Rock climbing in Kalymnos, Greece

‘Bolt tightening’ kits at six popular Kalymnos crags



On occasion you may have noticed a ‘spinner‘ when you climb – in other words, a loose hanger. This happens when the nut attaching the hanger to the bolt comes loose. Nuts come loose as a result of time, ascents and leader falls, not bad bolts, and they can usually be tightened on the spot. But since most climbers don’t routinely pack a wrench with their gear, the idea for a quick fix came up: Why not place a kit for tightening bolts at certain busy crags and see how it works? Six boxes with bolt tightening kits will therefore be placed at six of the most popular crags in Kalymnos (Grande Grotta, Odyssey, Spartacus, Arhi, Ghost Kitchen, and Sikati Cave). Each box will be protected under an assigned overhanging route, and will contain two wrenches (17mm and 19mm) along with some spare nuts and hangers (because sometimes the nut and hanger may come off entirely: this usually happens when a quickdraw is left on a hanger for a long time and spins in the wind). The kits are a small but hopefully practical measure for each climber to help keep climbing on Kalymnos safe and organized.


So next time you see a spinner at one of these crags, look for the re-purposed shoe box; each is clearly labeled, as in the photo, with a ‘box for tightening loose bolts’ sticker and ‘how-to’ instructions. Many thanks go out to Eric Maanders for coming up with the idea, and to his clients for distributing the boxes within the next few days. Wrenches, nuts and hangers are provided by Climb Kalymnos.




• Grande Grotta, under route ‘Aegialis


• Odyssey, under ‘Marci Marc


• Spartacus, under ‘Daniboy


• Arhi, under ‘Eros


• Ghost Kitchen, under ‘Remember Wadi Rum


• Sikati Cave, under ‘Lolita




• Take proper wrench. Most nuts / bolts are 17mm, but sometimes bigger ones (19mm) are used.


• Use wrench to tighten the nut just enough. Do not over-tighten it, or the bolt may break!


• If the hanger is missing, use a new nut + hanger from the box.


• When you’re done, return the wrench to the box. Please respect this initiative and don’t pocket the wrench.


• Make sure the box is back at its assigned spot.



If there are no more hangers or nuts left in the box, please let us know and we will refill it.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 13th, 2013 at 12:24 and is filed under Kalymnos news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Responses to “‘Bolt tightening’ kits at six popular Kalymnos crags”

  1. RM says:

    Chemical threadlock?

  2. Admin says:

    We refilled the box at Grande Grotta on July 19th 2013, adding approximately 10 hangers and 20 nuts. The boxes seem to be working out so far.

  3. Emanuele says:

    @Guy Deneyer: the reason is: the nylon is too hard and make the bolt to twist preventing expansion to work.
    I sold a few thousand bolts with those nuts, but the equippers were disappointed.
    To use those nylstop you need to first tighten the bolt with a regular nut, and then replace the nut with the self locking ones. This is a procedure equippers did not like. I disagree with them but that’s it.

  4. Great Initiative, congratulations to those involved!
    Meanwhile in Brazil hangers are being stolen from some routes at some areas.

  5. Guy Deneyer says:

    This is of course a good idea.
    Having worked in the past in the motorcycle racing environment, where nearly every bolt had to be secured in a way or another, I wonder why the use of Nylstop nuts isn’t common on climbing routes. Is there a reason for that, other than price ?

  6. Aris says:

    Thank you all for your important feedback.

    About the tightening: actually with the wrenches inside the box it is almost impossible to over-tighten. They are short wrenches with which you can tighten the nut enough so it does not move but it is very hard to put excessive force. They are like these:

    So tighten until you start to feel some resistance. Do not force it.

  7. Adam says:

    Agree, a good idea in theory, but I would be quite worried that someone is going to overtighten. It is easy to do, especially if you have never tightened a nut on a bolt before.

    Hopefully the instructions in the box are very explicit about how much force to use.

  8. Emanuele says:

    Aris, this is a “so-so” idea. First tighting too much the nut can damage the bolt. Second pulling too much the bolt accelerate SCC. Third the key is used by people that does not do what to do (I almost got killed for this, copy and paste on google translator.

    In my opinion it’s good to carry a specific torquing tool, once in a while, and handle it up to a volunteer that cleaning draws check each (each) nut of a route. It’s better and faster


  9. mde says:

    Thanks for the initiative. I hope the boxes will last long!

    Maybe it also helps to write what “tighten, but not overtighten” means. Assuming a 40Nm torque and a 20cm wrench one could apply a force of 200N and thus write something like “tighten with a force equivalent to 20kgs”. I agree this is rudimentary, but it at least gives some idea about what is right and what is too much.

  10. Chris Craggs says:

    Now that is a GOOD idea – so simple too.


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