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hoosing the right rope is essential.

The cord you tie in to can make the difference between a fantastic day at the crag and a grueling, or even life-threatening, experience. Lets consider the most important factors of rope choice. Make sure youre shopping for a UIAA tested dynamic rope, the only ropes approved for lead climbing in rock and ice settings.

Ropes come in a variety of lengths, the most common being 60m and 70m. Eighty meter ropes have also appeared on the scene, but my suggestion is not to buy an eighty meter rope unless your climbing experience has led you to the conclusion that you need a rope longer than 70m. The key to deciding whether a 60m or a 70m would better suit you is knowing a little about where youll be climbing. Find out the standard pitch and rappel length, keeping in mind that a 60m rope yields a 30m rappel when fed through rap rings. Accordingly, a 70m produces a 35m rappel. The same logic applies for lowering off a sport climb, and many sport areas have routes requiring 70m ropes. A longer rope, or even two ropes, allows for a more rapid escape due to storms or other hazards. Also think about whether you might want to combine, or link, pitches. Will a 60m reach?

DIAMETER Prevailing wisdom suggests that traditional climbers choose fat ropes, while sport climbers choose thin ropes. In a nutshell, the idea is that sport climbers need to shave weight, while trad climbers need a rope that will stand up to the demands of meandering routes on rock that is often sharp or dirty. I suggest flipping this approach completely due to the recent increase in rope sheath quality. Sport climbers working routes often take repeated falls, which strains the ropes core, leading to early retirement for many skinny ropes, despite the quality of their sheathes. Sport climbers should consider a rope between 9.8mm and 10.5mm for general use. On the other hand, these sleek, abrasion-resistant sheathes hold up much better than their predecessors on wandering routes over rock in variable conditions, so the traditional climber should look into a rope between 9.4mm and 9.8mm.

A Buyers Guide www.komplettklatring.no
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Ropes smaller than 9.4mm and larger than 10.5mm have specific applications. A very thin cord will offer sport climbers attempting hard redpoints and onsights a distinct advantage due to its low weight. Alpine climbers trekking great distances may also appreciate the reduced weight of a skinny rope. Additionally, ice climbers who prefer a single line should consider a thinner rope in order to reduce fall forces. On the other end of the spectrum, big wall or aid climbers often prefer truly fat ropes, which can stand up to the demands of ascending and hauling.

DRY TREATMENT Dry treatments are a water shedding coat applied to some ropes. These treatments are helpful for rock climbers climbing in wet environments and essential for ice climbers, who must be wary of wet or frozen ropes.

BICOLOR OR MIDDLE MARKER A rope designated bicolor has one pattern on one half of the rope and a different pattern on the other half of the rope. This allows a climbing party to quickly identify whether the leader will be able to lower back to the ground or to the belay. A bicolor also makes finding center at a rap station a breeze.

SINGLE, DOUBLE or TWIN ROPES The discussion above has dealt solely with single ropes. However, climbing with a pair of ropes in the form of doubles or twins also has its advantages. Double ropes allow leaders to reduce rope drag by clipping one line or the other line into pieces of protection. Doubles are useful for both traditional rock climbs and for ice climbs, especially in areas where the routes follow a less than direct path. Double ropes are generally between 8.2mm and 9mm. Twin ropes are a pair of ropes designed to be clipped together into each piece of protection. These ropes are usually extremely thin ropes (8.2mm or less) that allow ice climbers comfort that even if they sever one rope, the other will catch a fall.

A Buyers Guide www.komplettklatring.no
Copyright Kotiko AS. All rights reserved

ROPE VISIBILITY Many climbing areas are under scrutiny from government agencies or nearby communities. Climbers in such areas can lower their visual impact by choosing an unobtrusive rope color that blends with the rock. Conversely, a party in a remote area may desire increased visibility for would-be rescuers.

ROPE CARE Rope bags or baskets are a must for rope longevity, and also provide easy transport between routes at single pitch crags. Climbers should also consider periodically hand washing their ropes with a teaspoon full of mild detergent when they develop significant aluminum residue or dirt.


One of Komplettklatrings authors is Michael Farnsworth and he teaches philosophy and studies communications. He has been climbing for sixteen years, most vigorously pursuing bouldering, sport and traditional. Holding AMGA and PCGI certifications, he guided in the Shawangunks of New York and at Looking Glass in North Carolina.

A Buyers Guide www.komplettklatring.no
Copyright Kotiko AS. All rights reserved

Heres what to do now 1. You can go to our blog http://www.komplettklatring.no/blogg/and find more information about climbing equipment.

2. Go to our store and see and read more specific about different types of climbing ropes at http://www.komplettklatring.no/klatretau.html 3. If you got questions you could get hold of us on e-mail: kundeservice@komplettklatring.no

PS. We run a campaign on climbing ropes from 4.9.2012 30.9.2012

A Buyers Guide www.komplettklatring.no
Copyright Kotiko AS. All rights reserved