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Definition of Climbing Equipment Word



A climber places a bolt at Shelf Road.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green Use anchors bolts on sport climbing routes for safe anchors.

Clip a couple quickdraws in bolt anchors for a quick and safe top-rope climbing anchor.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green Bolt

A bolt hanger attached to a bolt hammered in the rock secures the climbing rope with a carabiner.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green


A bolt is an artificial anchor, usually used for building construction, hammered into a hole drilled into rock to protect either a lead climber or for use as a belay and rappel anchor. Most bolts that are used for climbing purposes are construction anchors, either wedge or sleeve bolts that are either 3/8-inch or ½-inch in diameter and up to four inches long.

Bolt Hanger

A bolt hanger is attached to the bolt with a nut so that a carabiner can be clipped to the bolt anchor.

Bolt Use is Controversial

The use of bolts and power drills in climbing is very controversial because it permanently alters and mars the rock surface. The placement of any bolt or the drilling of any hole should only be made by expert climbers that are well aware of both the legal and ethical ramifications of bolting. The placement of a bolt in rock should only be a last resort, and bolts should never be placed next to cracks where other removable protection like nuts and cams (SLCDs) can be used, which don’t damage the rock.

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