Re-bolting of “Morning Glory” at Stathams

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This topic contains 66 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  rod 12 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #3139 Reply


    ps Grade 14 slab climbs don’t count…I’m in a slab-hating phase!!

    #3140 Reply


    Looks like we’ve opened a(nother) can or worms here, folks!

    Firstly, for those that don’t bother properly reading other people’s comments, I am not against the REBOLTING of existing climbs that have sub-standard bolts. Rather I’m against the RETROBOLTING of existing climbs.

    If the bolts that were on MG were only banged-in 50 mm galvanised mild steel, well they should have be replaced a long time ago. Actually, they shouldn’t have gone in at all. Roake, you’re a bad boy! Glen – well done for taking the initiative to replace them.

    Incidentally Glen, the bolts I use are usually glue-in 316 hex head, between 75 and 120 mm long with about 40 mm of thread. I have also used others in the past that have about 75 mm of thread and 25 mm of unthreaded, I’ll tack down where I got them from. I do sometimes use fixed hangers and when I use ring bolts – which isn’t very often – I use ones that have a 20 mm ID ring and have 105 mm of thread and 15 mm of unthreaded shaft.

    There are a lot of other climbs that need to be rebolted – the first bolt on Superslab Direct is a gal-steel bolt, also probably just a bang-in carrot. Even worse are the dodgy pitons on Bootiful and Supernova. No need to worry about the piton on Major – that fell out a long time ago!

    However the way that I see it, a climb should (usually!) be rebolted in the ‘same spirit’ at it was done by the first ascentionist. To replace the existing (dodgy) bolts with something significantly different is not rebolting – it is retrobolting. Replacing dodgy 50 mm mild steel hex carrots with 100 mm glue-in 316 hex heads – fine! The climb will be heaps safer – but still in the same spirit as it was previously. On the other hand, replacing 50 mm mild steel hex carrots with fixed hangers significantly changes the climb and to me is retrobolting. Whether or not there was one fixed hanger there already is irrelevant. With the ringbolts that someone put up the top, well, they have made the climb significantly safer as there is now no need to scramble over the choss at the top and to set up a belay that causes rubble to fall on the seconder.

    In the paragraph above, I wrote “a climb should (usually!) be rebolted in the ‘same spirit’ at it was done by the first ascentionist”. By this I mean there are exceptions. The location of the bolts on MG was good. Despite Roake using dodgy 50 mm hex gal-bolts, they are in well thought-out places. Whether you are short or tall, they are relatively easy to slip a bolt plate over them and to clip. There are other climbs however where, unless you are 6’4” or more, are very difficult to clip. There are a few people around that seem to forget – perhaps purposely – that not everyone is 6’4” and they seem to enjoy watching other, shorter people being freaked out on what would otherwise be good climbs. In other cases there are climbs that have been bolted very unsafely and in a manner that shows poor form – Gibraltar Rock is a good example – where many climbs were bolted by someone abseiling from the top and putting bolts seemingly at random every 30 or 40 metres apart. I’m not really into 60 to 80 metre falls on cheese-grater rock, so I have quite happily put extra bolts on Gibraltar Rock. If someone is a bastard or just a fool and bolts a climb without giving any thought to other climbers, then I have no objections to rebolting or retrobolting. But MG is not one of these and consequently I don’t see the need for fixed hangers.

    For those people who claim that not everyone can climb a non-p-bolted grade 18, then simply don’t do it. Go and practice on easier climbs until you are good enough and then do it. Bring yourself up to the level of the rock, don’t bring the rock down to you. If you want to climb a ladder, go to Bunnings and buy one.

    #3141 Reply


    I don’t think the routes on Gibraltar Rock need any more bolts. There is a balance of runout old school climbs vs “safe-ish” newer ones. Dockyard Wall, Illusions of Grandeur, Possum and the other nameless old school classics deserve to be left as is with their 30m+++ runouts. The newer climbs – Sucked in Ben, Rooster Carnage, Let the Fun Begin, Dinosaur, Joint Venture etc have enough bolts to keep things relatively sane. As Peter said, climbing an easier run out climb can be just as much of an achievement as climbing a harder clip up. We need to maintain the variety that already exists in WA and acknowledge that both of these styles are warranted.

