Any mountaineering equipment can be a beloved relic, but perhaps none of them has as many good memories as a good old rope. It’s your lifeline in everything from the top cables to the whole alpine epic. Rope is your strongest and in a way most vulnerable device. If you decide to buy the rope, whether it’s the first or the fifteenth, it’s worth thinking about how you want to use it, the technologies available and the companies available to you. Below you will find the best skipping ropes for the year 2020. For more information, see our detailed comparison table and purchasing tips under selection.
Best common skipping rope
1. Mammut Infinity Dry 70m ($300)
Best use: Grip, multistage
What we like: Excellent dimensions, performance and durability.
What we don’t have is: He doesn’t have the silk blanket himself.
If Zlatovlaska was a mountaineer, she could complain about the ropes, this one is too thin, this one is too thick. But if she came to the Mammut Infinity Dry, she’d hold on and talk: Well, it’s true. In fact, there’s hardly anything one of the best rope makers wouldn’t like. At 9.5 millimetres, this ideal point lies between too heavy and too vulnerable. It lasts much longer than thinner strings on one side of the spectrum, but it doesn’t pull you down like a 10mm line of hard clips above the bridge. And if the same can be said of a 9.5 mm string, then Infinity is not just any 9.5 mm string. He’s one of the best.
Mammoth ropes are known for their strength and durability, and the Infinity is no exception. It is not the most silky cord, but the general feeling of this line is softness and elasticity. Mammut’s dry treatment, which complies with UIAA water-repellent standards, is also super effective for an amazingly long period of time. As a rope that combines the best price, strength and feel, we give the Mammut Infinity Dry our best place for 2020.Read the detailed overview of
See … Mammoth Infinitely Dry
Best Whiplash Draft Horse
2. Fast drying core 70 m (USD 245)
Best use: Handle, top cord
What we like: A proven workhorse of a large company.
What we don’t have is: There are cheaper 9.8s.
Sterling has been making world-class ropes for decades and the Evolution line is one of the most successful. It’s not for nothing: These ropes seem to last forever. Speed is our favourite string in the Evolution series, and the 9.8 mm is a real workhorse. We used to shoot a 10 mm line for daily projection and ramming, but now we don’t shoot anymore. This 9.8 lasts until the 10 we used never felt so heavy.
For most mountaineers, Velocity is a real place to relax. This is an excellent purchase for beginners who may not know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to rope care and maintenance. At the same time, it’s a good buy for an experienced veteran working on his 5.13 project. It’s not the cheapest rope for the diameter, but it will last a long time. And you should feel good about supporting one of the few rope companies that makes its products here in the United States.
View Sterling Evolution Velocity Dry Core
best skipping rope for households
3. Edelrid Boa Eco 70 million (USD 180)
Best use: Circumference, gym, rope
What we like: Incredibly affordable; quite durable.
What we don’t have is: No dry machining.
No matter how poetic we rub the wax on the rope diameter, the hull direction and the basic technology, choosing the right rope should not always be difficult. For beginners and occasional climbers it’s really very easy: You need a reliable rope that you can rely on and that you can catch over and over again. And if you’re already robbing a bank for shoes, a helmet, an express train, a rope, the more rope, the better. Enter Edelrid Boa’s Echo. For just $180 – far less than any other rope on the list – you can get a sturdy 9.8mm rope from one of the most reliable rope manufacturers in the industry, perfect for everyday cracks. Simply put, this rope is useless for new climbers.
Besides the price, one of the aspects we at Boa Eco prefer is that it is made of pieces of wire from the bottom of the cutting room, which not only saves money, but also preserves ingenuity and economy. And it wouldn’t be a shame if we could find Edelride strings that last a little longer than some of the more expensive competitors. Remember that, as with any household rope, you can expect the boa to be soft and shiny, the shell to be blurred and the light colour to turn black as it passes through snap hooks and underwear. But if you don’t count cosmetics, Boa Eco is a sure value for any mountaineer looking for a solid workhorse.
Look, Edelid Boa Echo.
best ultra light cable
4. Beal Opera Unicore Golden Dry 70 m ($300)
Best use: Mountaineering, straight
Weight: 48 g/m
What we like: The lightest and thinnest rope on the market.
What we don’t have is: Insufficient strength; very high tensile strength.
If you just make a double shot by reading the diameter specification, we won’t blame you. Beal Opera is the thinnest string on the market. In fact, at 8.5 mm it is the same size as many half cords. And although we were not immediately enthusiastic about the opera, our fears were taken off the agenda after a season of testing the Patagonian switching curve. Simply put, it is the best rope for climbers who are careful with their weight. With 48 grams per metre, no other rope comes close. Moreover, the additional guarantee of Beal Unicore technology means that this cable is stronger than its diameter suggests.
