If you are a climber than you know that the most important piece of equipment for any abseil is the rope. If you use the right abseil technique you may be able to abseil without many things. But without a rope, you will never be able to climb or abseil, and for this reason, you need a good quality rope before starting climbing or abseiling.
What Should You Look For Before Buying A Climbing Rope?
The first thing is to consider is the rope dynamic or not or how dynamic is it. Dynamic climbing ropes are the best rope for climbing or abseiling. The ropes that will stretch if you fall into it or taking some of the shocks and impact out of any slip while climbing, and makes it comfortable and avoids having any injury. Dynamic ropes are available on Amazon like this one.
If you are a person who only abseils then a static rope is best for you. The static rope will not stretch at all and will give less bounce as you descend. To add comfort and versatility, it’s a good idea to use the dynamic climbing rope. Another thing that you need to consider is the thickness of your rope. The regular ropes come with around 8mm to 11.5mm. The thicker ropes are heavier which makes it easy to control your speed while climbing and will cause more friction. It runs slower through the belay devices and easy to control. On the other hand, thinner ropes make it easy to carry and run more quickly through your belay devices.
While choosing rope for your rocks climbing, make sure it works well with your belay devices. Thick rope causes friction in the belay device but not so thick that it’s hard to control or move, or even jerks when you’re abseiling or climbing. If you are an outdoor climber, its great idea to get the dry treated rope.
If your rope gets wet then the nylon fibers in it contact with shorten the rope which causes reducing the ropes dynamic qualities. A rope even can freeze in extreme condition making it very difficult to use. Try to give dry treatments if available and you know how to apply that. It will make sure your ropes last longer and give the best services.
Next, you need to make sure the length of your rope. You can’t just go with any length. You need a rope that is longer than the drop you are trying to climb or abseil. For abseiling you just simply need enough rope to cover the distance once with some spare for tying off. On the other hand, if you’re trying to climb up rocks or indoor walls then you need twice the length of rope. It will stretch from the floor to the top and will give you enough spare rope to make it back down. For example, 20-meter climb you need the 40m rope to complete your climbing or abseiling.
It also depends where you are planning to use the rope. If you are planning to abseil it in indoors, the 40 meter should do the work. For the first outdoor climb 50m is best and if getting serious abseiling big drops then 60m or more is the best way to go.
The most important piece of equipment for any abseil is a rope. Using the right abseiling techniques you can manage to abseil without a lot of things, including a harness, but the one piece of kit every successful climber (and abseiler) needs is a good quality climbing rope.
Best Climbing Rope Qualities
Length – The length of climbing rope you need will vary depending on where you are going to climb. Obviously the size of walls varies but as a general rule of thumb a 30-40m rope should do if you are only going to climb indoors, 50-60m should work well for most outdoor routes while 70m plus are normally reserved for big wall climbing and multi-pitch routes.
Diameter/Thickness – Climbing ropes come in a variety of thicknesses from 8mm up to 11mm. The thicker your rope is the longer it should last and the more punishment it can take, however thicker ropes are also heavier and tend to drag more as you climb making you work a bit harder to top out.
Rope thickness is also an important consideration when belaying because you need to make sure you have a rope that will fit into your belay device and give you enough friction to be able to belay properly.
Sheath – The sheath is the rope’s outer covering which sits over the inner nylon core of the rope. Thicker sheath’s are normally harder wearing, giving you better protection against abrasion and damage from climbing. Bear in mind though that sheath’s can be up 30-40% of a rope’s total weight so thicker sheaths will make your ropes heavier.
UIAA Fall Rating – The Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme rates all climbing ropes based on how many serious falls they can take before failing. The higher the rating, the more durable a climbing rope is.
UIAA Impact Rating – The UIAA also rates ropes based on how heavy the fall will feel. As you fall climbing ropes will stretch to ease the impact on your body and your climbing gear. The UIAA measures this impact in kiloNewtons with an upper limit of 12kn and a maximum rope stretch of 40% during a single fall.
UIAA Static/Working Elongation Rating – This rating identifies how much the rope will stretch when an 80kg weight is loaded onto it. This rating is shown as a percentage with higher figures indicating a rope that will stretch more when you rest your weight on it.
Climbing Rope Features
Bi-Pattern Sheaths – Some ropes come with two different sheath patterns which changeover halfway down the climbing rope, indicating its centre point. This is useful for figuring out the height of a route and it speeds up how quickly you can use and pack the rope too.
End Warning Marks – These marks are made with either die or thread and are designed to let you know when you are coming to the end of a rope so that you stop abseiling before you fall off, but even if you have these a well placed stopper knot is also a good idea.
Dry Treatment – Wet ropes do not perform as well as dry ropes and because of this, many climbing ropes come with some form of waterproofing. Dry treatments can be as simple as a waterproof coating applied to the outside of the rope or a chemical treatment that soaks into the core as well as the sheath giving you the best moisture protection available.
Where and how much?
If you want a general rope that will cover most basic abseils with the option to climb too, then 50m is the length to go for.This length will set you back anywhere between $50 to $130 depending on the level of dry proofing and thickness that you want.You can find the best quality ropes on amazon as well.