    It’s nice to see the other comments from closet marsupials on the subject. Long live those with hairy noses !

    The number of people claiming to be bolters seems a little high given the amount of new routes that appear in WA over the years….

    One last Q; assuming a glued in carrot does pull out @ 2kN, how the hell can you generate an outward force of 2kN on a route like MG let alone 10kN ?!?!

    #3142 Reply


    Hi Richard:

    I am in a bit of a rush and out for a couple of days so this is a quick reply:

    Please count me in for 50 bolts.

    I also sent out for a quote as well so we can see whom lands the best deal.

    My email address is:

    I have asked for a quote on 316 stainless steel in:

    1. 100 bolts, M10 100mm long with 80mm of thread

    2. 100 bolts, M10 120mm long with 100mm of thread

    Numbat: I would greatly appreciate info on where you sourced those bolts with 75mm of thread.



    #3143 Reply


    just get a die and make your own.

    of course then you’ll have to live with the extra SCF of a cut thread vs a rolled thread which will no doubt lower the holding power down to an unacceptable 7kN…. pfft. of course SCF is only going to manifest itself under tensile stress due to bending and this will be a seconodary stress most likely leading to local plastic deformation and extremely minimal impact on bolt capcity.

    i’d be alot more worried about the glue. its hard to get in with paws. i wish i had opposable thumbs !

    #3144 Reply


    God, why don’t you guys get into the 21st century. Bolted climbs with hangers or staples exist all over the world, in every rock type. Forget about carrot bolts and make the climbs safe for all grades and future climbers!

    #3145 Reply


    Huh, a die. Why didn’t I think of that. The only reason to order a special lot is the non standard length, and the chance to get my personal monogram on the head. Sure to impress the high rollers.

    #3146 Reply

    saber-toothed poteroo

    Hmm, bolts in gritstone? Don’t think so! Long live variety (and a few head climbs to dream about and test your nerves on)

    ps wombat, I wish I had opposable thumbs too – though I quite like my eyes… they’re a little bit out of the ordinary 🙂

    #3147 Reply

    Mikl Law

    Longer stainless bolts (80+ mm) are good, similar to rings, but have no possibility for twisting loads to loosen them. They must have an unthreaded shoulder, and any glue in anchor should be cleaned before use. Threaded rod is good in theory, but nuts come loose. Eyebolts/U’s CAN be be made unobtrusive, but not as much as SGABs (stainless glued anchors bolts) without hangers, it depends on the visibilty and situation. Rorke Muhlen is living in Melbourne if it’s his route.

    michael (

    #3148 Reply


    Well done Glenn, the Morning Glory buttress is blast-shattered non-granite intrusion and carrots do not belong there in this day and age. Good luck in future endeavours. I do favour hex-head glue-ins, as you know, but no worries about hangers in unnatural environments like quarries. The ringbolts on top of MG were put in by me after the hangers were stolen off the old expansion bolt loweroffs.

    Long runouts like on Lifestyle Refugees are OK with me personally but the bolts must be bloody certified super safe else it is deckout and curtains. I’m surprised the guys who put the carrots in there would risk the liability law suit (by clearly not following current practices), but hey, it is their money (note: this risk is electable – you can see the runouts and carrots from the ground, but natural selection can be a cruel thing).

    #3149 Reply


    Another thing. This “glued in carrot” that keeps getting mentioned by contributors above? Has anyone experienced one? I cannot imagine why anyone would grind a threaded hex bolt into a carrot shape and the glue it in. Perhaps this is just a misunderstanding some people have? So I thought I would write this:

    It is important to distinguish between a carrot and what I call the Glued-In Hex Bolt (which is mouthful so let’s call it GHB). From the outside they look similar: there is a hexagonal (6-sided) bolt head looking at ya. Some even have a button (circular) head. This is beccause both are made from the same starting point material: a hex head machine bolt.

    The GHB is bacically the unmodified hex head machine bolt; when installed it can be distinguished simply by having some glue present around it and the fact that the hole is larger than the bolt. This is because a 12mm hole is normally drilled and 10mm bolt used in it, the 1mm annular space is filled by glue.

    The carrot visually is jammed into the hole. At the point of entry to rock, bolt diameter=hole diamater. However to confuse things some carrot installers splay cheap glue around the entry point to seal it in, presumably for corrosion protection of the subsurface galvanised bolt. This does nothing for holding strength.

    Under the surface, what you do not see, is vastly different.

    The GMB is typically 70-120mm long and is held in by glue. It is not ground down. The glue sticks to the bolt by virtue of machined threads, about 1/2 of the bolt length is threaded in the stock item (avoid fully threaded ones). It holds in the hole by glue.

    The carrot is typically 50mm long and is ground with an angle grinder into a carrot (tapering) shape and jammed into the hole. It holds by deformation at the area of contact.

    Why some people still use carrots and not GHBs is because they are cheap and less messy to install: $1 for a 3/8″x2″ carrot, but $6 for a 10×100 GBH (cost of bolt+glue, say Hilti). For glued in ringbolt this is more like $10 each by the way. Also, gluing is a horrible job, even when not on a rope and does not lend itself to 1-2 bolt jobs as the mixing nozzle gets thrown out at the end of day, which wastes glue.

    Bad installations: someone made a point about badly installed glue ins. It is possible to screw up a GMB installation (wrong mixing nozzle, old glue, weak/wrong glue, dirty hole, badly spread glue) just like it is possible to screw up a carrot (fat, overdriven, insufficient contact with rock): at Wellington dam some contractor-glued ANCHORS were spun by hand (now removed). But a properly installed GMB will always be stronger than a properly installed carrot (there is much of data on this and is just beyond argument) and will not creep.

    I would urge people to use GMBs wherever visibility is an issue, and as replacement for carrots. CAWA could make funds available for rebolting jobs, as it is expensive and the motivation is low as you normally do not get mentioned in a guidebook, unlike the speedy FA with carrots.


    #3150 Reply


    Well, that’s what you get for dissent. We climbed in Statham’s yesterday. Thought MG would be a plesant and airy outing. Imagine our lack of surprise to find –

    studs !

    This is far more challenging than hex bolts. So the hangers didn’t last long or are they still coming? We had a good day. Gun Barrel Highway, an old fashioned 16 with a purely natural crux. No arguments about how best to deface the rock.

    But one can’t deny the merit of the two excellent Weiter bolted climbs right of MG.

    Time to get out the stud-puller.

    #3151 Reply


    I am pretty sure that Glenn originally stated that hangers were to come in the next week or two….it’s all the way up there at the top of the page….a long, long way up!

    #3152 Reply



    Here is a perfect example for the need for hangers or p-bolts just to get back to the top of this over technical wanked up page of nonsense!

    When no one wants to hear your side of the arguement just bore them to death with technical crap.

    Carrot Bolt Kris (Patent pending)

    #3153 Reply


    Hi All:

    I should get time to add the hangers this week. I thought it was best to leave them off until the glue sets…

    On Richards comment on stud pulling I decline to comment 🙂



    #3154 Reply


    Thanks to all for your comments and encouragement. The main reason I advertised the re-bolting is to gain input before I pursue the rebolting of other climbs using the appropriate bolting systems.

    There is no point rebolting if people get upset and pull them out (we all have much better things to do with our time and energy would be better spent replacing bolts, rather than chopping them !! ).

    I dont intend to alter the existing bolting on any climb unless there is some overwhelming factor such as poor quality rock at the site of the existing bolts (if the climb is run out I am not going to alter it without FA input).

    I intend to write a technical article for Western Climber outlining what I have found in the literature and how this applies to rebolting / bolting in WA – we are behind the times and have much to learn.

    #3155 Reply


    Just for Kris’s benefit. The technical stuff is what will keep you alive. If you can’t deal with it, don’t denigrate those who can, because if they don’t get the “technical stuff” right, people will die, particularly those people who only climb on bolts and just assume everything will be all right because bolts are automatically safe. Bolts are not automatically safe. It depends completely on the technicalities and everytime YOU climb on bolts YOU are assuming someone got the “boring technical stuff” right. For YOUR sake let’s all hope THEY do.

