Long Dong Rebolt Team Announces Large Scale Titanium Rebolting Plan

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Following recent bolt failures at Long Dong including the most recent incident where the anchors of popular Music Hall route Big Drum failed on lower, a plan has been announced on the official Long Dong Rebolt Page for large-scale rebolting of Long Dong with titanium alloy bolts.

In a lengthy post pinned on the Long Dong Rebolt group (“龍洞 re-bolt 計劃”), rebolt team spokesman Jinlung You writes that the team plans to procure a large number of titanium bolts in two phases to replace aging bolts at Long Dong over 4 years old, with priority on bolts determined to be “questionable” including “Fixe 304″, Petzl Collinox, Petzl P38, and AustriAlpin bolts. In the second phase, all other bolts of that age will be considered for rebolting.

Jinlung explains that the team will perform extensive , non-destructive pull-testing of all bolts at Long Dong. By performing pull testing to a pre-determined, non-destructive load, the team hopes to determine bolts which are necessary to be replaced and which can stay, reducing the # of bolts necessary to be placed and minimizing the damage to the rock.

The number of bolts is large with 592 bolts projected for the first phase of high priority rebolts and 867 bolts estimated for the second phase. With costs per bolt estimated at $546 NTD, the first phase is seeking $430,000 in funding and the second phase is projected to require $530,000. As the rebolt team’s current funds are dwindling, the group is seeking outside help and all climbers and interested parties are encouraged to donate.

TaiwanRocks has translated the full rebolt plan announcement below including donation details. If you’re interested in donating or just interested in the future of Long Dong climbing, we encourage you to read the letter in full:

2015 Long Dong Climbing Area Maintenance Plan

Ever since the 2012 rebolt effort led by Doctor Chang(“Doc”), a group of passionate climbers have painstakingly rebolted and removed corroded bolts at Long dong, resulting in the installation of 617 Taiwan-made 316SS bolts and 32 Titanium bolts.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/449215751759830/998079906873409/

In 2013 these passionate climbers also started installing quicklinks made of 316 stainless steel provided by Alpine Direct on anchors to increase safety during cleaning and allow lower offs. 

In 2014 with the help of international climbers like Nathan Ball and some local climbers, a detailed inspection of bolt types was made, resulting in a comprehensive database of bolts used at Long Dong. (thanks to Maurice Chen for planning efforts and Kant Kang’s efforts in website programming)
http://www.climbio.org/longdong#/bolt

These actions have greatly reduced the risk of bolt-related accidents at Long Dong.

However, in recent months, many dangerous bolts have been discovered one after another. This includes Taiwan made 316 stainless steel bolts from 5-10 years of age that we originally thought would not need to be rebolted as well as other types, for instance the incident on July 24th where the anchors of route #369 Big Drum broke on lower:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/449215751759830/permalink/1108344479180284/
This incident resulted in the extending of our rebolt plan to encompass all routes at Long Dong not rebolted within the last 4 years.

But because of variation in the rock, environmental factors faced by every single bolt are significantly different, meaning even the same type of bolt placed at the same time period may experience quite different service lives. 
We have examples of this significant variation of service life of the same bolts placed in the same year, at Long Dong. 

To reduce the damage to the rock, and make the most of our rebolting funds, we will perform non-destructive pull testing of every bolt. Every bolt needs to be able to bear a pre-determined load. Bolts which do not pass the test will be rebolted.
At the same time, we will do non-destructive “proof-loading” of newly installed bolts to ensure work quality.
We plan to buy the following pull-tester(though it’s possible the final pull-tester may be a different model)
https://www.hilti.co.uk/…/dispensers…/r4052…

According to our data, The # of bolts at Long Dong are currently as follows:
Bolts collected and reported to Climbio: 2108
Bolts rebolted in the most recent effort: 649
# of planned rebolts: 1459
The final cost of installing a Titanium bolt is estimated at $546 NTD per bolt
Fixed costs of rope access equipment, batteries, and miscellaneous supplies is projected to be roughly $100,000NTD
The pull-tester costs about $70,000NTD

Our fundraising efforts will be divided into two parts, these will be as follows:
The 1st phase of bolt procurement will account for pre-2010 bolts of the Fixe 304, Petzl Collinox, Petzl P38, AustriAlpine types. We will also procure the Pull-tester at this time and start performing pull-tests. Funding needs are projected at 592 bolts * 546NTD per bolt + 110,000 in fixed costs = $430,000 NTD

The 2nd phase of fundraising will account for all other bolts placed before 2010, this is estimated at around 867 bolts.
fundraising needs are estimated at 867 bolts * 546NTD per bolt + fixed costs of 60,000NTD = $530,000NTD

Note: if some routes are determined to be returned to a natural state, the bolts will be removed and not rebolted

The current remaining surplus of the Long Dong maintenance team is reported by Magi in the recent August 28th anouncement at just 84,000NTD. It should be noted this amount doesn’t account for the 80,000NTD personally spent by Doc out-of-pocket to previously procure the titanium bolts from England. 
So it can be said that we are currently in a practically bankrupt state. (good thing that these kind-hearted rebolt team members are volunteers!)

To move forward in improving climbing safety at Long Dong, we have to seek external fundraising.
From today we are are once again looking to raise funds for the Long Dong rebolt effort. We will begin a new phase of large-scale rebolting as well as testing of all bolts at Long Dong.
This is a large-scale, multi year plan. We are unable to provide a certain completion date at this point. But we will make use of our past experience, and do this difficult task to the most stringent standards, in order to prevent bolt related incidents in the future! 

Bank transfer Information:
Account name: 陳美玲
Bank code: E. Sun bank(808)
Account #: 0015968228204
Contact #: 0937-081324
Contact email: vivamagi( at ) gmail (dot) com
We encourage Web ATM transfers when possible, using the following link: https://goo.gl/tAhfZV

After we receive your transfer, we will publish it on the facebook group, and confirm the transfer amount with you, and thank you for your support. Your donation will be completely used towards the maintenance and development of long dong(procuring bolts, drill bits, and supplies)

If you have questions or unclear aspects you can call the rebolt team contact persons:
FangYuan Chang(Doc): 0910-515333
Jinlung Yu: 0928-256134

Long Dong Rebolt Team
August 28th, 2015

Translated by TaiwanRocks.net, proofreading by Jeff Lin. Original Chinese Post can be found here.

Disclaimer: TaiwanRocks.net holds no responsibility for the accuracy of this post.

 

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