Gallery  Spray  News  Links  TPWD  Indians  Capitalism  Contact Us  Search  Hueco Info

Read this info from Ed Leeper regarding his hangers.

The following has been posted in the Ranger's office at Hueco Tanks State Historical Park:

"Warning to route climbers:

Many of the bolts and hangers in place in the park are old, and subject to metal fatigue and breakage. A climber recently fell after a hanger failed. The hardware was not shock-loaded.

Climb and use old hardware at your own risk."

<John Moses> According to the climber who took the unexpected ride to the next bolt down, he was climbing on Desperado (5.11), 2nd pitch, 2nd bolt when he clipped in to rest. The hanger plate broke along a horizontal axis beneath the head of the 1/4 inch bolt. He fell to the next bolt where his second caught him on belay.

The park has received offers from individual climbers to replace worn hardware. Such an activity would be permitted if it can be underwritten by a club or organization.

<Enchanted Rock SNA Manager, Rob Trippet:>
"The way things work here, the Central Texas Climbing Committee (CTCC) has a board of directors and so on. They are also part of the Friends of Enchanted Rock but I believe they have their own MOU and charter with TPWD and we cover all technical climber and rapellers with a release they sign in the HQ upon arrival. The CTCC board reviews new climbing route applications and forwards the approved ones on to me (which I basically trust their judgment), which I then forward to Riskind. They also rebolt all the routes on a regular rotating basis, in fact they just recently finished a major redo on most of the routes. There is also a pretty good pipeline to us from climbers who find loose bolts or whatever and they usually get fixed pretty quick. If you like, contact Mike Lewis at and ask him some more detailed questions."

<John Moses ~ 2004 > So...the answer to your query on e-rock bolt liability is still "don't
know", as it depends on whether the organization covers its officers with
liability insurance. I'm not concerned with the bolts being insured, just
the people who put them in.

John Moses
Former Park Manager
Hueco Tanks SHP


Editor's Note: The bolt in question was an old 3/8", not a 1/4". I confirmed this with Fred Nakovic. The hanger was a Leeper hanger - usually great, but notorious for occasionally failing. The bolt was placed on-lead by Fred Nakovic while hanging from a couple of skyhooks. Most of the original bolts at Hueco were place using a similar ground-up style.

HOWEVER: The vast majority of existing bolts at Hueco are the ones that were replaced during the retro-bolting effort of 1989, and are are still, as of 2006, BOMBER. They have Petzl hangers, and have not deteriorated much in the dry desert climate. We use them without fear.

The failure of the Desperado hanger occurred ~ summer of 2001, and as of 2.18.2006 the bolt had not yet been replaced.

Regarding the "liability insurance" issue -'s position is that all liability suits over matters involving rock-climbing or other risky sports are immoral. "Climb at your own risk" - no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to climb. If your rope breaks or your partner drops you or you just happen to fall for no particular reason, you have no one to blame but yourself. Period. Stay home and watch TV if you are apt to want someone else to take responsibility for your injuries.

However, if any of you out there think that replacing the bolts is worth sucking-up to the Gods of Liability, please feel free to get organized and replace the bolts! Perhaps the CTCC or Rock Ranch can help; the EPCC will not be able to assist.