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advice for buying my first climbing rope

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advice for buying my first climbing rope

Postby realhillboarding » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:32 pm

I've just recently gotten into sport climbing and am thinking to buy a rope, but i don't know anything about what to look for in a good rope. I don't anticipate getting into trad climbing because all the pro gear is out of my budget, and if i do start it will probably be after this rope has been retired. Can anyone offer advice? Length, diameter, brands to look for, brands to avoid, good place to get a decent price, etc.

thanks!

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Postby cushman » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:53 pm

Are you going to take lots of falls or hang-dog on the rope? Do you expect to ice climb on it (I'm guessing not). How long do you want it to last vs. how light do you want the rope to be? Do you climb long sport climbs that require a 70m rope?

I would just go to Wilderness Exchange in Denver and pick up whatever 10.2mm(ish) 60m, non-dry cord they have on sale. You should be able to get something at $100 or less. IMO brands don't matter THAT much when looking at a rope with the same characteristics. Some people claim a difference in "feel" when using a rope, but I think it depends more on wear and how you climb on it than the construction. I've had a Beal, PMI, New England and two Sterlings and they were all good cords.
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Postby cushman » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:56 pm

Okay, maybe $125 instead, but the Edelweiss Ally and the Mammut Alto both look good (but I like a thicker cord than the 10mm on the Mammut.
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Postby SandstoneSmitty » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:07 pm

cushman wrote:I like a thicker cord than the 10mm on the Mammut.

. 'CushMan' has good advice for you. The decision for the diameter of the rope is what type of repelling do you plan on doing. If I am going o ‘Free Repel’, feet not touching, I like a thick rope. Regular down wall the thinner light weight is fine.
. Sunlight is the killer of ropes. Dirt, sweat, and an occasional cactus needle will diminish its life, but UV will break it down. Proper storage will increase a rope’s life (look this up.) Upon the most important!!!! Do not step on the rope!!!!!
. Good luck with a great new sport. “Climb till Death”

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Postby SandstoneSmitty » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:13 pm

Ohh Carp 'Ineedaltitude' is going to GiG Me for Spell ChaeCk!! I are a Collage Graduate!!!!

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Postby cushman » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:15 pm

Jared Workman wrote:the Ally is only rated for 7 falls and the other two go at 12.

Those ratings might be a decent identifier at how tough the rope is, but they aren't extremely scientific on how they calculate the number of falls. Many other factors go into how many falls a rope can hold - the most important thing to do is inspect your rope regularly and if you have a doubt, retire it.
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Postby Devin » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:34 pm

This is just my opinion, but the brand to avoid: Bluewater. I don't like their ropes. They don't seem to wear very well, and they seem to be super-prone to the curly-Q syndrome.

I just recently bought a Petzl Zephyr for my main sport lead rope. It is a bit heavy, but I don't plan on taking it on long trips, so weight wasn't an issue. I have only had it for a couple of months, but I do like the feel of it. I haven't had it coil up on me yet, either.

Also, I would suggest getting a dry rope. They are more expensive, but they seem to wear better in my experience. Good luck and be safe!

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Postby realhillboarding » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:09 pm

Are you going to take lots of falls or hang-dog on the rope? Do you expect to ice climb on it (I'm guessing not). How long do you want it to last vs. how light do you want the rope to be?


i probably will be taking some falls and would prefer a rope that is going to last me a while, if i have to sacrifice it being lightweight so be it. I will not be ice climbing, and at this point i haven't done anything higher than about 60', but may get into longer climbs eventually. I'll probably make the call on length when i get to the shop, if the price is similar i'll go for the 70m, if there's a large difference i'll save my money and go with a 60m.

what is the difference between a dry and non-dry cord?

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Postby COmedic04 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:42 pm

realhillboarding wrote:what is the difference between a dry and non-dry cord?


Whether or not it can handle being wet and how the wetness affects the sturdiness of the rope. I have some Petzl 10.6mm dynamic dry rope and I love it...it has the DuraTec DrySheath treatment and I've used in on snow, wet couloirs and dry limestone climbing and never had any complaints. It's a little more, I spent $220 on it, but I love it.
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Postby cushman » Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:27 pm

realhillboarding wrote:what is the difference between a dry and non-dry cord?

A rope loses a lot of it's strength when wet, so rope makers coat some ropes with a water-repellent material to keep them dry. A dual-dry rope has both the sheath and the core treated. If you buy a non-dry rope, just don't climb on it when it's wet. Rappelling on it is ok (like if you got caught in a thunderstorm), just don't take any big whips. You would use a dry rope if you were afraid it would get wet and freeze, too.

I have a dry rope for ice climbing and mountaineering, and a non-dry for cragging. I don't mix the two.
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Postby Two Headed Boy » Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:59 pm

Good advice going on here.

I would like to add that different ropes have different elongation percentages. This is most important for lead falls. Some ropes have a 33% elongation on a fall which is great on the spine but might land your ass right on the ground if your pro is not good down low.

Just needed to say something. Thanks.

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Postby Devin » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:10 pm

Two Headed Boy wrote:Good advice going on here.

I would like to add that different ropes have different elongation percentages. This is most important for lead falls. Some ropes have a 33% elongation on a fall which is great on the spine but might land your ass right on the ground if your pro is not good down low.

Just needed to say something. Thanks.


Definitely. My Petzl has a nice, easy landing. But, I really have to watch it when I am near the deck.

Also, watch for sales - you can get some good deals. I scored my Petzl Zephyr (dry) for $150.

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