The UIAA Safety Commission has recently issued a warning to climbers about the safety of fixed anchors (bolts) in tropical, marine locations. Concern was raised after an accident in the Dominican Republic, in which an anchor failed under bodyweight loading. Climbers are warned to be vigilant and check for signs of corrosion when climbing in such locations.
Initial tests have found that between 10 and 20% of anchors in these locations would fail at a force of less than 5 kN. (Anchor forces during falls tend to be anything between 2 and 7 kN, depending on the fall severity)
More work is being done, but of particular concern is noted that not all weakened anchors showed visible signs of cracking.
Read the full report and UIAA warning here
Climbers are advised to check anchors carefully, and to find out the history of anchors with local climbers before using them.
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