Nov 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm #1322510
Wondering what rope ya'll would recommend for basic mountaineering and canyoneering. Would be used for simple rappels and climbs. Thinking 100 or 150ft. I know there are several different materials climbing ropes are made out of and several different thicknesses. What would be a good all around one to have?
THANKS!Nov 7, 2014 at 9:44 pm #2147617David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Will you take a fall on the rope? That is critical because if you might ever take a leader fall on the rope, you want a dynamic rope that will stretch and not impose as high a force on the anchors and the belayer. That is what "lead climbing" entails – going beyond the last piece of protection and, if you fall, being in free fall for 10, 20 or 40 feet before being yanked to a stop.
If you won't ever take a fall (doing only rappelling and ascending, what cavers call "single-rope technique"), then you DON'T want a stretchy dynamic rope – that stretch is annoying and energy consuming. You want a static rope – one with very low stretch. That usage includes top-roping – where the rope is in place before people start to climb so if someone slips, they sag into the rope, they don't free fall for a few meters, building up energy every meter.
If you don't care about weight, just go get an 11mm rope of the length you want and static or dynamic depending on your use.
If you do care about weight, one quickly gets into a balance of weight to strength and durability (how many falls can the rope absorb before being retired. The range of lighter dynamic ropes is tight – 8.2 to 9 mm. Below that, you're looking at accessory cord and you're consciously cutting into the margins of safety that the UIAA types build into their testing.
As a hand line (where the rope can't take much force) it is more an issue of the very small diameters cutting into your hand – 550 parachute cord is theoretically strong enough but not wide enough to grip nor thick enough for most rappel devices.
In between – you're using a belay device like a rack, but only ever using the rope in a static application, going down to 6 or 7 mm is an option in my mind. I'd bring my 9, 10 or 11mm lines if I only had to walk a few miles, but if you're doing a 50- or 100-mile through trip, yeah, of course you want to keep the weight down.
In 2006, Roger posted on BPL, "35 m of 6 mm nylon kernmantle line is fine for a careful abseil – much better than Spectra or similar." And he survived the last 8 years.
People had high hopes for kevlar when is became available in the 1980's. It was so strong, it would cut through some aluminum nuts and chocks without the rope failing (but the climber would still die). However its durability is poor, especially in a knot or passing through a device with at a small radius (most all rappel devices).Nov 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm #2147620James CouchSpectator
@jbcLocale: Cascade Mountains
100 to 150' ropes are somewhat difficult to find these days. Standard ropes are usually at least 60 meters (almost 200') For general climbing, good balance of weight to durability I would go for 10 – 10.5 mm dry treated dynamic, Single, 60m rope. If weight is an issue then you will probably want something under 10mm, but stick with Single (no double or twin) rope.Nov 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm #2147627
Static with overbuilt sheath for canyoneering/rapping. 8-9mm for weight. Link above has 120' lengths. I'd be all over that Canyonfire in a couple of lengths if I lived in UT instead of just vacationing there.
Not sure what Bluewater has in that department, but they're pricey. I know their heavier static lines come in 150', because that's what mine is, but the dynamic 200' 10.5mm Doubledry Accelerator I have for toproping and solo toproping is also available in a 50m length, so maybe their canyoneering ropes are, too(?).
The custom heavy-duty 20' anchor strap I had them make only cost a few dollars more than their standard 12' when I ordered direct, and that probably holds true for ropes, too, if there's not much discount from dealers vs ordering direct.
Read up on high friction belay devices, and how to add friction to the system(various methods-Z rig, etc) if going with small diameter ropes.
Don't know anything about mountaineering…Nov 7, 2014 at 11:31 pm #2147629
So I would be using the rope primarily for rappelling. Would I want a dynamic or static rope? In recent replies I've seen both recommended.Nov 8, 2014 at 12:23 am #2147631
I'd stick with static for rappels only, and only static for rappels in a canyon, where your rope may be over the edge of a rough surface. All those canyoneering-specific ropes are static lines.
You can rappel on dynamic ropes, but they'll both receive more wear, and be more susceptible to damage from that wear. That's not really a factor rapping straight off an anchor system with the rope free of obstructions, but there's no telling what conditions your rope will see in a canyon.
I'm talking too much about something I know too little about when it gets beyond the basics for canyoneering, and would recommend you check out the bogley.com forums if you want expert advice. I've met a few of them, but unfortunately, a few handshakes and short conversations about the weather or whatever didn't make me a canyoneering guru…Nov 8, 2014 at 12:48 am #2147633Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
So this has all been said before, but I'll try to get it into two easy paragraphs:
Static ropes are better for rappelling. Less stretch and they are more durable. However, you should NOT, EVER, lead climb on a static rope! Top-roping is ok if your belayer is on top of things and taking in slack, but lead climbing is a no-no.
So if you're doing ANY lead climbing at all, you NEED a dynamic rope. No exceptions. If you are only rappelling and never climbing, a static is best.
DMM has a video showing what happens when you fall relatively short distances on a totally static line (they use dyneema and nylon strings, but a static rope will have similar forces).Nov 8, 2014 at 1:55 am #2147638
So would this rope be a good choice? Like I said, looking for a basic rope for rappeling. I am sure there are much nicer ones out there, but for the price, this seems like a good deal….no?Nov 8, 2014 at 8:02 am #2147661
Since I'm not familiar with Sterling's ropes, I google-fu'd this for you.
Here's that rope:
Here's an article about the 9mm version of that rope that I found when I saw that it was polyester, and became curious about how it compared to nylon(I also have a similarly spec'd PMI that's nylon).