All this suggests that Beale’s opera is certainly not for everyone. In fact, it’s too much unless you have a good reason to shave an ounce off your backpack. And even with Unicore technology, you can’t deny the innate compromises of the thin cord. Note that Opera stretches more than any other string on our list and is not compatible with older versions of the popular Grigri Petzl (the latest Grigri can support 8.5mm strings). But for mountaineering – and not much more, including cross-country – these are the negative aspects we are willing to accept with the extreme weight reduction Opera offers.
See the Golden Dryer at Bill Opera Unicor
Best climbing rope for red point
5. Edelrid Swift Pro Dry 70m ($280)
Best use: Mountaineering,
What we like: Super light, durable and reliable.
What we don’t do: Not everyone needs such a thin rope.
The first thing you notice about Edelrid’s swift is the diameter: At 8.9 mm it is one of the thinnest ropes on the market. But the Swift is not only a single string, it can also be used as a half or double string (see buying tips below for more details). This triple rating offers amazing versatility for advanced climbers using the same rope in different conditions. Take the Swift as a light swap line to the crack or combine it with a second to climb with a group of three on ice or multi-pass routes. This is an ideal option in almost any scenario.
However, Swift is not entirely unique in its versatility. Only the Joker and the opera of Bill and Sterling Nano are included in this list as three strings. But we think the Swift is better with medium strength, elongation and weight. Dynamic elongation – how much a string stretches when the wire falls out – is an important indicator to take into account for thinner strings (in general, the thinner the string, the more it is stretched), and the Swift value of 40% is 30% lower than the opera value of 8.5 mm (40%). It was also significantly stronger and easier to handle in our tests than the Nano. A thin rope is not for everyone, but for advanced climbers looking for a simple and versatile installation, the Swift is our current favourite.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Edelrid Swift Pro Dry.
The best of the other
6. Black Diamond 9.4 sec 70 m ($260)
Best use: Grip, multistage
What we like: Durable and cheap.
What we don’t have is: The decrease of the UIAA is expected to be less than that of the Mamut Infinity.
Black Diamond has long been a leader in climbing protection and accessories, and now the company has added ropes to its product line. Although we did not find their first production launch remarkable, the current offers have shown a significant increase in productivity. At a reasonable price, Black Diamond ropes are extremely durable, flexible and smooth, straight out of the box and available in a minimalist range of colours and sizes, making decisions easy and enjoyable.
9.4 We are dry against tough competitors, including not only our Mammut Infinity in number 1, but also Beal Stinger and Petzl Arial below. These four ropes have an ultra-vertical diameter of 9 mm in the middle, are designed for 7 UIAA gutters and have the same weight. But the Black Diamond rope ties to Petzl as the cheapest bundle ($260 versus $300 for the mammoth), and unlike Arial, it has a dry machining process that meets UIAA requirements. And its strength is impressive: 9.4 has been our crack rope for more than a year, and even after working on more than 300 fields, it hasn’t become blurred or lost its elasticity in the hands.
Look at Black Diamond 9.4 Dry.
7. Cow Tiger 70 m single layer plasterboard ($250)
Best use: Wallpaper, rope, gym
Weight: 61 g/m
What we like: Looks like 10 millimeters, feels like 9.7 millimeters.
What we don’t have is: You can pay for features you don’t need.
We won’t try to hide it: We love Beal Strings, and we’re not alone. In fact, we still have to hit anyone who doesn’t like the Beal line, be it the Joker 9.1 or the Tiger 10mm. And although the 10 mm strings quickly went out of fashion, the Tiger is still in use. What for? It just looks thinner than it actually is, the diameter has a surprisingly low impact force and it doesn’t get thick and fuzzy with age. In fact, at 61 g/m, the Tiger is as light as a 9.7 mm BlueWater flash.
Of course you can save some hard-earned money and choose a rope like the Edelrida Boa above, which would be a good choice if you would only climb occasionally. But for more money, the Tiger benefits from the extra power of Unicore technology and the ruggedness of Beal Dry blankets. Add all that to the mix and the Tiger is a versatile workhorse that will serve you well from the rock to the big wall.
Look at the dry coffin of the tiger calf Unicor.
8. Strings BlueWater Lightning Pro Double Dry 70 m ($225)
Best use: Winding, top winding
Diameter: 9.7 mm
Weight: 61 g/m
What we like: Super elastic, 8 drops UIAA, available.
What we don’t have is: Can get a disc; no average score on the non-Bi model.
