/ Alpine rope advice

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OwenF - on 27 May 2012
Heading to chamonix in a few weeks and am considering the current rope situation. Apologies that this has been covered before but I'm looking for some specific advice.

Currently have:
Pair of mammut phoenix 8mm dry 60m (trad and winter)
Beal *something* 10mm non dry 30m (wall/general climbing)

The idea of using one of the halves on alpine routes (up to AD by the way) doesn't sit well with me - 8mm and sharp rock/rockfall etc. My 30m is obviously too short. So, I was looking at a thin and light single for 99% of the time, teamed with a half for abseils. So far narrowed to Beal Joker or Mammut Revelation - both around 9.1-9.2mm, both dry, both around £140.

Questions:
1. Should I stop being a whimp and use the 8mm half and save myself some coin?
2. Is dry cover really that necessary in the alps? Would probably only get used uk summer as well.
3. Any specific poor experiences with above suggestions?
4. Any other suggestions for the requirements at lower cost?

Cheers
sweenyt - on 27 May 2012
In reply to OwenF:

> Questions:
> 1. Should I stop being a whimp and use the 8mm half and save myself some coin?
> 2. Is dry cover really that necessary in the alps? Would probably only get used uk summer as well.
> 3. Any specific poor experiences with above suggestions?
> 4. Any other suggestions for the requirements at lower cost?

1. Up to you. Many people do, but oviously going against manufacturer advice.

2. Dry cover is really useful, especially if you are staying out over night. It stops the ropes getting wet and potentially freezing over night, which makes your life easier. That said I, and many others, have used standard non dry ropes and it worked ok.

3 No

4. Borrow a rope off of a mate/partner?


HTH
jon on 27 May 2012
In reply to OwenF:

It depends entirely on what routes you intend to do, but most guides use a 30m rope for the easier stuff - PD > AD in the Alps. Do your intended routes involve abseils? I certainly wouldn't want a 60m half rope on that sort of grade, even doubled... and especially an 8mm.

If you get down as far as Sisteron, you can pick up some great deals on ropes - 80m Joker for €135.
mimi22 - on 27 May 2012
In reply to jon: Sorry to highjack the thread, but where in Sisteron? I'm heading that way soon. Thanks, m
jon on 27 May 2012
In reply to mimi22:

Google 'The Blue Light'.
highclimber - on 27 May 2012
In reply to OwenF:
>
> The idea of using one of the halves on alpine routes (up to AD by the way) doesn't sit well with me - 8mm and sharp rock/rockfall etc.

it's really not worth worrying about this as if it were to happen it wouldn't matter how thick the rope is: it would happen regardless!
OwenF - on 27 May 2012
In reply to OwenF:

Thanks for the advice so far.

Re Sisteron: I'm flying so won't have the flexibility to travel that far south unfortunately.

The 8mm aspect is more of a mental thing. As with uk climbing, looking down and seeing a thin piece of string doesn't inspire much confidence. I just feel a thicker rope might (wrongly) instill more confidence.
highclimber - on 27 May 2012
In reply to OwenF: I climb regularly on 60m 7.8mm twin/double ropes and I wouldn't think twice about using them for alpine stuff given the weight difference between them and my 9mm 50m doubles!
Skyfall - on 27 May 2012
In reply to OwenF:

I'd listen to Jon if I were you.

It does depend what routes you're doing. Best not to rely on the half rope on own for easy classic routes.

If you're doing more technical classic or rock routes, I've often paired a half rope with a skinny'ish single like a revelation. Flexible combo if you're doing a mix if climbing.
The Ex-Engineer - on 27 May 2012
In reply to OwenF: Your current ropes are great - they cover all the bases. You have no need to buy anything else - just wash and proof your 30m with Nikwax Techwash and Nikwax TX Direct last thing before you depart and you'll be fine for a short trip.

There are stacks of routes where a 30m single is perfect and if it isn't, then a single 60m x 8mm probably will be.

FWIW I attempted the Tournier Spur Direct (TD+) with just one 60m 8.1mm so I am tempted to say man up - however that particular venture didn't end well as we had to bail and had the minor problem of trying to do 30m abseils when the in-situ anchors were at 50m intervals :-(
jezzah - on 28 May 2012
In reply to OwenF:

Hi Owen- hey, lucky chap- if you want some more specific beta then give me a call. but in summary

Questions:
1. Should I stop being a whimp and use the 8mm half and save myself some coin?
Yes- probably. Esp as you're going to head up routes to AD sort of standard.

2. Is dry cover really that necessary in the alps? Would probably only get used uk summer as well.

Yes, most definitely- you're going to drag your ropes over a few mountains/ up routes and they're going to run over ice/ snow/ rivers for long periods of time- weight is an issue and you definitely don't want to carry more than you possibly can.

3. Any specific poor experiences with above suggestions?

I've done AD ish routes in chamonix like Aguille d'chardonnet and the 3 Monts route up MB on a 30m 8.1 serenity with a 30m 5mm grab cord to use on abseils... that system worked quite well and made a v light setup.
4. Any other suggestions for the requirements at lower cost?

Save your money and go with the ropes you currently have. You won't probably need/ want the weight of x2 60m ropes on an AD route. At that grade, most of the tech stuff will be short lived and you'll be needing to move together over a lot of the ground.

Cheers & have fun
Jez
OwenF - on 28 May 2012
In reply to jezzah:

Hey mate, I think I'll be in touch about aiguille de chardonnet! I assume was Forbes arête you did? Interested to hear how that went.

Looks like I can maybe get away with just DIY dry treating my 30m and getting some pull cord for abseils.

Given that myself and my partner will be restricted by weight for the plane, am I likely to be restricted by not having 60m abseil capability? I know this is massively dependent on route choice, however I am thinking of longer rock routes in aiguille rouges and maybe dent du geant. I think 2x60m and a 30m might put us over the baggage limit.

In some combination it seems I can get away with what I have anyway.

Cheers
gear boy - on 28 May 2012
In reply to OwenF: if you are thinking of doing the Geant and maybe the Pouce on Rouge etc then i would recommend taking just your 60m pair, espec abbing off geant, mind you their is supposed to be a quick ab off the side but i couldnt find it years back and abbed the route, you would want 60 abs for the quick way off if you can find it

If you do forbes you can just half one rope and simul climb 30m apart and then you can do the Ab on the one rope

pouce, pitches are better on 2 ropes
mimi22 - on 28 May 2012
In reply to jon: Will do, thanks

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