The subject of corrosion and stress corrosion cracking failure has been a work in progress for the last ten years within SafeCom. A significant milestone was reached when the updated UIAA Rock Anchors Standard was released in 2020. However, work in this field remains significant. While new products – certified to Standard 123 – are now available on the Market, the challenge is ensuring both bolters and climbers are aware of the issues related to corrosion and the importance of using certified products.

Timeline of project:


  • Initial research on the subject. Creation of a dedicated Working Group.
  • 2009, release of paper: ‘Extreme caution advised for anchors in tropical, marine areas’
  • 2012, release of update to 2009 paper with editions also in Chinese and French
  • 2015, SafeCom commits to update of UIAA Standard 123 on Rock Anchors
  • 2015, version 1 of Watch Your Anchor paper published
  • 2017, UIAA calls for climbing community to submit failed top anchors
  • 2018, Further appeal for failed top anchors with special research focused on environmental degradation revision
  • 2019, Map launched identifying locations in the world with reported anchor corrosion issues

2020 – 2023

Publication of new Rock Anchor Standard 123

  • 2020, Appeal for climbers to submit fixed anchors for SafeCom to address and test possible welding issues.
  • 2020, New version of Standard 123 officially published
  • 2020, Translated into seven languages
  • 2021, Additional focus switches to further research in welded components in top anchor assemblies.
  • 2022,  Lack of welding quality was identified: WG investigates further and an internal commission independently tests products from different manufactures.
  • 2023, First products launched with new Standard
  • 2023, Need to raise awareness about the issues with failed anchors at a grassroots level. Plans for a more considered outreach to the climbing community
  • 2023, Work continues on issues related to the welded ring on top anchors. UIAA works with manufacturers to ensure quality control process in production is of a given standard.

2024 –

Outreach campaign to climbers and UIAA member associations

  • 2024, Watch Your Anchor guide revised, recommendation for climbers in how to check for stress corrosion in anchors
  • 2024, Letter sent to UIAA member associations helping climbers identify good quality anchors and the stress corrosion classes

Essential Resources

Please find details below of the key resources made available on the subject by the UIAA Safety Commission.


123 Standard: Rock Anchors


123 Standard: Rock Anchors – Explainer (Translations)


123 – Simplified Pictorial Presentation


Warning – Watch Your Anchor


Warning – Letter to Bolters and Member Federations



Report failed anchors

Support SafeCom with its analysis and to help add more areas to the map thereby improving the information available to climbers about dangerous or potentially dangerous areas to climb.

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