This article is a follow-up report to the big and popular article from March 2011 called Titanium bolts: The answer for Thailand climbing? That article described the actions of the Thaitanium Project, a small crew of volunteers who are working their arses off rebolting the cliffs of Railay/Tonsai with titanium bolts, because this is one of the rare places in the world which causes stress corrosion cracking in stainless steel, leading to bolt failure.
|Josh at Eagle Wall.|
Lee: "Hey Josh. I see you're back in Thailand once again for the Thaitanium Project rebolting initiative. How many years have you guys been going back with the main focus of rebolting?"
Josh: "This is the second official year of the Thaitanium Project. Although they have been re-bolting with Titanium bolts for over 10 years now, we just never gave it a name. Back then I guess we still thought of Titanium bolts as just another experiment. After about five years in the rock the bolts still look like the day we put them in and that gave us a lot more confidence to continue to put in Titanium. It wasn't until the bolt price went through the roof that we started the project."
Lee: "My article from 2011 explained why we need titanium bolts in southern Thailand. Have you been told any scary stories from the past season?"
|Stress corrosion cracking on a Fixe ringbolt.|
Lee: "So last year you guys had a focus of rebolting the entire sector of The Keep and you achieved that, and more. What is the goal for this year, and how is progress?"
|Several generations of hardware on Greed 8c. |
Newly placed Ti bolt on right. All other bolts
were later removed.
Lee: "You're great at getting other random climbers involved in the initiative, and it's often under your guidance that people get their first taste of bolting. Passing on those skills must be satisfying? Have you got a good crew this year? What nationalities are represented?"
|Will rebolt for beer.|
This year again we had a very multicultural team with folks from Australia, Wales, Sicily, Sweden, England, Russia, Canada, Germany, Taiwan, Switzerland, USA, Cyprus, Norway and France."
Lee: "So how can you afford to do this? How much do the bolts cost, and where is the money coming from?"
Josh: "Well that is a good question. We can afford to do this because we have caring and generous folks out there that want to see Tonsai survive. We raised almost $2,000 last year from the DVD's, T-shirt sales and through donations. We also have teamed up with the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) www.safeclimbing.com who has very generously apportioned enough money to buy at least 200 of the bolts we get a year. This has freed up some money to purchase things like a new drill and a couple of angle grinders."
Lee: "How can people donate to the cause?"
Josh: "Folks who would like to donate to the cause can go to www.thaitaniumproject.com and using Paypal, they can donate directly to the project. This spring I will be working to get the film available for download off the same site. So stay tuned!"
I think I speak for nearly all climbers when I say a big thank you to Josh and all the other climbers who have donated their time to help the cause. Rebolting is tiring, largely thankless work and these guys and gals are not being paid to do it. They could be mooching around and having a proper holiday. So give them some props and donate!
BUY TITANIUM BOLTS:
2013 update: If this article has you curious and you want to buy some of these amazing titanium bolts for your own routes and rebolting efforts, the guy to speak with is Martin Roberts who has now been producing and supplying the Thaitanium Project for the last few years. He now has a website where you can purchase his titanium bolts: http://www.titanclimbing.com/.