Author Topic: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...  (Read 4233 times)

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Offline hoipolloi

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My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« on: October 26, 2009, 02:38:08 pm »
My little adventure this weekend has left me with the PCDS (post climbing depression syndrome) worse than ever.  Over the weekend I gained a whole new respect for guys like Greg Barnes, Erik Sloan, Chris Mac, and many of you on this site, who go out there and restore, replace and repair the hardware on routes or put up new routes doing it as you go.

I placed 4 bolts this weekend and it left my hands sore today.  I think back to Never Never Land.  All new anchors if I recall correctly (18 pitches 2-3bolts each = 36-54 bolts, which were non-ASCA paid for out of pocket I presume), there must have been that many rivets and lead bolts replaced as well.

The amount of work that requires is just phenomenal. 


A huge thank you to you people out there doing this sort of thing. 


The question is: What is the fastest way to drill those bad boys?  Normal wall hammer or some sort of larger, heavier mini sledge type hammer?

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2009, 08:50:12 pm »
Well, you never heard this, but rumour has it that some people sneak a power drill up there.  I've never done it, but I bloody would if I owned one [I don't] and thought I could get away with it [don't know how you could]. 

I asked you on the other post if you put in new bolts, or replaced old ones by first pulling the old ones out, then drilling out the holes.  The way we do it, without destroying ourselves, is to use our tuning forks to pull out old bolts, then drill out the old bolt holes to new size, which is way way way faster and way way way easier than drilling a brand new hole.

So please answer on the other post.  And thanks, Lunar Eclipse is a superb route.

Cheers,
Pete 
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Offline Flaccid

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 10:14:10 am »
Cheers to the bolt replacers.  It is hard work!

Offline KevinW

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 03:37:18 pm »
I agree hoipolloi, repairs and replacements of hardware which are more often then not, out of pocket by those who do so are greatly appreciated.
I wish more people would carry a minimum of bolt gear to replace the odd peice of hardware if needed. Even spare hangers would helpful sometimes.
But usually they write in a log or post on the internet with something like;  "The 3rd bolt on P4 is missing and the anchors on P6 need to be replaced"... and assume by doing so that the bolt fairy will magically appear and fix this up for everyone.
Anyone who's ever established and equipped a new route, appreciates how much work it is, and all that nice shiny stainless is not cheap!

Pete... tell me that it's just 1/4" old mank that you're popping out of the rock with your tuning fork?
Because gawd knows I've tried pulling out botched up 3/8" SS Hilti bolts with a tuning fork, and now have a whole new appreciation for their holding power.

Plan A:I went and bought a big bad-assed crow-bar-tuning-fork, drilled a hole through the other end and bar-tacked a sling on it, just to make sure we didn't kill anyone with it.  I got myself in place with the bar and pulled for everything I was worth..
Apparently I'm not worth much, because nothing happened. 
Plan B: Hanging at chest level, off to the side, I'm holding my giant fork in place. My favorite Scotsman raps down until he's standing on the end of the bar. He locks himself off and begins bouncing, then jumping up and down on the bar. I now own an expensive bar with a custom bent handle, and the bolt remains.
Please tell me that you are not popping out 3/8" bolts without a problem? Are we really that weak?

And as far as drilling holes goes (yes own a drill) regardless of whether it's by hand or power, I always drill a 1/4" pilot-hole first. It cuts the total drilling time down substantially, and with a power drill I get at least another 1/3  battery life by doing it this way.

Have you used the shorty bits? The ones with the "X" pattern tip, rather then the "+" ?

These things are the answer.. no matter what the question.
Not only does that tip pattern drill better, but working in closer like that,it's not so awkward and your arm doesn't get as tired.

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2009, 07:47:20 pm »
Hey Maaaaaan. An 'X' and a + are kinda the same thing. Turn it a quarter turn, eh?

