Diccan Pot anchors

26 May 2021

Anchor replacements in Diccan Pot

Over the last three years, we have received several reports about the condition of the anchors in Diccan Pot. Some of these were for crumbling resin around the surface, and others for anchors with some rotational movement.

This is perhaps no surprise. Diccan Pot was one of the first caves to benefit from stainless steel resin bonded anchors (P-anchors) in the 1990s, and since then those anchors have faced three decades of thrashing from the water and a large amount of use from cavers.

As part of efforts to follow up on defective anchor reports, a few of our installers inspected Diccan Pot over winter. Several anchors were found to be slightly loose, so, as previously reported, these were pulled out and replaced with IC anchors in the same hole. They were installed using a modern resin which is less prone to the shrinkage we believe is affecting some of our older placements.

The installers also noted that some of the anchor positions fell short of modern standards, including some lengthy sections of traversing with minimal protection, rope rub near the top of one pitch, and the final 10m drop being protected only by a single anchor rebelay with a high potential fall-factor.

Following discussions at our AGM, and then between our anchor installers team, a decision was reached on how best to balance conservation and safety. This resulted in a plan to install a couple of additional anchors (including one additional on the final pitch), and one anchor being relocated to a slightly better position.

The work was completed during the dry spell in April, and our online rigging topo has been updated.

Thanks to the installer team for their efforts; Even in low water, Diccan Pot is a chilly place to be hanging around drilling holes, and a technically demanding job. Thanks also to those who installed the original anchors in the 1990s, most of which will continue to serve us for decades to come.