/ Suitable for indoor climbing?

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John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
I went into Ellis Brigham today to purchase my 1st climbing rope. I have just started to climbing lead (indoor on;ly) and wanted a rope that would be suitable for use at the GCC and Ratho. As Ratho has a 30m wall, it was suggested that I have a 60m rope.

I explained what I was looking for to the assistant and left the shop having purchased an EDELRID SHIKRA 8.5mm x 60m, which I was concerned about but after questioning the assistant was told it would be suitable. It is a 1/2 rope, which I thought were only meant to be used in conjunction with a second line, but I am a complete novice and relied on advice from the store.

I got it home and checked the information leaflet, which stated it was perfect for Alpine and Alpine sports, but not recommended for indoor use.

It's still in the packaging and I am just wanting experienced climbers opinions and not just the opinion of the assistant.

thanks and sorry for babbling on.
TRip - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

You have been sold an inappropriate rope for you requirements. For indoor and sport climbing you need a single rope. The shop assistant clearly didn't know what they were talking about.

Go back to the shop and ask to exchange it for a single rope.

HTH
John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip: That was my thinking when I got home and looked at it in more detail.

thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it.
john arran - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

While not really dangerous as such, no shop should have suggested a half-rope is suitable for use as a single, even indoors. Some ropes are approved for both single and double use, which confuses things, but from a quick search it doesn't appear that yours is one of them. In which case the shop will have been negligent in selling it to you for your stated needs. In any case I'd recommend a rope of 10mm or so diameter as it will be much more hardwearing and for indoor use the extra weight won't be very noticeable.

Take it back, kick up a fuss and demand a replacement or refund.
John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to john arran: Thanks for your reply.

Fuss will be kicked up. Don't see it being an issue as it's still in the packaging.

Hope you've got some power over there. I'm assuming you're in Arran.
john arran - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

A fair assumption but a wrong one!
My surname is Arran and I run a holiday gîte and activity business in Ariège in the French Pyrenees. It's much warmer here ;-)
John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to john arran: That made me smile.

Zebdi - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

What he said. If I were you, I'd be looking for a 70m single rope - and not the thinnest one. Modern thin ropes with a diameter of less than 9.5mm are used for ascents where weight is important (hard onsight attempts, etc). That's clearly not an issue when climbing indoors, so go for something between 9.7 and 10mm.

Hope this helps.
John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Zebdi: Thanks for this.

It's a blooming minefield. So glad I found this website.
james mcclung - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:
> (In reply to john arran)
>
> Hope you've got some power over there. I'm assuming you're in Arran.

LOL I'm assuming you're in Killie then
John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to james mcclung: That's a fair and far more accurate assumption than I made.
Dino Dave - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: I second what the other folk have said. Somewhere around the 10mm mark and you can't go wrong. Go a bit thinner (i.e. 9.7 and it might wear a bit faster, go a bit thicker (i.e. 10.5) and you might notice the slight extra weight on a wall as tall as 30m. So whatever's right for you.

Yeah, good find! This website's great for advice and all things climbing and non-climbing, but if your anything like me, it feels like you spend half your life on here!
John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to DavidRex: Cheers David. I can see myself spending a bit of time on here.
ripper - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: yep, what they all said - if Ratho is a full 30m (not been so can't comment) then I'd probably go for a 70m rope to allow for tying on, slightly wandering lines etc, although a 60m would probably be fine given that it will stretch a bit under your weight when lowering off. It must, must, must be a single rope though (recognisable by a '1' in a circle on the end marker) not a half or twin, and as others above have said a slightly fatter, hard-wearing rope would be a better choice than a super-light, super-skinny one, so I'd be looking for around 10mm diameter.
I suspect and hope that the employee who sold you a lemon is in line for a bit of training...
cuppatea on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

Take it back and if it's new in the packet don't listen to any carp about not being able to accept the return of PPE.
Busby - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:
Having climbed quite a lot in both places I can categorically state that a 60m rope is plenty for Ratho but a pain in the b-ws if your going to be flaking it out and packing it up all the time at GCC.

The Summit shop in GCC will sell you a 30m wall rope at a decent price, if your just getting started then buying a 60m single can be a big outlay. Maybe play with a 30 for a while and if your still keen see about splitting a 60m with your partner?

I'd also check Go Outdoors, they've got a good deal on a 60m Edlderid (sp?) just now.

As to the original point of the 1/2 rope definitely take it back, either you were served by someone who didn't know their stuff or they were being a cheeky ____.

Good luck and have fun.

Iain
alooker - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: Sorry that you found such an incompetent salesperson! You need a single rope. Also whilst a 60 will get you there and back again on a 30m wall with rope stretch, it would be nice to get a 70m so you can cut a few metres off the ends as they get worn (this way it'll still be useable on the 30m wall).

Kick up a fuss at the shop, it's not life threatening to use a half rope in this situation but it's not recommended. If the assistant gets something so simple as confusing a half and a single wrong, what other advice have they given people?!
John Killie - on 27 Mar 2013
Thanks to everyone for all their advice.