All that aside, I've been involved in doing both, though not recently. It is a Massive amount of work to put up an FA or to upgrade a grade VI. Minerals & I spent 11 days on Tribal Rite, pulling manky bolts & drilling 'em out to 3/8ths. We could have just climbed the route in half the time. Hats off to Bryan on that one, it was his idea, I just helped out. Drillin' got pretty old. Fortunately, we had vast beverage stores.
I've climbed through a bunch of times, though. Hadn't even brought the drill. Some sketchy Mank out there, eh? Sheesh.
Hats off, indeed.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 07:49:15 pm by skully »

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 08:35:14 pm »
Yes Kevin, I've only pulled out 1/4-inchers.  It's truly scary how easily some of that stuff comes out!

Yep - those shorty 1/4-inch drill bits are the way to go, for sure.

Kirk - thanks for your fine work on Tribal Rite, I really enjoyed that route.  One wonders what the status of the pitch is now where Kate took her 120-footer, which included the failure of several rivets. 
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline Mike.

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 08:52:32 pm »
Kudos to the givers. I've clipped more fresh fatties at belays that I can recall. ASCA and Erik Sloan are probably behind for the majority of those.

I've heard the plated steel spike and split-shaft bolts are harder to remove than the SS equivalents. I have removed 3/8" SS spike bolts with a form setters claw hammer and a mallet for the brute work, but they don't come easily. I'm sure it depends on the rock quality, oxidation (and juju).
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Offline KevinW

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 09:15:01 pm »
Hey Maaaaaan. An 'X' and a + are kinda the same thing. Turn it a quarter turn, eh?

Nut uh.. if you give a + a quarter turn, granted... it's the same, but not so with an X, no idea why this subtle difference works so well, but the carbide X patterned tips, work that much better it's actually worth the $38-Canuckle-Bucks a pop, that they cost me.


Yes Kevin, I've only pulled out 1/4-inchers.  It's truly scary how easily some of that stuff comes out!

Yep - those shorty 1/4-inch drill bits are the way to go, for sure.

Kirk - thanks for your fine work on Tribal Rite, I really enjoyed that route.  One wonders what the status of the pitch is now where Kate took her 120-footer, which included the failure of several rivets. 

Thanks Pete.. I doubt Kate knows this, or cares.. but it was her photos of all those deployed screamers, (some with the messed up rivets still attached) and accompanying details, that prompted a group of us to get together and have Yates ship us up a big box full of every type of screamer they make. We cracked the box open in the pub, and passed them out like condoms.
Yates couldn't have had a better marketing campaign if they tried, I always used a few screamers, but now tag screamers on everything the least bit questionable!

Also.. I saw where you asked hoipolloi in the Lunar Eclipse thread..

3.  Do you have proper tuning forks?  If knott, why knott?  This problem is easily remedied - just send Theron Moses a #1 and #3 LA, and he'll cut you a nice slot in each of them, and you'll be good to go.

I never did see an answer to that, and am not sure that everyone knows exactly what you are referring to.
My *tuning fork* was machined into the end of a flat pry-bar. The end with the 90? bend, so I can hold it perpendicular to the rock and drive the fork down behind the bolt easily.
Do you think you could post a photo of one of these LA tuning forks here?
.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 11:31:34 am by KevinW »

Offline scottydo

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 12:00:57 am »
you've got to give props to those who keep those routes just a little bit safer. bravo!

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 07:24:46 am »
My tuning forks are locked away in storage in Yosemite and not accessible to me now that I'm back home.  But maybe Theron has some photos?  Not exactly rocket science - just a #1 LA and a #3 LA with a slot cut [ground?] down the center, and with the end of the piton sharpened into a flat point to get under the bolt hanger.  I use them along with the same which are made from Bugaboos, which I sometimes need to use on tight-fitting hangers.
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline Mike.

