VCC Bolting and Fixed Protection Policy For Rock Climbing – Version 1.0
Bolting has an historical place in Australian climbing. It has both its supporters and its detractors, making it possibly one of the most divisive aspects of our sport. Well placed fixed protection allows climbers to climb, belay or rappel/abseil with improved safety. Conversely, poorly placed bolts and over-bolted climbs may diminish or destroy the climbing experience. It is important that these guidelines reflect the local traditions and attitudes to both climbing and the environmental management of the cliff and environs. Placing fixed protection permanently defaces the rock and as such it should be a last resort.
A bolting policy needs to address safety issues to minimize the risk of death or injury, and to alleviate land manager fears of litigation. The policy also needs to address environmental impacts, both positive and negative, resulting from the placement of fixed protection and anchors.
The VCC aims to promote safe bolting and environmentally sound practices. The VCC as an organization cannot actively place or replace bolts or instruct on bolt placement due to terms of their insurance. The VCC may direct interested individuals to suppliers or manufacturers of bolting related products but it is up to the individual to properly research the products and follow the manufacturer\'s instructions when placing fixed protection.
1. Where to Place Fixed Protection/Anchors
1.1 It is the generally accepted practice that the first ascentionist chooses whether to place fixed protection, and where and what type of protection is used. It is important that the first ascentionist carefully considers where each point of fixed protection is placed, taking into account all safety, environmental and ethical considerations.
1.2 It is also vitally important that the first ascentionist uses a suitable product, has practised placements before drilling a cliff (e.g. in concrete) and installs it according to the manufacturer\'s instructions.
1.3 Fixed protection is inappropriate on climbs that can be adequately protected by natural means. Fixed protection should be used as a last resort and only to enable a climb to be lead with minimum risk of serious injury (i.e. fixed protection should not be placed just to reduce the size of a fall where the fall can be considered ‘safe’).
1.4 Fixed protection should not be added or moved on a climb (i.e. retro-bolting) that has previously been done by naturally protected means without the express permission of the first ascentionist. If the bolt placement needs to be changed and the first ascentionist cannot be contacted then ‘local best practice’ should be used (see section 5 – Replacing Bolts, Bolt Removal and Retro-bolting). Routes exist where the first ascentionist wanted to create a climb in the purest possible style. Adding or moving bolts may alter the nature of the climb and devalue the efforts of the first ascent.
1.5 Fixed protection/anchors should not interfere with nearby existing routes. Where a new climb is in close proximity to an existing route, where practicable, it is preferable to utilize the protection on the existing route.
1.6 Climbers should not place fixed protection on climbs that could reasonably be deemed short enough to be described as bouldering problems.
1.7 Fixed protection should be placed to prevent the risk of ground fall, hitting dangerous obstacles or factor two falls. However consistent with point 1.4 the risk of a dangerous fall on an existing climb may not necessarily justify retro-bolting the climb.
1.8 Fixed protection within a climbing area preferably should be consistent with local practice and consistent with the nature of the climb (e.g. granite slab, steep sports climb etc.) unless safety considerations deem it necessary to use alternative protection (e.g. fixed hangers/ringbolts should be placed where putting a bracket on a bolt would be extremely difficult or where the climb is overhanging). Every effort should be made to find out what the local best practice is. VCC Bolting and Fixed Protection Policy For Rock Climbing – Version 1.0 1 of 5
1.8在攀岩區域內固定支點之架設，除非是基於安全考量而必須使用另外的支點（例：設固定掛環/環形耳片的地點，應是極難將支架掛上耳片之處，或該處為懸岩地形。），否則，最好能合於本地架設實例與攀登地形的種類（如花岡岩斜板、峭壁之運動攀登等。 ）。務請盡力了解、參照本地最佳實例。參見參見VCC攀岩之錨栓及固定點裝設政策--- 1.0版,5之1
1.9 Bolts should not be added to an area that is declared either ‘bolt free’ or ‘no more bolts’. This status should be defined by Park Management Plans, climbing guidebooks or local best practice.
1.10 Fixed protection should be placed with consideration for other climbers. It is preferable to top-rope the route first to assess natural protection placements and to mark best bolt locations. Placements should be consistent for the grade and where practicable should not disadvantage climbers with shorter reach.
1.11 When a climb is predominantly bolted then any need for natural protection should be stated in the route description. Also the method of descent should be clearly stated where lower-offs are not provided.
2.1Bolts must be stainless steel or titanium. Grade 304 stainless steel is recommended for inland areas and Grade 316 stainless steel or titanium is recommended for coastal areas or other highly corrosive environments.
2.2 Where two metal components of an anchor are in contact both components should be the same grade of stainless steel, for example a fixed hanger and an expansion bolt.
