Friday, 18 December 2015
Donations to my bolting and a bit of info. by Stevie Haston.
So I have had a few more donations from, Ian, Solly, and Laura, thanks very much guys, it's really appreciated, I was bolting today and it's really hard work etc. Laura was asking me for some more info about bolts and I wrote to her and then decided to write about it more in general for other interested climbers. Laura is coming to climb on Gozo so I told her the situation, she has read the UIAA report and is concerned. Well everybody should be concerned. Malta and Gozo are in the top bracket for corrosion cracking according to the UIAA report. I can confirm that and had already made recommendation and made a bolting policy to try to address the problem. Gozo among many other places has been good in trying to sort these things. We only want Titanium on our island from now on, and thats that. It's the only material in a good design which should last for years and years, and give us some confidence.
10 mm expansion stainless steel bolts should not be trusted on Gozo and Malta, in my humble opinion. We had one snap with just side ways tension! 12 mm expansion is no longer used and we have not had one break but we have replaced many. It is bigger than 10mm (obviously) and this fact, quality, and other things being the same, it should be better, and last longer. The worst bolts are mismatched combinations of metals on expansion bolts, and these you will see by their rusty colour. These are not to be trusted. A bolt can be bad, and still be shiny on the outside, but the crack will be in the threads under the hanger!
In Gozo we have replaced nearly all the worst bolts, and are working hard. There is some 304 series which I want to replace, but I don't have the money, or the time. I would need to make time and have money. I want to replace, or beef up every chain with at least one point in titanium as a priority, so that you can at least be totally secure in your lower off.
Do not trust plated rusty hangers. Do not trust 304 here. We have not had any of the glue inns break, so this is a good sign, but I will never say never. I won't be happy till every thing is titanium, and of a suitable design, and length, with the right glue, and the right equipper.
I have seen lots of complaints about the cost of titanium, and yes it is expensive, but so what, it's the best, "cough up", donate. I have seen an editorial in 8a.nu complaining about replacing bolts, I am sorry that's a bad editorial, he should simply show parts of the reasoning by the UIAA writer, and quote a few people like me, who have seen lots of bad bolts around the world.
I must thank everybody again for donating. Strangely I have had no donation from the Maltese, just from Americans, UK, Germans, Swiss, French. Come on you Maltese it's your Island!
It's a good feeling, climbing up rocks, testing yourself, but Russian Roulette is not that much fun. Rusting Russian Roulette not good my dear fellow climbers. We have a great sport, lets keep it great.
Have more fun and success.