. It is difficult to see this. Flat Rock should be bolted with Glue-in bolts. The bolt is bonded to the rock. No water can get in. The bolt is all one piece so there is no corrosion.

I use expansion bolts in Manuels because it is inland away from the salt water and spray. I have put expansion bolts on the bottom of Candy. These are removable bolts!!! They are temporary. I am going to pull them and put it Glue-in bolts.

If you are buying bolts and don't know the basics, you should not be putting them in. There are many thing that can go wrong placing bolts. It is fantastic to have enthusiastic climbers but it takes a lot of consideration to safely bolts routes.

When I learned to bolt, I read everything I could on the topic. I went to an 'out of the way' rock face and placed a bunch of practice bolts. Then my first season I used Jay and Leo as mentors to make sure I knew what I was doing. Then the next season I began bolting by myself.

Phil had mentioned to me about possibly teaching a 'bolting clinic' with the new climbing club. I would certainly be willing to do that, I just want to keep our climbing community safe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. galvanic corrosion is any issue with any dissimilar metals aronud salt water. For anyone who cares to understnad what's on the go with it a little better, check out the wikipedia article about galvanic corrosion: