How I'm spending a $100 donation
A Pinnacles climber (who prefers to remain anonymous)
reported a broken bolt on the Son of Dawn Wall bolt ladder
in the fall of 1999; I noticed his post on the FOP page.
On 4/22/2000, I was in the area, and I replaced that broken bolt.
The climber noticed the repair job on his next trip up the route, and he
was kind enough to send me $100 to pay for materials for bolt
replacement. At first I advised him to send the $ to Friends of Pinnacles
or American Safe Climbing Association, but he insisted (and I caved).
So here is my accounting of what I have done with his donation on
Son of Dawn Wall (all with 3/8" x 3" Rawlbolts and stainless steel
Fixe or Metolius hangers):
- 3/09/2002 -
3rd pitch: I replaced seven more bolts on this pitch.
One of them was placed above the 2nd bolt in the runout lower
crux. I discovered an old broken bolt in this area; it was
originally *not* a runout, and it is back to that state now.
I also put chains on the anchor at the start of the pitch,
replacing one hanger and pulling one of the 4 bolts.
The route is in good shape now. There are still some
rusty 1/4" bolts and hangers which require narrow biners on it,
but not in crux areas. The 4th pitch will still excite many,
with a section with your feet above a good bolt, but an RP
or tiny stopper helps protect the moves on possibly questionable
holds. TCUs and cams above this will be helpful.
- 3/17/2001 -
3rd pitch: I replaced the bolt at upper crux. The
old bolt (1/4" screw-out w/ aluminum hanger) broke fairly quickly
under crowbar pressure. At the belay, I replaced the 1/4" lead
nail-in, with some difficulty, because nearly all of the lead
sheath broke off in the hole and my drill would not penetrate it.
Eventually my drill deviated at an angle, so the new/deeper hole
only coincides with the original hole at the surface. The hanger
on the 3/8" belay bolt was replaced. The old thin chain/lap link
setup was removed, and 2 lap links were placed on each bolt.
Many more bolts on this pitch still need to be replaced, but I
ran short of time on this day, with the 6pm park closing time
(I had approached from above).
4th pitch: The 2nd and 4th bolts were replaced
(lead nail-in type bolts). The 2nd bolt had a similar lead
sheath problem as on the 3rd pitch belay bolt. The old 4th bolt
was in less than 3/4". 1/4" belay bolt replaced,
hanger replaced on 3/8" belay bolt.
The old thin chain/lap link setup was removed; 2 lap
links were added to the old 3/8" (higher) bolt. The 6th bolt
should probably also be replaced, but it was not as high a
priority as the 3rd pitch bolts, as some cams could be placed
in the crack.
5th pitch: A (2nd) belay bolt was added at the
block (chockstone) belay. Lap links were added to both bolts.
Extra rope slings were removed from around the chockstone.
Summary: only 6 bolts placed (vs. usual 7), due
mainly to the lead sheath problems. The next targets are
more bolts on the 3rd pitch. Fortunately (?) most of these are
1/4" screw-outs, but I might try a 1/4" lag screw to remove
lead sheaths in the future.
- 1/2001 -
Dennis Erik Strom (using his own bolts/hangers) replaced the
bolt below crux of 4th pitch, and added a bolt at the block belay
at the end of the 5th pitch.
- 11/5/2000 -
first pitch: I replaced 2 more bolts with
3/8" x 3" Rawlbolts and Fixe hangers.
I replaced 5 bolts, all in original holes after pulling 1/4"
nail-in and Rawl split-shaft bolts. One 1/4" bolt remains,
which I did not need on lead with a long stretch; I gave it
a slightly better hanger and nut. One old 3/8" bolt remains,
with a homemade hanger.
- 10/22/2000 - I replaced 7 of the bolts on the first pitch with
3/8" x 3" Rawlbolts and Fixe hangers. The existing bolts were
1/4" wedge/screw-outs, so it was not possible to extract them
completely. I just broke them off with my torque wrench,
and placed the new bolts near the old ones.
- 8/17/2000 - Greg Barnes of the ASCA sold me a big pile of bolts
and hangers for $95.10:
- 10 each: 3/8" x 2.25" Rawlbolts (stainless steel, $3 each)
- 30 each: 3/8" x 3" Rawlbolts (non-stainless, $1.25 each - not
from ASCA inventory)
- 40 each: 3/8" hangers (stainless, mostly with ASCA stamp, 69 cents
- Spent $3.75 for the bolt ($1.25) and hanger ($2.50) I already
placed on Son of Dawn Wall. Balance: $96.25.
- 6/18/2000 - I bought some 5/16" and 3/8" lap links. I haven't
allocated any of these to the donation yet (not until they
actually get placed).
The cost will be $2.30 for each set of 2 links.
- 6/16/2000 - deposited the check
The first 2 pitches now have all the important bolts upgraded.
On aid, it is easy to combine both pitches in a single lead.
I left several 1/4" bolts in place, with my goal being to
upgrade all the bolts usually clipped for free climbing, which are
subject to loads from leader falls. The 1/4" bolts are probably
still fine for aid, especially with the frequent 3/8" bolts
Note: I don't intend to solicit more donations. If other people
want to donate $, please consider the
Friends of Pinnacles
ASCA. I know
Bruce Hildenbrand of FoP has replaced a staggering
number of bolts and installed many lap links/chains, and paid
for all the materials himself. He and I both agree that the
donation of time to do the work can be harder to come by than
the $. If people want to donate their time, please contact
Bruce or myself. We also accept donations occasionally.
- Replace more bolts on the third pitch. They are mostly 1/4" bolts
and homemade hangers with narrow diameter holes.
- Upgrade all the belay/rappel anchors with new bolts (so that they
all have 2 3/8" bolts) and new lap links.
I was considering moving the first belay to above the
ledge, which is a more comfortable hanging stance.
However, the extra six feet would make the rappel about 85
feet, so people with slightly short ropes would not reach
the ground/low angle slab comfortably. Also, belaying above
the ledge might put the belayer at risk for a collision with
a falling leader.
- If any bolts/hangers are left over from the above, I might try
some bolt replacement on the Balconies Regular Route, or I might
use the bolts on Resurrection Wall.
In 2002, I bought another $95 worth of bolts and hangers from
Greg Barnes of the ASCA at wholesale cost. I have been using
these for small rebolting projects. I hope to work on Machete
In March 2003, Larry Arthur of Mountain Tools donated 2 nice
prepainted (custom Pinnacles colors!) bolts and 4 hangers
(2 Fixe Ring Anchor, suitable for vertical anchors,
Bonier Clip-Safe, suitable for slabs and any angle). Thanks, Larry!