Bolting Terminology – Oddballs

Every now and then as an equipper you hear a word or term that is brand new or vaguely familiar but the exact definition escapes you. I’ll cover a few of the more common ones.

Cold Shut

Popular during the 90’s they can still be found at select cliffs across America. Designed to repair or join chains they were often employed at anchors as a ready open access point to put a rope over for quick lower offs. Often they were welded shut facilitating the use of quick draws at the anchor. Welded or not cold shuts should not be used for rock climbing. ASCA conducted a technical study on the weaknesses of cold shuts.

Gold Shut

Similar to cold shut manufactured during the early 90’s by a professional welder, Steve Jones, in Denver, CO. Gold color anodized to ward off rust hence the name.

Enviro Hangerenvirohangergray

Metolius product in vogue during the 90’s for anchors that is no longer manufactured. The hanger body was purposely made about three times larger then your average hanger with rounded inner edges so you could thread it directly for lowering off at an anchor. 304 SS, 4mm thick, powder coated, bolt hole fits either 3/8″ or 1/2″ bolts and rated to 22kN. The powder coating actually reduced their corrosion resistance especially in wet environments such as seaside cliffs.

Leeper Hanger

Ed Leeper manufactured these bolt hangers from 1962 – 1984 in Boulder, CO. Leeper hangers should be regarded with a suspect eye as they are known to have failed in the wild and the manufacturer himself recalled the product years ago urging all of them to be replaced immediately. The main issue is the hangers are prone to stress cracking and stress corrosion cracking when paired with compression bolts.


When re-bolting and you realize the old bolt can not be removed to re-use the hole. Scream, chop old bolt, recess bolt stud, apply patch material (e.g., putty epoxy).

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Climbing Bolt Removal Techniques

Climbing bolts are the central piece of in situ equipment climbers rely on almost every day they visit a crag whether it be sport or traditional. Like any piece of equipment left to the elements the time eventually comes to replace or upgrade. As one begins learning the process of replacing aged bolts one of the first questions the uninitiated asks is “why are we not reusing the existing hole by removing the old bolt?”

Replacing bolts  requires time, work and a bit of knowledge.  Motivating climbers to replace bolts is one thing but that effort is of lesser gain  if they do not have a foundation of knowledge about removal techniques that are commensurate with hole reuse. New bolts should always be Stainless Steel and preferably adhesive bolts, but that is a topic for another day.

The central thrust of this post is detailing bolt removal techniques and their application to bolt and rock  combinations so existing holes can be reused for new bolt placements.

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Bolt Spinning Technique

This technique can be useful when dealing with wedge bolts. The results are best when dealing with bolts in weaker stone types, but they can be equally effective even in very strong rock. Step one of a a two part removal process is outlined herein. Step two requires the use of a hydraulic tool which will be outlined in a later article.

Basically, the stud is fitted to the drill using a custom “Drill Spinner” and then spun at a high speed for a few minutes, grinding a bit of the collar away and widening the hole diameter slightly. In softer rock types like wingate sandstone it is possible to completely remove the bolt using this technique.

Again, the idea here is to wear down the collar on the wedge bolt so that it can easily be removed with a hydraulic tool.  If you are dealing with soft sandstone, it is possible to spin the bolt completely out of the rock.


A SDS-plus rotary drill that has the option to turn off the hammer mode is necessary.  Assuming your working on a 3/8″ bolt you will need following:

  1. Drill
  2. Wrench
  3. Hammer
  4. Bolt Spinner: A custom SDS-plus shank adapter that fastens the drill to the wedge bolt.  LEARN HOW TO MAKE ONE
  5. 3\8-16 die

Note, if the bolt threads are damaged you will use the 3/8 “-16 die to try and salvage what threads you can.


  1. Remove the nut and hanger.
  2. Adjust the setscrew to allow the wedge bolt to bottom out, leaving enough room between the bolt spinner and the rock to release the collar.
  3. Spin the bolt spinner onto the bolt threads without it being attached to the drill.
  4. Lightly tap on the end of the bolt spinner with a hammer until the bolt loosens.  This is an attempt to release the collar from the cone.
  5. Attach the drill to the bolt spinner.
  6. Make sure the drill is NOT ON HAMMER MODE and spin clockwise.
  7. Remove the bot spinner from the wedge bolt.  If it wont come off, remove the shank from the coupler and back off the setscrew with an allen key.

Bolt Spinner Bolt Spinner Bolt Spinner Set Screw BackSet Screw Front Wedge Bolt Collar

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2013 Elk Camp

2013 Elk Camp


It has been a few years, probably three, since I last hunted Elk. My regular hunting partner, John Hayward, injured a knee this last winter at Cross Fit and I didn’t bother bringing up hunting all summer as it seemed best to let sleeping dogs lie. In late August I mentioned the impending season opener date and even though both of us knew we rarely hunted early in the five week Fall season it was a good ice breaker on the topic.

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Eldorado Canyon State Park Flood September, 2013

Eldorado Canyon State Park Flood September, 2013


Record rains in early September reeked havoc across the front range of Colorado. Eldorado Canyon received 14″ rain September 9th – 13th, 2013 with seven inches alone falling September 12th. Here are some photos of the damage in Eldorado Canyon State Park.

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