Sounds pretty good.
Can this be right? $33.57 for a $155 retail 45m static?!?
Do you have the current 40% off coupon code?
ESY0174RNov 8, 2014 at 8:31 am #2147664James holdenBPL Member
For mountaineering you need a dynamic rope
Thats all there is to it
If you are going to canyoneer, get a separate rope for that
You can rappel just fine on a dynamic rope, climbers do so in all types of conditions
However most cavers and canyoneers rappel on a static rope due to the lower stretch and increased durability
;)Nov 8, 2014 at 8:49 am #2147668James CouchSpectator
@jbcLocale: Cascade Mountains
> So I would be using the rope primarily for rappelling. Would I want a dynamic or static rope?
> In recent replies I've seen both recommended.
As noted above if you are doing ANY climbing you need a dynamic rope. If you are EXCLUSIVLY using the rope for rappelling you can use a static rope.
Rappelling on a dynamic rope is not really significantly different or more difficult than on a dynamic rope. If you are ascending the rope that is where a static rope can make a big difference.
I would strongly suggest you take a climbing or canyoneering course before you go any further. These are very basic questions that would be covered in any basic climbing class.Nov 10, 2014 at 9:33 am #2148081David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Get two ropes. Static ropes last much longer in canyons and don't chew up the rock as much. As discussed above, for climbing you need a dynamic rope. More initial money spent will mean longer lasting ropes.Nov 10, 2014 at 11:32 am #2148107owareusa.comBPL Member
@bivysack-com-2-2Locale: East Washington
Like Eric and Dave said.
You will need to wear out a rope or two before you have the knowledge to want something specialized anyway.
Get a stout single dynamic climbing rope for climbing/mountaineering/top roping/rappelling. Tho heavier (I know BPL and all)
thicker ropes will be easier to rap with, not stretch as much, or wear as quickly as an ultralight, double or twin. You can climb a 5 ft exposed traverse in a canyon without the danger of a high factor fall on a static rope.
You can volunteer your heavy rope when you top rope with experienced friends to save wear on their gear, and use their special ropes on real adventures.After you have spent considerable time active with some experts, then you can start buying the 7 mm tag lines etc.Jan 22, 2015 at 7:38 am #2166934r mBPL Member
Two cents of someone relatively new to mountaineering:
If I were you and both activities were frequent I'd get two (or perhaps 4 depending on the rappel lengths).
As far as as mountaineering rope goes, I recently opted for a 60m 9.2mm dry single from Mammut.
I figure it'll have the following use cases:
– Glacier travel
– Rappels (paired with another rope for >60m)
– Protecting leaders who very rarely fall
– Protecting seconds who are unlikely to fall
– Playing around on top rope
The last of those is probably the most abusive to the rope, I'll try to minimize it. If it wasn't for the top roping I'd have gone thinner
Its a complicated equation, more weight carried makes you slower, which is commonly more dangerous, but cutting weight means reducing safety factors. Some people go as far as taking one half rope to lead on, not something any text book or rope manufacturer recommends.
Aside from the more weight being slower, the likelihood of bothering to bring the rope should be a accounted for. The 11mm you left at home because the fall risk was low and the rope too heavy, is not any safer than the 7.3mm beal half rope you did bring because it was around half the weight.Jan 26, 2015 at 10:48 pm #2168481Will ElliottBPL Member
@elliott-willLocale: Juneau, AK
"Aside from the more weight being slower, the likelihood of bothering to bring the rope should be a accounted for. The 11mm you left at home because the fall risk was low and the rope too heavy, is not any safer than the 7.3mm beal half rope you did bring because it was around half the weight."Feb 9, 2015 at 12:55 pm #2172859Don MorrisMember
If I had just one rope, it would be dynamic, prob. around 10mm or so, maybe 11mm. You won't worry about either weight or cost on the first occasion when your tender body is entirely supported by the rope…Feb 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm #2172878James holdenBPL Member
a not uncommon alpine type belay is simply to rap the rope around a boulder/horn a few times …
also there are plenty of times on easy ground where you simply use a horn/edge as a pivot point (think pulley) for a quick (belay)
not to mention that its not uncommon to thread the rope around horns/features on a climb as "protection" especially on a ridge
this use of natural pro wears on the rope quite a bit, and has a significant risk of damaging/cutting a thinner rope
now plenty of highly experienced folks have climbed multipitch and alpine on single half ropes …. remember that for those folks rarely place any pro, and simply dont fall … much of the time they are just simulclimbing … ask yourself if you are at that level, or whether you will be using features as belays/protection
if the latter, a durable rope is not a bad idea
also remember that a rope can provide a false sense of security … if you rope up climbing without putting in any or insufficient protection, you can be less safe than soloing … as youll drag your partners down in a fall
this happens over and over again in the accident reports
heres one that happened locally this year
On Jan. 11, the three appear to have been walking up a steep gully, known as the central couloir, wearing crampons, according to RCMP.
They were roped together, near the top of the couloir, when they fell about 600 metres to their deaths, said police.
The central couloir of Joffre Peak is well-known among mountaineers and extremely steep, said a backcountry skier who has climbed it.
"It's a very serious route … steep enough that if you do start to fall, it is possible that you will not be able to self-arrest," said Paul Cordy of Squamish, B.C.
Cordy said it's a route that should only be attempted by experienced climbers who know how to build anchors in the snow to stop a fall.
But even if they did everything right, he said, safety isn't guaranteed on such steep terrain.
"It could just happen, in the event of a fall, if the anchors aren't as secure [in the snow] as you want them to be."
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