CNCC Anchor Warning

Anchor Warning© Les Sykes / Glenn Jones

After a thorough investigation, the CNCC Technical Group is issuing the following warning. It concerns the use of the following permanent anchors, Eco anchors, Lyon safety bolt, Fixe 'glue in', Petzl Collinox & Bat'inox.

In certain locations is has been necessary to locate the anchor placement low or at ground level. This is due to the geological constraints of the entrance, cave passage or pitch head. e.g. Rowten Pot entrance pitch, Cow Pot entrance pitch, Juniper Gulf entrance pitch at the north end, Pillar Holes.

When an anchor is clipped into at ground level, and progression to the entrance drop is made by keeping low. It is possible for the attachment krabiner to become detached from the anchor. Anchors that have been placed below waist height on traverses may produce a similar result. See photo.

When using anchors placed in rock at ground level or anchors that have not been placed correctly on traverses e.g. too low and the wrong alignment. Certain extra precautions need to be observed.

  1. Always clip up and through the anchor so that the karabiner gate is on the outside
  2. While manoeuvring, watch the attachment krab.
  3. Always have captive karabiners on cows tails/safety loops
  4. If possible, ensure that you have two safety devices connected. (due to the embedment depth of the Eco anchor it may not be possible to insert two karabiners and a rope. An alternative may be to tie the rope directly into the anchor and clip the rope loop).
  5. Consider using screwgate or twist gate krabs on safety loops/Cows tails.
  6. When belaying/top roping etc. where there is a necessity to move around, it may be desirable to tie into the anchor.
    If rigged, clip into the rope and not the anchor.