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Fixed gear failures in Australian climbing
1:33:03 PM
Previous title: "Bolt failures in Australian climbing"
Note: Post has been updated several times, last update 10/11/2021

Does anyone have a list of recent bolt failures - I'm trying to get a bit of a list going that can be used for educational purposes ?

Objective: Provide some sort of data to help out with the next:

-User guide to using bolts
-Bolting guide update
-Rebolters appreciation meeting/beer fund donations

I'll try to keep the scope to more modern fixed anchors (or those anchors which at first glance would appear to be modern anchors) eg. mild steel carrots would not be included (Typically pretty easy to spot), but stainless carrot bash ins would be (as they could be confused with glue in SS machine bolts), as would ring bolts placed with silicone only on the outside and no glue/grout.

Will plan to add other fixed gear notes as a separate list (eg. shifty lower offs, a few permadraw rope cuts etc.)

Obviously, all climbers are responsible for their own safety including their use of fixed gear.

Current list:

Inclusion: failure of bolt/hanger/bolt-glue interface/glue/glue-rock interface/rock blowout and failure of rock feature.

Including incident, near miss and incidental identification:

Loose rock:

QLD - Ninderry - Bolt in loose loose rock - 2020 (near miss)

ACT - Canberra Molonglo River - Sewer Wall - Sewer Wall - Expansion bolt in loose block - 2019 (near miss)

NSW - Rosa Gully -loose block with glue in in-situ found below Funky Moves - 2016

WA - Mountain Quarry - "Death Star" 2012 - Part of route fell off with bolt

NSW - Northern beaches - large block with 3*carrots now at base of climb ?date - Source: CW

Rock blowout:

NSW - Mount Keira - Sand Pit Wall Entrance - Glue in P bolt - rock failure/blowout of 2nd bolt lead fall - August 2021 (Minor injury)

NSW - Central Coast - Koolewong - Lara Street Crag - GIMB - rock failure/blowout - 2021 (?near miss)

Metal failure:

NSW - Illawarra and Shoalhaven - Kiama - Bombo Quarry - hanger/GIMB - probable SCC/SSC failure of 304 GIMB with hanger (failure at neck/head of bolt) - 2020 (near miss). First known SSC event at this crag.

QLD - Fredrick's - ?lightening vs stainless dynabolt - hanger and broken bolt found at base of climb 2021

NSW - Sutherland - Bluebell - 304 SS - SCC failure of 2nd bolt (Abnormal metalurgy/swimming pool wash as probable contributing factors) - ledgefall, broken ankle - 2013

VIC - Gramps - Taipan - Anchor bolt - Eye-screw in failure - ?damaged during installation + steel corrosion - Early 2000s

Failure at Metal-glue interface:

TAS - Sisters Beach - smooth shafted glue in home made SS U bolts installed, Bolts reported to have fallen out under trivial loads (?near miss/rebolt) 2018

Glue failure:

QLD - Beerwah - Secret garden - reports of unset/soft glue - 2021 (?near miss)

WA- Kalbarri - absence of the bear - anchor bolt removed by hand. Glue in commercial P bolt, likely early glue failure ?cause 2021

NSW - Bluebell - GIMB/Hanger fell out - 2013 (near miss) - (thecrag note 2003 - "3rd bolt is mank and flex's")

NSW - Nowra - DZ - failure of 3rd bolt during cleaning - glue in ring - glue failed to set - 2007

NSW - Pierces pass - Randy rabbit - GIMB + chain - glue not set on 2 bolts Ramset101 cartridge glue - near miss (pulled when 2nd fell, likely catastrophic if leader had fallen) ?2013

QLD - Tibro - Ramset 101 - glue failure to adhere to rock ?cause 2000

Tas - Cataract Gorge - ?glue failure glue in U bolt - ?1990s

Expansion bolt unplanned disassembly:

QLD - Tibrogargan - Drop in anchor (?brand) - screw+hanger dropped out during lower - 2020 (near miss)

VIC - Ravine crag - Lead fall on 5th bolt, ?hang and nut (expansion bolt) popped off 4th bolt (near miss) - 2013

VIC - Ravine - expansion bolt nut unscrewed in lead fall - no injury - 2013

Expansion bolt mis-installation:
ACT - Orroral ridge - Penny - loose dynabolt (?bolt vs hole issue) 2021

NSW - Pierces pass - 8mm partially installed expansion bolts used on route - contributing factor in death 2009

Bash-in pull out failures:

QLD - Frog - SS bash in with FH failed when tugged on lead - near miss - 2014

VIC - Muline - stainless bash-in with hanger - failure while seconding (no injury) 2013

VIC - Bundaleer - Stainless bash-in with hanger failure - no injury - 2000

QLD - Ngungun - Stainless bash-in - failure in lead fall resulting in injury - 1990s

Unknown anchor failures:

NSW - Blue mountains - U bolt failure (anyone have any details ? Mentioned in SRC bolting policy document) ?Date

Anchor connector issues:

Removable bolt plates:

VIC - The Tower - Bolt plate detatched from hanger during lower - bolt hanger used with wiregate carabiner - groundfall with injury requiring rescue 2013 (Src: AAR )

NSW - Mt York - Issue with clipping bolt plate requiring downclimb, groundfall. 2006 (AAR)

QLD - KP - inverted bolt plate ‘peeled’ from bolt in lead fall (ie reported to have bent open - adrenaline bolt plate)- minor injury to lead climber, burns to belayers hands. - 2007

NSW - Nowra - Mixed U bolt (bolts 1,2), then carrot (bolt 3)- leader reported to not have bolt plates and tried to proceed to anchor - ledgefall - 2009

Lower offs/permadraws:

NSW - Shipley - "These People are Sandwiches" - single point lower off stainless carabiner - corrosion/crack - near miss - lab test failed at 169kg - 2009

E. Wells
2:28:53 PM
Neil has almost single handedly made sure you get crickets from NSW. Prob more of a question for highliners.
3:56:32 PM

***Previous post removed - see original post for updates ***

4:34:01 PM
SCC at Bluebell about 5 years ago.
One Day Hero
3:13:27 PM
There's that hilarious giant block sitting down on the rock platform at Freycinet with two bolts in it. Used to be the top 5m of a route.

I'm not really sure that blocks falling out with bolts in them count as bolt failure though.

There are 5 messages in this topic.


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