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Though the advice of the BMC and extensive research in Cumbria we have chosen to use Bolt Products for our supplier of bolts. These stainless steel glue-in bolts are the best on the market for lifespan and strength, although they do take longer to place than other bolts, they are both longer-lasting and replaceable meaning all our bolting is sustainable!

Standard protection bolts

Exceptional strength in a compact form with unrivaled pull-out resistance and the lowest visual impact of any bolt on the market. The eye takes a karabiner and 11mm rope or two karabiners.

Belays and lower-offs

We use various types of lower-off at top of routes (bolts, rings, chains or pigtails) and will always choose the most appropriate for the location and rock. Make sure you know how to thread all types of lower-off.

Single point lower-offs

Sometimes you will see only one bolt at the top of a route. The bolt is designed as a lower-off, it's extra-long and therefore extra strong - but ensure you always check the bolt before lowering off.

Seawater series protection bolts

Specifically designed for use in aggressive environments such as in contact with sea water and spray these are the strongest, most corrosion resistant bolts available. We use these on all coastal climbs.

Soft rock protection bolts

In soft stone or weak rock such as sandstone, we use extra-long 200-300mm bolts to distribute the load and increase the strength of the protection.

Abseil 'tat' replacement

The CBF is funding the replacement of abseil tat through the Lakes. We are dating and recording each installation. Each year will be coded with a colour and the year inked onto a zip tie.


The rusting remnants of olds bolts are a common and unsightly feature of many older cliffs. Poorly placed bolts, unsuitable materials, and misuse by climbers are all issues that result in many bolted climbs being unsafe. The lack of education in many climbers thinking “a bolt is a bolt its perfectly safe” compounds this issue and makes for a minefield of old or unsuitable bolts waiting to fail.

We are working as fast as we can to replace old bolts and make safe the most popular crags. But we still have a long way to go, here are some of the things our team comes across when rebooting routes. If you see something unsafe, report it to us.

Homemade bolt hangers

Bolting on a budget - Popular in the 80s when folk often made their own hangers due to financial hardship, availability or peer pressure. Made from stainless, aluminium and old tin cans. Really scary!

Self drive bolts (spits)

Spit is a hardware company and these bolts are not rated, commonly used by cavers in a cave rigging SRT. They have no place outside and never did. Not to be trusted in any circumstances!

Vandalised (chopped) bolts

Damaged bolts, popular at one time to prove a point by folk who were against bolting activity; or sometimes just from a collision with a falling rock. If damaged by a human its designed to fail. 

Hardwear store equipment

Worn bolts and lower offs

Abseil 'tat'

Still common in places, Cheap expansion bolts from the DIY store sometimes used with stainless hangers. Don't be fooled by the glitter the cheap bolts corrode and snap just behind the hanger.

Often found on short top-roped problems, climbers wrongly/selfishly top-rope off the lower-off ring or bolts, instead of adding their own carabiner. This wears the metal equipment down. 

It's in the name, many routes will have lengths of cord or rope left to form an abseil, sometimes for a quick escape. Be very careful what you use and what it's attached to, who knows how old it is!

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