I climb comfortably at 5.11c at my gym (Top Rope Only), but I have never climbed outdoors so a group of experienced climbers have offered to teach my friend and I how to lead sport routes. I have chosen all my gear except for the rope. I am currently looking at the following: Option 1, Option 2, Option 3.

The rope will be used for two days outdoors then indoors until May @ 2-3 times a week then outdoors again.

I'd like to know from the experienced users here if I should invest in the dry treatment? Am i going to feel a difference between a 9.2kN and 9.5kN impact force? As well will i notice a difference of 2.1% in static elongation?

As of right now I am leaning towards option 1, but if there are valid reasons to spend the little bit extra for the dry option 3 then i will gladly go that route.

My friend an I are the same height and weight: 5'10 170lbs.

EDIT: This rope will NOT be used in any wet conditions such as Mountaineering or Ice Climbing...

  • 1
    Dry treatment would be more relevant if you were doing canyoneering or mountaineering. Presumably you aren't planning to do sport climbing in the rain. Static elongation is a measure of how stretchy the rope is. The values used in dynamic ropes are relatively standardized, and are a compromise that is meant to keep you safe in a variety of situations; you don't want especially low or high values.
    – user2169
    Nov 24, 2013 at 21:32
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    Just out of curiosity as it does not get quite clear from your question: have you reached 5.11c at the gym without doing lead climbing or just have never done lead climbing outside a gym? Nov 24, 2013 at 21:49
  • @benedikt I have only climbed top rope, i understand that when leading i can expect to climb at several grades lower. I am really looking forward to just getting outside!
    – AM_Hawk
    Nov 26, 2013 at 17:56
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    @AM_Hawk You're third option has one benefit you didn't notice. The pattern of the rope seems to change in the middle. That's why it is higher priced but you'll never loose the middle mark.
    – Kai K.
    Dec 3, 2013 at 6:33
  • Get a dry rope if you can afford it, they last longer because they keep more dirt out. Anything you get around 10mm is going to work fine for you, don't over analyze the specs.
    – ShemSeger
    Sep 8, 2017 at 19:24

3 Answers 3


Short answer: For your first rope, none of these numbers matter. Any 60m dynamic rope around 10mm diameter will be fine.

Get the cheapest one of the three, and buy a rope bag to keep it clean. Get some good instruction and enjoy climbing outside!

  • What I have observed so far is: people choose 8mm rope over 10mm when they know that the rope will more often be used for rappelling.
    – WedaPashi
    Nov 26, 2013 at 11:08

None of the information you give about your planned use case sets any limitation to a standard dynamical sports climbing rope. Also you won't notice small differences in the specs especially as it is your first rope to buy. Those different specs will only make a difference as you bring a rope to its limits. For example with routes where you have huge bolt distances and can expect high fall factors, a lower impact force will be nice, but in a typical sports climbing case this won't matter. So you can just go and get the one that is cheapest or you feel most comfortable with or that has the nicest color or whatever criterion you want to choose.

For the dry option: this will only be of relevance if you plan to use the rope for glacier hiking and/or ice climbing where it is more or less sure the the rope will get wet. But in this case you will usually get a rope on its own as normal sports climbing useage would quickly destroy the dry coating. Therefore investing money in a dry coating that you (according to the information you gave) quite surely won't use will only make the salesman happy.


I have a Mammut rope that looks identical to your Option 2 (Mammut Supernova) although it is sold in Europe under a different name. I am not all impressed with it and wouldn't buy one again. Handling deteriorated rather quickly under quite moderate usage.

Mammut is a fine company and makes many excellent ropes, just not this one.


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