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Topic - Choosing a rope for winter top roping antics

needvert on 08 Jun 2014

I have three existing ropes:

- 60m 10mm mammut galaxy
- 2x 60m 8.3mm mammut

None with any sort of advertised coating.

When winter comes, I'd like to spend some time top roping some short mixed and ice climbs, and perhaps leading easy gully and snow climbs.

Winter climbing is pretty new to me, but I think we'll be able to go through an experiential learning phase in an acceptably safe fashion.

These trips will probably be of the 2-3 day format, around half of that will probably be snow shoeing in/out or between areas. There are no huts so we'll be bringing a tent or two, and all other relevant gear. Owing to the commitment factor, if the weathers not perfect, we'll probably still suck it up and go. The area is also somewhat known for having wet snow (Snowy Mountains, Australia).

Now, I could get a dry coated rope. And while I'm at it, I could get a light single. If I were to get such a rope, I'd probably end up taking it overseas for easy mountaineering or winter climbing (probably during trips back to NZ, Japan or Norway).

But then, these things are expensive. I can pick up a 9.2mm 60m Mammut revelation (dry coated) for ~= 120GBP at the moment. Or I could take the 10mm galaxy, without any dry coating and around half a kilo heavier (though once a bit wet that weight difference will grow by who knows how much).

(Or if I chopped the revelation to 50m, I could save over a kilo! I'm not chopping the galaxy as that's my workhorse rope and we have climbs that need 60m here.)

That's my current dilemma. Any thoughts?


While looking at skinny singles...Definitely not widely known as suitable for top roping, I came to thinking about the wear. Comparing a single pitch sport climb with the climber lowering off, and the same climb done as a top rope, it strikes me as very similar amounts of rope wear. Perhaps the reputation for top roping wearing out ropes the most is due to more people being happy falling on TR and thus more likely to be trying harder climbs on TR than on lead?

If I am overly concerned about wear while we're top roping, we could always down climb as well (a worthy skill))
Post edited at 06:04
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