Thursday 25 April 2019

Harrison's Rocks - Bolting Project 2019 / 2020 - Stage 1

On the weekend of the 13th and 14th of April, work began concerning the Harrison's Rocks Bolting Project. The aim is to install new sets of bolts on areas of rock where there is inadequate protection currently in place. Additionally, bolts are being placed to help reactivate areas, reduce erosion and to help spread out climbers from the more demanding areas. There will also be a number of older bolts which will be replaced or upgraded.  

We are now installing a new type of bolt which will hopefully help eliminate the minor twisting motion which we see on the very odd occasions. Although twisting motion of bolts in sandstone is tolerable to a small degree, it is unsettling and these have been noted and will be addressed as we go. Currently, there are only a few to look at. 

The new bolts are sunk deep into the rock and have been specially acquired for sandstone. They should be viewed as top-rope anchors more than your traditional bolt which is found on sport cliffs.

So far 14 bolts have been installed making for 7 sets, which have been installed above the following:

1. Mantelpiece  -  Panther's Wall  -  RF Page 189

2. Blue Peter  -  Panther's Wall  -  RF Page 189

3. Blue Murder  -  Slab Area RF Page 191

4. Quarterdome  -  Giant's Staircase  -  RF Page 201

5. Left Edge / Original Route  -  Pig Tail Slabs  -  RF Page 206

6. Big Toe Wall / Greasy Eliminate  -  Pig Tail Slabs  -  RF Page 206

7. Greasy Crack - Pig Tail Slabs  -  RF Page 207 

The Pig Tail Slabs are having new bolts installed to help younger or newer climbers access the rocks and enable other climbs to be able to protect more efficiently for the first time. The wall has been slightly neglected due to the lack of accessible protection over the years.  

The climb 'Blue Murder  -  Slab Area  -  RF Page 191' was in use the day after installation by some keen climbers. Note that the route is somewhat sandy and dusty from the work and takes time to dissipate.

Bolting will continue each month where possible until the scheduled work is completed. Please remember that bolts can only be placed by authorised personnel. 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.