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Kevin_Matlock

Bolting etiquette (for solo climbing)

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I'm pondering a scenario:

You are going to start off on a solo climb up an already bolted route. At the base, there are NO good features or objects to use as an anchor for upward pull (it can be assumed that previous climbers had a belayer).

Question - is it acceptable to place a couple of bolts with hangers at the base of the climb a couple of feet off the ground which would end up being used EXCLUSIVELY for an upward pull?

 

"Hell no! Why are you drilling on an already established climb? If you can't make it work, then you shouldn't be soloing there"

 

...OR....

 

"Sure! After all, it's just completing the necessary protection for all climbers (both teams AND soloists) to climb"

 

Instead of installing bolts with hangers, what about limiting it to a couple of rivets that are painted to blend in... does this even effect the answer?

 

Haven't seen this done, nor have I done it. Just wondering.

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couple of bolts with hangers at the base of the climb a couple of feet off the ground

 

this usually only happens on aid routes. but if you do wind up doing it dont place a couple feet off the ground place a couple inches off the ground or under an over hang, just look for the most hidden spot. also look around for pin placements.

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Get a couple grade VI haulbags and fill them with rocks, few hundred pounds would probably be just fine. Use that as your anchor, its just like a belayers body.

 

no need for bolts

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Why not do a different climb that you don't have to add bolts to? It's not like there are a shortage of them.

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Are you talking about a aid or free? Either way I wouldn't bother.

 

If it is a free route it is quite unlikely anyone will ever use the anchor. There are probably plenty of other free routes around that you can set up some kind of anchor at the base.

 

If it is an aid route I assume it statrs out as a bolt ladder. If there was a crack you could probably get in some kind of anchor. The bolts on the bolt ladder are likely fairly close together. Use the first three bolts on the ladder as your anchor. I've done it once. Kind of a pain to construct but better and faster than reaching for the drill. If the bolts are bad replace them instead of adding more.

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No and No are the answers.

 

Bet Wallstein could find pro at the base without using the haulbags. What routes are you thinking of? If nothing else, on a route where there is pro 12 feet up, climb up and use that for your anchor. Otherwise, hit the next line over like Dru said.

 

 

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Are you talking about a aid or free?

 

Actually for both occasions. Not sure how that matters though... how do you view the difference?

 

Good input so far and sounds like a couple of differing opinions. Keep it coming....

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What routes are you thinking of? If nothing else, on a route where there is pro 12 feet up, climb up and use that for your anchor. Otherwise, hit the next line over like Dru said.

 

 

None in particular, just lines that I've been bummed that I couldn't rig a decent anchor. And I've set my anchor as you say at the first bolt, but it goes against my rule of having that single anchor point.

I think Matt's point about rigging the first 3 is interesting (if not potentially a bit hard to rig).

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If it's a NEW route you are doing, and are truely the first person on it, and all of your ingenuity fails and you can't figure it out, and you can't toprope it to see wassup, then why not?

 

However, be aware that for some out there, they would see unnecessary bolts, even for a FA solo, as a laughable lack of skill displayed in a very public way. In the West side of the NW there is almost always a tree within pissing distance. Smith is (relativly) climbed out but there would be plenty of partners you could grab if you had soething in mind and if it's a new area typically the cracks are still being done.

 

So this is like a pure theoretical question which doesn't make sense.

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Use stainless steel bolts if you have to bolt. Big time etiquette breach to put in shit bolts, either poorly placed, not needed, or cheaped out and used Steel.

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I think Matt's point about rigging the first 3 is interesting (if not potentially a bit hard to rig).

 

Its really quite easy, Tie off the first bolt, then clove hitch the next two, keeping the rope tight. If you've got your soloing system down you should be able to do it no problem. Many aid routes don't start out as bolt ladders, but most aid routes have been soloed as well so there should be something there.

Edited by corvallisclimb

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Actually for both occasions. Not sure how that matters though... how do you view the difference?

 

The difference for me would be how I approach a climb.

 

If it is a free climb I don't really want to hang on anything. Climbing to the first bolt and setting up an anchor would be problematic. Your probably going to have to hang there to do it. The other problem is that I'm not going to knowingly subject my self to a one bolt anchor. On a free climb the next bolts are going to be too far away to use in the anchor.

 

For an aid climb I plan on going nowhere fast, hanging, pulling, what ever for upward progress. Any bolts on the route will be relatively close together and could be used for an anchor even if you had to climb up a little ways to get there. If it was hard aid off the deck I guess you could try the rocks in a bag method. Then again a bolted hard aid line is an oxymoron.

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Not sure if it was you or not, but we went around on this topic on RC.com I believe. Basically the answer is no. Rig the first bolt as the anchor and back it up with a screamer on the second bolt if you need to. I rope solo a bunch and personally would take bolting to enable it, free or aid, to basically mean I've failed before leaving the ground.

