Rock Climbing/Mountaineering Climbing Areas Climbing Techniques Equipment Analysis Training Techniques Local/Foreign Climbers Man on the Rope Man on the Rope
Episode 4 In this episode our aim is… …NOT to teach you how to bolt the routes. How I am bolting the routes, what I am using with which equipment and style I am bolting the routes is the thing that we wanna show. because we get these mails the most: “We are curious about how are you bolting the routes?” “Can you make an episode on this?” Our aim is not to teach how to bolt a route but now, we will show you an episode about the way I am bolting a route and how are those routes bolted in a climbing spot. I hope you will enjoy it! Take care guys! Merci! Mainly there are two types of bolting: Firstly, bolting bottom to top. Let’s say, we came to a place for the first time and if there is no chance to reach the top by foot, we prefer to bolt it from bottom to top. Of course while doing this we need a belayer and climbing equipment. Whereas, while bolting a route from top to bottom, we walk to the top of the crag normally. By repelling down from top to bottom, we finalize the route line and sometimes try it on top rope. After putting the marks, we make the drilling process. However, today I will bolt a route over the sea. Maybe this will be the first route over the sea in Sector Ceneviz/Liman. That is why we will bolt it with the help of Elif’s belaying. The way we will do it is, as I said, from bottom to top. First of all we have the climbing equipment: Our climbing rope, harness, belayer with… …his/her harness and belay device. I prefer to carry all the bolting equipment with me. Because the drill I am using is not so heavy, I prefer to keep it with me rather that pulling it later. The equipment we are using are these ones. First of all, we have the removable bolts In Turkish, the meaning is, temporary bolt. To put these equipment in place, first I decide on the clipping posiiton. I put a mark there with the chalk. And then I try, at this position, whether everyone can reach that point. I try not to put it so high or so low because I want to catch a middle point for the people that are taller or shorter that me. While putting the mark and doing these carefully, I also check the rock with a hammer. If that sounds like a deep, nice limestone, I prefer that point. Then, I check if the surface is suitable for bolting. And with the help of a quickdraw, I check the position of the rope and the quickdraw. After the check, I use a 1/2” tip for drilling because my removable bolts are suitable for 1/2”. After drilling, I clean the hole with a hose and even with a very tiny brush if possible. After cleaning it well, so that it won’t slip, I use the removable bolt like the… …friends we use in mountaineering and trad climbing. Without pulling it fully, but after pulling it half, I put it into the hole. It stucks in there with the help of these nails so it becomes my temporary protection. I make the clip and continue climbing. This process goes like this: I come to a point and leave a mark for clipping. Here we have the skyhooks I use. Hooks basically in Turkish. I prefer to use a double system. Petzl and some other brands has a nice system for that. You put this and then pull the rope for right positioning. You can come near rock or go back by adjusting rope. After positioning myself, when my hands become free as I said, again I drill for my 1/2” bolts. I clean it and put my removable bolt. I make the clip, gather my stuff. I continue climbing, and come to another clip and another… I climb till the anchor point like this. As I reach the anchor point, I ususally prefer a removable bolt. I prefer 10mm because 12mm is too thick. I use an expansion bolt. We are NOT using the expansion bolts here, especially in the south of Turkey because even though the rock is solid, limestone, sometimes we have so many tufa climbing. Since I usually bolt overhang routes, expansion bolts can loosen and start to whirl after time. And if the rock is soft in the tufa sections, expansion bolt can loosen and the ring can drop off. This means for us to rebolt and renew the routes. This extra job takes so much time and afford later on. And this disturbs me because, for example, you come to a crag and there are old, rusty bolts. Or some unused bolts and there are some new ones near that. These are thing that really makes me upset. It is better to leave the minumum mark on the nature and do good quality jobs in the nature. If we are near the sea, we never use galvanized bolts. We always use stainless steel. Anyway, I put this to the anchor point temporarily. Usually with 10mm dip, I drill this a little more. Aften my job is done I find rock or herb to fill inside or it becomes a home to the spiders… …you don’t even realize that. I don’t even realize after time passes. While using this temporary bolt, of course, I hammer that in place. After screwing it with a spanner or