Hot answers tagged

61

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 ...


44

If the snow was hard packed enough that a self arrest is not possible, and there are no intermediate anchors, then if one person falls, they can take the whole team down with them. If that was the case then what they should have done is to have the first person place anchors as they went up, either snow pickets or ice screws depending on the conditions. The ...


42

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 ...


40

In the end I have contacted the manufacturer, and received a detailed answer surprisingly quickly. So turns out, that the last 2 digits of the batch number are the year of manufacture. E.g. ABCD987612 --> Year of manufacture is 2012. Additional useful information from the e-mail: The potential lifetime of this product in use is 10 years. Attention: ...


34

I use a truckers hitch it is easy to make and create and pull tight. It is not difficult to untie but does stay in place well. It is a great knot when you need to cinch something down. Image source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TruckersHitchUsingAlpineButterfly2.jpg


29

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. ...


28

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.


28

If you don't have an electric hot-knife, it's possible to heat a (sacrificial) table knife in a flame until it glows, and use that to make the cut against a wooden block. It doesn't need to be sharp, just hot. I find that I normally need two cuts (with the knife heated until glowing slightly red each time) to chop and seal 11mm static rope. Keep the knife ...


27

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 core ...


26

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 than ...


24

It's possible that it could damage the soft gear, Tests done by the UIAA Safety Commission and some rope manufacturers have shown that marking ropes with liquids such as those provided by felt-tipped pens can damage them; even with those markers, sold specifically for marking ropes. The test results have shown a decrease of up to 50% of the rope ...


23

The most common options coming to my mind are: Securing from anchors and building e.g. one rope-party with 2 and one with 3 members This is slow but very safe. You do it in steep and/or difficult terrain. Moving continuously being roped together while the first uses gear Using e.g. a tibloc or you can use rocks to let the rope move behind them (with ...


22

The only way I know of would to be to cut a small section off of one of the ends and then dissect it. Inside of the sheath next to the core strands should be a tracer thread and identification tape, During the braiding process, an identification tape and tracer thread indicating the year of manufacture are woven into the rope core. The year of ...


21

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. Behaviour of Rope Under Stretching During Fall - Authors: Vittorio Bedogni (CAI), Andrea Manes UIAA Wikipedia NOTE: Also included is the section on "impact force"...


21

I agree that the trucker's hitch will certainly do the job. That said, if your special situation requires retightening if things start to sag, you might consider the tautline hitch. It's a great knot for situations where you might need to take up slack due to stuff like rope stretch in the dark and rain (like, say, if you're using your line to make an A-...


20

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 ...


19

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 ...


19

There are many phrases that you will find concerning dry treatment of ropes, but they can all be easily related to your three categories: non-dry rope This rope has no treatment to repel water. Consequently it absorbs the most water and thus getting heavier. Wet ropes also loose some of their dynamic properties, so falls will get harder. As it is the ...


19

The easiest way is to tie a fixed loop in the middle of the rope (figure 8, alpine butterfly, bowline on a bight, etc) and then clip the climber in to that loop using two locking carabiners. Two carabiners are used here in order to avoid the scenario of a single carabiner rotating into a cross-loaded orientation during a fall and failing as a result. ...


18

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 ...


18

All the major climbing sites agree on the two options for cleaning, and the subsequent drying: ukclimbing.com basicrockclimbing.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 wary of abrading ...


18

Static ropes are used whenever you're working with a static load, either raising or lowering. Dynamic ropes should be used whenever there is potential for a fall and high impact forces. Static ropes are used for rappelling/abseiling, ascending, hauling, rescue work and making anchors (accessory cord). Pretty much they are to be used in every situation ...


18

Twin ropes can be as small as 6.9mm (35g/m), and are only used in pairs; you tie into two ropes, and clip both as though they were a single rope. This provides you with the redundancy of having more than one rope, but without the weight of carrying two single ropes. Twin ropes also allow a full-rope-length rappel which often strongly factors in the choice ...


17

Ewww. I'm guessing they punch pin tags through $700 gore tex jackets as well? And condoms? Even if the amount of damage is minimal, it's still something I would rather not do to my rope. Some climbers do use a needle and thread/dental floss to make small whippings on the rope to indicate that the rope ends are approaching. However, there is a large ...


16

The diagram shows three situations that are easy to understand without knowing a lot of math or physics. In the first example, the angle between the anchor strands is zero. Both anchors pull straight up on the biner, and each supports 50% of the load. In the second example, all three angles are 120 degrees. The situation is totally symmetrical, so all ...


16

Masons Line Paracord's biggest selling point is that it's strong enough to hold your body weight. That's great and all, but honestly, it's very rare to get caught in a situation where you're forced to use a rappel. The most common situation is when parachuters get caught in trees, but in those situations, you already have a bunch of lengths of paracord ...


16

Whether you run out of rope or just can't complete the route, you have to bail as safely as possible. As soon as your belayer reaches the rope's middle mark, he should double check that there's a stopper knot at the end. Then, you would down climb to the nearest bolt and then proceed to bail on the route using a prusik backup, as described by this old Petzl ...


15

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.


15

Yes, it is accepted practice to wash new Semi-Static rope (or Single Rope Technique/SRT Rope as it is known by cavers). Dave Elliot is a highly respected SRT expert, and he wrote the CNCC Rope Care page, which says: There are two reasons why new ropes are best washed before use. Washing removes the anti-static lubricants used in manufacture and also ...


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