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Dude....nice troll. There is no way you don’t know the answer already. No bolts. I say troll, because if you know how to place bolts that would imply you have experience in climbing, and if you have experience in climbing you know not to add bolts to an existing line.

 

My buddy Brad has a first accent in the north face of the nameless tower in Pakistan. When they started the route, the wall was completely blank, no features to hook up the crack that started 10 feet up. They in no way wanted to drill a bolt as the first piece....so they tied a piece of string onto a nut and spent a greater part of the first day throwing the nut up and into the crack until they finally got it to wedge itself in the crack, 21 days later the topped out. Purpose of this story.....no bolts, get creative bro. You can do it.

 

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Name dropper. :lmao:

 

But I suspect its a genuine question Kev, and not a troll. I don't think he's thinking of soloing Nameless either....but I've been wrong b4. :grin:

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Dude....nice troll. There is no way you don’t know the answer already. No bolts. I say troll, because if you know how to place bolts that would imply you have experience in climbing, and if you have experience in climbing you know not to add bolts to an existing line.

 

kevbone, ok, I'll mark you down in the no-bolts column.

But... troll??? Are you paranoid, a skeptic, or disbelief of anyone's credibility here on CC.com?

No trolls here man, just a question. I've never placed, nor do I know how to place a bolt. And what Bill said, I don't plan on doing Namesless anytime soon, only local routes that may or may not have been climbed before.

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Dude....nice troll. There is no way you don’t know the answer already. No bolts. I say troll, because if you know how to place bolts that would imply you have experience in climbing, and if you have experience in climbing you know not to add bolts to an existing line.

 

kevbone, ok, I'll mark you down in the no-bolts column.

But... troll??? Are you paranoid, a skeptic, or disbelief of anyone's credibility here on CC.com?

No trolls here man, just a question. I've never placed, nor do I know how to place a bolt. And what Bill said, I don't plan on doing Namesless anytime soon, only local routes that may or may not have been climbed before.

 

The nameless story was to show you can get creative. There must be a way around adding bolts for an anchor. Was not trying to be a dick. Good luck.

 

Kevin

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I don't plan on doing Namesless anytime soon, only local routes that may or may not have been climbed before.

 

They were climbed already Kevin. :lmao:

_______________________________________________________

 

Kevin, thats an awesome illustration. When the guns to there heads and the pedal should be on the metal, some solid dudes hung on and went the extra mile.

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I'm pondering a scenario:

You are going to start off on a solo climb up an already bolted route. At the base, there are NO good features or objects to use as an anchor for upward pull (it can be assumed that previous climbers had a belayer).

Question - is it acceptable to place a couple of bolts with hangers at the base of the climb a couple of feet off the ground which would end up being used EXCLUSIVELY for an upward pull?

 

"Hell no! Why are you drilling on an already established climb? If you can't make it work, then you shouldn't be soloing there"

 

...OR....

 

"Sure! After all, it's just completing the necessary protection for all climbers (both teams AND soloists) to climb"

 

Instead of installing bolts with hangers, what about limiting it to a couple of rivets that are painted to blend in... does this even effect the answer?

 

Haven't seen this done, nor have I done it. Just wondering.

 

 

so....it looks like you live in the ptown area....what climb are you referring too? Anyone around here?

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I don't plan on doing Namesless anytime soon, only local routes that may or may not have been climbed before.

 

They were climbed already Kevin. :lmao:

 

Have they now! Ok, let's just think that..... :)

 

 

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kev, not any one place in particular. The thing that comes to mind is at broughton there have been times when I wanted to aid up but couldn't find any "ground level" anchors worth a shit.

I wasn't just going to presume to start bashing in bolts (anywhere) until I had a better understanding of what the "rules" are. I might just keep the idea of "placing them in a hidden, recessed spot, a couple inches off the ground" up my sleeve (as mentioned above), but until I have a little practice time spent bolting, I sure aint gonna risk anyone's life to it.

 

Earlier today was at the the Lake O wall and did the little trick of just rigging the first few bolts for upward pull. Pretty sweet; thanks for those thinking beyond where my pea brain went.

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kev, not any one place in particular. The thing that comes to mind is at broughton there have been times when I wanted to aid up but couldn't find any "ground level" anchors worth a shit.

I wasn't just going to presume to start bashing in bolts (anywhere) until I had a better understanding of what the "rules" are. I might just keep the idea of "placing them in a hidden, recessed spot, a couple inches off the ground" up my sleeve (as mentioned above), but until I have a little practice time spent bolting, I sure aint gonna risk anyone's life to it.

 

Earlier today was at the the Lake O wall and did the little trick of just rigging the first few bolts for upward pull. Pretty sweet; thanks for those thinking beyond where my pea brain went.

 

Nice....I have aid soloed and soloed (free)with a rope (and free soloed) classic crack a couple of times. I was able to get creative at the base with gear. then used a small nut about waist high to keep the anchor at an upward pull. Seemed to work....I am still here.

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