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44

Tying knots is actually a bit of an art. Depending on what you need it for, there are knots that slide, create loops, tighten under load, and do tons of other things. Here are some backcountry essentials: Bowline Knot: Use this when you need a knot that absolutely, positively will not slip (unless loaded wrong). When I was in camp, we'd use these when ...


21

The most important knots you'll ever need to know are the taut-line hitch and the bowline. For instance, on your bear bag, you would tie a bowline through a handle or other loop the bag, and then the taut-line on the other side. The best thing about a bowline is that no matter how much force you've put on it, you can crack it easily to take it apart.


21

The following references from a few major rope manufacturers cover rope care thoroughly. Please see the bottom of this answer for a summary. From Bluewater Ropes: Avoid stepping on your rope. Beside the potential of cutting, stepping on a rope will grind dirt into the core and increase the possibility of internal abrasion. Protect your rope from ...


18

Failure by cutting is a primary concern. In terms of safety (rather than e.g. rope life) laboratory (UIAA) fall testing may not be the most important concern. Even a new, thick rope can be cut in a single fall across a sharp edge. This also applies to so-called "edge resistant" (defunct UIAA 108 standard) ropes. See this Yellow Spur fatality report. ...


16

If you have some credible people saying not to be roped up, I'd love to see it, because that sounds completely insane to me. Here's why: If you are traveling on a glacier without being roped up, there is a very, very, very good chance that you will die if you fall in a crevasse. This isn't because you vanish into nowhere, but because you will get what we ...


15

Although I am not a lab technician it is important to understand the dynamics at play in these tests. Below is the best example I have read on the subject. For the full article please read below. Alpine Exposures - Climbing ropes explained UIAA Wikipedia NOTE: Also included is the section on "impact force", which is a factor of the fall height, weight ...


13

Here is an article from Scoutin magazine Knots and Boy Scouts go together like campfires and cobbler. Here’s how to tie three of the knots required to reach First Class, plus four more that can be very useful. Knots. It all begins with rope — different sizes, lengths, widths, and strengths, depending on its use. Ropes used for climbing can bear more ...


13

The manufacturer of your rope says: Time in use : The potential lifetime of BEAL PPE in use is up to a maximum of 10 years. The lifetime of the rope in use must never exceed 10 years. The rope must be retired immediately: if it has held a major fall, approaching fall factor 2 if inspection reveals or even indicates damage to the ...


12

It means the rope is rated for X falls where the fall factor is 1.77 and the weight is 80kg. In layman's terms it's a pretty big fall with a pretty big guy, the sort of fall that if you took you most likely wouldn't want to climb again for the rest of the day! You may well never have such a big fall at all (in fact I'd hope you wouldn't!) That said, the ...


12

In a bag at the back of your closet will be fine. Your rope is made of nylon, which does not like the following: acids strong alkalis halogens (chlorine, flourine etc. and their compounds) bleaches and strong soaps light (UV in particular) high temperatures (for example over 50°C, such as in a hot car) dirt (sand is especially bad) cats rodents sharp ...


12

All the major climbing sites agree on the two options for cleaning, and the subsequent drying: ukclimbing.com basicrockclimbing.com bealplanet.com etc Wash in cool water (less than 30°C) and use a mild detergent, either in a bath, or in the shower. Some people place it in the shower while they wash. Gentle brushing can help remove grit or sand, but be ...


11

A Sheet Bend is designed for joining two lines of different size. If you need additional security use the Double Sheet Bend http://www.animatedknots.com/sheetbend/


10

Paracord Better strength*/diameter ratio. 550lb paracord is 5/32" (4mm) in diameter generally. Twisted poly of a comparable strength is around 3/16" (4.75mm). So the paracord will pack smaller. More versatile. You can easily divide it into multiple ropes. Its form also makes it much easier to braid than twisted poly if you need to make a stronger ...


10

You can buy specialist markers. They're designed to not impact the rope strength. Always use a sepecially designed rope marker as there is a comprehensive list of things to keep away from your rope and marker pen is one of them. The solvents can break down the nylon rope fibres making your rope potentially unsafe.


9

Most survival experts recommend parachute cord. From Wikipedia: Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other tasks. It is now used as a general purpose utility cord by ...