It’s a pity to put the BlueWater Lightning Pro so low on the list. In a way, as well as our second choice, Sterling Evolution Velocity. He behaves well, has a large diameter and is super strong (with 8 UIAA drops he is stronger than most of the above options), and he has a fairly strong torso. In addition, it is similar in value and about the same in weight and diameter. So why does BlueWater end up in 8th place? A room?
The Blitzprofi works until the scabbard wears off and the core remains strong. In a very short time, however, it begins to become flexible. This can take various forms: harder cutting, greater wear and tear on the sharp edges and on any type of toothed traction device, faster wear and tear on the ends of the rope where the knot is tied (not to mention knots that are more difficult to undo). This is all rather esoteric and not problematic enough to take it off the list. But in the end we discovered that strings like Velocity are better than strings over time.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. BlueWater Ropes Lightning Pro.
9. Mammoth Eternity Classic 70m ($200)
Best use: Circumference, top rope, gym
Diameter: 9.8 mm
Weight: 61 g/m
What we like: Quality at low prices.
What we don’t have is: No high-performing rope.
Before you say anything else, take a look at the price label and drop the notes on this string (8-9). It’s true: For $200 you get a line made by one of the best manufacturers in the industry, with one of the highest zinc percentages on our list. Of course, Eternity Classic is not subject to dry processing and is not exceptionally light. But for only $200 it’s a well made and flexible line that comes up after the climb.
It is important to note that the dry treatment not only repels water but also protects the rope from dirt and dust. For a long service life, a rope without dry treatment requires a little more care and attention, i.e. a rope bag or tarp and a routine wash. If you want to maintain your equipment and save money, the Mammut Eternity Classic is the ideal choice. But if you know you’re not gonna take care of it until you know it, that rope will retreat. Do the math and the two classics of eternity will cost you much more than the price of a single high-end line with dry machining.
Check out the Mammoth Eternity Classic.
10. Sterling Pro 70m ($240) Marathon
Best use: Range, upper rope, gym
What we like: Big and strong.
What we don’t have is: It’s hard.
To get on the list, you needed at least one thick, strong rope. A Sterling Marathon pro doesn’t apologize for who he is. It’s a rope. It’s big. He’ll catch you every time you fall. You can mistreat it, use it, abuse it, even confuse it with a static line and a jar on it. And it will stay that way.
And when it comes to detachment, multi-stage work or a long journey, turn resolutely to your partner and talk to him: Hey, let’s use your rope today, because mine’s very heavy. And while this may be a good trick to make the rope last longer, it’s probably not the best way for partners to continue climbing. All the frowning on the side, the lines 10 mm and thicker are still there. This space can shrink as technology improves and thinner lines become stronger; but if you really want a muscular workhorse and weight, that’s not the problem, it’s your rope.
Look at the Sterling Professional Marathon.
11. Calf Trail Unicorn Golden Dry 70m ($290)
Best use: Grip, multistage
Diameter: 9.4 mm
Weight: 59 g/m
What we like: One of our favorite universal strings.
What we don’t have is: It grows with time.
Beal Stinger Unicore falls into the same category as Mammut Infinity Dry and Black Diamond 9.4 above and Petzl Arial below. In fact, these four strings are so similar that their differences can be difficult to decipher. With its solid weight, the diameter of the sweet-spot, the UIAA-compliant dry processing and the Beal Unicore technology, Stinger is a first-class all-rounder and an ideal size for those who want to use a single-headed tube.
Stinger was our lightweight rope, ideal for high rope projects and red dot burns. However, more than a year ago we started testing Black Diamond 9.4 and saw a huge leap in performance. For $30 less, the strip is a significantly stronger and smoother rope, and every stinger we own has become thicker and fluffier to use. Of course, the power and reliability of Beal’s Unicore technology is undeniable, and the stitches can be especially valuable when climbing sharp rocks or spending time in the mountains. But for a rope with a diameter of 9 mm that can stand the test of time, we think Black Diamond is the best option.
Look at Beal Stinger Unicore Golden Dry.
12. Bee Joker Golden Dry 70m ($290)
Best use: Mountaineering,
What we like: Unicore technology; 7 UIAA rating downgrade.
What we don’t have is: Heavier than opera, less durable than Stinger.
Beal Joker was our climbing rope for quick and easy use in the alpine rocks, for the opera performance above your head. For those who prefer to save weight, there’s no point in choosing between 48 and 53 grams per metre, especially as both ropes are equipped with Beal’s impressive and confident Unicore technology. But we know many climbers who still hesitate to entrust their lives to one 8.5 mm rope, and for these people the Joker is a logical compromise.
