How to Put Bolts in Rock Climbing Routes

How to Put Bolts in Rock Climbing Routes

Guest Post from Brandon Villatoro (Travel Experta’s Son)

5 Step Process for Putting Bolts in New Rock Climbing Routes

Step 1

Find a climbable route and find a way to get to the top of it.

Find a tree or a stable rock to put the rope around it to set up a top rope so you can rappel down.

If there isn’t a tree or a rock then you can use a device called a Fifi. 

A fifi is a hook the size of a cup and it is used to hang on it to place the first bolt. Due to its open shape it offers very little strength and requires a great deal of caution when used.

If a fifi hook is being used as a main rest support, using a backup carabiner is recommended.

Step 2 

Find the best locations to place bolts by look for all the holds and possible rests to place bolts.

Try marking them with chalk to know exactly where to place the bolt later

Step 3

Use a hammer to lightly hit the areas of the rock to check if it is hollow and to make sure that its safe.

Step 4 

Drill the holes pretty deep and clean them by putting a straw or long tube and blow inside of it to clean the dust.

Step 5 

Hammer the bolts in, then use a wrench to tighten them up.

This is a quick guide, but most importantly it’s best to go with someone who has done this already. And always follow safety precautions!

Looking to learn more about climbing? Take a look at this pace filled with tips for climbers.

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How to Put Bolts in Rock Climbing Routes

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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