March 13-14 and 20-21, 2021
For two consecutive weekends I went out to near Wendover, UT for some rebolting work. Jeremy rallied some folks and raised money to just about fully re-equip a crag he’s been psyched on. While the crag is a cave and in the middle of the desert, the environment for the bolts in the cave is more similar to a marine one. Salt forms on the rock because of the nearby salt flats and/or because of deposits in the limestone itself. I’m not a geologist so I’m not sure. Either way some of the bolts in the super steep cave needed replacing in order to make sure no one would get hurt as time goes on.
The last two weekends were the appointed ones and were pretty good weather wise, though chilly. The first weekend had a bunch of folks coming to help out. Ropes were fixed, lots of holes drilled, and bolts glued. The second weekend saw a bit of finishing glueing and lots of chopping of the old stuff.
The mechanics of rebolting in a cave as steep as this were difficult. Ropes were fixed and whether going up or down the rope to do the work was tough. Ascending a fixed rope on a 60 deg overhang is a lot of work when you factor in having to stop and do work on a bolt while hanging as well as pass fixed draws. Not doing that sort of thing I felt pretty worked from the effort and lack of efficiency in my movement.
It was a satisfying endeavor though, as nearly every boly I pulled was rusty to some degree, many pretty badly. With the addition of full stainless glue-ins for essentially every route in the cave, it should be good for 30-40 years or more into the future.