Compared to the Edelrid Swift 8.9 and the Sterling Nano 9.0 the Joker has a slightly higher rack, which is surprising considering the larger diameter and heavier construction. Therefore, it will not be our first choice for situations where a fall is likely, such as a cross or a crack. But with the Joker’s UIAA rating down 7 (compared to 5 for Swift and 6 for Nanos), combined with our confidence in Beals Unicore, it surpasses the other two ratings in terms of strength and structural resistance. For wild cards 9.4, check Beal Stinger above.
Смотрите Золотая сухая сухая сухая сухаря.
13. Petzl Dry 70 million ($260)
Best use: Grip, multistage
What we like: An impressive combination of strength and low weight.
What we don’t have is: Dry machining does not meet UIAA standards.
If you are an experienced climber looking for a universal rope, Petzl Arial is worth a look. This rope falls into a meeting place between strength and lightness, all with a pleasant Petzl-feeling, it feels like a nail every time. And when we say it out loud, we mean it: UltraSonic Finish (Petzls Unicore version) and Duratec Dry together make Arial the absolute workhorse of 9.5 (sounds a bit paradoxical, doesn’t it?).
It is true that Arial is only available in two shades of Petzel orange and that it is known to show dirt and lose its average over time. And unlike Mammut Infinity and Beal Stinger, Arial is not classified by the UIAA as water-repellent. Moreover, the mucus layer glides easily through Griegree, so we hesitate to recommend this rope to newcomers. But for intermediate climbers who don’t need high-end dry treatment, Arial keeps the competition stable in every respect and offers a slightly lower price.
Look at the drying in Petzla’s garden.
14. Black Diamond 9.9 Gymnasium 35m ($100)
Best use: Gymnasium
Weight: 64 g/m
What we like: Sporty rope without frieze for $100.
What we don’t have is: You’re not gonna use that rope over there.
For some of us it’s just not real to go out and get up. Luckily there are gyms all over the country that grow like mushrooms and offer an entertaining and communal vertical holiday in the city. If this is your stage, it’s the perfect place to learn to climb safely. And for that you have to bring your own rope to many gyms.
Step on the climbing rope at the Black Diamond gym. How does this rope differ from the others on our list? The obvious answer is length. Since most gyms are no more than 15 meters high, it is a bit exaggerated to bring a 70 meter long rope into space (not to mention the more expensive rope). In that sense, this rope has a price, because it is everything you need for the indoor climate and nothing you do: no dry processing, no weight-saving worries and no Unicore technology. But it’s flexible and durable, and BD even has a built-in central marker for safety.
Watch the Black Diamond Gym 9.9.
15. Edelweiss arch 70 m ($250)
Best application:Handle, top strapping
What we like: 9 UIAA releases; two sections of rope available.
What we don’t have is: Duration without dry machining.
At first sight, it seems that the Edelweiss curve should apply for a higher place on our list. It captures more UIAA traps than any other rope (9), has a low impact force on the diameter, is equipped with Unicore technology and even has a two-shell metal construction, so you always know where the centre is. What’s wrong with this rope?
Firstly, the arch has a high price for the lack of dry machining. For just $10 you can choose the much lighter and smoother Black Diamond 9.4 with UIAA impregnation. But the real reason we use the Edelweiss bow here is that this string simply doesn’t age very well. And in our experience, most Edelweiss strings are not. You can save your strength, but you stay behind with the fluffy, greasy rope that runs effortlessly through your Griegree. If it was $100 less, we’d sing a different song. But for the above 250 USD there are several high quality strings available.
Look at the Edelweiss Unicor curve.
16. Sterling Fusion Nano IX DryXP 70 m ($275)
Best use: Reduction, incremental
What we like: He’s as light as a feather.
What we don’t have is: He’s not getting old well.
Many climbers will be surprised to see the Sterling Fusion Nano at the bottom of this list. We know a lot of people who swear by this rope, who use it for everything and are very happy with it. At 9.0 mm, it is surprisingly strong and durable. Moreover, sterling products are generally of high quality and this rope should not be an exception.
However, we weren’t impressed by Nano, and we talked to many others who felt the same way. Ours would wear out and become blurred too quickly, and eventually become the most important surface because of what we think normal wear is. And when the alternative is an equally expensive and extremely impressive Beal Joker – with Unicore download technology – it’s hard to justify betting on the pound.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Sterling Fusion Nano IX DryXP.
