by Stephen Farrugia
Members of the MCC give an early Christmas present to the climbing community
On a sunny Sunday morning in December MCC members Francesco Barbieri, Kyle Bonnici, Jeffrey Camilleri, and Stephen Farrugia descended upon Mġarr ix-Xini with the intention of re-equipping some classic lines on Dream Walls and Flakeout Walls. Using equipment, bolts and Hilti resin provided by the MCC Bolt Fund the team substantially upgraded the routes on Dream Walls and the Nose sector.
The bolt maintenance work done included:
• equipping a new line Dirty Work, which looks like it will go at about 7a+ / 7b;
• replacing corroded bolts and slings on Chasin’ the Dream – the route has been almost fully re-equipped with 316 stainless steel glue-ins;
• replacing slings, corroded bolts and adding a starting bolt to Brilliant Creatures and Ezy Ryder Direct;
• adding a lower off ring to the single point lower off for Blushing Pilgrim / Chances;
• replacing one of the lower off bolts on A Pocket full of Poses;
• adding a starting bolt to Gozothon and The Naked Nose (The Nose sector);
• neutralising the dangerous run out on Gemini 2 and backed up the single point lower off with another bolt (Flake Out Walls);
• added a backup to the single point lower off on Mysterious Dutchman.
While the MCC team were busy reequipping routes Xavier Hancock and the team from the Gozo Climbing Association busied themselves with some bramble bashing and cleared up the paths around Champagne Walls and Dream Walls. Using tools provided by the GCA Stephen and Jeffrey opened up the path leading to the Nose sector; the climbs are now easily accessible and there are no branches obstructing the start of the climbs.
After a hard day of bolting (and when the drill finally ran out of juice) the MCC team put down their tools and pulled on their climbing boots. Jeffrey and Francesco descended to a newly opened sector just upstream of Freedom Walls, where Cesco managed the FA of his new route Street Hassle 7b (bolted the week before with help from Simon Alden). Congrats on the new route Francesco – his first route ever bolted and a great 7b at that. Sounds familiar… 🙂 On the other hand Stephen and Kyle were content with a few easy climbs on Dream Walls.
The MCC team intends to return to Mġarr ix-Xini to continue their work on replacing corroded bolts and old slings in the near future – stay tuned for updates!
The maintenance work described above required a total of 23 marine grade (316) stainless-steel bolts, two ring bolts and two tubes of Hilti resin which altogether cost a lot of money. All of this would not have been possible without the MCC Bolt Fund and the efforts of the bolting team. To learn more about the Bolt Fund or to make a donation follow this link . Local climbers are invited to keep on supporting the MCC by at least renewing their subscriptions for 2014 so that we can keep the supply of bolts and resin flowing to the guys who are willing to sacrifice their personal time to equip and maintain the routes. Without them our routes would simply deteriorate over time and become dangerous.
Reminder / Disclaimer – Rock-climbing and associated activities are inherently dangerous and can result in serious injury or death!
Many of the climbing routes have bolts and other hardware which has been fixed permanently to the rock. Due to variances in the manner of placement, rock quality, weathering, metal fatigue, the quality of hardware used, and other factors (such as corrosion, rust, tampering with the hardware) these fixed protection fixtures should ALWAYS be assessed prior to being loaded. It is therefore crucial that participants evaluate the condition of the fixtures and anchors prior to committing themselves. In-situ protection should always be treated with extreme caution. At times fixed protection and anchors can fail catastrophically.
Climbers using such bolts and anchors are personally responsible for their own actions and decisions and should seek expert advice or guidance if necessary.