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Protection (climbing)

To make climbing as safe as possible, most climbers use protection to prevent injury to themselves and others. There are a number of ways to protect a climb: The gear used to protect climbs varies: In-situ protection usually consists of bolts (along with a metal hanger, chain, or ring) or fixed pitons. Sometimes there are in-situ slings. Anything else that is left in-situ has a tendency to get cleaned (collected) by climbers.

Table of contents
1 Standards


World-wide there are two major standards for climbing equipment safety and reliability:

In recent years, the CEN has become an important standards organization, especially in Europe since any products sold in Europe must by law be third-party certified to the relevant standards. There is no such requirement in most other countries, although most manufacturers voluntarily follow UIAA or CEN standards (much like electrical equipment in the US is almost always privately certified by Underwriters Laboratories).


In Europe, equipment used by climbers has to meet the requirements of the Personal and Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive. Essentially, the equipment must be manufactured using a carefully controlled process and samples must meet various tests. Equipment meeting the regulations is marked with the CE Mark. Various standards are used when specifying how equipment should be tested:

There are many more. Most of them appearing in ICS code 97.220.40 and having "Mountaineering" in the title.