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chum

[TR] Index Broken Bolt Hangers (Sport Wall) - Calling Wolfgang 8/23/2009

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Tom,

 

Thanks for the hanger ID and photos.

The FA of Calling Wolfgang was by Greg Child and Andy deKlerk in around 1990,

so their other contemporary routes (including several adjacent on the Sport Wall)

should be checked for more of these non-stainless Kong-Bonatti hangers.

Replace with stainless hangers, clearly.

 

I'm glad that first bolt/hanger held!

Like Tom said, emphasis on the "near" death!

 

Regarding SMC hangers, there are 2 main types:

- older, thin chrome-moly steel, chrome plated, subject to rust and cracking

- newer, thick stainless steel, very strong and reliable

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Moderators.

Please move this thread to spray.

 

You're joking right? This thread should be relocated to "Rock climbing" though

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An article on the ASCA website makes the following reference

 

"At least one bolt vendor sells stainless steel "clad" bolts and nuts. These have a thin outer cladding of stainless steel surrounding a core of mild steel. This type of bolt seems to be worse then others, since once SCC cracks the cladding,oxidation (rust) finishes the job in short order."

 

I don't believe this to be true. The application method for zinc to a carbon steel material is simple compared to applying nickel alloys to iron. I do not believe that it would be economical to do this, when the amount of SS being saved is very very small.

 

My vote is for an intergranualar corrosion called end grain exfoliation. Think of end grain in wood sucking up water...the oxidization byproducts build up in between the grain layers of the material and it starts bulge and eventually flake.

 

My vote is for Patriots hypothesis

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So they were Kong hangers?

------

I took a 15 footer on one of Calling Wolfgang's bolts a number of years ago.

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So they were Kong hangers?

Yes, Kong-Bonatti (non-stainless in this case) - see Tom's post and the shape in Tom's photo.

Kong-Bonatti also made aluminum hangers at one time with the same shape. I have one that I took off a climb, on my backyard wall.

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I'm gonna get hammered for this, but here goes:

 

I wouldn't be overly suprised if sport routes were sabotaged with acid or something.

 

I remember hearing a story about how someone had deliberately rigged a death sport route up there years ago.

 

Apparently, they cut the heads off some bolts and epoxied them to hangers, then epoxied the whole set-up onto a possible line. The person reporting thought the route looked a little hinky, so pull-tested the first hanger and it popped. He then cleaned the whole affair, reporting that even the anchors were glued onto the wall.

 

Scary stuff.

 

Erik

 

Edit: Not to mention the Todd Skinner route sabotage. Just sayin'

Edited by EWolfe

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Interesting suggestion. Pope? Unidawg?

 

To my eye, the condition of the hanger looks to be a result of oxidation, perhaps enhanced by dissolved minerals and/or a galvanic effect due to incompatible alloys.

 

This in an important point that bears reinforcing: the incorrect pairing of hangers and bolts can eventually result in failure simply because the alloys are incompatible.

 

Read More

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Update:

 

The Kong-Bonatti hanger has "dissolved" at other areas as well as Index. Dissolved is in quotes because that was the word used when this information was given to me. I have the hanger at my house and seeing it in real life is even more shocking than looking at Tom's photos. There appears to be something with the hanger's design/construction that gives it a propensity to dissolve. Whether this is simply due to galvanic corrosion or not I cannot say but other mixed metal anchors seem to withstand G C better than the Kong.

 

The bad news is that climbers other than Greg Child and Andy used these hangers. I do not recall using them myself but they could potentially be on other routes – most likely on those put up by Greg Collum.

 

Over the past few years many bolts at the Town Walls have been upgraded and the upgrade process continues. I have created a thread to track these hangers on the Index site so if you come across them post up. ( link )

 

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I wouldn't be overly suprised if sport routes were sabotaged with acid or something.

Acid rain? Who expected rain at Index? What a devious route terrorist!

 

More likely: climbers were being cheap and used non-stainless hangers.

 

Edit: Not to mention the Todd Skinner route sabotage. Just sayin'

Yikes, the same guy sabotaged both? A master of both the grease gun and acid, decades apart? Clearly we have a cluster of sabotages at work. :-)

 

Similar to the faked hangers story - at Crow Hill in the 70s, Henry Barber was doing some really hard climbs. One of the locals had a fun idea. On rappel, he chalked a bunch of holds on a steep wall, then told Henry somebody else had climbed it. Henry made a few moves up it, then tried some of the unusable chalked holds. He climbed back down; was not fooled.

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Is there a quick visual way to determine whether a hanger is this Kong type that failed - for future reference? Is Kong stamped onto it, or certain numbers that we could memorize? I'd likely still clip them, but it would be nice to know if you're really hanging it out or not.

 

Side note: I don't really know how to, or have the tools to replace hardware, but I wouldn't mind giving a few bucks to those who do this work at Index.

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I believe that they have Kong-Bonatti stamped on them. I think that relatively few of these hangers were used.

Edited by DCramer

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Kong-Bonatti made hangers in this shape with several different metal types (non-stainless steel, stainless steel, aluminum).

So you need to be able to ID the metal type.

Usually you just look for rust, or the bubbles/expansion/distortion described in these posts.

Another way is to use a magnet. Stainless steel = nonmagnetic (usually). Nonstainless steel = magnetic. Aluminum = nonmagnetic (but not often used for hangers).

