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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

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Author
Carrot failure @ Muline

nmonteith
12/11/2013
11:35:36 AM
On the weekend I experienced a little bit of horror.

The route was After Midnight, an overhung corner system up the middle of the crag. It starts with two bolts through a boulderly little grade 26 section before long a unprotected traverse right into the corner. Many years ago when I first led the route I got to the corner, found no gear down low, then committed to a few moves up the overhung arete on the right edge, when suddenly the jug I was holding fell off. I took a monster fall onto the 2nd bot of the route narrowly missing the ground. Here is a pic for an idea of the lower section of this route. I fell off where this climber is now.



Lucky for me, last weekend I was merely seconding the route. Kent did a fantastic job of an Alzheimer's onsight, I was instructed to clean it. Up I went to the first rusty looking carrot, unclipped the draw then tried the crux just after it. I fell off. With a heap of rope-strecth I dropped down and to the right quite a distance. The route is substantially overhung and I was now swinging in space with no contact with the rock about 6m below the 2nd bolt. Without prussics or jumars I decided to attempt to hand over hand up the rope (!!). To my amazement it worked! I got all the way up to the bolt above me, now with a huge loop of rope below, and grabbed the quickdraw. PING! The bolt fell out and I took the bungy jump drop onto my loop of rope. Yes - the bolt fell out in my hands.



The same bolt that held my massive fall 8 years previously, and that Kent has just relied on to protect him from the same potentially monster fall.

It is a bash-in carrot bolt. No glue, no expansion mechanism. It looked fine one minute and was in my hands the next.

I just lost all faith in bash-in carrots.

Unlike expansions or glue-in that visibly loosen well before failure, these bolts are time-bombs waiting to kill someone. They are on famous routes all over Australia, including Serpentine, Path of Yin, Pythagoras Theorum and Desert Rose in the Grampians.

These need to be replaced - now. I was lucky to be on second - if I was on lead I would be writing this from hospital or someone else would be writing this.
maxdacat
12/11/2013
1:10:03 PM
So why are these relics out there? Are there people who may want to replace some of the fixed gear but are stopped by the weight of history etc?

The good Dr
12/11/2013
1:35:18 PM
Neil, you know the first ascencionist. Call him.

Also, look at the hanger, the top is slightly bent indicating that it may have been working as a lever when weighted due to the position in which it was installed.

tnd
12/11/2013
2:36:27 PM
Neil, it looks like a stainless bolt, is it? If so, that's one problem - no rust to lock it into the hole.

I can live with the odd bashie in a mixed route but once you want to fit a fixed hangar, then not using a glue-in is just DUMB.
kp
12/11/2013
2:38:58 PM
Good Dr. I believe Neil has emailed HB.

I think it's an important issue.... I have definitely changed my view on carrots.

phil_nev
12/11/2013
3:02:29 PM
Thats a damn good looking no star route!
Drake
Online Now
12/11/2013
3:14:09 PM
Sometimes bashies are defended as being strong against downward pulls where the force is ~perpendicular to the bolt, even if the bolts are weak against an outward pull. Any thoughts on this Neil? It seems like you could have been mostly pulling out when grabbing a draw on this overhanging route?

(I'm not really trying to defend bashies- I'm just trying to understand)

ajfclark
12/11/2013
3:34:05 PM
I also wonder if people have been taking big whippers onto this bolt years, was there any evidence of rock being crushed by the bolt?
kp
12/11/2013
3:49:40 PM
Pretty much no one does this route. I imagine the bolt Neil fell on was the only time it ever took someones weight, as the climbing is pretty easy past it and to the natural gear....
patto
12/11/2013
3:53:26 PM
Also where was the bolt placed? Downwards pointing and relying on tension? Wow. That would scare me regardless of it failing or not!
gfdonc
12/11/2013
4:34:24 PM
On 12/11/2013 tnd wrote:
>Neil, it looks like a stainless bolt, is it? If so, that's one problem
>- no rust to lock it into the hole.

I'm 100% with tnd on this one. Rusty carrots might look scary but they are held in place by chemistry and physics. Stainless bash-ins don't have that advantage. SS needs expansions or glue.

