What’s In Your Bag: The Crag Developer

  • May
  • 11

What’s In Your Bag: The Crag Developer

Rock climbing routes don’t just appear overnight. Bolting, the act of drilling steel bolts and hangers onto a crag, is a laborious but necessary process to ensure safe passage up a crag. As the sport continues to flourish in the Philippines, it takes a dedicated, well-trained crew with hefty packs behind their backs to develop new routes that will ensure the sport’s continuation for generations to come.

Carlos Mackinano Jr., or Kuya Mackie, is a veteran of the Philippine climbing community; an OG who has had a hand in establishing most of the country’s major climbing destinations. So what does it take to develop one of these routes? We join him on one of his bolting trips to Bukidnon and here’s what he brought with him…


Check out the upcoming Kiokong Rock Climbing Festival

For donations, or if you want to help Kuya Mackie and his team with their bolting efforts in Bukidnon, reach out to climbnbolt@gmail.com.

The necessaries:

1. Climbing Harness
An assembly of padded slings and buckles worn around the waist and legs, and used with a climbing rope to suspend the climber and protect against falls.

2. Nuts and Hexes
Metal wedges threaded with high- tensile wire that can be inserted between cracks in the rock for a temporary anchor point.

3. Loose Carabiners
Oval loops with a spring-loaded gate that can easily be opened to insert a climbing rope and other gear.

4. Helmet
Protection from falling rocks or dropped bolting gear.


Photographs by Jeric Rustia

5. Rope
Dynamic climbing rope preferred for its high elasticity which softens the impacts of falls, and static work rope, preferred for ascending and abseiling due to its low elasticity and high abrasion resistance.

6. Slings and Daisy Chain
Nylon and Dyneema® slings used to attach the harness directly into anchor points.

7. Skyhooks
Small flattened hooks used in aid or trad climbing by temporarily placing them on cracks and pockets in rock faces.

8. Ascender
Device used with an assisted braking device in order to safely climb a rope without risk of falling.

9. Climbing Shoes
Shoes with high-friction rubber specially designed for precision footwork on rocks.

10. Belay Devices
Used to feed and take in rope as the climber moves up and down the rock wall. From top to bottom: double-sided tubular belay/rappel device, tubular assisted braking belay device, and assisted braking belay device.

11. Quickdraws
Two carabiners attached on either side of a nylon sling (called a runner). One carabiner is clipped into the hanger while the other side is for the rope. Different lengths are used to reduce drag (unwanted friction) on the rope.

12. Chalk Bag
Holds magnesium carbonate, which helps absorb moisture from a climber’s hands for better friction on the rock.


(A) Cordless Impact Hammer Drill
A lightweight professional drill designed specifically for rock climbing development.

(B) Rock Climbing Hammer
Used to flatten the drilling surface for better placement of hangers. Also used to check the hardness of the rock, remove sharp rock edges, and remove loose rocks along a climbing route.

(C) Wrenches
Used to tighten nuts on fixed anchors.

(D) Drill Bits
Different-sized bits are used to accommodate different types of bolts.

(E) Brass and Nylon Brush
Used to clean dirt and debris from potential hand and foot holds.

(F) Expansion Bolts
Bolts with a metal sleeve that expands as it is tightened so that it locks inside the rock. Used to create a fixed anchor.

(G) Hangers
Stainless steel closed loops bolted onto the rock as part of a fixed anchor that carabiners and quickdraws can be clipped into.

As featured in
GRID Volume 05

What’s In Your Bag?


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