ratchet, this ring opens in the inside and stucks in there. It becomes reliable after stucked inside. I screw it moderately not too much. After these, I position myself there and make a fixed line. With this fixed line, I repell down with my grigri and in place of the removable bolts, this time, I use 12mm dip and widen the holes for real bolts. I prefer to use Petzl collinox bolts at this point. The bolt is 10mm and it has a very nice shape here. One can fit 2 or 3 carabiners if needed. And since the carabines fit well, it is better for overhanging routes. After drilling, again, the most important thing is cleaning that hole very well, brushing… …cleaning it again, brushing it again and doing this several times. Even though the glue we are using is high quality, a clean hole is necessary for us. I keep doing this until coming to the bottom. After this I usually use my industrial harness. I prefer using this, while going to the top again because it is more comfortable. And I also use this seat, Petzl podium. I like this a lot as well because, after a while… you feel pain working in a normal climbing harness. Especially, there won’t be blood flow to your legs. Industial harness and seat are more comfortable for that. As for the glue, we usually use Hilti HIT-RE 500. That is recommended, or the Fis EM of Fischer. These are more liquid and don’t gets solid very fast. And these are resistant to the water. Even though there is water coming out of the hole, this epoxy even works with the water. And it allows you to work before it gets solid. While you are reaching another bolt, it allows you to work without in a hurry and in stress. The most important tip is, if we are using the glue for the first time, it’s better to pour some of it into a bin at first. As you are doing, this you see that… HIT-RE 500 has a pink and Fisher has a gray color but in the beginning it comes out like while or black. It becomes gray later on. We pour it till reaching that right color ro make it ready. Since I want to puts the bolts in place very well, I clean the surrounfings after gluing. So that it fits well into the rock. I come till to the top by doing these and then put the anchor point. For anchor point, we again usually use stainless steel. Two bolts and a chain in between, if possible. Also a ring and a carabiner or maybe with two rings. After putting the anchor point, the job is done. There is also the period we need to wait… that varies according to the type of epoxy so that these get solid. Usually, I leave the cleaning of the rock for the other day. I use different kinds of brushes for that cleaning. I have a wire brush and another wire one as well. I also have bigger and smaller ones. By cleaning, we make it ready for climbing. We climb it ourselves to give it a grade. We say approximately, like it can be V+(5a) or VI-(5b). After us, some more people climb it and it gets even cleaner. We sometimes need even more detailed cleaning. We drop the bigger rocks and try get rid of all the possible dangers. But still one needs to be carefull in a new bolted routes. We need to know that both as a climber and belayer. And the grades may vary. It gets confirmed after people climb it more and more. Especially, it can be hard to grade some kind of routes. I mean, it can be like a VI+(6a) or VII-(6a+). It ‘s hard to feel that. But this is the main process. Then we add these routes to the guide books and when you open your guide book, you can see the style, grade, bolt number and lenght of the route. And you climb safe according to those. Some routes can be 35-40 meters. We always need to put a knot at the end of the rope. I check it. Now, I will drill. Needs to be cleaned. We place it like this. And we check it, ok. Since this is an easy route, we try to keep the bolts near to prevent bad falls. Yes, from here I just put another mark. Rock! This one is not good for the hook but… … I guess it will hold while we are working. Like friend, without pulling much, I put the removable. I pull that a little, it’s fine, ok. Then I make the clip. I will take down all these rock on the left of me. These are bad blocks, I will not touch them now. If we touch them, especially the ones like this… …very bad ones, will come down. That is why I will step on kindly like this. So that they won’t fall over the belayer. Like this, we call it “butterfly climbing”, lightly. Be carefull! Rock may fall. Rock! A little bit. There may be scorpions inside, we need to be carefull. I will throw to the sea since we are over sea, like this. It will feed the fishes, I guess. Rock! If I fall, it will be like this most probably. For the safety of the removable bolts. Like friends, without pulling so much… Yes, this fit well. Maybe I can put this one a little to the left. I am thinking… I will put a little to the left because that bolt will be helpful for the bolting of the other route. Thinking that, I am climbing a little towards the right. This one