Secure anchors at dizzying heights

Saint Gotthard Massif

Drilling and placing anchorages at dizzying heights in the Alpine mountains are just some of the extreme tasks of the climbers of Baden-Württemberg’s German Alpine Association Youth Group. Their experts restored a climbing crag and added five additional routes in the Gotthard Massif in July. Heavy-duty fixings made of stainless steel anchored safety hooks to the rock face.

Text by fischer Group, photos by Max Foss

“High-quality products are essential while installing climbing routes to guarantee safety in the mountains”, emphasises Fynn Renner, head of youth leader training at Baden-Württemberg’s German Alpine Association Youth Group (JDAV). fischer heavy-duty fixings and drills were used to install the five new climbing routes in the Gotthard Massif.

Extreme fastenings

The climbers initially cleaned and tidied the existing routes using spades, branch saws, joint scrapers and steel brushes. This meant one thing: extreme fastenings. “Attaching the climbing hooks required drilling holes in very hard granite,” Fynn Renner explains.

The drill hole required thorough cleaning to allow the chemical and mechanical plugs to achieve their full load-bearing capacity. The climbers then installed two different hook systems. One of which, the adhesive hook (also known as a glue-in bolt), was installed with the fischer FIS V 300 T injection mortar. “The composite system is firmly connected with the rock face, achieving a permanent, secure hold”, Bernd Wetzel states.

To install the system, the climbers injected the mortar with the corresponding dispenser, inserted the hooks and spread any remaining mortar.

Belay stations with stainless steel rings or carbine hooks provide a point to transfer the rope and allow climbers to descend from the freshly restored and expended climbing crag in the Gotthard Massif. Image: Max Foss.
Belay stations with stainless steel rings or carbine hooks provide a point to transfer the rope and allow climbers to descend from the freshly restored and expended climbing crag in the Gotthard Massif. Image: Max Foss.
Adhesive hooks were used together with the fischer FIS V 300 T injection mortar in the climbing crag in the Gotthard Massif. The composite system is firmly connected to the rock face, providing a permanent, secure hold. Image: Max Foss.
Adhesive hooks were used together with the fischer FIS V 300 T injection mortar in the climbing crag in the Gotthard Massif. The composite system is firmly connected to the rock face, providing a permanent, secure hold. Image: Max Foss.

Extreme fastenings

In addition to adhesive hooks, bolts were installed into the rock face. fischer FAZ II bolt anchors made of stainless steel (R) in size 10 × 80 mm were used for this purpose. With these mechanical anchors, the climbers securely and firmly installed the 10 mm bolt hangers into the rock face. “Our fischer FAZ II bolt anchor reliably transfers very heavy acting loads into the load-bearing substrate”, Bernd Wetzel explains. After the drill hole is created and cleaned, the anchor can be inserted either through pre-inserted or push-through installation. The cone bolt is pulled into the expansion clip by tightening the nut, expanding against the wall of the drill hole.

Reliable hold

Once the designated torque has been achieved, the anchor offers a reliable hold and can immediately carry loads. Very heavy loads acting on the bolt are reliably transferred into the loadbearing substrate through the FAZ II bolt anchor.

The JDAV experts also installed belay stations with rings or even carbine hooks as redirecting points, which are used to redirect the rope and allow the climber to descend at the end of the route. During the project, approximately 450 safety hooks and 20 belay stations were placed.

About this Tech Article

This tech article appeared in Stainless Steel World, November 2023 magazine. To read many more articles like these on an (almost) monthly basis, subscribe to our magazine (available in print and digital format) – SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR DIGITAL VERSION ARE NOW FREE.

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