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TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use
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matasw


May 21, 2012, 7:24 PM
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TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use
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A few questions about using and setting up anchors at the top of TR crags.

Is judging the safety of an old anchor an art understood through experience? I went to a local crag this weekend and it had 1inch diameter eye bolt of what appeared to be steel or iron on the top of it. It appears to be bomber by my judgement. But looking at it, it appeared to be old however when I weighted the hell out of it, it didn't budge. But, how can I really know how old it is, how deep its drilled into the rock or if it's safe to use? This is not a destination crag and appears to be rarely used. Another local crag I frequent has a concrete post where I would have the same questions.

This then poses the next question. If I know i'm going to frequent a crag and i'm unsure of the existing anchors and the only other choice is using tree's can i place fixed anchors? In my eyes, LNT would tell me that placing a bolt or two would be better overall then continually anchoring and wearing out a tree. But this isn't exactly LNT, more minimizing overall trace. I know the legal issues of placing a bolt on a crag must vary park to park


(This post was edited by matasw on May 21, 2012, 7:26 PM)


socalclimber


May 22, 2012, 5:25 AM
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Re: [matasw] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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Yes it takes time and experience to learn anchors. New or old.

There's a lot more than just the land managers when it comes to fixed anchors. You really should start asking around and see what the locals have to say as well.

The area may well not be worth setting fixed pro to begin with.

There are a lot of issues at stake here. Your best bet is to find someone who knows what's going and what they are doing before you do anything.

Look at the bright side, at least your asking BEFORE you act.

Many years ago I thought I had found the "Next Rad Crag". So I went up and placed a bunch of anchor bolts at the top. The truth is the area was a shit pile, but I was sure I had discovered the next great climbing area. A few months went by and I got a phone call along with a 20 minute ass chewing from a local. Not only did I bolt a horrendous choss pile, but I also found out I was on private property to boot. After getting my butt chewed I ask the guy if he would go out with me and show me how to remove the bolts and patch the holes. Which he did. Then I had to call the property owner and apologize. Which I did.

A very humbling experience.

You're not going to find the answers you're looking for on the Internet. Only advice and opinions. You need to find someone who actually knows what they are doing.

Good luck.


Partner cracklover


May 22, 2012, 11:10 AM
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Re: [matasw] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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matasw wrote:
A few questions about using and setting up anchors at the top of TR crags.

Is judging the safety of an old anchor an art understood through experience? I went to a local crag this weekend and it had 1inch diameter eye bolt of what appeared to be steel or iron on the top of it. It appears to be bomber by my judgement. But looking at it, it appeared to be old however when I weighted the hell out of it, it didn't budge. But, how can I really know how old it is, how deep its drilled into the rock or if it's safe to use? This is not a destination crag and appears to be rarely used. Another local crag I frequent has a concrete post where I would have the same questions.

This then poses the next question. If I know i'm going to frequent a crag and i'm unsure of the existing anchors and the only other choice is using tree's can i place fixed anchors? In my eyes, LNT would tell me that placing a bolt or two would be better overall then continually anchoring and wearing out a tree. But this isn't exactly LNT, more minimizing overall trace. I know the legal issues of placing a bolt on a crag must vary park to park

socalclimber gave you excellent advice regarding the big picture.

Regarding this particular anchor, I'd suggest you build your anchor off the existing bolts, and back it up with a line to something fixed (like a solid tree). Leave a couple inches slack, so the tree won't be helping support your anchor.

Then go to the bottom, climb a few feet up the route and take a toprope hang. If that holds, try a slightly longer fal. Continue with this until you've taken a slightly bigger fall than what you're likely to take while toproping. If everything holds, go back up top to inspect everything. If anything looks amiss, ignore the bad bolts, and create your own anchor.

Even better would be if you have a third member of your party who can keep an eye on the bolts as you're testing them, to see if they flex at all.

Cheers,

GO


Partner drector


May 22, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Re: [matasw] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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If you are counting the size of the eye hole, You can make a one inch diameter eye out of a paper clip or you can make a one inch diameter eye out of 3 inch thick chrome-moly steel. Anything in between takes some sort of mechanical knowledge or basic understanding of engineering.

Then how far into the rock does this go? 3/4 inch or 23 feet?

Experience is not really useful because you might be lucky for 50 years when all along, you were using substandard anchors and thinking they were fine. Experience itself does not teach you anything unless you have a good ratio of successes to failures and you can';t afford that in rock climbing.

Get some knowledge from someone or somewhere.

Dave


knubs


May 25, 2012, 3:07 PM
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Re: [matasw] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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simple answer is just dont rely only on bolts only for a TR anchor. i've never fully trusted bolts (with good reason) and i always put a cam or something in when using bolts. even if the cam is 20' back and slightly slacked on the master point. it's a backup that hopefully never even has to get used. this always makes me feel safe when im sitting there looking at the bolts and putting my face in my palm.


shockabuku


May 25, 2012, 7:57 PM
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Re: [knubs] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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knubs wrote:
i've never fully trusted bolts (with good reason)

What good reason is that? I think most people would call not trusting all bolts paranoia, not good reasoning.


iknowfear


May 26, 2012, 3:09 AM
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Re: [knubs] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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knubs wrote:
simple answer is just dont rely only on bolts only for a TR anchor. i've never fully trusted bolts (with good reason) and i always put a cam or something in when using bolts. even if the cam is 20' back and slightly slacked on the master point. it's a backup that hopefully never even has to get used. this always makes me feel safe when im sitting there looking at the bolts and putting my face in my palm.

right. if you ever lead sport, never lead on a single bolt. always climb with double ropes, in two lines of bolts, with two quickdraws per bolt. and wear two harnesses. you need redundancy!

on a more serious note: if you feel the bolts are questionable, then add stuff untill you feel its safe.

edited to add: "dont rely only on a single bolt for an anchor" makes more sense.


