• Will Sweat Harm My Harness?
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  • Choosing Between C4s and Friends
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  • Are Falls Held or Breaking Strength More Important In a Rope?
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  • Choosing Ice Screw Length
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  • Hot Versus Cold Forging
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  • The Benefits of Cotton
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  • Are My Fuzzy Quickdraws Safe?
  • How to Stretch Climbing Shoes
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  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?
  • Hand Drill Advice
  • Lonely Climber Looking for Woman
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  • Difference Between Double and Twin Ropes
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  • Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?
  • Rock Shoes For a Big Guy
  • Do They Kill Geese To Get Down?
  • How to Wash a Rope
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  • Can I Mix a Static With a Dynamic Rope for Rappelling?
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  • How Should The Middle Man Tie In?
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  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?
  • Should I Rope Solo?
  • Should I Angle Ice Screws Down?
  • How Should Old Climbers Train?
  • Can I Make a Belay Loop?
  • Reusiing Ice Screw Holes
  • Overcoming Fear of Falling
  • Choosing a Stove Fuel
  • Will My Hiking Boots Work With Crampons?
  • Do Heavy People Shock Load the Rope?
  • Can Offset Cams Subsitute for Regular Cams?
  • Can I Resling My Cams Myself?
  • Are Older Alien Cams Safe?
  • Antifreeze
  • The Truth About Climbing Supplements
  • Can I Make My Leashed Tools, Leashless?
  • Rope Stretch Facts
  • How To Cut a Rope Without a Knife
  • Secrets of the Toprope
  • How to Sharpen Crampons
  • Should I Become a Climbing Guide?
  • Preventing Climbing Rope Wear
  • How to Remove an Old Bolt
  • How to Customize Ice Tool Picks
  • Double Rope Facts
  • Do It Yourself Fruit Boots
  • Climbing Rope Sheath Slippage
  • Rockfall Safety
  • Do Screamers Work?
  • Defining the Cheater Stick and Stick Clip
  • Climbing Skin Care
  • Selecting a Gym Rope
  • Quick Links for Climbing
  • Are Russian Cams Good?
  • When To Retire Climbing Gear and Ropes
  • Should I Get a Link Cam?
  • How to Get a Climbing Mate
  • Will Dog Urine Harm My Rope?
  • Using Steel Carabiners for Fixed Quickdraws
  • Petzl Tibloc and Climbing Rope Sheath Damage
  • Overcoming Anger
  • Fixing a Spinning Bolt
  •  
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    Ueli Steck Speed Solo on Les Droites

    Fixing a Spinning Bolt

    21-Oct-2009
    By Gear Guy

    I was upgrading the 3/8-inch Rawl five-piece bolts on a route, hoping to replace them with half-inch, but one of the bolts just spins and won't unscrew.

    Holy botch jobs, a spinner! A Rawl five-piece (now known as the Power-Bolt by Powers Fasteners) will spin because the expansion cone in the back of the hole is turning with the bolt shaft, instead of getting pinned in place as it's supposed to be. Dust in the hole acting as a lubricant is a common cause, and so are under- or over-sizing the bolt hole. When you drill, blow out the hole, use a fresh bit, and hold the drill straight. Note that even brand-new bits, due to manufacturing inconsistencies, can bore holes that are too small, especially in hard rock. If the hole is too small you really have to beat the bolt into the hole, possibly damaging the expansion cone. When you place the bolt, tap it straight in. If you let the bolt angle in even a little at the start, you can bugger up the cone, also causing a spinner. Placing a bolt is simple, but you do need to be a craftsman to do it right. Pretend you are tuning y our pacemaker.

    Whoever placed your spinner was a bolting novice, dolt, homicidal maniac or all three. Maybe it was you. To clean up the mess, pry out on the bolt while simultaneously unscrewing it. That's right, you'll need to be as ambidextrous as Paris Hilton in a bedroom video (yes!). A big crowbar under the bolt hanger usually works, but you might succeed simply by clipping the hanger to your harness belay loop with a draw, and pushing out with your legs as if you're passing a three-pound brick of extra- sharp Wisconsin cheddar. If you are lucky, the cone will come out with the guts of the bolt. Usually, the cone stays in the back of the hole and you have to either drill it out with a sharp metal-cutting bit, or patch the hole and drill a brand new one (now is your chance to finally put the bolt in the right place!) A mix of Bondo and bits of local rock worked up into a gruel works well as a patch.

    If the spinner won't succumb to prying and screwing, you are going to have to go ape shit. Get a sharp cold chisel and cut the head off of the bolt by beating on it. Count on breaking your hand and the rock. When you do finally cut the head off of the bolt, the hole will be a mess and the bolt shaft will be sheared off inside the hole. Punch the steel shard deep into the rock, and patch over the wound. Another nearly as undesirable option is to drill a hole adjacent to the bolt, widen its hole, freeing the bolt. Patch with Bondo. Now, get it right next time! Gear

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