Future of Fixed Anchors II Conference Proceedings

Access Fund and Petzl teamed up to bring the Future of Fixed Anchors II conference to Las Vegas, Nevada on April 1-2, 2016. The conference brought together a broad cross-section of climbing advocates, outdoor industry professionals, and climbers who are actively developing climbs and maintaining anchors at America’s crags. The conference addressed the concern of aging climbing bolts and outlined a vision for the future of sustainable fixed anchor maintenance and replacement in the United States. The conference included a combination of formal presentations, panel discussions, hands-on demonstrations and social gatherings.

Video and slide decks from select presentations can be viewed below. You may find the full conference agenda here.


Access Fund Executive Director Brady Robinson opens the conference. He argues that establishing climbs on public land is an inherently public act, advocates for the establishment of an accepted fixed anchor standard for climbing, and asks that we all strive to maximize the sustainability of our bolting practices.

Access Fund Policy Director Erik Murdock and Senior Policy Adviser Jason Keith discuss the policies, rules and regulations that govern fixed anchors. This presentation includes a brief history of the issue of fixed anchors on public lands, what is going on now and what the future may hold. Their slide deck can be found here.

Mason Baker discusses risk mitigation strategies for local climbing organizations engaging in fixed anchor replacement. His slide deck can be found here.

Geir Hundal demonstrates the use of his "Hurley Senior" tool to remove a split shank button head bolt for replacement. This particular tool is able to connect and pull directly on the hanger of the bolt, unlike the Hurley Junior tool, which must be attached directly to the bolt via a threaded rod. Note how much easier this is than the tuning fork method.


Jason Haas demonstrates the use of the "Hurley Junior" tool by removing a wedge bolt from a limestone boulder. Geir Hundal also discusses the parts he used to build this innovative tool. The purpose of the tool is to aid the removal of old climbing anchors in order to reuse the old hole and upgrade to better hardware.


Bruce Hildenbrand demonstrates using tuning forks (Lost Arrow pitons with notches cut in the blades) to remove an old style split shank 1/4" button head bolt. Contrast this more traditional technique with the Hurley Senior method.

Greg German demonstrates the removal of a wedge bolt by first spinning it with a power drill and then extracting it with a hydraulic puller.


Greg German and Phillip Carrier demonstrate how to remove a sleeve anchor by first tapping the sleeve and then using a "doodad" tool to extract the sleeve.


John Ross demonstrates using a 9mm tap and slide hammer on a draw rod to remove the sleeve from a 3/8" Powers bolt. Note how the slide hammer on the rod keeps the direction of pull perfectly aligned with the hole.


Chris Vinson discusses how to remove and use the ClimbTech Legacy bolt. So easy!

Audio only. Mark Butler shares some wisdom at the close of the conference. Mark is a passionate climber, former superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park, and spent over 30 years working for the Park Service in Yosemite.

There were a few presentations at the original 2012 Future of Fixed Anchors conference that are worthy of reposting here. If you're really curious, Joel Schopp compiled 9 videos from the conference here. Several presentations and supporting research can be found here.

Jim Titt discusses the state of European Standards for climbing anchors, including why Europe has a standards system, what it means to producers and users, and the effect it has on normal bolting practices. From the Access Fund Future of Fixed Anchors Conference held November 16-18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Angele Sjong is one of the metallurgy experts who studied the causes of bolt failure in Thailand. She discusses what she learned from the study and how the knowledge applies to bolt failure generally. Followed by a Q&A session. Her slide deck can be found here. From the Access Fund Future of Fixed Anchors Conference held November 16-18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.