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Author Topic: Warning : Risks of anchor failure on climbing routes equipped in tropical marine area  (Read 1884 times)

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Offline blades

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Warning : Risks of anchor failure
on climbing routes equipped in tropicalmarine environments


1 – Feedback from the field:
Recent accidents alerted us to the probability of weakened anchors on routes equipped in tropical,
marine environments. These anchors have been weakened by corrosion accelerated by the proximity
of the sea and year-long, warm, wet climates.
First samplings from some climbing areas in tropical marine environments showed that 10 to 20% of
anchors could have a resistance as low as 1 kN to 5 kN (cf. Nominal climbing falls load anchors with
forces of 1 kN to 5 kN; a 25 kN minimum bolt strength is required by the standards)!!
All the anchors concerned are stainless steel in accordance with the standard requirement. The low
strength may be caused by oxidation, galvanic corrosion, and/or stress-corrosion cracking—a
complete analysis is in progress within the UIAA Safety Commission. These mechanisms are further
enhanced when metals that are inappropriate for use in marine environments are installed on cliffs in
coastal areas. The many mechanisms and materials involved make it impossible for a climber to
determine the integrity of a bolt by inspection.

2-Our advice if you climb on routes equipped in tropical, marine environments:
Before any climbing, we strongly recommend that you enquire with the local climbers and/or with
the local people who equipped the routes about the quality of the anchors in place.
Some areas are regularly re-equipped. If the equipment is less than 3 years old, experience to date
suggests that the probability of finding a weakened anchor is low, even though bolt failure has been
known to occur within 9 months of installation.
On the other hand, if you detect signs of rust on the anchors, this can indicate a badly weakened
anchor. In that case, do not load the anchor, and retreat from the climb (experience from the field
shows that some anchors would break when loaded with only the weight of the climber). Alert the
local climbers/local people who take care of the maintenance of the climbing area, so that they can
check and replace the weakened anchor; you could also replace the weakened anchor yourself.
As a precautionary principle, we strongly advise you NOT to climb on routes in tropical, marine
environments which show signs of rust on anchors and/or where you do not know either the person
responsible for maintenance of the climbing area, or when the equipment was installed.
In the absence of reliable information about the integrity of anchors from the locals who maintain
the bolts at a tropical, marine cliff, climbers must consider coastal, bolted routes as adventure
terrain where all fixed anchors are questionable, as is the case in alpine climbing.
Ultimately, it is the climber him/herself who is responsible for his/her decisions and actions
regarding the integrity of the anchors.

3- Examples of weakened anchors with visible cracks:



4- Examples of weakened anchors with No visible cracks, but which broke between 1 and 5 KN:



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Offline blades

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UIAA

πηγη:
Code: [Select]
http://routes.gr/Documents/UIAASafety/WarningForMarineEnvironments.pdf
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