(This post was edited by iknowfear on May 26, 2012, 3:11 AM)


Partner j_ung


May 26, 2012, 5:35 AM
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Re: [iknowfear] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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iknowfear wrote:
knubs wrote:
simple answer is just dont rely only on bolts only for a TR anchor. i've never fully trusted bolts (with good reason) and i always put a cam or something in when using bolts. even if the cam is 20' back and slightly slacked on the master point. it's a backup that hopefully never even has to get used. this always makes me feel safe when im sitting there looking at the bolts and putting my face in my palm.

right. if you ever lead sport, never lead on a single bolt. always climb with double ropes, in two lines of bolts, with two quickdraws per bolt. and wear two harnesses. you need redundancy!

on a more serious note: if you feel the bolts are questionable, then add stuff untill you feel its safe.

edited to add: "dont rely only on a single bolt for an anchor" makes more sense.

Hang on a sec... knubs, do I remember correctly that you climb a lot at Crowder's Mountain? If so, that's not paranoia. You're smart not to trust single bolts there.


iknowfear


May 26, 2012, 5:50 AM
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Re: [j_ung] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
iknowfear wrote:
knubs wrote:
simple answer is just dont rely only on bolts only for a TR anchor. i've never fully trusted bolts (with good reason) and i always put a cam or something in when using bolts. even if the cam is 20' back and slightly slacked on the master point. it's a backup that hopefully never even has to get used. this always makes me feel safe when im sitting there looking at the bolts and putting my face in my palm.

right. if you ever lead sport, never lead on a single bolt. always climb with double ropes, in two lines of bolts, with two quickdraws per bolt. and wear two harnesses. you need redundancy!

on a more serious note: if you feel the bolts are questionable, then add stuff untill you feel its safe.

edited to add: "dont rely only on a single bolt for an anchor" makes more sense.

Hang on a sec... knubs, do I remember correctly that you climb a lot at Crowder's Mountain? If so, that's not paranoia. You're smart not to trust single bolts there.

ok, in that case I appologize, knubs!

cheers,


Marylandclimber


May 26, 2012, 6:18 AM
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Re: [matasw] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2TffK8iGZI
Best Link is here...


dan2see


May 26, 2012, 3:56 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
knubs wrote:
i've never fully trusted bolts (with good reason)

What good reason is that? I think most people would call not trusting all bolts paranoia, not good reasoning.

Where I learned to climb, we'd sometimes find these rusty 1/4-inch hardware thingies attached to the rock.

Our rule was: When you find a bolt, go ahead and clip it. Then back it up with a reliable nut. Piton was a bonus.


knubs


May 26, 2012, 4:27 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] TR Anchor Bolt Setup / Use [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
knubs wrote:
i've never fully trusted bolts (with good reason)

What good reason is that? I think most people would call not trusting all bolts paranoia, not good reasoning.

i was out with a friend a few weeks ago and we were on top of a climb and were planning to rap down. i checked the bolts and they seemed good and the hangars were tight, the rock was good around it too. i threaded the rings and threw my rope. my buddy hooked in and went first. after he was down i hooked up and checked the bolts again. i realized this time that both hangars were very loose and one of the bolts pulled a little and the bolt could be wiggled in the hole now. it really looked as if they were about to pop. i pulled my rope back up and said F* that. i found another set of rings close by, but one bolt was a smaller non climbing bolt from the hardware store epoxied in.
at this point it set in to me that some people just dont know what they are doing. the bolts were epoxied in (expansion bolts seem like they would have been a better choice) and very poorly obviously. this honestly kind of shook me. that was the first time i ever felt truly sketched while climbing. i had to sit up there for an hour and relax before starting a sketchy down climb because i would not rap on those.
so basically, it's not that you cant trust a bolt. i trust bolts even still for raps but sometimes you just cant trust the other guy who placed them...

(let me add that the area where i found the bolts has a lot of good looking well placed bolts. this one wall in the area that see's little traffic is the exception.)


j_ung wrote:
Hang on a sec... knubs, do I remember correctly that you climb a lot at Crowder's Mountain? If so, that's not paranoia. You're smart not to trust single bolts there.

nope. i climb and live in Joshua Tree. our granite is solid for the most part, put people arent always as solid...


iknowfear wrote:

right. if you ever lead sport, never lead on a single bolt. always climb with double ropes, in two lines of bolts, with two quickdraws per bolt. and wear two harnesses. you need redundancy!

on a more serious note: if you feel the bolts are questionable, then add stuff untill you feel its safe.

edited to add: "dont rely only on a single bolt for an anchor" makes more sense.

i wouldnt go that extreme, but with a TR, why not spend an extra minute throwing in an extra piece? if you can add more redundancy i see no reason not to(until you start getting to like 8 pieces Tongue )


(This post was edited by knubs on May 26, 2012, 4:39 PM)


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