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General Climbing Discussion

expanding ropes?

The Elk
3:28:18 PM
I was asked by a work collegue today about ropes expanding in humid weather....
To put it into context, my fellow worker told me that he took his children to the climbing gym on Monday and found it difficult to move the rope through the belay device, When he queried the staff they said it was due to all the rain they got on Sunday, and that the rope expanded in the weather. True or false?

I've never come across this in the 6 + years I've been climbing, and today was the first I'd heard of it.

Not being too techniacally minded, I was wondering if anyone could shed any light? Maybe in more humid climates?


3:37:11 PM
Bizarre? - even when a rope is full of water (canyoning) is dosn't appear to be much harder to run through a belay device in my experiance.

The Elk
3:42:56 PM
Ah-haaa, just as I had thought.... I'm wondering if it has something to do with oh, I dunno, gym ropes getting stiff and tired etc? Assuming it was just something to tell the novice father / son climbing team by the staff.
4:10:13 PM
Is the gym is using slowgo pulleys? The tolerences with the construction of these pulleys are quite tight and the climber regardless of weight can come down very slowly, especially so when there has been high humidity. The rope being new or old really didn't have any bearing either.

4:17:53 PM
No slowgo pullys at Vic Ranges that I have seen.

9:13:58 PM
at cliffhanger, on a hot day belaying, and unclipping is a real pain. i was told by one of the staff that the ropes expand in the heat making it hard to belay, clip etc.....

9:44:47 PM
nunna has the same probs when hot and humid. The slow-go pulleys mean that small kids or light people can't climb in the big walls cos the can't weight the rope enough to pull it through. I don't think it's expanding tho, more becoming saturated and stiff with moisture....hence the humid days when it happens

The Elk
8:46:51 AM
This problem was recorded at Nunna. I assumed it was a slow-go pulley thing.
Thanks for the info though.
Cheers, em
mikl law
12:08:31 PM
Worn ropes definately jamb in belay devices, moisture on the rope also changes its handling and makes it drag through belay devices too (as anyone who's gone sea-cliffing knows).

The effect of old worn ropes is a lot more than a bit of moisture though.

5:28:56 AM
I find moisture on ropes doesn't really affect their handling (unless they get frozen). If there are no go-slow pulleys then I would assume that the ropes are just old and stiff, climbing gym ropes get used a lot! Another common reason is that the belay device is unsuitable for the rope my Omega Pacific Atoga doesn't work well with 10.5mm ropes of any brand in any conditions. Unreal for 8mm twins though.

There are 10 messages in this topic.


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