Bolts 4 Cuba Climbing

Bolts 4 Cuba Climbing

From Cuba Climbing

Bolts4Cuba provides bolts, drills, and hardware to replace unsafe anchors and create new routes in Cuba. We provide only titanium bolts with an expected 50-year lifetime to break the cycle of re-bolting unsafe routes ...

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Update #14

7 months ago

More topos to new areas in Cuba have been added to the premium thank-you gifts to donors at the $125 level. Playa Jibacoa was the site of the annual Cuban Climbing Festival and Comp. This 11 pages of topos to its over 30 routes is by Tito Pimente. The area has accommodations between the crags and beach. It will become very popular.

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Thanks to our donors and many volunteers, Bolts4Cuba is a continuing success. We’ve provided hundreds of bolts, plus power drills and the other hardware essential for anchor replacement and new route development.

Cuba’s biggest wall at La Costanera and the site of the earliest and bulk of bolt failures has been largely rebolted with titanium glue-ins. A new wall developed in 2019 with over 30 routes near the beach town of Gibara in eastern Cuba was done entirely with titanium bolts.

For our supporters who make this possible, the campaign has created thank-you rewards that can’t be purchased anywhere: topos to new climbing walls, from the heart of Viñales to beachside crags near Varadero and Gibara. Until future guidebooks are published, these topos will be the only information on those crags and routes.

Much remains to be done. Our goal is to end the pattern seat-of-pants bolting and rebolting that we as climbers continue to repeat. As we replace the thousands of steel expansion bolts, that will continue to deteriorate and fail, we have set as the standard for Cuba that all new areas will be bolted with only glue-in titanium bolts with an expected 50-year life. Whether 50 years or forever, current knowledge says that it is the highest sustainable standard one can set.

The spectacular Valle de Viñales is the center of climbing, with hundreds of routes, many multi-pitches of big wall sport climbing. Today however there are Cuban climbers and developed climbing areas across the entire island.

This rare feat has been accomplished in a country without any source of climbing equipment. None.

Cuba’s government alone imports all products available on the island, from food to tractors, and no climbing equipment reaches the island for sale, at any price. There is no recognition, support, even tolerance for activities such as climbing that the government hasn’t established and doesn’t control through its sport apparatus. Artist climber Renan Osturk has created a poignant short video on the daily life of a Cuban climber.

Climbing began in Cuba with visiting climbers leaving their gear. In time, others brought donated gear and bolts to sustain climbing growth across the island. An in-country network of distribution moved donations to where neophyte climbers were getting into climbing.

Harnesses, shoes, and ropes, however, without bolts and hardware don’t put up routes or develop more and newer climbing areas. The essential difference putting Cuba on the climbing map with the Cubans able to lead the way has this crowdfunding campaign.

Bolts4Cuba is a volunteer effort. Climber donations buy the equipment and climbers bring the the bolts and hardware to Cuba. Many volunteers, but no staff, no overhead. Every penny is put to work.

To volunteer to be a Bolts4Cuba, mula or mulo, as the Cubans call the folks who fly-in with all the goods necessary for life here. write to CubaClimbing

It’s been 20 years since the first-generation of routes in Cuba. Many bolts were becoming unsafe. As anchor replacement progressed with bolts from Bolts4Cuba, we quickly noted that first ascentionist’s skimp-and-save philosophy lingered. New route development continued with steel expansion bolts. Re-bolting a route every 15 or 20 years would not cut it.

Understandably cost had been a  important criterion for choosing climbing anchors for Cuba’s first ascentionists who were paying out of their own pockets.

A community-funded re-bolting efforts such as Bolts4Cuba, however, could break the pattern. Anchors made from corrosion-resistant metals such as titanium cost more up front, but if they last many times longer than cheaper anchors, in 50 years the climbing community will have saved money—and a lot of re-bolting effort.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
7 months ago

Update #19

More topos to new areas in Cuba have been added to the premium thank-you gifts to donors at the $125 level. Playa Jibacoa was the site of the annual Cuban Climbing Festival and Comp. This 11 pages of topos to its over 30 routes is by Tito Pimente. The area has accommodations between the crags and beach. It will become very popular.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
7 months ago

Update #18

More topos to new areas in Cuba have been added to the premium thank-you gifts to donors at the $125 level. Playa Jibacoa was the site of the annual Cuban Climbing Festival and Comp. This 11 pages of topos to its over 30 routes is by Tito Pimente. The area has accommodations between the crags and beach. It will become very popular.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #17

One of the original bolts placed on Mileno before replacement.
(We apologize for multiple updates, but hard to show entire story on this limited platform.)

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #16

On January 25 and 26 an older but really not meaner Aníbal and Yarobys Garcia rebolted the route with titanium bolts purchased by Bolts4Cuba.. (We apologize for multiple updates, but hard to show entire story on this limited platform.)

