top of page

Replacing Glue In Climbing Bolts - Does a blow torch work?

Sometimes bolts get in the way of random swinging hammers. We explored two ways of heating up glue in bolts in an effort to remove them...

Sometimes bolts get in the way of random swinging hammers. We explored two ways of heating up glue in bolts in an effort to remove them so you can reuse the hole. I'm not convinced this is a good idea. What do you think? Don't try this if it is fire season. Don't try this without bringing a way to cut the bolt when you are done in case it doesn't work, because it has been compromised. Cutting and replacing the bolt right next to the old bolt is one solution as you can see in this VIDEO Go see The Bolting Bible to learn all about bolting Behind the scenes Learning to install bolts, I heard that in really hot environments like the dessert, the rock could get so hot that the glue would get soft and your bolt would magically pull out and you would die. Now, I don't plan on highlining on a bolt when it's 120F degrees, or anything for that matter, but it made me think that if I could heat the bolt up, then I could pop the bolt right out of the hole and replace it. I saw the bolt buster tool that we used in this video and naturally loved the name ;), and thought it would be better to use induction than open flame. That of course requires a generator and extension cords but it was worth exploring. This could be a great option... if we used a more conductive metal. Stainless and titanium don't really conduct or conduct well. I spent about a year exploring these ideas and even did a "dry run" with bobby with the tool months before the day we filmed this. It was worth getting everyone's opinion so we did a simple no frills video bringing everyone up to speed in our journey. AFTER we made this video, Shawn Snyder bashed some more bolts in the bay area in California so this unfortunately became more relevant than we wanted. This was to address smashed bolts in Yosemite which are still not repaired from last year's drama. After posting thoughts The comments were engaging and helpful. I think the consensus is the rock would be too damaged even if we found a way that worked. A heat shield only stops the top from getting fried, but the rock has to heat up to hundreds of degrees which could spall it and make it unstable. Also, working with an open flame or a generator is impractical for many situations. Also, fires... yea... they are a problem. So! Our next test will be the almighty pry bar. When we pulled bolts sideways in this VIDEO it just lays it over then snaps the head off. I would want it to twist the entire bolt and disengage it from the glue. That would be the easiest bolt removal process ever. Then redrill the hole clean from the glue left in the hole, and reuse the same hole, not making our cliffs swiss cheese. But I have a feeling, nothing is ever that easy. Subscribe and stay tuned!

bottom of page