Climbing on Cayman Brac

Rock Climbing on an unspoiled tropical island

Support Brac Climbing April 18, 2019

Your help is needed to provide more climbing on Cayman Brac.

As you know, the only safe bolts for Cayman Brac are titanium (see Bolt Safety). Back in the year 2000 a small group of dedicated climbers developed, paid for, and installed over 500 titanium bolts on the island.   Nineteen years later in 2019, these bolts have proven themselves to be impervious to corrosion. They still look brand new, which is astonishing in a place where every other metal, even stainless, shows obvious corrosion in a few weeks or months.

After that initial effort, production of titanium bolts was halted due to lack of sales until 2010, when climbers from the Thaitanium Project (mostly Josh Lyons) did a lot of work to have Ti bolts produced again and invited the Cayman climbers to join forces and pool their money.

How many routes is that? Counting the remaining bolts at Bluff View in 2011.

In the last 10 years (2011-2020) 80 routes have been bolted with titanium: ten old routes were re-bolted and 70 new routes were put up and 7 new sectors/walls were developed (Iguana, Pinky’s, Heritage, Seahorse, Backyard, Valentines and Yogi).   This expanded the grade range on both ends so that now there are more easy routes and also more hard routes from 5.6  to 5.13+).


Many, many people have commented on how “well-bolted” the island is. Here, 5′ 3″ Ioana top-ropes Captain Kirk’s First Voyage to help decide where the bolts should go. (Donaldson)

We gladly donate our labor and time but the bolts cost $12.50 each not including the glue, glue-guns, drills, air fare, baggage fees, duty, etc. that go along with them.   One climber (me!) has spent over $20,000 to put up routes on Cayman Brac.  For example in 2015, I placed 44 bolts.  The bolts alone cost $550.

So we are asking for your support. Donations of any amount are very much appreciated and will be used for new routes.   You can send it directly to me.  Please email to get the address.  Thank you.

John Byrnes


2000/2001 I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the re-bolting effort. Their expertise, time, equipment, money and labor were all greatly appreciated: Mike Shelton, Jim Bowes, Skip Harper, Vance “Victor Blanco” White, Eric Hirst, Ken Cline, Sue Rusch, Mike Kleker, Chris Kantarjiev and Susan Bolton.


I must thank a large number of people for making this bolting trip successful.  Besides the usual suspects, Jim Bowes, Mike Shelton, Victor Blanco and Eric Hirst (who  “found” a box of Tortugas under his bed!), there where a number of new players to whom I am very grateful.

First and foremost is Josh Lyons, founder of the Thaitanium Project, who did so much work to qualify a new supplier of titanium bolts:   Thanks so much Josh!  Many thanks to Greg Barnes and the American Safe Climbing Association for help with funding and consolidation of our order.

And just when I thought I’d go broke funding it, people came forward with donations: Kirk Donaldson, Larry Hamilton, Lori Lee, Manne’ Dona Dalle Rosa, Ian Fox, Brett Johnson, Jim and Kelly Didio, Jen Connell, Katy Dartford, Saagar Kadiyala, Rob Barton, Alistair MacDonald, Ruardt Prozesky, Darek Krol, Mike & Meg Snyder, and probably some others I forgot (sorry!).


I’d again like to thank, for the second year in a row, Manne’ Dona Dalle Rosa and Saagar Kadiyala for their help and support.   And many thanks to Sam Kobata, Holly Rock and Don McGrath for their hard work, expertise and sweat!


When I was quite young I read many books about intrepid British jungle explorers, “Doctor Livingston, I presume?”  Having grown-up in the U.S. I couldn’t visualize everything I read, but now having spent many hours thrashing about on top of the Spot Bay wall,  I’ve come to fully appreciate the phrase impenetrable jungle, especially said with a British accent.

I’d like to thank all the people who either worked to open new routes or donated to make this years effort a success: Jeff Achey, Sam Kobata, Dawn Alguard, Arthur “Spike” Lynch, Pat Cusack, Susan Rusch (again), Mike  Underwood, Nan Karsh, and for the third year running, Saagar Kadiyala, without whom we’d have no glue.  Also many thanks to Ifrane, Lauren and Holly for hacking out a trail from Dixon’s to Pinky’s!   Thanks!


I want to emphatically thank everyone who donated to this year’s effort, especially the Grand Cayman climbers, Saagar, Ryan, Ioana, Tristan, Verity and Jo, for their generous support.  I also want to thank Jeff, my solid bolting partner, and Kirk for his continued photographic documentation of the scene there.

Special thanks to Jim Ewing and Sterling Ropes for the donation of the 9mm semi-static ropes we’ve been using for bolting the last three years.   Best static rope I’ve ever used!


Many thanks to those who supported me this year either with donations, drinks, dinners, belays, labor and patience! Specifically: Gordon Larsen, Peter H, Elvis and Tanya, Marcus and Eve, Matt R, and JoBee.


Thanks to Matt A for bringing down the glue, and to Christine for her generous donations.