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The Bolting Process - Urs Moosmuller

The Bolting Process - Urs Moosmuller
The Bolting Process - Urs Moosmuller
The Bolting Process - Urs Moosmuller
The Bolting Process - Urs Moosmuller
The Bolting Process - Urs Moosmuller
The Bolting Process - Urs Moosmuller
August 17, 2013 - 

The first step to bolting this route would be to build a trail that leads straight up to the cliff. Luckily for us there is a nice old dirt road that leads almost to the base of the cliff so we guessed roughly where the cave was and started hacking our way up the hill side to the base of the wall. After an hour an a half of bush whacking through shoulder height brush, we reached the base of the cliff just a few yards to the right of the cave. Perfect!

Our trail was done. We headed back down and grabbed all the bolting equipment and hauled it up our new trail. Reaching the cliff was exhausting and we took a long break to catch our breath and scout out different lines up the wall. The next problem is figuring out how to establish the anchors on top of the cliff.


My friend Alma and I debated two different ways of establishing the routes. Either attempt to bolt it ground up or attempt to get to the top of the cliff and rappel. We opted for trying to get to the top of the cliff first. Hiking around the base of the cliff took a while and we were very relieved to find an established trail that took us to the summit of the formation. We reached the top expecting to find the top of the cliff. Instead we found atier of rock on top of the rock that we wanted to develop. With no ropes or gear we hiked back to our packs and grabbed ropes and made the long hike back to the top of the cliff.

Braving the unknown, we rappelled off of a tree to the base of an impressive but loose cliff. From here we bush whacked our way down until we found a strong enough tree that was right over the cliff. The start of the rappel down was covered in foliage, but after twenty feet of fighting our way through brush we made it to the rock. Our rappel ended up a few meters to the right of the cave and by this time it was starting to get dark. We left the rope and planned on coming back the next day.

The next day we arrived to find our rope perfectly intact. The next step would be to figure out how to direct the rappel towards the lip of the cave to start bolting. After jugging back up the rope, I redirected the rappel by using tree, cams, and a bolt to reach the spot where I wanted to place the anchors. From here I drilled and placed two rappel anchors and fixed a line to the anchors for bolting. The next step was to retrieve our lead rope. The rappel was 50 meters and I had to hike back up to untie the figure eight we used. Finally the bolting could begin!

Over the next several days I spent about 9 hrs of hanging out in a harness using any means necessary to bolt the roof. I have never bolted anything this steep so for me this was quite the learning experience. For one thing I didn’t have any removable bolts so putting the bolts in was very challenging. Aid hooks saved me and I was able to place the bolts exactly where I wanted. Finally bolting was done and it was time to start cleaning the route, chalking it, and try to find a doable sequence. From bolting it I saw features and holds that might go, but they looked extremely desperate and several sections seemed to be completely blank with no way through. This worried me a lot after spending so much time and effort into equipping the roof. The lower part needed quite a bit of cleaning, but the upper part was completely clean. Finally after a whole day of prepping the line I was ready to start projecting the line and figuring out if it was possible.

Photo credit: Alma Esteban

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