Comparison of climbing ropes Table
|Rope||Prices||Diameter||Weight||MAU Waterfall||Lengths||Two-component battery available|
|Mammoth endlessly dry||$300||9.5 mm||59 g/m||8-9||60, 70, 80m||Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.|
|Development in pounds sterling||$235||9.8 mm||62 g/m||6||35, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80m||Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.|
|Edelid Boa Eco||$180||9.8 mm||62 g/m||7||40, 60, 70m||No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.|
|Calf opera Unicor Golden Dry||$300||8.5 mm||48 g/m||5||50, 60, 70, 80m||No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.|
|Edelrid Swift Pro Dry||$310||8.9 mm||52 g/m||5||60, 70, 80m||No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.|
|Black diamond 9.4 sec||$260||9.4 mm||58 g/m||7||60, 70, 80m|
|Drying dish Monocoque Tiger||$250||10 mm||61 g/m||7-8||50, 60, 70, 80m|
|Blitz Pro Blue Water Strings||$225||9.7 mm||61 g/m||8||60, 70, 80m||Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.|
|Mammut Eternity Classic||$200||9.8 mm||61 g/m||8-9||40, 50, 60, 70, 80m||Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.|
|Sterling Marathon Pro||$240||10.1 mm||63 g/m||6||50, 60, 70, 80m||Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.|
|Spine of a calf, single-seated, golden and dry||$290||9.4 mm||59 g/m||7||50, 60, 70m|
|Bill Joker Golden Dry||$290||9.1 mm||53 g/m||5-6||50, 60, 70, 80m|
|Petzl dry||$260||9.5 mm||58 g/m||7||60, 70, 80m|
|Black diamond 9.9 Gymnasium||$100||9.9 mm||64 g/m||6||35, 40m|
|Edelweiss Unicore Elbow||$250||9.8 mm||61 g/m||9||60, 70m||Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.|
|Sterling Nano IX DryXP thermonuclear fusion||$275||9.0 mm||52 g/m||6||30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80m||Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.|
Climbing Rope Shopping Tips
- Types of ropes for climbing
- Rope diameter for climbing and optimal use
- Length of climbing rope
- Dry treatment
- Vest against core
- PlanB / average score
- Static vs. dynamic
- JIAA Cascade
- Extending the service life of climbing ropes
- When the climbing rope is to be retracted
Types of ropes for climbing
The single string is the most common type of dynamic string and the only one we have included in our selection above. They generally have a diameter of 8.5 to 11 millimetres, a length of 50 to 80 metres and are designed to catch lead waterfalls without using a second rope (another element to catch a waterfall is your climbing harness, and you can see our best climbers here). A rope is used for all types of single-step competitions and for the vast majority of multi-step climbers.
Dynamic single lines are the best option for most climbers.
A half-belt is a set of two thin strings, normally in the order of 8 mm. They are generally used in alpine areas where the routes can be winding, bad rock or where two ropes are needed to descend to a depth of sixty metres. It is interesting to note that in the UK, where routes are not optimally covered and protected (half of the ropes have a much lower impact resistance than single ropes), double ropes are used more often than single ropes. Half of the ropes are used together and are normally attached to each other, or one is used to the right and the other to the left to prevent the rope from being pulled. They are tested separately and each have their own score. Climbing with half a rope brings extra rope control, so we always choose a rope, unless double ropes are absolutely necessary. But if you climb to three, half the rope is the way to success. In this article there are several single strings, which are also considered half strings, such as the Edelrid Swift Pro and Beal Opera.
Double strings are about a millimeter thinner than half a string and easier to use. In short, the mountaineer treats two ropes as one and the same and cuts them both on each rope. Double ropes are sometimes used when mountain climbing in pairs (to ensure long descents) or ice climbing when it is necessary to reduce the impact force on the bolt – a thinner rope means more stretch and therefore less force. Double ropes are divided into pairs (not individually tested) and are therefore always intended for common use. And as mentioned above for the half strings, there are several strings that play in triple mode, with the possibility to use them in single, half and double configurations.
Double ropes are often used for ice climbing.
Half strings and double strings are often called double strings. Some double ropes are considered half ropes and double ropes, but if this is not the case, it is important to understand what your ropes can be safely used for. There are two common errors that go against the manufacturer’s recommendations. To start with, climbers often attach two halves of the rope to a passageway. A fall in this situation would be less dynamic than the ideal situation and would therefore lead to extra effort in the gearbox (which is very important if you fall on the ice screw or a marginal gearbox). The second consists of climbing in three on a set of two ropes. Double strings are counted as a pair and should therefore always be used as a pair and not as a separation between two chasers. While none of these errors are likely to be fatal, it should be remembered that user errors are the most common cause of climbing accidents. Be sure to use the device in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Rope diameter for climbing and optimal use
It can be difficult to choose the right rope diameter for each lift. Many climbers have a rope for different needs: a short rope for training, a thicker rope for the top rope, a thinner rope for the routes, an even thinner rope for the red dot. And for some even thinner ropes for quick and easy use in the Alps. In recent years, the mountaineering industry has made a huge leap forward in rope technology – the thinnest rope on our list used to be 9.0, and now it’s a problem-free Beal opera with a score of 8.5. Even the thinnest strings are classified as lead (remember what we learned about the higher half of the string), but the thinner the string, the more likely it is to cut. For example, ropes that are thicker than 8.5 mm are currently only used as double ropes, for signalling or for glacier or skier climbing.
