Best Practices Guidelines for Route Development IN THE WASATCH

September 22, 2018 

Route and Anchor Placement Guidelines

-Don’t add bolts to existing routes

-Don’t add bolts where natural protection (e.g. cams or nuts) is adequate and available

-Don’t develop routes in historically, culturally or ecologically sensitive areas

-Don’t chip or glue holds

-Don’t excessively clean routes

-Don’t over-develop crags or develop routes on top of, or nearly on top of, existing routes

-Do consult local route developers to learn best practices

-Do consult local route developers to learn about existing routes

-Do consult land managers to learn of development procedures

-Do consult local ecologists to learn of possible ecologically sensitive issues 

Hardware Guidelines

-Use stainless steel bolts and hangers

-Use stainless steel quicklinks to connect zinc-plated chain to stainless steel hangers

-Use a stainless steel hammer to install stainless steel bolts

-Minimum of 3/8‐inch bolt diameter 

-Minimum of 3-inch bolt length

-Construct belay anchors with two separate bolts

-Quicklinks and chain should be a minimum of 5/16”

-Chain lengths should be as short as possible without compromising safety

-Zinc plated chains and quicklinks may be used for climbing top anchors, provided that a stainless steel quicklink is used to interface between the stainless steel hanger and zinc plated chain

            (Be aware that non-stainless steel hardware may eventually lead to rust staining and streaking)

-Avoid sharing top anchors when possible

-Top anchors should be placed in an appropriate location with safety and rope retrieval considered

-Top anchor bolts should be placed at least twice the distance apart as the depth of the bolt holes.  

-Top anchors should not be set back from the edge if possible 

-Fixed anchor spacing should be consistent and reasonable

-Holes should be drilled 1 inch deeper than necessary to facilitate future bolt replacement efforts


*Adapted largely from Castle Rocks State Park’s Climbing Management Plan