American Safe Climbing Association replaces 20,000 bolts
The ASCA, the American Safe Climbing Association, has replaced its 20,000th bolt in a bid to make climbing safer.
The American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) recently celebrated a symbolic moment when it rebolted what it estimates as being its 20,000 bolt. Founded two decades ago by Chris McNamara, the organisation sprang into life when climbers realised that existing old gear on El Capitan and other big wall climbs in Yosemite was deteriorating rapidly and becoming dangerous. The need for gear maintenance extended from big walls to crags and over the years a concerted bolting effort has been made throughout the entire country, with the laudable aim of making rock climbing safer.
While 20,000 bolts may seem like a huge goal, ASCA Director Greg Barnes told planetmountain.com “Actually 20,000 is really just a drop in the bucket - there are probably more than 10,000 bolts each at major sport areas like Shelf or Owens. There are lots of areas with hundreds and hundreds of 30-year old routes, each with 10+ bolts a piece…it adds up super quickly!”
Barnes warned “Most of the early sport climbing bolts (1987-1995 or so) are rusting out and need replacement soon, and 20,000 will seem like a small number.” It goes without saying that bolt replacement is a serious and pressing issue, not only in the USA. Those wishing to help the American bolt replacement initiative are asked to contribute by making a donation via www.safeclimbing.org
Half Dome Bolted Light - 2015
On 29 August 2015 Snake Dike on Half Dome, recognised as one of the most famous moderate routes in Yosemite, was lit up oto raise awareness for the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) and highlight safety issues concerning rebolting and regularly maintaining existing sport climbs.