 

ASCA (American Safe Climbing Association - http://www.safeclimbing.org) and also Climbing magazine ARI (Anchor Replacement Initiative) will provide free stainless hangers, bolts, tuning forks and drills to people doing bolt replacement. It does take time and effort to do the replacement; that's volunteer work.

 

Darryl, nice work in the thread on rcnw, contacting Greg and listing routes to check for non-stainless hangers.

As noted on that thread, the bolts observed by Tom on Calling Wolfgang are not stainless. So it is not a stainless/nonstainless metal mismatch, unless I'm wrong about the metal type of the failed hangers.

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Darryl, I like the way you state that seeing the hanger in real life is even more shocking than the photos, because it's so true. The thing is literally falling apart in your hand, I had to be careful handling it. Plus, it's such a sandbag, because from the external it looks fine. And yes, the lower bolt that finally held had "Kong-Bonatti" stamped on it, I'm 99% certain it's the same hanger. I'll go ahead an also mention that Dick Cilley and I climbed Dark Crystal yesterday, there is a fixed rope tied through the chains after pitch 3. We decided to rap it, until I came to a massive core shot that scared the crap out of me when I saw my BRD halfway into it. I swung in and put in some pro, we switched to our rope. Nice adrenalin rush! So anyway, whoever that belongs to I recommend you NOT jumar up it!

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Wowza for sure....thanks for the pics and as a side note, I fully expect the plated steel Powers 5 piece (aka Rawl 5 piece) bolts to be failing in a similar manner for our children...if not sooner.

Gotta go with Bill on this one, except I vote for the sooner rather than later. I've replaced two year-old plated Powers in the Gorge that were already well-rusted and replaced lots of ten year-old Powers at Beacon that were already essentially dissolved trash - many of which looked fine from the outside. If you're putting in 3/8" plated Powers 5pc bolts west of the Cascades you're just sinking what will most likely be garbage in a 5-15 year timeframe. Hell of a legacy to leave on your route.

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I wouldn't be overly surprised if sport routes were sabotaged with acid or something.

I nominate this for the baseless and specious speculation of the year.

 

I remember hearing a story about how someone had deliberately rigged a death sport route up there years ago.

 

Apparently, they cut the heads off some bolts and epoxied them to hangers, then epoxied the whole set-up onto a possible line. The person reporting thought the route looked a little hinky, so pull-tested the first hanger and it popped. He then cleaned the whole affair, reporting that even the anchors were glued onto the wall.

 

Sources? Or just urban legend bullshit? Anyone doing this would be committing a felony worthy of investigation by law enforcement at the least, and assault or man-slaughter in worse case scenarios. Plus, when big daddy law was done with them, all their assets would be owned by someone else. This story is just plain not believable, but is a excellent example of rumor mongering.

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Back on the subject. Most, if not all of us are probably lacking in proper metallurgical knowlege.This includes me.

 

My hypothesis: galvanic corrosion was probably not the primary cause. A stress induced oxidation at the upper brake probably caused the lower area to see increased bending stresses, thereby causing the second and lower failure. These forces could have been exacerbated by an improper bolt placement, such as a concavity

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I couldn't imagine aluminum being used for a bolt hanger. Aluminum and stainless steel is a bad combination. I remember how the stainless steel fasteners on sailboat masts would cause the mast to corrode until the fastener popped out. We used to use aluminum rivets whenever possible. If we did use stainless we set them in polysulfide. Part of the ritual of putting the boat away was always washing everything with fresh water, especially the mast.

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Back on the subject. Most, if not all of us are probably lacking in proper metallurgical knowlege.This includes me.

 

My hypothesis: galvanic corrosion was probably not the primary cause. A stress induced oxidation at the upper brake probably caused the lower area to see increased bending stresses, thereby causing the second and lower failure. These forces could have been exacerbated by an improper bolt placement, such as a concavity

 

You claim to lack a metallurgical understanding of this scenario, then offer a metallurgical hypothesis. Please define "stress induced oxidation" and explain how "bending stresses" could result in the degradation of the alloy seen in the pictures posted above.

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What I meant was that with the exception of some engineers and others here, most of us are BS'ing to some degree. Stress corrosion cracking is one type of failure that can result when a metal is stressed in an environment corrosive to it. There are other types of failures similar to this. Grain boundaries can be opened up, and any plating could be cracked.

 

I will be careful in the future to not offend the rigid intellectual standards you have set for CC

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My hypothesis: galvanic corrosion was probably not the primary cause. A stress induced oxidation at the upper brake probably caused the lower area to see increased bending stresses, thereby causing the second and lower failure. These forces could have been exacerbated by an improper bolt placement, such as a concavity

 

Way to call BS, Choda Boy! Aside from disqualifying himself and then continuing anyway, the above statement is just a collection of technical words that he read elsewhere and is trying to cut and paste it into this topic.

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Hi all-

 

I have had ther opportunity to view the failed hanger in question, and strongly believe it is aluminum alloy with an anodized clear coat. The product appears to be non-magnetic, very lightweight compared to steel or ss, and has exfoliating corrosion between layers that looks similar to some old Eiger biners that were part of an ancient belay rig on the diamond some years ago. Aluminum is very sacrificial to the steel bolt in the presence of water. I'll return the hanger to D this week.

 

 

MH

 

PS- I'm not a metallurgist, but work for one who provided a cursory inspection of the hanger and agreed lacking other testing information to the contrary.

 

 

Mark Hanna

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