Alot of people spend lots of money to place the equipment used in climbing for wilderness expedition bags without having a good knowledge of what they should actually buy.
Rock Climbing is an extreme wilderness sport where people try to conquor nature by climbing on natural rock formations. There are different ways to competetively gauge climbing. Time on the boulder before tiring, distance or height, or the difficulty of a particular formation based on gravity’s effect on our bodies are just some ways we can measure the competetiveness, or how extreme a particular climb is.
The main topic for this post is the mountain climbing or rock climbing rope guide. I want to make sense of alot of the ropes out there and what they mean with all the different terms. I also want to discuss the advantages or disadvantages of each. The rope is extremely important since it will save our lives during a fall, assuming we properly use anchors, beaners, and harnesses.
Here are the basic types of ropes:
One of the most important characteristics of ropes to choose is whether the rope is static or dynamic. Dynamic Ropes stretch reducing the force on the climber and the rope in general. Static ropes are less ductil, that is they stretch less, or not at all. Static ropes are a lot cheaper, but are typically not used for critical load carrying. They have more of a utilitarian function, like holding gear for climbers on long climbs. I would advise against using a static line unless in an emergency situation, because you could end up injured, or worse, if you fell.
These ropes are meant to be able to be used completely stand-alone. For most climbing scenarios, like sport climbing, the single rope is all that is needed. Single ropes usually range from 8.9mm to 11mm.
Big and Bulky. Takes up lots of room in your pack. Tough and can take lots of falls. Resists puncture or cuts on rough or sharp surfaces. Easier for gripping for the belayer, but a little less smooth in the belay device. They are 10.1-11mm and are used for big walls and extreme climbing use.
This is the go-to rope that can be used in almost all disciplines. It harbors the comprimize between the workhorse and skinny ropes. They are the most versitile and have little disadvantages unless you are extreme climbing or quick wall thrashing. They are 9.5-10mm.
These are light, fast, and the trendy rope. They take up very little weight making, the climber more versitile to switch up techniques. Word of warning… these are harder to belay because of reduced friction, so a specific belay device must be used for them that has a specific friction groove. The belayer needs to pay more attention to how he is doing it and should have practice on using it. These are 8.9-9.4mm and are more prone to cuts, and require more attention and care. They also will have a shorter life.
These are typically used when there will be quite a bit of traversing side-to-side or to lead two followers on a climb. They are meant to be clipped into seperate gear, usually alternating, and are used when rope drag is wanted to be reduced. They should not be used as twin ropes because they are too big and rub each other in a dangerous fashion. They allow for a much greater climbing distance, because they can be tied together for rappeling. They are typically 7.7mm to 9mm.
These are much smaller than half ropes, and are never meant to be used as a single. These ropes are not rated to catch a fall alone. They are less bulky than half ropes, but like half ropes can be tied together for the rappel giving twice the distance. They are 7mm to 8mm.
If you are a specialized climber, you know your rope of choice, more than likely, but if you are a weekend rock warrior, my recomendation would be the all-around single rope.
I would recommend either the all-around, or for packing concerns, the skinny for a basic wilderness emergency pack. I also recommend the more expensive dry-treated ropes. Dry ropes, as apposed to non-dry ropes, are treated for water resistance to keep them from getting really wet during a ice or mountaineering climb. Wet ropes are weaker and heavier. They can also freeze, making them even weaker and harder to move around. If possible, get the dry ropes and take care of the treatment.
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