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2009, 07:34:06 am »
TFs work pretty well overall, but they're not suited for heavy use. They will eventually curl to the point of uselessness when hammered on enough. Tho I've used TFs I've always preferred a form setters claw hammer. It's a wedge and a pry bar--and you'll never hit your finger. It can remove a 3/8" SS Spike bolt. I'd like to see a TF do that.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline T Moses

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 09:12:32 pm »
Ask and ye shall receive:

3/8"


1/4"


I mill the ASCA tuning forks.  Ask Greg through the ASCA website for a tuning fork if you need one.

Offline YetAnotherDave

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2009, 11:20:49 pm »
Thanks for the reminder Theron - just sent Greg an email.  Hopefully one of those shiny forks will be heading my way soon.  Lots of mank on the aid routes in squamish...

Do they actually ring like a tuning fork?  Tuning my cello to an old piton would be awesome  :)

Offline T Moses

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2009, 12:07:03 am »
They do ring "like" a real tuning.  I don't think you'll be tuning anything up with it besides your area mank.

Offline Mike.

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2009, 06:18:18 am »
Sweet lineup, Theron! Love the big daddy, looks to mean business. Could you carve a slot like that in my claw hammer? (For going rate, of course.)
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline T Moses

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2009, 09:00:40 am »
Yes, Mike, I can slot that bad boy.  I do bolt removal equipment as a service to the community.  So, that would be no charge to you.  You want to ship it?

Offline YetAnotherDave

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2009, 09:17:47 am »
Yes, Mike, I can slot that bad boy.  I do bolt removal equipment as a service to the community.

You're a good man, Theron Moses.

Offline Erik Sloan

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2009, 08:59:13 am »
Thanks for the Love fellas.

A little maintenance can go along way. If you're into big walls enough to be on a specialized forum like this do yourself a favor and borrow your friend's bolt kit and find a boulder in the creek bed to practice drilling rivets and bolts. Learn how to remove deadheads--here we all talk about the specialized tools we like like "butterknifes", ect. but if you're just playing around on a mungie rock by yourself you can be creative and see how easy it is to place a head with a lost arrow in a pinch, or remove a deadhead delicately with a knifeblade or a 1/4" drillbit(not saying that these are ideal techniques just saying you don't have to think of these new skills as requiring specialized gear. The gear helps tons, for sure, but if you're just cleaning up one or two placements you could make a lot of things work).

Leaving a route less fettered than you found it--whether thats' by removing a rat's nest of webbing on a lowerout piece, replacing rivets/bolts, cleaning deadheads, replacing a wornout lowerout piece,ect. is really fun. Don't take my word for it though, hahahaha.

What really blows me away is how much we're still learning about all this stuff. When Dave Turner put up his El Cap routes in '04,'05 machine heads just pounded straight in the rock were still so widely accepted that no one questioned his hardware choices. I think we still have a long way to go on figuring rivets out, as the 1/4" buttonheads while perhaps as good as we have commercially available now leave a lot to be desired. Fun to see this sport at such a state of infancy.

many cheers
e
 



Offline lambone

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2009, 12:11:34 pm »
fwiw Nanook/Mike I have aquired two brand new Hurricanes. if you are needing one lemme know. Got the 2nd one on ebay for $50 bucks! no one bid on it! last year one that got posted on supertopo went for $250!
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 12:14:48 pm by lambone »

Offline Mike.

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2009, 03:02:01 pm »
You are the man, Lambone. Thanks a lot. My old H. drill is going strong. Gabe said he's seen two of them break in normal use--wow. Makes ya think about keeping one on reserve.

Theron, you also are the man. Thanks for the good will and, as always, the good work. I'm thinking I'll buy another hammer, the next handle length up, and have you carve that one out for 3/8, the one I have could be modded for smaller sizes. Y'know, as long as we're shipping stuff around.


You guys walk the walk, good on ya. Hard to make excuses with guys like you around.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 03:03:41 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2009, 04:53:02 pm »
Theron - have you considered making the slope on the end of the LA's less aggressive?  In other words, a sharper angle?  I'm just wondering if the angle is too "blunt" for a tight-fitting hanger?

