Skip to main content

Bolt Replacement Policy

The Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC) on occasion supplies bolts, anchors and related equipment obtained from organizations such as the American Safe Climbing Association, or purchased by the CCC, to competent individuals with a demonstrated history of proper bolting technique. Take a look at our rebolting database to see the efforts of our past volunteers! Guiding policies to implement the distribution of bolts and anchors for the purpose of bolt replacement are as follows:

  • Your personal safety is up to you. As a bolt replacer, you are a climber conducting personal and recreational climbing activities. Climb at your own risk and be safe. 

  • Before you begin a rebolting job, you MUST make sure you have land-owner permission. For example, NC State Parks require that each park gives consent before replacement occurs. Many other lands do not require site specific consent. 

  • Always use stainless steel, climbing-grade bolts and hardware that is rock-type appropriate. CCC can typically provide equipment for 1:1 bolt replacement. Bolts shall be no smaller than 3/8"x3" for replacement. 

  • Camoflauge bolts, hangers, and hardware with automotive based primer and exterior spray paint (hardware store) that matches local rock color. Do this at home so you don't have to bring spray paint to the crag.

  • 1:1 bolt replacement means that you are taking out one bad bolt and installing one good bolt. Bolts provided by the CCC are not to be used for bolting of new routes or the addition of bolts to existing routes, unless a majority vote of the CCC board of directors has specifically approved such a use. We expect this to be a very rare occurrence and it only applies to places where the land manager has specifically requested the addition of bolts as part of their overall climbing management for the area; for example, additions of top-anchors to reduce ecological impacts to the cliff area within NC State Parks. CCC-supplied bolts cannot be used to retro-bolt existing non-bolted climbs and will be removed if this is found to be the case. The CCC does not approve of the retro-bolting of routes and strongly supports the long-standing traditions of low-impact climbing in the Carolinas, balanced with the need for fixed gear in appropriate places.

  • Attempt to use a Hurley Jr, Sr, or similar tool to pull the old bolts and reuse existing holes.

  • If pulling the old bolt is not possible, chop the old bolt and always patch and camou the old hole using patch epoxy that matches the local rock color. Rock dust, dirt, crunched lichen mixed into the top layer of the epoxy helps camouflage.

  • If using glue ins and you are concerned someone will attempt to climb the route within the next 24 hrs, leave a duct tape note at the base of the route with a "do not climb until... date"

  • If you have a botched bolt or an old bolt that you can not get out and your time/energy is running short for the day, come back and fix it on a different day before moving on to any other project. If it causes a safety concern on the route, please inform a CCC representative.

  • If you have to abandon a route for the day and you believe that the route is unsafe for others to climb in its new condition, tape the opening hangers shut and leave a waterproof note on the base of the wall.

  • Final checklist: a route or bolt replacement project is "done" when 1. all bad bolts are replaced including anchors, 2. all bad bolts are removed including anchors, 3. all holes are patched and camoued if bolt removal was impossible, 4. all new bolts have been placed.

  • After work is complete, the route name and bolt number replaced should be reported to the CCC. We maintain a spreadsheet and database for bolt replacement, found here:

  • Any unused hardware must be promptly returned to the CCC.

Thank you bolt replacers!