is a place where the hooks fit very well. I am sitting slowly, it seems nice. I sounds nice. Since this one is expansion bolt… …I am hammering at this stage. Now, I can consider myself as safe. Usually I screw expansion bolts by giving a little weight. Like this… Since it is there mechanically, I think I am safe. We coming to the end, the ring stucked. After drilling the anchor point holes, we will be almost done. After, I will go down… …and widen all the holes as real bolt holes. And while going up I will glue all with the epoxy. And I chech the anchor like this usually. I pull the rope a little… If my anchor will be here, how the rope goes down. And how if it will be here… Looking to the line… Yes, I think I will choose the right one. Herb! This place is good, I guess. Now we have a ready anchor point like this. There are different kinds of anchors. This is a ready anchor of a brand, with two circle bolts, one ring and one steel carabiner. I think, it is good for easy routes. If we put like this. I guess it will be nice. Just like this. Yes, the anchor marks are ready. I think, we can drill the first hole here. I prefer to drill the one on the below first. Since it will be the main point with the repelling ring, if this one is not strong, we will find another place. I am marking this like that so that… …there will be equal weight on both one. Now, I will put my own rope to the temporary bolt. I will make it as a fixed line and repel down. While repelling, I will widen the removable bolt holes. Then, I will take the epoxy and other equipments from the ground. I will make the glue process and finish the route. The last job is cleaning, of course. The holes that I drilled for the removable bolts, as I said, I will use them for the real bolts. I took my removable. I will widen the hole. We are using Petzl 10mm collinox. Since they are 316, it means stainnless steel. Here in the seaside, they endure without getting stained. I drill 12mm hole for the 10mm bolt so that there will be space for the epoxy as well. But I am also making some marks with 10mm tip, so that the surroundings also fit well. Than, it stucks better. Yes, it fits very well just like this. We will took all the dirt inside the hole. We also have special hole brush for that purpose. To reach all the parts of the hole. There are some other blowing pumps as well. But… …I prefer hose. It’s a nice breathing exercise. Yes, we will do this process for the all holes. Then, it will be ready for the glue. “Yes, we did this but how much it costs?” This is something people always asks. Actually, I wanna say that… I, especially, bolt routes for my own pleasure. This is something very special for me. It’s like I also love it and also hate it. 🙂 Because it is so much of handwork. Always coming to the rock… Thinking on a crag that has no routes. Sometimes looking to the rock for hours. Like, ” There can be a clip here.” “If this rock here breaks, we may need to go this way.” You imagine so much. And it becomes a part of your life. I always say… It can be a sculpture of an artist. It can be a child you bring up. Some people define it that way. I think it becomes a part of my life story. For me, every route is a new story. There is the process with it. You try to climb it, improve yourself. It becomes a part of your life. That will be your own story. This is so meaningful and special for me. The half the routes I climbed like the ones I bolted. Most probably, I was trying to do first ascent of it. That’s why, I feel that these routes are so meaningful. Rather than the cost of it in terms of money, the effort, energy you put, the physical job you did, the contribution you made and the time you allocated are the things that are important and beautiful, I think. But yeah, everything… …has a cost. You can think it this way. 🙂 One bolt costs one unit and usually we use 15 of them. Anchors are usually more expensive. We also have the glue, the epoxy. Moreover, there is the human work. We can say that it is a long process. For me, it takes 3 hours to open a 50 meter route on a very steep, overhang surface. It takes 1 hour to glue that. Coming again later and cleaning it takes a whole day. That usually means staying on rope 6,7 or 8 hours a day. Then you try it for a couple of times. And of course you get tired and take some rests. We can say it like this. Even though you bolt a route in a day, finishing that process may take one week. Thank you for everything! See you on new routes. Hope to climb with you one day! If you wanna follow us, you can check iptekiadam.com or manontherope.com facebook & instagram: iptekiadam From these you can learn more about the project and follow us. See you on the rock! Production:
Murat Can Yıldız Episode 4 Crew:
Elif Kaçar Sponsors: Really, I kept it long because you said so. It was not “make it long”, it was “finish it”. Oh, why don’t you say stop it. 🙂 Throw it away, it looks bad. Oh no, ok it was there, right.