Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
MrGecko

Barad Dur - Route Upgrade

Recommended Posts

Saturday I was back out to Wolf Rock to finish rebolting the Barad Dur line with Juan. After climbing this line a few weeks earlier and noting that there were still a few 1/4" bolts on route as well as at a couple belay stations, I thought it was time to complete the upgrade.

 

A number of older Leeper 1/4'ers got chopped as did the thin hanger SMC 1/4" time bombs. Some of the bolts snapped as I tried to loosen the hangers and others broke with a single hit from my hammer with maybe 50lbs force!

 

Any remaining 1/4" bolts are either close to newer bolts (ie. you don't need to clip them), in places where gear could be used or are located at belay stations as a third bolt (I typically use those to hang, flake & organize the rope but not much else). The route is still "sporty" in places but at least you have the same level of protection as when those older bolts were first put in.

 

Apart from having to climb with a couple of heavy packs of bolting gear, we had a great time on the route and made fairly good time getting back to the car in about 7 hrs including all the rebolting.

 

Thanks to the Portland Vicinity Re-Bolting Group, The Mazamas and the American Safe Climbing Association for their support with this project.

 

12014981_10153274967034302_4902329861125655974_o.jpg

This 1/4'er is no longer

 

12032731_10153274967204302_2369366231672427509_o.jpg

This old SMC now replaced with this stainless steel beasty.

 

11921827_10153274967549302_4490662493829757471_o.jpg

Belay station with 1 x 3/8" and 2 x 1/4" bolts. That 1/4" in the center looks reasonable but with about a half turn or so the nut it snapped off in my hand.

 

11958066_10153274967819302_2048047524903398576_o.jpg

Belay station is now bomber.

 

12030464_10153274967859302_4276990032285164966_o.jpg

These might as well been just glued to the face...snapped with one hit of the hammer at about ~50lbs force I would estimate.

Note that these bolts protected a 40-50' run out and that the belay station below was also relying on a 1/4" bolt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! May I ask which pitches were updated? Also, does anything know anything about (Chris Fralick's?) route "The Steps of Cirith Ungol." There is a brief mention in Greg Orton's guidebook but I can find nor hear nothing else. Is it remotely safe or is it a bunch of these kind of quarter-inchers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cirith ungol's got good bolts - nice to know barad dur's in better shape as well

 

gotta shrink them photos! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I really appreciate that you left some select pieces of history for everyone. Any asswipe, like me, can easily bust off all the old shit and plug in new stuff with a power drill. The real mastery is upgrading what needs upgrading while leaving the feel and memory of the history behind for every other climber to discover or remember. It sounds like you used your brains to do exactly that,and although no one can ever please everyone, it's a mental game that needs to be played out and I'd bet no one will be unhappy with the results. Good on ya for doing it that way.

 

Thank you both, that's the way to roll.

 

ps, don't shirk the photos, they are most likely more important than all the words in the thread:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

do you mean why, if they're new, are they 1/4 inch and not something like 3/8?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ivan: What I was asking is why do some of those 1/4" bolts in the pictures look brand new (no rust)? I have heard of a bird or two that still places 1/4" bolts (in remote areas, if they are hand drilling), but usually associate 1/4" bolts with antiquity. Is this a case of the former? How old are they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

short answer is i don't know - different materials, different ages, different exposure to water, was rusted when it was first placed? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George, I don't see any new 1/4' bolts in the pics. There are a couple of 1/4" bolts that look like they don't have much rust, but that's just surface level. You have to remember that Barad Dur is mostly protected by roofs, so the bolts on the upper pitches rarely see water (unless they are in a spot that seeps). So externally they won't rust much, because they dry off any moisture pretty quickly. However, I find that inside the bolt hole, it rusts just like any other bolt exposed to rain, as moisture gets trapped in there, and begins the rusting process.

Edited by mksportn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And to answer your age question, those hangers are the old (recalled) SMC hangers, made between 1962 and 1984, so they are at least 32 years old, and Barad Dur was put up in 1972, so I'd guess those hangers and bolts are original to the FA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a question for the Mazama Historian GZ. However, the age sequence (from memory so don't yell at me) went like this:

 

SMC - first hangers were plated steel. The rustyish one is such. The SMC logo is read normal when the hanger is installed.

 

They ditched the plated steel and went with thin Stainless. The SMC logo is still read normal when the hanger is installed.

 

Later, and I don't remember the dates but probably the 80s, they beefed the stainless thickness up and rotated the logo 90 degrees. As any "rebolter" will tell you, these thicker SS are the only version worth a crap to hold up well and have some longevity.

 

So, those SMC's in the photo appear to be both the earlier plated steel/and SS versions. Coupled with Michas info on age and overhangs, and that's probably the full meal deal explanation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! If those bolts are that old, that is amazing that they look that good (at least on the outside). Almost unbelievable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly why lack of external rust is not a good indicator of bolt quality... I hear that all the time "Oh, its not rusty, its fine". Then I pull/break the said bolt, and its super rusty inside the hole, and/or snaps off easily. If it's not stainless, its going to go bad in this area. question is just how long, and I'd say from what I've seen, that a non-SS bolt that is past 25 years old is a pretty solid cutoff date and should be replaced, visually rusty or not. I have yet to find a bolt older than 15 years without substantial rust, and I've found too many that were in the 5-10 year old range that already showed signs of heavy rusting inside of the bolt hole.

ONLY SS should be used! Drives me crazy that a few people are still using non stainless bolts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i only place bolts made of mithril - hella better for hauling 600 feet up the route too :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×