Bolting is not allowed at Carderock

posted in: Adopt-a-Crag, climbing | 0

If you’ve never seen a bolt at Carderock, there’s a reason for that. That’s because it is illegal for them to be placed.

In early April, however, a MAC member and longtime area climber found two improperly placed bolts at a lesser known climb off the beaten path at the popular Maryland climbing destination.

The glue-in bolts were incorrectly placed and the person who found them removed them by hand with little effort. The bolts were the type that were designed to be glued in, but did not have the proper glue. They would have not held in a fall.

National Park Service regulations prohibit bolting or disturbing any of the natural resources in this historical national park. While Carderock does have some historical bolts in situ, the current regulations prohibit new bolts of any kind. MAC and Access Fund oppose climbers placing bolts in violation of law, and are actively working with the National Park Service to address this issue.

Situations such as this not only threaten access for future generations of climbers, but also endangers (literally) our community.

Please remember:

1. Always climb responsibly, don’t blindly trust fixed gear. We understand that climbers assume a certain amount of risk when using fixed gear, but do your best to inspect bolts and anchors and talk to locals– these bolts were pulled out by hand.

2. Be aware of your crag’s policies.  If you have questions, MAC is happy to help.

3. Respect other climbers and land managers, including the NPS.

If you have any questions or concerns about this incident or others in the area, email

bolts removed from carderock - april 2013