IC Resin Anchor

The IC Resin Anchor was conceived and designed by Simon Wilson BSc. with assistance from several friends.

Email: simon.wilson.a [at] gmail.com

The information in this website is given in a spirit of openness and sharing for the benefit of anybody interested in resin anchors.
This is not a commercial enterprise and the anchors are not for sale.


In January 2015 the Council of Northern Caving Clubs (CNCC) approved the installation of IC resin anchors.
In March 2015 the British Caving Association (BCA) Equipment and Techniques (E&T) committee approved the anchor.
We now have a team of installers working together in the northern region and anchors are being installed in line with the BCA anchor policy.

There is a very good reason why cavers came together to prevent 'bolt rash'. Please don't install any anchors which are not removable and which you are not intending to remove. If you feel the need to install permanent anchors then please get in touch and get trained to do it within the BCA Anchor Scheme.

All photos except those of products which are in the public domain are the property of Simon Wilson or Bob Mehew and copying of them without permission is forbidden.
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Background.

In the 1980s there was a problem with increasing numbers of anchors being installed in caves (bolt rash). Many of the anchors were badly installed and in poorly chosen positions. They were mainly 8mm self-drilling carbon steel threaded anchors (Spits) but these can soon become dangerous due to a combination of wear and corrosion.

I was one of the cavers who started to create new SRT routes in Dales caves using Spits in the 1970s. I stopped installing Spits when I found that one I had installed in Alum Pot was dangerous after only two years and I voiced objection to more Spits being installed. Around the early 1980s Dave Elliot and Dick Lawson instigated a system which was proposed as a solution to bolt rash. Under the programme trained installers installed anchors which were given a red identification marker, installations were recorded and in 1987 a rigging guide was published covering 25 caves. The programme was generally welcomed because it solved the problem of poorly installed anchors but it also received a great deal of criticism because the anchors used were still Spits.

In the late 1980s a resin fixed anchor was developed and in 1991 the CNCC started a scheme of anchor replacement which followed the protocol established by Elliot and Lawson but using resin anchors and these are now the normal type of anchor in British Caves. The British Caving Association (BCA) and regional bodies together oversee the installation of anchors. The DMM Eco Hanger was the design preferred by the BCA and there are now around 2,000 DMM hangers installed in caves throughout Britain but DMM ceased to make their Eco Hanger in 2005.

After DMM ceased making the ECO Hanger new installations all but stopped and the BCA looked for an alternative. Cavers became frustrated by the delay in finding a suitable alternative and an increasing number of anchors of other commercially available designs have been installed in caves by anonymous installers.

When I first saw a DMM Eco Hanger I thought it was the best option. I thought the design was adequate but that there was much scope for improvement. There would be something amiss if after about 25 years of technological advancement we could not produce a better anchor than the DMM anchor. In early 2014 there appeared to be no prospect of a better design or even one at least as good being installed in UK caves and I decided the time was right to produce a resin anchor.

The IC anchor is a resin-fixed anchor which has been designed to replace the DMM anchor and to outperform it in every respect.

Simon Wilson.

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Acknowledgements.


I am grateful to the following:

Nick Williams
For inviting me to the BCA E&T committee meeting and for lending me his load cell.

The BCA E&T Committee

For agreeing the loan of the BCA load cell and for treating me generously as an observer at the 2014 E&T Committee meetings. http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=equipment_techniques:signed_minutes_e_t_050414.pdf

Bob Mehew
For assisting with the testing and statistical analysis of the results.

Brian Latimer
For advice and for doing the CAD drawings

Johnny Latimer

For witnessing the radial and rotational tests.

Andrew Hinde
For advice on the choice of the test site and witnessing some of the tests.

Bob Riley
For assisting with the testing.