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Chockstone Photography
Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 43
Author
death bolts and tree cutting at Earlwood
mikllaw
2-Mar-2010
6:25:09 PM
Hi, Second hand news about the lovely old Earlwood/Bardwell park crag in Sydney, I was shown an extremely scarybolt

which came out by hand with smelly unset glue (even if the glue had set it would kill someone, the eye isn't designed for climbing and the shaft should be at leaft 100mm deep, not 20mm. It's mild steel so it will rust away nicely. A dangerous mess!).

There were quite a few placed, they all came out by hand. These bolts are evil crap.If you know these people, please get them to ask someone how to put in non-death equipment (and to find out if bolts are necessary, the area is petty well bolted already).

The rangers are also very very unhappy about trees being cut around the top of the cliff too, was this done by the same misguided person?

We don't know if this is a climber, abseiller, thrill seeker doing this, please think and stop..
SummitSlag
4-Mar-2010
3:08:57 AM
any more news on this topic mike

nmonteith
4-Mar-2010
9:04:25 PM
I went and investigated this today as it's my local crag.

Firstly, before the addition of the new bolts the crag was already very well endowed with good anchor bolts all along the top of the cliff. About 18 months ago I added several new glue-in carrots and rings, which were in addition to some older glue-in rings and some bomber trad placements. There was no need for additional top anchor bolts of any sort.

I counted 10 of the new bolts spread along the top of the cliff that is no more than 30m wide. Some of the bolts were within 10cm of older, but totally bomber u-bolts and glue-in carrots. There was also at least 4 drill holes where they hadn't installed a bolt but left a big ugly scar. There was also large blobs of glue smeared along the ledge and on bits of cardboard discarded into the bush.


Scar of new bolt 15cm from bomber old u-bolt.

The bolts are quite solid looking, but made of cheap looking mild steel. I could snap one off with a few bangs of a rock even though it was 10mm in diameter. Very soft.





The bolts are marked 8084 AL WLL0.23T, and are installed in a 2 part system. A 12mm-ish sleeve is embedded in the rock by an unknown method. I saw evidence of what looks like Ramset 101 glue smeared on the rock and on bits of card - maybe this is used to glue the sleeves in? The ringbolt is then screwed into this sleeve. I've seen similar setups used on industrial sites made by Hilti. It allows the high access guys to screw the anchor bolt in and out when they need them - but keeps the general public from using the anchor when the bolt is unscrewed.

There was some sort of poxy yellow rubbery glue used around the head of the bolts to seal the holes. I could peel this off with my fingers.



All the bolts have been removed by someone apart from one - which i removed. All that remains is the butt ugly scars and rubbery glue mess around the entrance.

The same perp appears to have chopped down and cleared the whole top of the cliff - removing all loose rock and vegetation. All that remains is loose dirt which will cascade down the cliff in the first decent rain shower.



So, it's a total mystery. Whoever installed the bolts had industrial training I imagine, and had little understanding of climbign bolts, as they seem to have ignored all the good anchors already in place. Mike and I hope to remove the rubbery surface glue and patch up the holes and sleeve bolts in the next few weeks.
rockranga
5-Mar-2010
11:01:12 AM
As a climber who knows very little about installing bolts and such it's good to know there's a few people out there who are willing to put the time and effort into fixing the atrocious, and potentially deadly, bolting jobs that inexperienced people have put up.

The first bolt from Mike's post is easily recognisable as junk and only idiots would rely on it to catch a fall, however the ring in Neils post looks a lot more legit so i doubt a lot of people would think twice about clipping it. The only real giveaway is the crappy glue job around the edges so lets hope these clowns don't get better at making their bolts 'neater', otherwise, we're all in a lot of trouble.

So thank you both for
1. noticing this problem in the first place, and
2. making the effort to repair the damage as best you can.

It's not your job or responsibility so i'm sure a lot of people on chocky (and in the climbing community in general) are very apprecitive of your efforts. I know I am!!

It's a shame about the trees being cut and the eventual mud that's going to cover the face of that cliff (if only in the short term), a very good example of inexperienced people (who have probably just started climbing) making terrible decisions, terrible for the environment and terrible for whoever is unlucky enough to clip those death bolts thinking they're safe.

Good work guys, thank you
widewetandslippery
5-Mar-2010
11:16:34 AM
Mikl & Neils bolts look very different.

Was Mikls bolt screwed into a casing as Neils appear to be? Mikls bolt appears to be rated and if so would probally be ok if screwed into a well set casing. If that thread was just glued in the installer was a complete fuktard.

Neils bolts on the other hand look out right crap.

I haven't googled it but I believe there is some issue with residents vs council in that neck of the woods. Could bad bolts and clearing of veg be seperate issues?

ado_m
5-Mar-2010
11:22:57 AM
this is farking scary. i'm sticking to trad.

nmonteith
5-Mar-2010
11:33:39 AM
On 5/03/2010 widewetandslippery wrote:
>Mikl & Neils bolts look very different.

I believe the bolt shown in Mike's post was not actually one of the bolts removed - but a similar bolt used to illustrate the type of bolt.

>Was Mikls bolt screwed into a casing as Neils appear to be?

Yes, all the bolts were screwed into a casing. They were thus easy to remove by unscrewing, apart from one which was stuck - so i just bashed it back and forth with a rock a few times and it snapped off (my 3rd photo). I think the bolts were probably ok in strength, but they were non-stainless and very easy to tamper with, so totally inappropriate for their location.

>I haven't googled it but I believe there is some issue with residents
>vs council in that neck of the woods. Could bad bolts and clearing of veg
>be seperate issues?