Erik - you write that the 1/4" Rawl buttonhead rivets "leave a lot to be desired" or words to that effect.  What do you mean exactly?  P.S.  Check your email as buddy from Holland needs some beta, and you've got my stuff!

Cheers,
Pete
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline T Moses

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2009, 12:04:21 am »
Mike:  Email me to get a ship to address.  I'll fire up the plasma torch for those bad boys.  Hehehe..... I get to play with a 15,000 degree "flame".

PTPP:  Speaking of having stuff in storage, you found my ruskies yet?  Yeah I could make the ramp on the tuning forks less agressive.  I copied the original that was given to me. The idea is that you get under it with a thinner piton first, but you knew that already.  What are you finding is the need for the less agressive angle?  Are you wanting to use just a tuning fork and skip the thinner stuff or does the ramp get in the way with normal use for you? 

I think Nanook is saying that the 1/4" Buttonhead bolt has proven to be an anchor that doesn't last long.  The tortured metal and freeze/thaw cycles kill the holding power in a relatively short time.  I'm talking compared to a Fixe Triplex that is designed as a climbing anchor.  The evolution in climbing anchors is happening right now.  We are learning and striving to come up with better, longer lasting solutions.  We often don't all agree but we are moving forward with the work. 

Dave:  Thanks for the kind words.  I believe in giving back to the community and leaving things better than you found them.  Like Nanook said if everybody does a little to help out our cliffs/playgrounds will be a better place.  Milling the tuning forks was a way that I could uniquely help the community at large.

Offline Mike.

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2009, 08:09:39 am »
Got ya, Thereon. The addy on your biz card current? TIA!
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline T Moses

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2009, 10:56:01 pm »
Yup.  Ship it and I'll get it done.

Offline Erik Sloan

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2009, 04:15:21 pm »
Thanks Theron,

Yeah Pete, the cratering that happens around the hole where a compression bolt is placed significantly reduces the lifespan of said bolt. And with the 1/4" buttonheads they have proved to get "stuck" in their forced shut position and come out, even when near new, with relatively low outward forces.

You should have seen how easy the bolts on Octopussy came out. I decided to replace the tension/penji point on pitch 5 as an after thought because I was able to swing over to it easily when rapping from 6 to 4. It was a 1/4" buttonhead, didn't look more than 5 years old(I guess T2 and EE could say if it was there in '04 when they went through), definitely not 10 years old at any rate. I clipped into the bolt below and then realized that I had left the tuning for 170' above. Knowing that this bolt had had significant sideways tension applied to it(you do a twenty foot sideways tension off that piece) I clipped the funkness in and decided to just give it a couple outward funks. Came out on the third funk smooth as butter.

The problem I see with the 1/4" buttonheads is that to get reasonably good holding power you would want perfect holes(which is nearly impossible when hand drilling). Unfortunately, the more perfect hole you drill the bolts tend to crater the rock around the surface more, creating instability where the bolt is loaded and thereby weakening the whole setup.

Bigwall climbing is so young, and we love it so much I have no doubt that we will find our way to the best, longest-lasting fixed anchors for our applications. Each generation of climbers has learned from and built on the knowledge of the previous generation, and bigwallers are certainly no different. We'll get there on the bolt thing, eventually, if we keep our eye to reducing impact and preserving the rock.

cheers
e
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 10:32:39 am by nanook »

Offline lunchbox

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Re: My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2009, 08:36:46 pm »
hey Nanook, thanks for all your hard work!

 I tensioned off that 1/4"er on pitch 5 of Octopussy a couple of years ago.  We got to the anchor at the end of pitch 6 placed a couple of pins to back up the bolts and bailed.  Those bolts sucked and we didn't feel good about continuing without a better kit. 

Those 1/4" split shaft bolts with a treaded head where placed around the same time a bad batch was in circulation if I'm remembering correctly.  Can you post a picture of them if you still have em?