You need a thin rope to tie it down…
8.5 mm – 9.1 mm (climbing, feeding, multi-layer)
Ropes in this category – often called thin ropes – are the lightest, least resistant and most dynamic. Thanks to these characteristics and their high price, thin ropes are a niche market for experienced climbers who push their limits. If you climb 3,000 feet a day, travel 30 km to get closer to your route, or extend the essence of your project, a few grams per metre can change everything. In the past, ropes with this diameter were considered dangerous or suitable for breaking sharp rocks. But now that Unicor and similar technologies are used by most major rope manufacturers, thinner ropes are stronger than ever. But be careful: Cable breakers – especially older versions of Petzl Grigri – are often not recommended for strings up to 8.9 mm thick (see our article on cable breakers for more details). Our two best strings can be found in Beal Opera and Edelrid Swift Pro.
9.2 – 9.8 mm (multipass, jump ropes, top ropes)
Medium diameter ropes are the most universal and popular of all jump ropes. If you tend to climb or exercise in places with short approach routes, you don’t have to rely on super thin lines. In addition, a thicker rope gives you more strength and better handling (pulling a thin rope after an abseil is hard work!) If you need a single rope that can do it completely, a multi-stage rope and an upper rope – a dynamic line with an average diameter – is the solution. There are so many, but Mammut Infinity and Black Diamond 9.4 are our two favorite strings with an average diameter.
The 9.5 mm rope is an excellent combination of lightness and durability.
9.9 mm – 10.2 mm (Cragging, top rope, climbing) Although ropes of 9.9 mm and larger are becoming less popular, they are still where they belong. Maybe you’re just interested in climbing and you want a rope that will come in handy in the early years. Perhaps your original stone has an exceptionally sharp stone. Perhaps you have a budget and are looking for the most cost-effective and sustainable option. They can be heavy and cumbersome, but one thing is certain: 10 mm rope will last a very long time. However, 10.2 mm is probably just as much fat as you’d ever want, more than you need and not worth the extra weight. And the buyer must be on his guard: Some strings in this category are produced with more emphasis on budget than quality. For good results, stand behind a heel, watch the Beal Tiger and the Sterling Marathon Pro.
Length of climbing rope
As can be seen from the above comparative table, most ropes are of different lengths. If you do not have a specific route or destination, a rope of 70 meters is the best option in most cases. Of course there are selected rocks for which you need a rope of 80 meters, but if you climb one, you probably already know it. Others may be tempted to climb a 60-metre rope, but we don’t recommend it for two reasons. First of all, it’s a huge waste if you look at this beautiful walk of 35 meters, which gets more stars than anything else in the rock, and you can’t do it because the rope is too short. Stairs from 30 to 35 meters are becoming more common and you don’t want the rope to hold you. Secondly, even if you never climb more than 30 meters, you will probably end up with worn out rope ends and you will have to cut off one or both ends. If you do it at 70, you’re 60. Do it at 60 and you’re stuck at 50.
The 70 m long rope is versatile enough for most applications.
The only exception we make is if you mainly climb alpine or multi-layer trade routes with zebra crossings instead of ropes. In that case, 60 metres is probably the length you are looking for. It is painful to pull the extra 10 meters all day long, not to mention pulling at the end of each field everything that was originally attached to a shorter rope. And if you’re looking for a rope to climb in, 40 meters is probably more than enough. Many rope manufacturers produce strings of this length especially for gymnastics, such as Black Diamond Gym 9.9. But you can also get away with it by buying, together with a friend, a 70-80 meter long rope for a reasonable price, cut it in half, and voilà: two ropes for the gym.
Many mountaineering companies are currently designing a range of dry-treated ropes that repel water and moisture. Drought resistant ropes have a number of advantages: First of all, they don’t get heavy when they’re wet because of the weight of the water. Secondly, they have a longer lifespan because a fall on a wet rope causes the rope to age faster than a fall on a dry rope. Third, dry processes do a pretty good job (as long as they are the last) of keeping mud and other debris away. Finally, rope manufacturers have carried out tests which have shown that dry treated ropes are more resistant to wear and tear than dry treated ropes.
The dry treatment protects against unavoidable pollution and soot.
