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Obvious signs of corrosion in a seaside environment, on a belay on the route Fatti non Foste in Monte Gallo, Sicily, bolted only a few years ago with 304 grade stainless steel.
Photo by www.webmontagne.fr
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UIAA recommends titanium bolts only for marine crags

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Maurizio Oviglia discusses the new document produced by the UIAA (the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) which outlines management strategies for individual climbers, bolters and manufacturers for anchor safety and bolting of sport climbs at seaside crags.

After the cases of broken stainless steel anchors, which Claude Remy and I denounced on planetmountain.com in 2012, it was common knowledge that the UIAA was working on changing the norm UNI EN 959 (UIAA 123), indicating what is the most suitable material to be used at cliffs close to the sea, as it was clear to all that some types of steel at these crags may break after a short timespan under very low loads.

Recently the UIAA website has published an extensive document in both English and French that highlights the results and the conclusions the researchers have come to after years of work. Unfortunately, according to the text linked below, it seems as if only titanium (and therefore not even High Corrosion Resistant (HCR) steels) are suitable for crags located in places classified as being high risk. The document also identifies which locations are susceptible to stress corrosion cracking, and provides specific guidances for individual climbers, bolters and manufacturers.

In the light of these results it is clear, as noted within the UIAA report, that bolting a crag in a marine environment now requires a significant financial investment that cannot be met free of charge by individual volunteers. The entire climbing community (or a representative body) must provide the funds for bolting and monitoring crags at risk of stress corrosion cracking.

by Maurizio Oviglia

DOWNLOAD FROM WWW.THEUIAA.ORG
- Download the press release in English
- Download the press release in French


Info: www.theuiaa.org

ARTICLES ON PLANETMOUNTAIN.COM

15/12/2014 - Sea cliff crags at risk: climbing ban or rebolting?
11/06/2015 - Reequipping with 'marine' gear in Sardinia by Louis Piguet

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