Big G
Online Now
12/11/2013
4:43:47 PM
the only problem with rust is that its not really attached to anything except itself - it forms in the water on the surface and then just sort of sits on the steel. it takes up a littel more space perhaps but I prefer my bolts to be glued in...
Wendy
12/11/2013
7:36:34 PM
Anthony ripped one of Malcom's carrots out of Body Heat a few years ago. By hand as well, whilst underclinging off it to aid through a move. Malcom was actually there at the time and his first comment was oh, Ferret put those in for me! But basically, same problem, bashed in carrot getting pulled outwards.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
12/11/2013
9:04:02 PM
On 12/11/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>tried the crux just after it. I fell off. With a heap of rope-strecth I dropped down and to the right quite a distance. The route is substantially overhung and I was now swinging in space with no contact with the rock about 6m below the 2nd bolt. Without prussics or jumars I decided to attempt to hand over hand up the rope (!!). To my amazement it worked! I got all the way up to the bolt above me, now with a huge loop of rope below, and grabbed the quickdraw. PING! The bolt fell out and I took the bungy jump drop onto my loop of rope. Yes - the bolt fell out in my hands.

Speculation on my part; but from your description (& photos provided), it looks/sounds like your fall had a fair outwards force component on the bolt, and that was exacerbated by the hand over handing up the rope.
Given the ground bolt doesn't appear to have much taper, then the interference-fit would have been minimal.
Who knows how well the drilling was done to match that bolt...
~> All together, I'd say that every scenario has it's exceptions, and in this case you were simply that.
~> ~> I would not use an exception to the normal course of events as justification to diss the normal...

nmonteith
12/11/2013
9:27:06 PM
On 12/11/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>~> All together, I'd say that every scenario has it's exceptions, and
>in this case you were simply that.
>~> ~> I would not use an exception to the normal course of events as justification
>to diss the normal...

I'm sorry, this is bullshit. The whole principle behind this type of bolt is crap to begin with. They should really be called a circular piton - because that's what they are. They are not fit for purpose, especially when the purpose in this case is to hold a large fall on an overhung wall. If it fails with me hand over handing up the rope it has no hope of holding a real lead fall. This is modern climbing, where people fall off - a lot. It's not hypothetical slab climbing where no one ever falls off.

>Given the ground bolt doesn't appear to have much taper, then the interference-fit
>would have been minimal.

Try explaining that to an engineer. And then explain to them that you put your entire life onto that "interference-fit" principle.

They are junk. I don't wish to expose myself or my friends to them anymore.

Big G
Online Now
12/11/2013
10:17:03 PM
I always like to imagine that the people who argue for bash ins must be out there using waist belays and crappy pro; never placing a Camelot or nut or hex because they are too modern and too effective. Nylon rope is also eschewed....
kieranl
12/11/2013
10:27:15 PM
Anyone wants to replace any carrots I've placed, feel free. I'll reimburse the bolt cost and throw in a new SDS bit for each climb done. I'll try to get to them myself but I've got limited time. There shouldn't be too many : Grampians : Missing, Spillway DS, It'll End In Tears. Buffalo : Hoi-polloi, Autocrat DF, What Ethics, Ariel, Sans, Chunky Custard. Throw in One Night Stand even though not my bolts. I think that's about it.
mbrooks
13/11/2013
5:08:23 AM
I agree whole heartedly with Neil on this. These bolts are simply not fit for their purpose, history or not, they are not designed for this use. Any engineer would laugh at the principle behind them. I like the fact they are part of our Australian history but they should be replaced before someone dies. Its not an if, it is a when!!! Its not the first time this has occurred, ss I have mentioned before, just ask Robby LeBreton who all to nearly became a victim to a bash in carrot (went hospital, nearly died).

We need to catch up with the rest of the world in fixed gear, not by retroing existing mixed routes but replacing existing carrots with modern expansion or glue ins. Gluin carrots may answer some of the solution in visually sensitive areas but in the hangerless style they are far from being entirely safe (still weak through the removable hanger and potential for the hanger to come off with modern draws).

I am first to admit that I have put some dubious bolts in my younger years (many replaced now) but they were what was best available at the time (any left in other routes feel free to replace). But it is time to step up with the times before another person becomes a victim.

I have replaced many bashins in past and had some come out with a quarter of a turn on a spanner, others more stubborn but not by much. A few taps of the hammer and most break or come free easily as the rock around them is weakened in placement!!!!.

Veryt glad you are ok Neil and Kent.

MattB

nmonteith
13/11/2013
9:24:50 AM
I also placed quite a few bash-in carrots in the early 90s - including some on Absentia, a now popular route at Ngungun in the Glasshouse Mountains. One of the carrots on that route fell out on someone a few years after I placed it. When I placed them I thought they all felt bomber - clearly I was wrong.

Eduardo Slabofvic
13/11/2013
12:32:20 PM
Who's going to all the Camps brothers rebolting?

At least they'll be easy to get out, assuming that there's some still in.

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There are 257 messages in this topic.

 

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