Over the years, several rock climbing bolts for sports climbing anchors have emerged. The form, size, substance, installation procedure, and, most crucially, the kind of rock in which they may be consistently utilized to produce the outward and shear loading capacities necessary for adequate protection vary amongst bolt types. Here are some bolt varieties.
The term “carrot bolt” was first used in the 1970s to describe mild steel tapered bolts that were fixed in the rock by pounding them into an undersized drilled hole. They were very popular in the area around the Blue Mountains, which caused problems, especially when the original bolts rusted and broke and glue-in technology became widely available.
The majority of the original hammer-in carrot bolted routes have been re-bolted with stainless steel glue-in carrot bolts, which are fixed in a drilled hole slightly larger than the bolt with a particular adhesive combination.
These bolts require the climber to carry their bolt-plates or detachable hangers to place on the nut that protrudes from the rock. One benefit of these bolts is that once they are in the rock, they are almost impossible to see.
Ring bolts are said to be the most secure type of glued-in bolt. They are usually formed of a stainless steel rod bent to form a loop at one end. They are cemented into a drilled-out hole in the rock so that part of the loop lies below the rock’s surface.
They are undoubtedly the most difficult glue-in bolts to install since a vertical notch must be formed to enter a portion of the loop. To ensure that the bolt surface is notched or sanded, it must also be prepped. Quickdraws may be clipped straight to the ring after the adhesive is cured.
When properly drilled, U-bolts are similar to ring bolts and, when properly installed, look almost identical to them in the rock. They are made of a stainless steel rod bent into the form of a U.
To install them, two parallel holes with the proper spacing must be bored into the rock, and the bolt is fastened with adhesive. The holes must be extremely close to optimally situated, or else the bolt will not be as secure. Most of the time, the surface needs to be prepared, such as by notching or sanding, for the bolt to lock well. Once inserted and glued, U-bolts allow you to clip your quickdraw right into them once inserted and glued.
Expansion bolts are bolts that are held in place in a hard rock drilled hole by a sheath that deforms and expands as the bolt is tightened. The friction of the expanding sheath against the rock supplies the bolt with load-bearing capabilities. Expansion bolts are installed with a permanent hanger. They are more costly than other glue-in bolts, but they are simple to install in hard rock and may be used immediately—no waiting for the glue to cure.
Expansion bolts are not suitable for use in soft rocks such as sandstone. The soft rock crumbles under the strain of the extended sheath, jeopardizing the anchor’s strength. Combining stainless and non-stainless bolts and brackets can speed up corrosion and damage the bolt.
Step 1 Examine the rock. Inspect the area visually and tap it with your hammer to ensure that the entire region of rock surrounding the bolt is firm. Bolts should never be installed in loose rock.
Step 2: Identify the precise location of the bolt. When the operation is finished, the hanger should be flush against a flat area of the wall. To confirm where to drill the hole, visualize where the hanger will be (or arrange it there). Remove any loose crystals or tiny flakes with your hammer that is preventing the hanger from being flush on the wall.
Step 3: Attach the appropriate sized drill bit to your drill and wrap the keeper sling around your wrist or attach it to something so it doesn’t fall off. Hold the drill at a 90-degree angle to the rock and hammer it a few times to make a tiny indentation. To avoid a “rounded off” hole, strike the rock in the same place as when you started the hole.
Step 4: The real labor begins now. Strike the rock with consistent, accurate strokes, turning the drill 1/8 to 1/4 turn between each hit, while keeping the drill perpendicular to the rock. Maintain a consistent rhythm and concentration, or you’ll drill a wavy hole or strike your thumb. Every 50 or so strikes, remove the drill and blow away the dust with your blow tube. Close your eyes, use glasses, or both when doing this.
Step 5 Installing climbing bolts. Once the hole is sufficiently deep (this may take 20–30 minutes depending on the depth of the hole and the kind of rock), gently blow away any leftover dust. Using the drill bit, determine the depth of the hole. It should be almost the same length as the bolt. If you’re unsure, drill the hole a little deeper rather than too shallow.
Step 6 install climbing bolts. Tap the bolt into the hole after attaching the hanger, washer, and nut. With a few gentle taps, it should go all the way in. Adjust the nut so that the bolt may travel as far inside the hole as feasible.
Step 7 Setting up rock climbing bolts. Tighten the nut using a torque wrench while keeping the hanger in place. The bolt will twist somewhat at first, but it should remain in place as you tighten the nut further.
Check the torque guidelines for your bolt and avoid over-tightening. The rear of the bolt expands and secures the whole thing in place when you tighten the nut. The work is now finished.
Rivets come in a variety of styles. Some of them are essentially little expansion bolts. Simply drill them in the same manner as a bolt (as described above), but with a 1/4″ drill bit. Other types of rivets operate by compression. The rivet compresses and deforms as it is pounded in. This compression secures the rivet. Because rivets are smaller than bolts, drilling the hole for them is significantly faster (typically 5 minutes).
Step 1. Drill a hole in the manner indicated above.
Step 2. Tap the rivet into the hole with a plate hanger, taking care not to overdrive it. The rivet should be inserted as far as feasible while still allowing the hanger to be readily removed and replaced. Ideally, you would drill the hole to the exact depth required so that when the rivet is hammered in as far as possible, it protrudes the proper amount from the rock. However, doing this properly on the first try might be challenging.
Recognizing various types of bolts is essential for climbing safety. Some of the most common varieties of glued-in bolts include carrot bolts, ring bolts, and U-bolts. When correctly drilled, U-bolts are comparable to ring bolts in the rock. They are constructed from a stainless steel rod bent into the shape of a U. Expansion bolts are bolts that are kept in place by a sheath that deforms and expands as the bolt is tightened. Measure the depth of the hole and blow away any excess dust.