I can be almost certain that the new bolts and the clearing of the vegetation were done by the same person. It's the same area and the same time. It looks like someone was preparing the wall for commercial mass climbing - absieling?
widewetandslippery
5-Mar-2010
12:09:05 PM
http://express.whereilive.com.au/news/story/council-s-case-falls-off-a-cliff/

This I think is what I was thinking of. I'm pretty sure I saw it in passing on current a scare or today to shite.

nmonteith
5-Mar-2010
12:22:38 PM
On 5/03/2010 widewetandslippery wrote:
>http://express.whereilive.com.au/news/story/council-s-case-falls-off-a-cliff/
>
>This I think is what I was thinking of. I'm pretty sure I saw it in passing
>on current a scare or today to shite.

What has that got to do with topic? There are no units or houses anywhere below this crag.
racingtadpole
5-Mar-2010
4:51:17 PM
You might be right Neil, whoever did this may have industrial training, but I would doubt it given the absolutely woeful selection and application of materials. The eyebolts you photo'd are grade 8084 Aluminium, completely useless for anchoring (and also not even close to being up to code for industrial work, in the setup you describe we use steel bolts rated to a significantly higher WLL than 230kg).
Im at a loss to understand why anyone would even contemplate going to the trouble of installing such a setup when there are clearly serviceable anchors already installed.
I hope you find whomever is responsible for such stupidity and beat them repeatedly with a wet fish.
Whilst I am very unlikely to climb here in the near future I echo the sentiments of those saying thanks to both yourself and Mikl for being vigilant.

nmonteith
5-Mar-2010
5:04:48 PM
So does WLL translate as working load? 230kg = very scary. No wonder it was so easy to snap off.
pete_w
5-Mar-2010
8:24:13 PM
WLL = working load limit, usually chains / lifting equipment etc have a SF of 4-5 on top of this meaning that the failure strength is probably closer to 1T (if it meets a common standard). It was probably designed to screw into a tapped hole in metal. They also often have limited range of working angle (e.g. +/- 20 of pure tension) or reduced capacities in other directions.
e.g.
http://www2.blackwoods.com.au/infoBANKProduct.aspx?SG=2000165&S=4084686&G=2004019&P=2026047

gordoste
6-Mar-2010
11:50:32 AM
On 5/03/2010 ado_m wrote:
>this is farking scary. i'm sticking to trad.
>

lol

Paulie
6-Mar-2010
7:18:39 PM
On 5/03/2010 nmonteith wrote:
>looks like someone was preparing the wall for commercial mass climbing
>- absieling?

This is atrocious. If you haven't already, I would report this to NPWS or the local council. Anyone aiming to use the site for commercial purposes would need to obtain a permit to use the site (whether it's Shire or NPWS) so there will be a record of any organisations / entities who are legally allowed to use the site. Certainly sounds dodgy as all hell. Consider the SES or similar, though they do some great work, some of their standards with regard to training are well below par, certainly they used to do some seriously dodgy stuff out at Mt Pilot (new access tracks cut in; random bolt chopping, wholescale cliff veg removal), as well as leave the place looking like a rubbish bin.

wallwombat
6-Mar-2010
8:04:53 PM
On 6/03/2010 Paulie wrote:

>This is atrocious. If you haven't already, I would report this to NPWS
>or the local council.

If you want climbing to continue at Earlwood do not notify the council. That will be the quickest way to get it banned without a doubt. The easiest move for the council would be to simply put up a sign prohibiting climbing.

I'm not saying it's not atrocious.

I'm just saying do not notify any level of government about it or we will lose the right to climb there.

nmonteith
7-Mar-2010
9:06:43 AM
On 6/03/2010 wallwombat wrote:
>If you want climbing to continue at Earlwood do not notify the council.
>That will be the quickest way to get it banned without a doubt.

Agreed. They won't be able to tell the difference between 'good' bolts and bad. Self regulation is the only way.

Paulie
7-Mar-2010
9:44:13 AM
On 2/03/2010 mikllaw wrote:
>The rangers are also very very unhappy about trees being cut around the
>top of the cliff too, was this done by the same misguided person?

Sounds like the NPWS are already aware of the climbing going on guys. IMO you're far better off being up front and asking for their help (survelliance etc) so they don't think it's climbers doing it. NPWS and Parks Vic are usually fine to work with so long as you are proactive and understanding in your approach to using the cliff environment. Ultimately, it's vitally important for the land manager (whomever it is) to understand who is causing vegetative (and other) damage - if they think it's climbers then it won't be long before it is banned and that ban enforced, if you work with them, then they'll be pleased as punch.

nmonteith
7-Mar-2010
10:10:23 AM
What I worry about is that the crag already has a LOT of bolts in it. NPWS probably arn't too happy about them. So if we alert them to the new dodgy bolts, they'll probably wonder about all the old bolts as well - and either want to chop them or ban the crag.
deadpoint
7-Mar-2010
10:34:32 AM
Looks like the perp had some concept of backing up the U's.

Just one point on 'rated' bolts, just remember that having a stamp on the side does not mean anything, unless you trace the supply chain back to the manufacturer then the ratings are worthless. There are fake items turning up all the time, drill bits not heat treated, incorrectly processed stainless rod.

nmonteith
7-Mar-2010
11:04:42 AM
On 7/03/2010 deadpoint wrote:
>Looks like the perp had some concept of backing up the U's.

There were already various bolts spaced at 2m intervals across the top of the crag - easy to equalize two of them together to make a top-rope anchor for any route. There is also double bolt lower-offs at the top of many of the routes.

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 43
There are 43 messages in this topic.

 

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