Hardware Replacement Program

The mission of SMCC is to secure, protect, and maintain climbing resources. To achieve such objectives, this all-volunteer organization encourages responsible stewardship for those that use the land, trails, and rock in southwest Montana. On the behalf of all climbers, SMCC volunteers negotiate with landowners, work with government land managers, and build and improve climbing trails.  These efforts are part of SMCC’s primary focus to ensure that climbers maintain a reputation of being responsible, self-maintaining users of public and private land.  Toward that end, SMCC is launching a new program in 2019 to replace potentially dangerous, permanent hardware on established climbing routes.

To initiate the program, SMCC received a grant from the Access Fund’s Anchor Replacement Fund.  SMCC has also received donations of hardware from local climbers.  At first, only the oldest, most worn and corroded bolts will be targeted. In the future, with additional donations of funds, hardware, and volunteer-hours, the program will expand and address hardware replacement on a larger scale.

The SMCC is you, acting as a member of an organized coalition of responsible climbers.  Through the donations of funds, hardware, and labor we all help to secure the future of climbing in southwest Montana.  Begin now by reporting an unsafe anchor or volunteering your time to help replace one.  Also, if you see an unsafe anchor and have the means and necessary experience to fix it, then fix it!

Special Note:

The SMCC policy is to maintain the original style in which a route was established.  First ascensionists will be given the opportunity to decide whether or not their route should be altered.  The SMCC also does not promote the addition of hardware (i.e., lead bolts) to existing climbs that would alter bolt spacing or replace the need to place gear (e.g., nuts, cams, etc.).

The SMCC will not provide funds or hardware for new route development.  However, SMCC does recommend that new route development use only climbing industry accepted stainless steel bolts and anchors in order to extend their usable lifespan and prevent premature replacement efforts in the future.

Through its Hardware Replacement Program, the SMCC’s aim is to provide resources and training opportunities that will assist in mitigating potentially dangerous hardware on established routes. The SMCC does not undertake or assume a responsibility to insure that any fixed hardware is strong, properly placed or safe. It is each climber’s responsibility to evaluate routes and make all decisions incident to climbing them, to climb safely, and to inspect and make individual decisions regarding the safety and reliability of fixed anchors.

A primary goal of this program is to help mitigate the risk of an area being closed because of a climbing accident.  You can help by using this link to report an unsafe anchor or volunteering your time to help replace one: https://forms.gle/JxEcqvRG7DWYSCRf8

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