Questions tagged [ropes]

Rope is a useful and versatile material in the outdoors that can be used for all manner of tasks, from tying up a bag to constructing live saving structures.

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65
votes
8answers
24k views

What are good knots to know for camping and backpacking?

I once tied a bear bag with a haphazard bundle of knots, and despite being seemingly impossible to untie, it came loose when lowering the bear bag and nearly smoked my friend standing under it. What ...
55
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7answers
10k views

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

This image has recently come under considerable criticism on social media for dangerous mountaineering practices. The location is unknown as the qualified mountain guide observer wanted to maintain ...
40
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4answers
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Things to keep away from climbing ropes

There are some no brainers like don't throw your climbing rope next to car batteries in the back of your car. The effect of bug sprays containing Deet seem to be controversial. I have also heard a ...
37
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2answers
6k views

Is there a way to find out the age of climbing ropes?

I have two half ropes from Camp that are basically unused, but are slowly getting old, and I would like to know their age. Is there a way to do that? I know the name of the model: Camp Plekton 8.2mm....
35
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5answers
24k views

What is the difference between "dry rope", "non-dry rope" and "dry core rope"?

I've just recently gotten into climbing and so far the ropes have always been provided for me. I'm starting to look at getting my own rope for outside climbing, and am confused by some of the ...
31
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2answers
43k views

Climbing rope is rated to X UIAA falls. What is a UIAA fall?

When looking at buying climbing ropes, they are rated to a number of "UIAA falls". What does that mean?
28
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6answers
5k views

Most practical knots for hitching a line to an object while keeping the bitter end as tight as possible, without sag?

Say, I want to tie a rope between two trees, and I want it to have as little sag as possible. I have attached the rope to one tree and I'm trying to tie it to the other tree while pulling it to create ...
25
votes
3answers
8k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kg and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 kg)
24
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4answers
16k views

How should a climbing rope be stored?

I've purchased my first climbing rope and am wondering how it should be stored when not in use. I have a rope bag which I assume is a good home for the rope; should it be kept tightly coiled inside ...
23
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7answers
9k views

How to safely mark a rope

I was reading this question and the first thing that popped into my head is what do you use to mark the middle of the rope? I was taught not to use any kind of marker on the rope (because there's no ...
23
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2answers
3k views

When should I retire my rope

I know there is a degree of "gray" in this question but: I have a Beal Top gun II 10.5mm, I've had this rope for around 4 years now and I'm starting to think about retiring it. It's been used ...
21
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8answers
9k views

How do you tie in to the centre of a rope?

Suppose you're leading a short pitch (20-30m) and you have two followers, or you want to double rope the route, and want to simply half your rope and tie into the centre, pulling the two halves up ...
20
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4answers
7k views

Is it safe to cut a climbing rope in half?

I recently bought a 70 meter climbing rope from REI because it was a great price on the outlet. Last weekend I used it for the first time in the Texas hill country, where 99% of routes need a rope ...
20
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3answers
707 views

How should a climbing rope be cleaned?

What products and process should be used to clean a climbing rope when it gets sufficiently dirty? How would I remove as much dirt and grime as possible without negatively affecting the strength or ...
20
votes
1answer
407 views

Compromised Ropes in Retail Stores

Reposting this from a Facebook discussion. It's a picture taken from a retail store where they have attached a pin-tag through the rope to prevent theft; a common practice at this location. My gut ...
19
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7answers
54k views

Best rope for a rope swing

A few years ago I, er… a friend of mine, put up a rope swing in a nearby park. It's in a large eucalyptus, about 25 metres high, and is much loved by many local kids – and parents. Originaly I just ...
19
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1answer
1k views

How fast does a climbing rope recover its dynamic properties after a fall?

The defining feature of a climbing rope (arguably) is its dynamic properties, i.e. it stops your fall gradually to decrease the peak force. Not exceeding a fixed peak force is a/the integral criterion ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Difference when using twin or half ropes

There are three types of ropes according to the UIAA/EN norm for climbing ropes: Single, half and twin. While the distinction between single ropes and the other two is rather obvious (one strand ...
18
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2answers
6k views

Best type of rope for glacier travel?

What sort of rope would be ideal for glacier travel? I have a 10mm 60m rope, but this is quite heavy. Would a 9mm 50m rope be suitable for a team of three, crossing glaciers in the Swiss Alps?
17
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5answers
11k views

How to get kinks and twists out of a climbing rope?

One complaint about using the Munter hitch for belaying is that it twists and kinks the rope. After doing a full rope length rappel with a Munter hitch down a slightly overhanging face to the base of ...
17
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3answers
3k views

Double Mariner Mechanical Advantage

Petzl have a diagram on their website for what they call a Double Mariner. It's identified on the site as having a 7:1 mechanical advantage, but I can only see it as having a 5:1. Can somebody ...
17
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2answers
10k views

What happens to rappel anchors?

When setting up a rappel anchor, using things like webbing, rings, that kind of stuff, what happens to the anchor when you get to the bottom? Assuming you can't hike to the top and grab it, do you ...
17
votes
1answer
318 views

Can I use SteriGENE broad spectrum disinfectant on abseil rope?

I work in ecologically sensitive areas in NZ and my ropes routinely get soiled. I have been asked by the Dept of Conservation to clean and disinfect my ropes to minimise the chances of accidentally ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Placing protection efficiently when leading trad?

