Friday 7 June 2019

Harrison's Rocks - Bolting Project 2019 / 2020 - Stage 3

On Sunday 1st June, an exhausting session of bolt work was carried out to further the work concerning the Harrison's Rocks Bolting Project. The continuing aim is to install new sets of bolts to form top-rope anchors on areas of rock where inadequate protection is currently present. It was a hot day and water supplies were diminished, and the team pretty much crawled back to the car in a slightly delirious state. 

The isolated buttress was closed for a few hours and we apologise for this, but it was deemed necessary while the work was carried out. 

We would also like to thank people who gave us their support on the day, your appreciation of the work being done is very much appreciated. 

13 bolts were installed this time, making for six additional sets, and one back-bolt replacement. This now means that the work regarding opening up the Crucifix Wall, Wanderfall Wall and Birch Tree Wall is in essence, completed. The wall still needs some cleaning work, but all in all is in good condition and has become very popular, which was the aim regarding bringing new life back to these walls. Crucifix Wall is something for the harder climber, and hopefully, people will give these climbs a go, now that they are adequately protected. 

1. Wailing Wall  -  Isolated Buttress  -  RF Page 249
The back bolt was removed by hand after what appeared to be incorrect loads placed on it from the wrong direction back in May 2018. This may have been related to rope setups used for getting on and off the buttress. There was a delay regarding the replacement of this due to safe access to the buttress and ongoing bolting research, where we were only in a position to start work this year. It was probably the most time-consuming bolt to replace on the whole project due to the need to close the buttress, access it and brining up the equipment, as well as giving it time to set.  

2. Biceps Buttress - Finger Popper -  Crucifix Wall  -  RF Page 259
The thought behind this and something which has been done elsewhere, is that the front bolt is for Biceps Buttress and the back bolt which is angled to the left is for Finger Popper. They are connected so one bolt acts as a backup bolt to one another.

3. Crucifix / Hector's House  -  Crucifix Wall  -  RF Page 259
A straight forward placement. To protect both routes.

4. Corner  -  Crucifix Wall  -  RF Page 259
This climb is often out of condition but is slowly becoming more in condition than it used to be after the clearing work was done, but things could be a bit better, so still in the esoteric zone. The bolts are behind the block at the bottom of the above picture which is a little tricky to access compared to most and will probably not suit everyone on this occasion. 

5. Mischivas / Philippa  Crucifix Wall  -  RF Page 259
Put in place to bring life back to this great test piece and following on from the clearance work. 

6. Mister Splodge  -  Birch Tree Wall  -  RF Page 262
The decision was made to place these bolts on the lower shelf  in line with Birch Tree Wall + Variation. Primarily due to the angle at the top being rounded, so we could reduce rope cutting. It is still placed where the original finish was.

7. Tree Root -  Birch Tree Wall  -  RF Page 262 (ish)
This has been bolted for younger climbers and beginners, and is something a bit different. Primarily a down-climb, it was cleared up earlier this year and gives a bit more of a cleaner climb.

There is only a small amount of bolting left for this project and hopefully this will be completed this month (June). There are also some bolts that need some attention which have some slight movement in them but are ok to use, We will get to them.  

Again, please remember that bolts can only be placed by authorised personnel, (we have to keep saying this due to the Happy Valley incident). Please see our bolts page for more information.

 Excerpt from the Southern Sandstone Climbs Rockfax Guide

"There are many bolts on sandstone and all of them have been placed purely as top-rope anchors at the top of crags. There are no bolts actually on routes and they are never used to protect lead climbing.

Bolts on sandstone should not be regarded in the same way as bolts for leading climbing on limestone or other rock types. The softness of the rock means that there are special requirements when placing the bolts and they must not be used for any purpose other than setting up top-ropes. They are not designed for slacklines, zip wires or via ferrata. Excessive force placed on a bolt in the wrong direction may end up with the rock surrounding it failing and exploding in a sandy mess.