2.3 All forms of fixed protection placed should be manufactured to meet or exceed the European standard EN 959 of 15kN in the axial direction and 25kN in the radial direction. Note: this standard is for the ultimate load for the product. Most products state the normal ‘working load’ so check with the manufacturer how to convert ‘working load’ to ‘ultimate load’.
2.4 Consistent with point 2.3 all forms of fixed protection should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer\'s instructions. Incorrect installation may lead to failure of fixed protection regardless of the strength rating of the product.
2.5 The use of hammer-in ‘carrots’ is not recommended, as their reliability will vary depending on the skill of the installer and the hardness of the rock. They may also be subject to corrosion and bolt ‘creep’.
2.9 Self-tapping/self-drilling bolts should not be used unless they are specifically recommended for rock climbing and meet the minimum European standard when installed according to instruction.
2.10 Pitons should not be placed as fixed protection. (see point 5.5 for replacing Pitons.)
2.10不可用岩釘作為固定支點。（參照 5.5 替換岩釘）
3. Belay Anchors and Rappel/Abseil Stations
3.1Installing of rappel/abseil anchors should be kept to a minimum. Where possible one rappel station should service the tops of all climbs in the immediate area that can safely access the rappel/abseil point.
3.5 Each rappel/abseil station should have two separate anchors installed at least 200mm apart. The rappel/abseil rope should feed through each of the two anchors independently unless the anchor has been specifically manufactured as a rappel/abseil anchor and designed with one point of contact (i.e. it is not acceptable to feed the rope through a single non-rated D-shackle or similar product).
3.6 Rappel/abseil station components though which the rope is threaded should be replaceable.
3.7 Products used for rappel/abseil stations should be tested and rated to at least meet UIAA standard 25kN. Home made brackets, and non-rated components such as D-shackles, maillons rapide, chain links etc. should not be used.
4 Environmental Considerations 環境考量
4.1 Fixed protection/anchors should not be visually intrusive particularly where the climb is located next to popular walking tracks. For climbs less than vertical hangerless machine bolts are recommended to reduce visual impact. Rock coloured stainless steel should be used.
4.2 While all effort should be made to minimise the visual impact of fixed protection this should not compromise the ability of a climber to see the protection. Fixed protection should be placed on clear rock within the line of climbing.
4.3 Rappel/abseil stations should be installed where descending by foot is likely to cause erosion problems.
4.4 Rappel/abseil stations should be installed where climbers lower off trees.
4.5 The placement of any fixed protection/anchors is banned within a Government defined wilderness area or reference area.
4.6 When drilling holes every effort should be made to minimise the impact on other visitors to the area. Dust is to be brushed away from the rock and drilling should be done at a time that is not likely to disturb other people.
4.7 Fixed protection/anchors should not be placed within any area of importance to Aboriginal communities. If in doubt, the VCC Access Officer should be able to find out if there are any potential problems.
5.3 Carrot bolts requiring the placing of a bolt-plate should only be replaced with a glue in hangerless machine bolt, except in situations where a hangerless bolt may be unsafe such as on an overhang or at a tenuous clip with a dangerous fall.
5.4 Fixed hangers or ringbolts should only be replaced by fixed hangers or ringbolts.
5.5 When a piton is intentionally removed it should be replaced with a fixed hanger or ringbolt.
5.6 If a piton is unintentionally removed then it should not be replaced if good natural protection is available. Where good natural protection is not available a fixed hanger or ringbolt should replace the piton. Old pitons should not be reused once they fall out.
5.7 Piton scars should not be filled. Often natural protection can be placed in the scars so that the rock isn\'t damaged any further.
5.8 Where possible old fixed protection should be extracted from the rock. If appropriate, old 10mm holes should be re-drilled to 12mm and the new bolt placed in the same position. Note: in soft rocks extracting fixed protection may leave unsightly damage in the form of a crater.
5.9 Where old fixed protection cannot be removed the old protection should be cut off flush with the rock or (preferably) sheared off below the rock surface and the hole then plugged. Old bolts must not be left protruding from the rock surface.
5.11 Old bolt holes not re-used should be filled in with glue/resin/putty of a similar colour to the rock. Note: small or crushed stones of the same rock type mixed with the glue can improve the colour match and make excellent plugs.
5.12 Where there has been a change in bolt type, number or placement then the route description should be re-written by the person placing the bolts and published as a modified route (same as for new route descriptions).
A Final Note: No fixed protection can be considered 100% safe. It is the VCC’s aim to promote improvement in the quality of fixed protection and minimise the risk of fixed protection failure. It is the individual climber’s responsibility to assess each and every piece of fixed protection and make a calculated and informed decision on whether or not the protection is adequate and whether or not to proceed with the climb.