I'm a beginning trad leader, having done about five easy fifth class leads. I've had some formal instruction, but don't currently have access to a teacher or mentor. I'm finding that I'm extremely ...
16
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2answers
6k views

When to use a static rope?

I usually do sport-climbing so I've never owned a static rope. However, most rope-related Q&As in TGO.SE don't bother specifying dynamic vs static ropes. I've been told that for rappelling (or ...
16
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5answers
2k views

How can rope/cordage be packed to minimize tangles?

I generally pack my cordage in little bundles like Unfortunately for any significant length (100' for instance) it just turns into a wadded mess when I try and use it. How can I pack this stuff ...
15
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6answers
4k views

What to do when you run out of rope on a sports climb?

The situation is, that you started a high route with fixed protection (bolts) and misjudged its length, so before reaching the belay the middle mark of the rope passes the belayer. What can you do to ...
15
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2answers
5k views

Do sharpies or markers damage soft rock climbing gear?

I have been writing my initials onto the dogbones (webbing connecting biners) of my quickdraws with a sharpie (permanent marker) so I can tell them apart from everyone else's. Recently, one of my ...
15
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4answers
865 views

What should I look for in a rope for climbing?

I just started rock climbing recently. I don't have any gear of my own and the first thing I wanted to get was a rope. There are various ropes of different prices. What should I look for when buying a ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?

When crossing a glacier (or other mountaineering activity for that matter) I've heard that roping everyone together without having a fixed anchor is falling out of fashion since more often than not if ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Why are eye friction hitches not commonly used in rock climbing?

It seems that the majority of professional arborists favor friction hitches that are tied with a free cord rather than a loop: Blake's Hitch Schwabisch Distel Valdotain Tresse This is often tied ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Semi-static rope 24 hour rule

It is said that a semi-static rope should be submerged for 24 hours before first use. Why is this, and is this before every first use ?
14
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3answers
11k views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
14
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2answers
593 views

How can I make/improvise a rope on a trip?

If I'm out in the wilderness and find myself in need of a rope I don't have with me (forgotten, not enough, another snapped), how can I make one? Are there any natural ropes I could use with minimal ...
14
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2answers
1k views

How big a fall is a "major" fall?

I answered a question about rope safety with some advice about retiring the rope after a "major" fall. Another user asked me what would constitute a major fall - and I have to admit that I can only ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than "550 paracord"?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling "...
13
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3answers
606 views

How can I know if a rope is certified? I found a hidden tag

We (a uni student club, mostly hiking) own a rope that is practically unknown. We know that it's a year since it was bought (presumably new) and that it has hardly ever been used (no dead hangs, etc). ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Why all the different accessory cord diameters?

It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the different types and diameters of accessory cords. I usually always get 7mm for making my prusiks and cordalettes, but I've often wondered who uses the smaller ...
13
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1answer
3k views

Using a rope "Alpine Style"/Moving together

I've seen people using a ropes "alpine style" in the past but I'm not sure on the specifics. By alpine style I mean where the rope is coiled around the body and attached to a second of third person. ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Why static rope rather than webbing for toprope anchors?

I'm signed up for an AMGA single-pitch instructor course (to learn how to teach other people single-pitch climbing). One of the pieces of gear we're supposed to bring is a 30 meter static rope "for ...
12
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3answers
2k views

How can I tie a bowline knot with one hand?

A bowline knot is an excellent rescue knot as it tightens when under load. However, its very use as a rescue knot may make it hard to tie - for example, if a person fell and damaged one arm to the ...
12
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3answers
5k views

Paracord rope strength

I have recently come into possession of many thousands of feet of paracord, more than any practical use would dictate. So this started me down the addictive path that is weaving and forming it into ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Why should the angle in a rope attached to two anchors be 60 degrees or less?

This question asks how to set up a top rope anchor. It states that No angle of tension shall exceed 60 degrees. Why?
12
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2answers
1k views

Are static dyneema/spectra ropes suited for use on glaciers?

While Dyneema is in use for cordelettes for quite some time manufacturers started bringing long ropes made of dyneema on the market. The benefits are obvious: Less weight, less volume and no water ...
12
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2answers
5k views

Fixed line: Prusik vs mechanical ascender

The standard mountaineering textbook Freedom of the Hills has a long discussion of fixed lines, and they state simply that you use a mechanical ascender on them. This seems odd to me, since for most ...
12
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2answers
5k views

Adjustable mid-line knot?

I'm looking for a knot similar to a sheepshank but adjustable and stable under load on both ends. Think of two poles that have the two ends of a rope permanently attached to them but you want to ...
12
votes
2answers
798 views

Avoiding tangles when leading on double ropes

Doing multipitch routes with double ropes is great, but (at least for me) inevitably results in messy tangles, twists, and crosses of the two ropes. What are some strategies to prevent the ropes from ...
11
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5answers
8k views

What is the best rope to have in a survival situation? [closed]

What rope would be most helpful/versatile in a survival situation?
11
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4answers
6k views

How to cut a climbing rope?

Sometimes it is necessary to cut a climbing rope, either to shorten it or to trim worn ends. If were one to cut a climbing rope, how would one do so?
11
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5answers
3k views

Can you safely use retired ropes for belaying children?

Climbing ropes are UIAA rated for so many falls of an 80kg weight. After that number of falls–or a specific period of time based on amount of use–you are supposed to retire the rope. But what if the ...