Product Info and Bulletins

Important bulletins and updates about equipment used in ropes courses and adventure learning.

Staples as leading edge anchor points

In November of 2003 ACCT published a position statement:

Tests conducted by the ACCT Installation Standards Committee indicate that the strength of staples used on challenge courses can vary widely. There are a number of factors, which can affect the strength including the type of wood supporting the staple, the length and size of the staple, the depth to which the staple has been driven, and whether or not holes were predrilled as part of the installation. Staples that have been properly installed by an experienced course builder generally are suitable and should not pose an immediate hazard when used as anchors in leading edge climbing. However, even when properly installed, it can be very difficult to verify that each staple placement is strong enough to meet the 2500 lb. (11.1 kN) ACCT standard. Changing conditions in trees or utility poles over time can also affect the strength of staples adding to the difficulty of verifying their strength and suitability.

For existing courses, the use of staples as anchors should be strictly limited to those situations where it can reasonably be verified that such anchors comply with Standard B7.2 Leading Edge Anchors (i.e. 2500 lbs or 11.1 kN). Where such verification cannot reasonably be accomplished, then approved alternative systems for fall protection must be employed. Ultimately, ACCT is recommending the adoption of alternative systems to replace the use of staples as anchors in leading edge climbing.

High 5 strongly suggest that everyone using staples as protection points carefully read the entire ACCT document. The ACCT memo is a well thought out and written document on the ten years of sporadic data gathering on the holding power of staples in a wide variety of mediums. These mediums include Utility Poles, Hardwood and Softwood Trees.

The test data has shown that the holding power of staples has a large range making it very difficult to evaluate and assure the required load for a leading edge anchor point as defined by ACCT standards under section B7.2 Leading Edge Anchors. There are many factors that play into the holding power of the staples including depth, density of the medium, environmental impact and placement techniques.

ACCT has summarized their recommendations with the following,
"... leading edge climbing be limited to properly trained individuals on climbs where suitable anchors are available. The use of staples as anchors should be strictly limited to those situations where it can reasonably be verified that such anchors comply with Standard B7.2 Leading Edge Anchors (i.e. 2500 lbs or 11.1 kN). Where such verification cannot reasonably be accomplished, then approved alternative systems for fall protection must be employed."

High 5 will continue to use staples as part of the element access system, and will design, install and train staff, on the proper use of climbing protection systems suitable for the medium on which their course is built.

StrandVices

StrandVices ™ are no longer recommended for use on challenge courses. Go to the ACCT website for more information:

http://www.acctinfo.org/associations/5266/files/SVUpdate8-07.pdf

Cable Grabs

ACCT has published a technical bulletin alerting to potential risks associated with the use of cable grabs. For more information go to:

http://www.acctinfo.org/associations/5266/files/CableGrabs.pdf

Pole Steps

There have been incidents related to the use of pole steps on challenge courses. For more information go to:

http://www.acctinfo.org/associations/5266/files/PoleSteps.pdf

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