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Bolting on lead

1:21:03 PM
This is a bit of a hypothetical question.

I know that bash in carrots are shunned now, so if you were bolting on lead what kind of bolts would you use?

Glue ins are out of the question, so would you use expansion bolts and if so, how suitable are they for sandstone?

1:28:25 PM
12mm x 70mm dynabolts are fine for most sandstone.

People placed tiny rubbish carrots for a reason, the time needed to handrill the holes was shorter.
A hole for a 12mm dyna could take up to half an hour to hand-drill.

1:47:50 PM
There are a lot of carrots around that have withstood the test of time (and falls). Mind you, there are also a lot of dodgy crap ones , too.

Anyway, so if you were bolting on lead, basically, to be safe, you would have to hang from a couple of hooks for up to an hour to, say, place two expansion bolts for a belay or half an hour to place a protection bolt. Am I right?

No wonder not a lot of climbs get put up on lead anymore.
2:09:35 PM
Hopefully 100% hypothetical because in practice lead bolting produces far too many crap routes. Eg runout cruxes because you can't stop to drill, excessive ledge fall potential because that's where it's easy to drill, and wandering between drilling stances rather than choosing the "best" line.

2:21:31 PM
Yes , I realise that. I'm hypothetically talking about ground up first ascents in the wilderness, where rapping down a route before hand is not possible.
2:22:11 PM
On 19/03/2007 WM wrote:
> in practice lead bolting produces far too many crap routes. Eg runout cruxes because you can't stop to drill, excessive ledge fall potential because that's where it's easy to drill, and wandering between drilling stances rather than choosing the "best" line.

I think I would rather repeat a route that someone has bolted on lead. At least you know the first ascenionists have put themselves on the sharp end above their own bolts without the knowledge of what's above.

The number of times people stuff up rap-bolting is unbelievable.

2:38:58 PM
The best way is to lead with a power-drill! Then its 10sec to drill the hole - rather than 30 minutes!

2:49:05 PM
Well, lets say the cliff in question was a 5 hour slog , uphill, through the scrub. That's to get to the base. As well as carrying a large trad rack , ropes, food,water, etc, I think the only drilling gear I would be able to take along would be a hand drill and a bolt kit.

2:51:41 PM
Remember a photo in an old Climbing magazine. I think it was Johnny Woodward bolting a line on lead at City of Rocks?

He had a system where a thin line ran through a pulley on his harness. When he got to a position to place the bolt, he hung on, drill was pulled up to him. He drilled, placed the bolt, left the drill hanging on this last bolt with a fifi hook and climbed up to the next point and repeated!

Limitations of bolting on lead would primarily be not using the best technology for the rock type but technology to allow the bolt to be placed quickly!
2:57:51 PM
On 19/03/2007 nmonteith wrote:
>The best way is to lead with a power-drill! Then its 10sec to drill the
>hole - rather than 30 minutes!

I'd like to see you try to start the ryobi one handed!!

3:31:27 PM
If its a 5 hour slog then i reccomend placing the smallest crap bolts you can find - no ones gonna repeat
it anyway!

On a more serious note - you could happily get away with placing 10mm x 40mm dynabolts on lead, then
replace with larger bolts on rap once you've done the pitch. (remove original bolt and re-drill to larger
hole). Dragging a power-drill in for 5 hours will still save some serious heartache. 5 hours is only 10 bolts,
thats only 5 sets of rap anchors. You will have a much more enjoyable time actually climbing (not
hanging around bruising your hands)

3:42:46 PM
Yes, Neil, I agree. On a similar thread on CragX I just wrote:

'Considering, no one is likely to repeat such a route, maybe bash in carrots might be the easiest alternative. I would however prefer to make any bolts placed, as safe as possible.'

I also thought about replacing the original bolts once the climb is complete. I would lean towards glue in carrots, I think.

One of the main problems with dragging a power drill along is the fact that I don't have one!

My current climbing partner does , but the chances of me dragging him along on any such adventure are pretty remote to totally non-existant.

4:05:57 PM
On 19/03/2007 wallwombat wrote:
>This is a bit of a hypothetical question.

This seems awefully un-hypothetical walwombat!

4:10:37 PM
Yes, I realise I have now blown any pretense of my question being 'hypothetical'.

4:11:48 PM
I have climbed quite a few routes in the states (Taquitze/Suicide,& Hueco) that were drilled on lead.
these routes are very demanding, and have very large runouts due to being drilled at natural stances.
I would now hesitate to repeat any climb that I knew was drilled on lead, for many reasons, the primary
one being that I want to see my daughter grow up.
If you are planing to put up a climb in this style, then be aware that it might not be very popular.
No matter how good an idea it seems at the time, it will always be a safer and more popular climb if you
spend a bit more effort and time to do the job well, by that I mean the Belays, bolts, and stances for
clipping those bolts be the best that are available, no shortcuts, this will make the route a classic worthy
of one star at least, not a chosspile that is destined to gather moss and cobwebs.

4:14:43 PM
and by your references to cragx forum - i can presume the potential route is in NSW, which means
smaller dynabolts arn't really suitable at all due to the soft NSW rock.

4:32:02 PM
So basically, you are saying, you can't safely place bolts on lead in NSW sandstone.

5:05:08 PM
Maybe 12mm x 100mm dynabolts MIGHT be ok. Thats a lot of handrilling....
5:26:50 PM
It seems to me that placing bolts on lead is done for an entirely different purpose than rap bolting, so the considerations are different. I get the feeling that bolts placed on lead are generally done for the sole purpose of protecting that ascent, so bolts that don't last are not a problem.

Placing bolts on rap there's no excuse for this as you have the time and ability to place bolts that are in the right place and will last.

Maybe the answer is just use small crap carrots that are quick to place for your ascent, and if you're concerned about leaving behind something that may be of use to others, rap back down, rip them out and replace them with good ones.

I've never done it though - so don't listen to me...

5:43:53 PM
The climbs I am considering are nowhere near the Blue Mountains..

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There are 89 messages in this topic.


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