On some ropes only the hull is treated dry, on others the core and the shell (this is the difference between Beal Dry Cover and Golden Dry). In the latter case, the rope is often described as double dry. More information about double drying can be found here: In 2014, MAIAA (the international organisation that develops and maintains safety standards for mountaineering equipment) introduced a water-repellent certification for ropes. To meet this standard, a rope must absorb less than 5% of its weight in water when fully soaked. It is interesting to note that the UIAA has found that many ropes with a dry coating absorb between 20 and 40% of their weight. So if you are looking for a really watertight rope, pay attention to the UIAA classification. Most dry double strings must meet this standard.
The question remains: Do you need a drying rope? Maybe not, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a little extra strength. If you normally climb in dry conditions and are only looking for a durable rope that is not damaged by abrasion, a rope with a dry sheath such as the Petzl Arial Dry is sufficient. But if you are a mountaineer, climber or mountaineer, you probably need a UIAA certified waterproof double drying rope. Some of our favourite strings for dry processing are the Mammut Infinity Dry and the Edelrid Swift Pro Dry.
Dry boiling ropes are ideal for climbers in good weather.
What are the disadvantages of dry ropes? The obvious answer is that they are generally $50 to $100 more expensive than their gross counterparts. Moreover, in most cases (especially in the beginning) they have a more slippery feeling than other strings. For climbers who start training indoors on large, fluffy ropes, the transition to a break on a dry, machined line deserves some precautions. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, treated ropes can still be quite dirty (the dirt does not penetrate the rope, but on the contrary sticks to the treated rope). In this context, we believe that dry-treated ropes are generally of better quality and we believe that an additional initial investment is worthwhile to make the rope more durable and wear-resistant.
When it comes to ropes, it’s all very simple: Weight is a function of length and diameter. The thinner and shorter the rope, the lighter it will be. There are a few minor exceptions: The Beal Tiger, for example, is exceptionally light for its diameter, while the strings of the Black Diamond are generally heavy for its size. But generally the lightest strings are the thinnest, and vice versa.
For the vast majority of climbers near the hut, the weight of the rope is not a problem. But for climbers who make long climbs, for climbers who pull hundreds of meters of rope every day, or for sporty climbers with a red dot, every gram counts. In these scenarios, a thinner rope is sent. Choosing a short rope (60 m or even 50 m) can be an excellent way for multi-level climbers to lose weight.
Vest against core
The Unicore technology has significantly improved the resistance of the rope.
A rope sheath is an outer material visible to the naked eye, usually 1/10the or less than the diameter and weight of the rope. The core is where the strength of the rope lies. You want a smooth, hard-wearing shell and a core that can absorb many drops while maintaining elasticity.
It should be noted that not all hulls and kernels are produced in the same way or according to the same principles. Some ropes have a large mass in the shell to resist wear and tear. So if your local handsome has a particularly coarse breed, look for a rope with a higher percentage of shell. Some have a large mass at heart to survive repeated falls over time, which should be a priority if one takes the initiative to fall regularly. Moreover, different companies use different fabrics and patterns on the hull, which can result in surprisingly different sensations when working with the rope.
Worth mentioning is the development of Unicore technology, which for the first time succeeded in connecting the hull and the heart of the rope. Although Beal has been an innovator, similar concepts are now used by most major string manufacturers: Edelride, for example, has his LinkTec and Maxim, his turntable. In our opinion, this technology offers game-changing resistance to nicks and sharp edges, as well as an extra level of confidence, especially for simple lines (watch this convincing video if you need proof). We were very impressed by Unicor, and it’s no coincidence that it’s on some of our best strings, including Beal Opera.
PlanB / average score
Average scores are very valuable. They give you a good reference on the distance the ladder is covering, tell you if it is safe to lower the climber to the ground and tell you where the two ends are even if you descend with the same rope. All strings should have some kind of marker so you know where the middle is – usually a black piece or sewn thread, but if yours isn’t there, it’s not that hard to do. You can mark the center with a permanent marker (some companies will give you a clear warning, while others have never noticed an ink problem), or you can sew a few pieces of colored (flat) yarn into the shell of the rope.
Two-tone or two-tone weaving is another technique used by rope manufacturers to distinguish the centre of the rope. Many strings are available in both standard (with markings in the middle) and two-tone wickerwork. With two-strand strings such as the BlueWater Lightning Pro, the fabric pattern changes by half, i.e. one half of the strings has a pattern and the other half has the other half. Because the other things are the same, we prefer a double pattern series rather than a series with only one central marker, so that it is easier to know where we are without having to search for a small central marker. But unfortunately, bi-blocking ropes can be much more expensive than their simply masked counterparts, and for many people it costs nothing. In addition, if you tear one end of the rope due to wear or the main bulkhead, the centre marking on your two-piece model will be removed forever.