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #13

Mileno was an instant classic put up by Aníbal Fernández and Vity Echazábal 20 years ago, almost to the day. The first photo is of Aníbal and Vity on one of the early ascents in January 2000. Mileno launched this gold and red wall with its 2 and 3 pitch routes following striking natural features.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #12

Mileno was an instant classic put up by Aníbal Fernández and Vity Echazábal 20 years ago, almost to the day. The first photo is of Aníbal and Vity on one of the early ascents in January 2000. Mileno launched this gold and red wall with its 2 and 3 pitch routes following striking natural features.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #11

300 titaniums bolts on way to Cuba’s limestone walls!
These new ti-bolts were a collaboration of Bolts4Cuba and our friend and Cubaphile from Quebec Paul Laperrière. Paul designed the bolt and had it manufactured by ZhongYuDe in Baoji, Shaanxi, China, also know by the nickname “Titanium City, China.”
Paul tested the prototypes of the bolt in the Fall and Winter of 2019. UIAA margins were exceeded by a wide margin, and Bolts4Cuba committed to buy 150 bolts and Paul and other agreed to match that with another 150 bolts for Cuba.
These first bolts will be used on the beach crag at Playa Jibacoa which the Cubans have been developing and will be the site of the 2020 Climbing Festival-Jibacoa / Festival Cubano de Escalada Jibacoa 2020 February 28 - March 2, 2020.
Playa Jibacoa should be an excellent first test of the new ti-bolts. The majority of the bolts purchased by Bolts4Cuba will then be used for continuing anchor replacement projects in Viñales.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #10

300 titaniums bolts on way to Cuba’s limestone walls!
These new ti-bolts were a collaboration of Bolts4Cuba and our friend and Cubaphile from Quebec Paul Laperrière. Paul designed the bolt and had it manufactured by ZhongYuDe in Baoji, Shaanxi, China, also know by the nickname “Titanium City, China.”
Paul tested the prototypes of the bolt in the Fall and Winter of 2019. UIAA margins were exceeded by a wide margin, and Bolts4Cuba committed to buy 150 bolts and Paul and other agreed to match that with another 150 bolts for Cuba.
These first bolts will be used on the beach crag at Playa Jibacoa which the Cubans have been developing and will be the site of the 2020 Climbing Festival-Jibacoa / Festival Cubano de Escalada Jibacoa 2020 February 28 - March 2, 2020.
Playa Jibacoa should be an excellent first test of the new ti-bolts. The majority of the bolts purchased by Bolts4Cuba will then be used for continuing anchor replacement projects in Viñales.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #8

We are at $8K! This is so exciting! Thank you Thank you Thank you to all our generous donors!
We are working on some updates to the page - stay tuned

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
over 2 years ago

Update #7

For a $100 donations, donors will also receive digital topos of a newly developed climbing area in Cuba. These routes are not in the Cuba Climbing guidebook. The topos are provided only to supporters of Bolts4Cuba. The area of Jibacóa is on the north coast of Cuba between Havana and Varadero. Jibacóa offers sport climbing by the beach, something that oddly enough, Cuba was missing.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
almost 3 years ago

Update #6

Dear Contributors, Friends,
This year is almost over and a new climbing season is about to get kicked-off at the enchanting cliffs of Cuba. It feels good to know this season will be a little safer, a little more optimistic and inspired. It fills us with hope to know that despite all the chaos, political divisions and squabbles happening around us in the world, we were able to rally, reach across the borders and red tape and make a meaningful difference supporting what we love and believe in.
We @BoltsForCuba wanted to once again thank you for your generous donations and provide a report on our progress so far. Keeping in constant contact with climbers on the island, we worked carefully to purchase what was most needed. We were able to acquire and deliver the following equipment so far with more titanium bolts to be sent down soon!

2 Bosch 36V Rotary Hammer (reconditioned)
20 Collinox bolts with glue
37 Eterna titanium bolts
1 Hilti epoxy dispenser
6 Hilti epoxy tubes
6 SDS drill bits
4 cleaning brushes
2 blow out pumps
Pullers and spinner (donated by Access Fund)
Static rope (donated by BlueWater)

Our efforts have been met with great appreciation and regard, and naturally, with ever increasing list of requests :)
We will keep-up this grass-root effort and will keep you informed, as much as we can, on new developments.
Please continue supporting us by spreading the word!
THANK YOU!
Scott, Armando and Olga @ BoltsForCuba

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #5

The Bosch drill and first party of new bolts has been delivered to Viñales couple weeks ago. Our friends are thrilled with the goods and send a big THANK YOU to all our generous contributors

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #4

Happy to report cuban climbers have started re-bolting with some titanium glue-ins they had at hand. But they were running short on resin, and here is our first courier Sharon passing the two cartriges of Hilti epoxy along with few mixing tips to Toni in Viñales.

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Cuba Climbing posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #1

Thanks to all our amazing supporters for generous contributions and great momentum! We have made our first purchases - Bosch drill and some Hilti Epoxy. These will be delivered to our friends in Cuba very shortly; we have number of volunteer couriers going over this month. Please let us know if you are planning a trip and willing to take along some donation gear.
Stay tuned for more updates and THANKS!

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