46 votes

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

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 ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
37 votes

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

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. ...
april rain's user avatar
  • 3,454
32 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
27 votes

How to cut a climbing rope?

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, ...
Toby Speight's user avatar
  • 4,652
23 votes
Accepted

Do sharpies or markers damage soft rock climbing gear?

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-...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
22 votes

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

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, ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
21 votes

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

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 ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
David Scarlett's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Difference when using twin or half ropes

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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.5k
18 votes
Accepted

Compromised Ropes in Retail Stores

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 ...
erfink's user avatar
  • 4,198
16 votes

Does it make sense to use fall arresters in rock climbing to reduce the forces involved?

When rock climbing, it is true that sometimes a single anchor point is not fully reliable. In that case, it's MUCH better to improve safety by building a redundant anchor than to reduce the force of a ...
TimD1's user avatar
  • 261
15 votes

Can you safely use retired ropes for belaying children?

There is a little bit information out there (here), about falls of climbers heavier than normal which suggests (very roughly) almost a linear relationship between fall load (force) and body weight, ...
knitti's user avatar
  • 1,461
15 votes

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

A knot that's simple and easy to use, explicitly for the purpose of tying in to the middle of the rope, would be the Alpine Butterfly. Tie it, then put it to your belay loop with one or two locking ...
Lagerbaer's user avatar
  • 2,500
15 votes

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

Black Diamond did a study on this, and even after 24 hours of resting, there was still a noticeably increased load on the second fall. Allowing the rope to rest 24 hours still resulted in a 2nd ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Can you use pre-owned climbing rope for hiking and/or emergency uses?

No, not only for safety but also for practical reasons. Climbing ropes are unsuited for most of your use cases. A climbing rope is dynamic, which means it will stretch under load. This is exactly what ...
Manziel's user avatar
  • 7,245
14 votes
Accepted

Paracord rope strength

You'll need to test to be sure, but it will lose quite a bit of strength. When I sailed, I was taught that you lose as much as 80% strength by tying a knot. So if you have 500 lb paracord, by this ...
Karen's user avatar
  • 4,229
14 votes

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

The one way I know to remove the twists from a climbing rope, requires for the rope not to be hanging nor in use in any way. The procedure is quite simple but may require help from your partner: ...
Roflo's user avatar
  • 2,456
14 votes

How to tension rope between two trees?

At one end, I tie the rope any old how. It can be loose even. Then I go to the other tree and pull as hard as I can on the rope until it's really tight. Then, holding tight, I walk around the tree ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 12.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Belaying/rappelling with a rope thicker than allowed by belay device

There are two factors to care about here: a static rope and a rope that is slightly too thick. Static ropes are usually less flexible than dynamic rope, which would explain the stubborn feeling. 0.5mm ...
anderas's user avatar
  • 4,447
13 votes

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

It look like they are "moving together". Very common in alpine ascents when moving over easier ground where it would take too long to pitch the climb (fixed belay). The leader would run out around 10-...
Pete Anenome's user avatar
13 votes

Double Mariner Mechanical Advantage

I think a picture is worth more than a thousand words in this case. Let's first see how the 3:1 pulley system works. I'm choosing the colours so that any changes in pulley or force modulus will be ...
QuantumBrick's user avatar
  • 3,379
13 votes

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

As others have commented, Trucker's Hitch (with an Alpine butterfly) would be the best. Note that it would be enough to do it on one side only; I usually tie an Anchor Hitch at the other side. ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 1,770
12 votes
Accepted

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

The main reasons is simplicity and habituation: A prusik made from a loop is easily taught and controlled. This is a point that many experienced climber forget about often: When people start they may ...
imsodin's user avatar
  • 21.7k
12 votes
Accepted

What type of rope to use for the mainsheet of sunfish?

You most definitely want to be selective when selecting rope for a sailboat's running rigging. I'll group sailboats into two categories: racing and non-racing. Racing sailboat is simply any boat where ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 10.7k
12 votes

Which type of rope is to be used to practice knots?

3 to 7mm utility cord. It is designed to be tied. If you go to a climbing retailer you can typically buy by the foot.
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 7,176
12 votes
Accepted

How to tie a bull hitch using end(s)?

The bull hitch is just a cow hitch (aka girth hitch) with an extra round turn. Bring the working end over and around the bar then over itself. Make a turn around itself. Bring it behind the bar. ...
Martin F's user avatar
  • 4,107
12 votes

How to tension rope between two trees?

Although you asked an outdoors question, I'm going to give you a physics answer that might shed some light (with an outdoors note at the end.) When you string an ideal rope (with zero stretch) ...
Glenn Willen's user avatar
11 votes

Can I use SteriGENE broad spectrum disinfectant on abseil rope?

I visit a lot of caves in the Canadian Rockies, and there are similar concerns with transporting microorganisms from cave to cave, as well as diseases such as white nose syndrome in bats. For the ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.5k
11 votes

How to cut a climbing rope?

The easiest way to do this is to use an electric rope cutter. Source To use this you wait till the blade is hot then stretch the rope tight with your hands giving yourself a couple of inches on ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar

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