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Bolts – Clean Rigging

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Abandoning material in canyons

A practice that can be avoided.

This photo was originally posted by Willie Hunt on the Canyon Rigging Facebook group. It illustrates how material is often added to anchors unnecessarily.


In response to this photo and many others like it, the talented staff at undertook the task of illustrating some alternatives to avoid the abandonment of webbing and other materials on bolts, trying to provide the greatest possible range of security and taking care of aesthetics and low visual impact in natural environments. acknowledged the contributions made by Pedro Hernandez Gutierrez from the Geckos group, José Alberto Garcia Cordova from Todo Aventura and DxAventura in the making of this album.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The rigging represented in the illustrations that follow are not the only alternatives. Rigging will always depend on various factors (always variable), in addition to the exquisite tastes that characterize the canyoning community.

Alternative #1

Exposed to the elements, webbing will deteriorate over time. There have been injuries and deaths due to the failure of weathered webbing.

But … if you do not trust the webbing you find on anchors, do not back it up with more webbing. Cut out the old webbing and haul it out as trash.

BEST PRACTICE — use only natural color webbing. Sandstone brown. Granite gray. Or simply carry and use nothing but black webbing.

Alternative #2

Eliminate all of the webbing, leaving behind only rapides and rings. The rapide and ring combination provides a good orientation to reduce the chance of stuck ropes.

Stainless steel rings will outlast aluminum.

Alternative #3

Eliminate all permanent webbing, leaving behind only rapides. The second rapide on each bolt changes the orientation by 90 degrees to reduce the chance of stuck ropes.

The red sling is a Supplemental Anchor System (SAS) which can be used to provide a temporary focal point for releasable contingency system, top rope belay, rescue, etc. The SAS is removed by the last person.

Alternative #4

Bolt anchors can also be rigged with blocked rope systems — both static and releasable. 

Bolt hangers are available with stainless steel ring-on-ring as shown here. When the outer rings become worn, it will be necessary to replace the entire assembly.

Alternative #5

Glue-in bolts. No webbing. No rapides. No rings.

HOWEVER — When the bolts become worn, it will be necessary to place new bolts. For this reason, it often makes sense to use rapides and rings, even on glue-in bolts. The rings will take the wear and will be easier and less expensive to replace.

DANGER - Don't do this

The rope should NEVER be passed directly through bolt hangers.

Another Warning

Any technique shown in these illustrations should not be taken as technical training; please be sure to receive professional training by experienced people.