9

For hanging packs, you can use vines. Find a vine you than can bend almost double (the shape of those ribbon campaign ribbons) without it breaking. You can use those as is, until they dry out. If you need more weight, you can braid them. If you can't find vines, you can use new green bark off of smaller plants. If you can peel at least 12" of bark, you ...


9

This is a bad plan for several reasons. YakTrax are not well suited for this situation. YakTrax are more specialized for people who want to go running on city streets in places with cold winters. For mountaineering, they're basically useless. They don't give enough extra traction. Microspikes or crampons would be more appropriate. Roping up is a ...


9

You can take it back to REI or to another gear store that deals with climbing gear. Make sure they know the rope is indeed being used for climbing. They should be able to cut it and prepare the cut ends so there isn't any fraying/unraveling, etc.


9

It is safe to cut (while you are not using it). You can cut it yourself. I would use something sharp so that you get a clean cut. Healing (using a flame to melt) the cut ends and wrapping them in tape (like they come from the manufacture) will be needed. Before you do that though, you might want to consider not cutting it at all. While a 70 meter rope is ...


8

Some of it may well be historical - while there are a lot of generic hardware store type things that "do the job" out there now, I'm willing to bet that a few decades ago this wasn't the case. However, I'd still say that unless you're just doing light hiking / camping where it's never going to be stretched much, it's still worth getting: Overall, it's ...


8

If you didn't bring rope with you on purpose, you may still have shoelaces. You could use them in a bowdrill to make a fire in an emergency (but you better know how to make and use a bowdrill well beforehand). Two plants that make good cordage here in the Pacific Northwest are Stinging Nettle and Fireweed. You can use it fresh and green, but if you properly ...


8

You cannot tell by simple observation if a cord is as strong as it should be. Even if the cord was originally manufactured to the correct specification it may become invisibly damaged by chemical exposure. See this report for an analysis of such a case that fortunately did not result in serious injury. Do not trust cord unless you know both its source and ...


8

Plainly speaking, it makes sense to keep your rope away from any chemicals at all - battery acid, grease, oil, bleach, etc. Same goes for any objects that might harm it, chemically (car batteries) or physically (anything sharp or jagged that may dig in.) Take care of it, keep it dry, well coiled and well away from anything that might harm it. Yes, it may be ...


8

What Rory Alsop posted is great info that is "internet safe" and a great rule of thumb. Many companies, however, will rate their ropes down to 9mm as single rope safe. In areas where rope protectors are often used, climbers safely go down to 8mm. I regularly climb with a Mammut Infinity 9.5mm. Compare that to Petzl Xion 10.1mm Mammut ...


8

Perhaps manufacturers advise on how much strain their ropes could take before retirement? Yup, they do. The rating is given in terms of UIAA falls, which are pretty "major" falls. A UIAA fall is one with a fall factor of 1.77 and the weight is 80kg - or typically a pretty big fall with a pretty big guy. This related question may also provide some ...


8

This is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. It's not uncommon for climbers to take a 60 or 70 meter rope and cut a few meters off the ends (since the ends of a rope take a lot of abuse). You can either take it to REI, as you suggested, and tell them you are cutting it for climbing or check out this how-to on Climbing.com. A few things you need to consider ...


8

With due respect to Ben Crowell, who is I believe a far more experienced outdoorsman than I am, I beg to differ with his answer. (Edit: prior to revision that is.) Having worked at a very small climbing wall I have seen tough ropes completely worn out by top-rope climbing alone, therefore at least in the extreme "Ropes don't become weak from top-roping or ...


8

Yes, it is accepted practice to wash new Semi-Static rope (or Single Rope Technique/SRT Rope as it is known by cavers). There are two reasons why new ropes are best washed before use. Washing removes the anti-static lubricants used in manufacture and also shrinks the rope. This serves to compact the sheath and tighten it onto the core, stabilising ...


7

@Shawn has already answered the question, but I would like to add that it whilst it may be useful in some situations, it can be a bad habit to get into, and dangerous in certain situations. As you can see in this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auj4T1PYSRI - it involves getting your arm very tangled into the rope. If the rope was to suddenly be ...


7

Yes it is possible. There are many methods, but here is one I found by googling "single handed bowline knot" (first result): http://www.animatedknots.com/bowlineonehand/index.php



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