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General Climbing Discussion

Rope brands

2:19:19 AM
As a new climber who has just taken up the sport, I am getting roped in (pardon the pun) more and more I climb. My apologies for this "basic" question - a search on this site yielded no answer, so here goes:

What rope/s are considered to be the better ones on the market? Weighing in at a hefty (for a climber) 84 kg, I am interested specifically in single ropes and of a larger diameter, mainly for sport climbing.

I am currently living and working OS in Asia where I can't seem to get a straight answer - each shop recommends a different brand! Sure, ropes are ropes and pass all the appropriate tests before being allowed on the market - but surely there are some brands which have better reputations, usage records etc.. than others?

Stumbled on this site by accident - it rocks!

9:19:16 AM
I'm sure someone else can answer this better, but when comparing ropes check out things like the number of falls (of the same fall factor), the shear resistence they are rated for (impact force, sheath slippage, etc). It often says this on the packaging material, or if not, in the catalogue. For a single rope, say 10.5mmx 50 or 60m, I love my current rope, the Roca Tasmania - which, at the time I bought, had the best shear resistenace and num falls of those ropes I compared. It was probably dearer though.

On the other hand, I know Neil chooses the cheapest possible rope he can lay his hands on, drives it into an early grave with constant high use, then quickly replaces it.


(Steve at RH has 50m 10.5mm Beal for $220 on special)

12:06:14 PM
Thanks Mike....

I have surfed and surfed like you would not believe - that's why I decided to get some "real world" information. For example - I have an Edelrid, a Beal and a Mammut. Though I was told here that Mammut is one of the better ropes available - it suffered the most damage after ONE climb whereas the other two after still firing. The Edelrid, which I was told was the lesser quality, has been the sturdiest! Mind you, all ropes are used on the 2-3 climbs I am struggling to get up out here.....

2:39:34 PM
Edelrid invented them and are one of the best durability vs cost.
According to Clyde Soles (Rock and Ice's No. 1 gear reviewer), the most important part of the spec are "Impact Force" and "grams per meter". Impact force is particularly important for climbing on (unreliable?) natural pro, as it indicates the amount of energy the rope absorbs by stretching, whatever is left ends up being taken by the top piece of pro. Look for the LOWEST number in kN. (Especially if you ever climb on RP's.
The rope weight is simply how much you haul to the crag with you, my Black Diamond (Beal) Hotline 9.4mm in 60 metre weighs the same as most 10.5mm ropes in 50 metres.
Lightweight ropes are normally less durable though. Durability is also effected by construction, a "double pic" sheath has better durability than a "single pic" sheath. If you look closely at the sheath where the strands lay over each other a double pic is done in pairs. Edelrid say their new single pics like the Fat Rock are even better thanks to newer design. Double pic ropes usually dont "feel" as nice. Sterling ropes seem to be amongst the toughest but feel super stiff.
The core construction is either braided or unbraided, the braided cores dont flatten out as much and if you cut through the sheath the braided cores stay together. It's mainly in the mountains where this matters. I suspect unbraided cores make for lighter ropes.
A few ropes have a strand of "Spectra" in the core (eg. Edelweiss Stratos), this allows the rope to survive ONE fall over a sharp edge, the rest of the rope will be STUFFED.
Edelrid also have some ropes like this now but I think it's done some other way.

Dry VS standard rope won't matter for sport either, save your money.
60 metre ropes are nice on multipitch routes, but sport routes under 25 metres dont matter. If you have a 30 metre rappel you need two 50's (dont get caught).

Some general comments: Maxim and Cousin ropes (the ones I have seen in use) were CRAP.
The ROCA ropes often give (amazing) numbers of falls, but with (often) VERY high impact forces, this shouldn't matter for sport climbing.

5:04:19 PM
> The ROCA ropes often give (amazing) numbers of falls, but with (often)
> VERY high impact forces, this shouldn't matter for sport climbing.

It's not quite the same life/death situation as ripping a line of RPs, but high impact forces can be an issue in sport climbing. Sure the gear isn't likely to fail, but repeated falls with only a short amount of rope out, onto a non-dynamic device like a gri-gri, with a non-absorbent rope - is very hard on the climber!

I've owned PMI (basically a re-branded Beal), Sterling and Mammut. I'd buy any of them again, although for different reasons each time.

Don't get too hung up on buying a rope. At the end of the day, they *are* a disposable commodity, and they do wear out. If you get it wrong this time, you'll get it right the next. Most ropes out there are truly technological marvels, and you won't go far wrong with any of them.

My advice: find a 50m non-dry rope in 10.5 or 11mm on special.


12:41:43 PM
Thanks for that Tim...

I do own 3 different ropes, although one of them is close to retirement. Since the climbing community here is not as easy to be in contact with, it's not as easy to ask more experienced climbers for their experience. Cataloges are catalogues whereas the real world is often different.

12:54:01 PM
If you have a rope (or any other gear) ready for retirement, it would be of great use to Re-Bolt Victoria. Old ropes can be used while drilling/glueing. Glue inevitably gets on the rope, so it is highly undesirable for Neil to be glueing whilst on his good lead rope! If you feel like donating your old rope, post a note for Neil via the Bolting Forum.

11:23:37 PM
I've used most brands over the years and I buy Edelrid nowadays. They feel better and last well. That's a purely subjective view.

2:02:37 AM
I also like Edelrid, they simply seem to last longer.

3:02:11 PM
Very interesting to read your thoughts and opinions....

Here Beal is one of the more popular brands. However I was told at different stores that Mammut was one of the better.

Strange though that nobody has mentioned Edelrid at all, though of the 3 ropes I have it has proved to be the more long lasting...

Thanks to all who posted :)

8:02:22 PM
My Edelrids always twist where as I haven't seen Beal or Mammut do the same. But Mammut tend to wear quicker and Beal stiffen with age ????????

10:09:28 PM
Yeah, Beal get really stiff with age.

There are 12 messages in this topic.


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