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Rave About Your Rack Please do not post retail SPAM.

Topic Date User
Rope for NZ 16-Nov-2007 At 1:26:00 PM stuart h
Ropes are a bit like packs, skis and all other equipment in that it is nice to have some options and then take what will best suit on the day, but that does get a bit expensive and stretches the 20kg luggage allowance.

NZ grade 2/3 routes are largely non-technical and don't tend to feature long rappel descents (4 or less off Cook, 1-2 off Aspiring) as from most peaks you can generally downclimb the standard routes relatively easily. For routes like these one rope is generally more than enough to carry around, even if you are a team of 3 given the fairly straightforward nature of the climbing you might pitch.

It use to be common to use half ropes (8-9mm) on lots of these routes to save weight. Half ropes are plenty strong enough and you could always fold it in half to climb a couple of short pitches through any rocky terrain that made you nervous. With modern thin single ropes I think this (now minor) weight advantage is outweighed by the flexibility of a single rope, which is, hopefully, a little bit more cut resistant due to diameter and gives you something to go sportclimbing with while you wait for the weather.

Climbing non-technical (grade 2-3) routes on peaks climbers are unlikely to encounter enough rappels to justify the weight and cost the 6mm rap line. The long thin single and a rap line is good for technical routes that you might want or need to rap off and the reduced volume makes rope handling easier; however, double/half ropes do give you options as a party of three, lower impact force on protection, more scope to wander around and better security against rope cutting. For straight up ice routes the single is simpler (and you can reasonably hope that low impact modern ropes, screamers, decent ice and modern ice screws should see some protection work). Hard mixed climbing in NZ probably is better done with doubles.

A 9.1 or 9.4 single and an 8 or 8.2 half rope probably give you the broadest range of options for the least cost and luggage weight.

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