Bolting Philosophy

Drilling the 7B_Heart Wall

Equipping new sport routes places a great responsibility on the bolter as the choice of bolt used and the location is decided for every climber choosing to climb the route following the first ascent. Sport climbing is principally focussed on pushing physical limits by eliminating the need for leader based protection and assumed reliability in each bolt placement.

Climbers equipping routes are faced with a simple choice; expansion bolt or resin bolt? To an extent the situation can decide the choice i.e remote areas where resin is not available and/or bolts that are required for immediate use.

For the majority of sport climbing locations however the use of resin bolts presents no particular issue and in the longterm, resin bolts offer an overwhelmingly better fixed protection solution.

Resin bolts or glue-ins offer the following;

1. Significantly stronger bolts than a comparable depth expansion bolt
2. Cannot be stolen
3. No parts that can rotate loose
4. No karabiner damage
5. Can be abseiled from by directly threading the rope through the eye
6. Typically have greater corrosion resistance
7. Single piece unit – dissimilar metal corrosion is not an issue
8. Can improve holding power by installing a longer bolt
9. Best overall system for long life
10. The only sustainable fixed protection system (titanium resin bolts) for SCC affected regions
11. The only type of fixing suitable for all rock types

I choose to equip routes such that bolt placements are reasonably spaced and consistent with the rhythm of the climb. I do not equip climbs with long run-outs simply because the level of difficulty is easy.


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