"take it to a higher level"

Climbing Sponsored by Hilti

WOW!!! I am not sure where to begin; this development is so amazing that I am almost partially at a lost for words…HAHA…almost but not quite 🙂

First and foremost a VERY BIG THANK YOU to the Team from Hilti Middle East for your support. The UAE and Oman Climbing Community (and especially me) are very grateful for your contribution and support of UAE and Oman Rock Climbing. Your contributions and support will ensure the continued growth and safety of climbing in this region and will be put to very good use.

Three years of hard work, dedication, determination, resiliency to one of the things I love the most, climbing, has yet again paid off.  Over the past three years I have dedicated myself towards climbing in the UAE. I have been working hard to promote climbing, building the climbing community, developing a new climbing area, teaching new and old climbers safety techniques and much more. All this grueling hard work, unending determination and hours of dedication has paid off once again; this time with official sponsorship for UAE Climbing by Hilti. Today I proudly picked up the first set of equipment being allocated to me, and there is much more on the way.

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How did I achieve this? To start with at the beginning of this year I set the personal goal/mission to take UAE Climbing and Bolting to a higher level. I had some ideas of what I wanted to exactly achieve, though, wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to achieve this. Yet, I was positive that if I kept doing the things I love that I would attract the people, places, things and ideas that would allow me to reach my goal. Well I did just that and attracted what I needed to achieve the first part of my goal. All the specific details are not need so to make it short: Earlier last month I was called into a meeting at the Hilti office where I was contracted to set up and lead a team building event for Hilti. Not only was the event a complete success for them, It was a complete success for me personally in many ways. On the day of the event little did I know that the regional head for Hilti was also attending. Growing up he was an avid climber himself, who bolted many routes across mountains in Europe.  He, along with the other managers at Hilti were very impressed with my ability to arrange and lead the event, my knowledge of anchoring systems, experience, dedication to climbing and most of all the high level of safety that I put into what I do.

As the events of the day ended and we transitioned into the evening in the desert camp we sat up we started talking more about climbing in the UAE. Some where in about the middle of the evening I was told that I have full support from Hilti for climbing bolting and maintenance in the UAE and Oman.

So here I am now  as happy as a kid in a candy store and happily reporting this wonderful news to the world.

Nothing in life comes for free though and Hilti sponsorship is no exception. Several things are needed to be done by me and UAE Climbers for continued support. The most important thing for Hilti and the regional head is SAFETY! I will be working to put establish a system to distribute bolts to climbers for route maintenance, and development across the UAE and Oman. Below are a few key points:

  1. Getting the bolting fund organized and set up on a system is the first step. I am asking for Veteran UAE Climbers/Bolters to step up and volunteer to help make this happen. I will be structuring the UAE bolting system similarly to the structure of the bolting fund in the UK. I am setting a committee up or bolting in 5 zones (possibly 6 zones Tawiyan or will include it as part of Dibba or RAK). Hatta, Ras Al Khaimah, Al Ain, Dibba and Oman. I am looking for one person to be the representative and oversee each area. I will take care of Dibba since that is where my projects are. I also already have some one that will oversee Oman.
  2. I am also working with Hilti to set up a bolting workshop that will likely be in the beginning of November. Any climber wanting bolts provided by Hilti (mainly chemical anchors) from the UAE Bolting Fund will be required to attend this free workshop. This is to ensure that you as a bolter are following safe anchoring practices regardless of your prior experience.
  3. Mechanical anchors will be distributed to certain individuals with bolting experience for the main purpose of route maintenance in areas in the next few weeks prior to the Hilti Anchoring Workshop.
  4. For new routes in existing areas a topo of the proposed route(s), along with estimated grades and approximate number of bolts needed must be submitted prior to bolt allocation.
  5. For new areas a topo of the proposed area and route(s), along with estimated grades and approximate number of bolts, directions, GPS, and access needed must be submitted prior to bolt allocation. Any newly established area must have a minimum of 8 routes ranging from easy to hard.
  6. If bolts are being allocated for new routes in long-established areas (Hatta, Wonderwall etc.)  route maintenance on existing routes must also be done by the person(s) that are receiving the bolts. Extra bolts will be given for the sole purpose of existing route maintenance. Hilti wants to ensure that current routes are being maintained with the bolts.
  7. Pictures, topo along any relevant information will be submitted immediately after any new route development or maintenance is completed. ie Jonny Strizzand replaced the 1st, 4th, 9th..  bolt and top bolts on “The Troll” at Hatta Crag on the 9th of October 2011.
  8. If you are bolting a secret crag and want to make sure you get the first ascent and want bolts you still must submit all the above information to request for bolts. However the information will not be disclosed to any member of the climbing community until the project is completed and deemed open by the bolter. The information will not be released by any person(s) in UAE Bolting. Who you choose to tell and take to the area until it is open is up to you. You have a 6 month time limit to get the first ascent of your route. If project route(s) are bolted and not opened in 6 months they will be deemed open for the public.
  9. A website is also being built.
  10. Acquisition of hangers must also be set up.
  11. A meeting of UAE climbers to further this project also needs to be arranged (maybe TraksPro, Rock Republic, Adventure HQ etc would like to host us)
  12. While the majority of bolts are for climbing application some bolts will also be allocated to MECET (Middle Ease Caving Expeditionary Team) for anchoring in and around the caves.
  13. Further funds I generate towards the bolting fund will be used for hangers, chains, ropes and other climbing equipment used for bolting.

First allotment of bolts:

17 -HSA-RC 12mm

50 -HST- R 10mm

50 -HSV 10mm

30 -HSV 12mm

40 -HST 10mm

38 -HSA 12mm

12 -HST 12mm

50- HSA 10 mm

7 -12mm Drill Bits

11- 10mm Drill Bits

I also received a Hilti TE-6-A36, which I traded my Dewalt in for. Two anchor torque setting tools (1 for 10mm and 1 for 12mm bolts) that are used on the Hilti Torque Driver and automatically set tighten the bolts to the Hilti recommended torque and two hole blowers.

Further equipment is also on order to include another drill, batteries (possibly a couple of  drills, one of which will be sent to Oman),  torque drivers, chisels. An approximate of 3000, yes THREE THOUSAND BOLTS!!! is also being allocated. This will be a mixture of 10mm and 12mm mechanical and chemical anchors as well as the kits for the chemical anchoring application. Also on order are Hilti Drop Anchors (see picture below) there are heavy-duty anchors for heavy loads that allow the use of a Hilti “I-Bolt” to be screwed in to them. These anchors can be used for dual top anchors in the place of chains.

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