New bolting initiative at Xaqqa Valley

Sacrificing a day of climbing, the MRCC Bolting Team headed out to Xaqqa geared up to make a difference.

During this session, the following jobs were completed:

  • The damaged ring over The Problem was replaced by a 2-bolt resin Lower-off (LO) which is ideally placed for abseiling, belaying from above and below and also allows beginners to abseil down with a safety belay from their instructor above them.
  • The (slightly damaged) ring over Breezy Rib was backed up by a second resin bolt (in line with our policy of reducing the number of single-point LOs and Belay stations).
  • The damaged ring over the abseil ladder leading to the lower valley (descent to Great Face) has been replaced by a resin chain-and-ring LO.
  • Just left of Via Destra, a partially bolted line has been completed, making this a complete bolt line at a reasonable grade (5+). This is an ideal line for someone trying to develop their skills either bolt leading or trad climbing, because the line of Via Destra can be led on trad with an occasional bolt as back-up for the inexperienced trad climber.
  • Left again, Via Francese was another partially bolted line. This too has been completed (some work still to do on the upper part over the overhang) as a next step in bolt and trad leading practice for the relative newcomer to either discipline.
  • Best of all, those offensive corroded bolt-stumps left by the inferior quality bolts placed by the Italian Military Mission in the early days have started to be removed. With our new equipment we are able to cleanly remove these eyesores without damaging the rock. We will systematically remove what remains at Xaqqa in the coming weeks.

ALL bolt placements should be treated with caution. Every new bolt should be tested before use and any surface damage noted and assessed. It is up to every climber to be aware of potential dangers on the cliffs, assess the safety of in situ gear and be responsible for their own safety. Bolts are placed by humans and left in a harsh natural environment. They are therefore susceptible to error, damage, erosion and vandalism. While every care has been taken to ensure they are placed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, every person making use of them does so at his or her own risk.

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