    Enjoy your climbing,


    #3156 Reply


    Thanks Toc,

    Do i have to test every bolt i use in the future or just continue as i have HOPING they hold if my fat arse should i fall on them?

    I found it interesting that a discussion on rebolting turned into an ego driven technical lecture.

    But thankyou for steering me in the right direction.

    Happy climbing also.

    #3157 Reply


    Hi Kris,

    I didn’t notice the debate being ego driven. Most of the people contibuting to that particular debate deal with highly technical matters in their work pretty much on a continuous basis so a discussion of the technical aspects of bolting isn’t necessarily ego driven. Technical discussions are just normal life, and in the case of bolts for climbing, they are life or death matters, not to mention the fact that we as a climbing community don’t own the rock and we do have to think about the consequences of our actions on the wider non-climbing community. This website is not only the most appropriate place for this discussion to appear, but the ability to have those discussions is one of the reasons the website exists.

    And yes, actually you should think about the safety of each bolt you climb on. It’s noticeable from previous submissions that you are pro-bolt. One of the things you will learn from using trad gear is this fact; you and you alone are responsible for your own safety. This is still true when climbing on someone else’s bolts. Your life and your continued ability to access climbing areas depends on other people and maybe yourself getting the technical aspects and the aesthetics right. So encourage discussion.



    #3158 Reply



    I fully agree that it is my responsibility for my safety when climbing and a gladly accept all this responsibility.

    I will NEVER blame anyone else for any accidents i may have even if the bolt or cam i use might fail, i just don’t believe in it, it was my choice to use them.

    I do however believe, purely from my own experience, that a debate works best by keeping the subject matter as simple as possible. I am pro-bolt but only where Trad can’t be used (love my cams).

    I just wish we could join the rest of the world and do away with bloody carrots and hexes. I know of two separate people who have used these bolt types only to have the bolt plate come off with the draw attached! I can’t see how a fixed hanger or P-bolt would let this happen?

    So thanks to everyone for my science/geology/physics lesson on bolts and rock, but I think simple works best. Just my opinion and i know many disagree, thats your opinion.


    #3159 Reply


    Hi Folks,

    Yes, I’ve also seen bolt-plates come off hex bolts. They come off because the climber puts them on incorrectly – with the big part of the keyhole up the top and the karabiner through the small part of the keyhole.

    Karabiners also come of P-bolts and fixed hangers. They usually come off because dirt gets in the spring and the gate doesn’t close, although other things can happen as well. The old Chouinard crabs use to often fall off as they would crack, just like their cams. By the way, I believe that Chouinard changed it’s name to ‘Black Diamond’.

    #3160 Reply


    Sorry Numbat,

    But the plates were put on CORRECTLY on both occasions! But the little buggars still managed to come off the bolt with draw attached!


    #3161 Reply


    There are only two main ways bolt plates can come off:

    1) they were put on by a wombat – since you say it was on correctly we can rule that one out 🙂

    2) a skinny karabiner was used. i.e lightweight one or a wire gate.

    Just FYI Kris – i have seen draws unclip themselves from P bolts, U bolts and fixed hangers during normal climbing and falls.

    I think all types of bolts have their merits and their suitability varies depending on the circumstances involved. You’d have to be a bit naive to say there is no place for carrots or glue in machine bolts. But likewise you’d have to acknowledge that carrots are only suitable in certain situations.

    #3162 Reply


    Aah, so we’ve all decided to beat the *** out of poor Kris. I have seen bolt plates fall off bolts. That was because people sometimes do a very strange thing. They clip the carabiner into the slot where the bolt is supposed to fit and delicately hang the boltplate upsidedown on the the bolt. Usually done only by those in the learning/survival phase. The simple faith in equipment implicit in such action is very touching.

    #3163 Reply


    Well Kris it may be ‘technical wank’ and ‘boring’ to you and I will admit to my eyes glazing over while reading these posts, but I’m EXTREMELY thankful that the people who are giving their time and money to put bolts in are having the discussion of how to do it more safely!

    Sure as hell makes me feel a lot safer knowing that they are trying their best to ensure MY safety when I clip their bolts.

    So Glenn, Toc, Ross, et al. please keep it up!!!! (The boring technical stuff and the bolting.)

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