Two-component structures help to determine the centre of the rope.
Static vs. dynamic
When you climb for the first time, the terms static and dynamic can confuse you a bit. A static string is a string that stretches minimally (less than 5% elongation) and a dynamic string is a string that stretches slightly more (about 5-10% elongation). It is necessary to use a dynamic line for each type of climbing in mind. There are no exceptions. Falling lead on static lines can have catastrophic consequences, especially for the spine, cervical spine and internal organs. Static ropes can be useful for attaching the upper slings and sometimes also for the upper rope: Most gyms use a semi-static rope for the upper harnesses, which has an elongation of about 5 percent. Finally, a static line can also be useful as a marking line or stretch line, which is only used for launching or towing equipment.
For the dynamic extension of the rope, climbers must take into account two values of elongation: dynamic and static elongation. Static elongation is the amount (in percent) of rope tension of 80 kg static weight at one end. This is an important statistical indicator for cracks: In general, a smaller number (less elongation) is preferable for overhead rollers or hang gliders. On the other hand, dynamic stretch is the distance over which a rope stretches during a lead fall. A lower dynamic strain can take the climber away from the edge or the ground, but a higher strain reduces the impact force on both the climber and the equipment. In general, workhorses that walk have less elasticity (static and dynamic) and the crossbar (if you want a smooth grip) or climbers (if you want a lower impact force on the peripheral) more. By way of illustration: The dynamic tension of Sterling Evolution Velocity is 26.4%, while Beal Opera is 37%.
Always use a dynamic rope for climbing.
The UIAA is the International Union of Climbing Associations and is the main certification body for climbing. Most ropes are estimated by a number of ISAA traps. 6 to 8 is a pretty good number for most single strings, and 8 to 10 is an exception (but you pay by weight – these strings are usually thicker). And don’t forget: If the rope has 6 UIAA Falls, it doesn’t mean you have to retreat after the fifth whiplash. The fall of the MAUA is very different from climbing and is accompanied by forces of different sizes. You should check the rope regularly for cores, weak spots and abrasions. You just need to know that the higher the number of UIAA falls, the more resistant the rope is to normal wear and tear.
Extending the service life of climbing ropes
Climbing a rope is no small investment, and there are a number of steps you can take to keep it in the game as long as possible. First make sure you get to the other side. This distributes the wear of the attachment point and ensures that the impact of the fall is distributed over the entire length of the rope. Next, we recommend that you buy a rope bag or tarp to protect the rope in the rock (one of our favourites is the Black Diamond Burrito Bag, although you can improvise with an Ikea bag or Tyvek tarp). The presence of a barrier between the ground and the rope does not allow small stones and sand to enter the shell and destroys the strands.
Pay attention to the end of the rope that you climb alternately.
Anyway, it’s good to wash the rope once in a while. This shouldn’t be complicated: Just throw it in the washing machine (top-load or front-load, it doesn’t matter) with the mildest cold water cycle. If you don’t have a washing machine, a bathroom will do. It is not necessary to add soap for particularly dirty strings, the best way is to use mild soap or string soap (such as Edelweiss string soap). Hang the rope to dry in the shade (sunlight deteriorates the shell), make sure it is completely dry before removing it. Finally, keep the coiled or split rope in a cool, dry place.
When should the climbing rope be retracted?
We often resort to redundancy when climbing: We use two or three parts on the anchor, we attach the rope to the two points of the arcana, we double the knot on the back, and so on. But when it comes to the rope – perhaps the most important lifeline for you – you don’t have to talk about excess: The usual practice is to rely on a single wire. Although it is difficult to overestimate the strength of the rope, it is important that the rope is in good condition to fall safely. So, when is it time to let go of the rope? There are a few things to consider.
Firstly, all ropes have a limited lifespan. Even if you have never used a rope before, manufacturers recommend removing it after ten years. In addition, the rope used must not show any signs of wear and tear, but must be ready to retract. The British Mountaineering Council recommends removing the rope regularly, once or twice a week, after about three years. At the same time, it is important to regularly check the rope for blurred spots, hard or soft spots, discoloration or cuts – these are signs of damage to the integrity of the rope. The good news is that you will often notice these weaknesses towards the end. In this case, you can cut them and still have a working rope (don’t forget that your 70 m are now 62 m).
Check the rope regularly and look for fluffy spots, hard or soft spots or cuts.
The most important thing is to be on the side of caution. If we don’t decide to keep using the rope (or another sprocket), we always wonder if it’s worth it? In almost all cases, a few hundred dollars is a small price to pay for peace and security on the rock.
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