Arch Timber Protection’s proven Dricon fire retardant treatment for timber will be protecting the refurbished Charles Inglis Clark (CIC) memorial hut, a climber’s facility on Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis is the tallest peak in the UK, and this could make the CIC hut the highest fire retardant project in the UK.

The CIC hut was first built in the late 1920s and is owned by the Scottish Mountaineering Club. It is 685m above sea level, below the cliffs on the north face, and is believed to be the only true mountain hut in the UK. This face is the main focus for snow and ice climbing, so the hut gets the heaviest use in the winter.

“The hut is used by parties from the UK and all over the world,” says Andrew M James, convener of the huts sub committee. “We built an extension to house composting toilets and used a fire retardant on the internal wood linings that had to be applied by hand. This proved to be hard work, messy and not very cost-effective. The next step of the upgrade was to install a new wood lining to replace the original pitch pine. Once we were assured that it would meet the requirements of a single helicopter lift of less than 900kg, we decided to use cladding pre-treated with Dricon fire retardant protection. With a date already booked for the helicopter lift Arch pulled out all the stops to prepare the treated timber in time.”

The project will use around 100m² of 12mm tongue and groove redwood internal timber cladding pre-treated with Dricon to meet Euroclass B standards and because of limited ground access, this had to be airlifted in by helicopter.

“Dricon is robust enough to protect the internal cladding from fire under the extreme conditions found in the winter on Ben Nevis and is the only BBA-certificated fire retardant treatment for timber, providing proven fire protection for interior applications such as this,” says Jacqui Hughes, Arch Timber Protection’s fire retardant sales manager.