Fraser on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

Don't get a 30 if you're planning on leading in Ratho! Go 60 or at a real stretch, a 70m. My suggestion would be a 60m for a 1st rope. (After almost 20 years of climbing I've only this year gone for my first 70m rope.)
Climbing mckay - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: just stumpled on this, I work for one of ellis brighams competitors, with the rope still being in the wrapping that may be fine, but its a big push as it is a PPE item. When you go in ask to speak to a supervisor minimum. Where are you based in?
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Oceanrower - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Climbing mckay:
> (In reply to John Killie) just stumpled on this, I work for one of ellis brighams competitors, with the rope still being in the wrapping that may be fine, but its a big push as it is a PPE item. When you go in ask to speak to a supervisor minimum. Where are you based in?

Actually, strictly speaking, it's not.

PPE only applies to items used in the workplace and items classed as being used as PPE are exempt from VAT.
deepsoup - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Climbing mckay:
> with the rope still being in the wrapping that may be fine, but its a big push as it is a PPE item

PPE schmeePE. The OP told them what he wanted the rope for, and was sold something not fit for purpose. It shouldn't be a big push, he shouldn't have to push at all, he's perfectly entitled to a refund (and he's also owed an apology).
cuppatea on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to Climbing mckay)
> [...]
>
> Actually, strictly speaking, it's not.
>
> PPE only applies to items used in the workplace and items classed as being used as PPE are exempt from VAT.

That's interesting to know! I knew that certain things, like steel toe capped boots were free of VAT, but not that PPE only applied to items used for work..

While I as researching a harness purchase I saw many many websites with the small print saying that returns were not accepted for PPE items. Although one shop did email me to say that the distance selling regs trumped this and they would quite happily send me two harnesses for me to try on for size and then I could post one or both of them back.

Climbing mckay - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Oceanrower: In terms of the HSE yes then it is to do with the work place, however as a rope, cams, karabiners... are an item to help prevent a inqury happening it is classed as a piece of PPE. as a retailer Ellis have the right to turn away returning any piece under this title due to not being aware of the circumstances of the item as soon as it has left the premises of the building. In fact while you can easily get the rope from a shop, i would rather to go the manufacturer themselves. that way i know its not been sat in a shops storage for a long time, and being exposed to any damaging factors.
Oceanrower - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Climbing mckay: Yes, and no. Legally PPE is a workplace item and the regulations covering PPE only apply to the workplace (Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992))

"What is PPE?
PPE is defined in the Regulations as ‘all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health or safety’, eg safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses.
Hearing protection and respiratory protective equipment provided for most work situations are not covered by these Regulations because other regulations apply to them. However, these items need to be compatible with any other PPE provided.
Cycle helmets or crash helmets worn by employees on the roads are not covered by the Regulations. Motorcycle helmets are legally required for motorcyclists under road traffic legislation."

Items used in a non work situation are, absolutely, safety items but are definitely not PPE under the current regulations.

Pedantics aside (my fault, I started it!), PPE, safety equipment or whatever doesn't matter. The OP was missold an item and is entitled to a refund or replacement.

Whether Ellis Brigham wish to sell the rope to another customer is between them, their concience and their lawyers!
deepsoup - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Climbing mckay:
> as a retailer Ellis have the right to turn away returning any piece under this title due to not being aware of the circumstances of the item as soon as it has left the premises of the building

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/sale-of-goods-act

No they don't. The Sale of Goods Act applies to everything in the shop, so called "PPE" or not. The OP explained what he wanted the rope for, the rope sold to him was not fit for that purpose and as long as it's returned in a reasonably timely fashion he *is* entitled to a refund.
Dino Dave - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: Let us know how you get on with returning your rope, John. I'm intrigued as to what they'll say/do after reading all this
craig1983 - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to deepsoup:

You guys are arguing with someone that works in an outdoor retailer?

If I asked for a cam to fit a 1 inch crack....was sold one thats too small...then I can't return it. Pretty sure they tell you that when you're buying it....because its safety equipment, they can't accept returns unless its faulty.

On another note, always do your own homework and know what you need before you go to the shops...google is your friend.

But back to the OP....I've got a 60m for Ratho, and a 30m for GCC.... 60m is way too much of a hassle to flake for the short GCC routes. Can get a 30m from the GCC shop for £50 (less if you're a pass holder).
craig1983 - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

From the Ellis Brigham website...

'We regret that for Health & Safety reasons we are unable to accept returns of climbing hardware or underwear'

From Cotswold website...

'Please note that for the safety of all our customers, we are unable to exchange or issue a refund for any new or unused climbing equipment and all helmets (including Ski) once the goods have left our premises. Please bear this in mind before you make your purchase. (This does not affect your statutory rights).'

Looks like you could be onto plums mate....unless you kick up a real stink about the incompetent sales assistant.

needvert on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:

Thinnest single rope on the market is the 8.9mm serenity. Most common thin single is probably the 9.1mm joker. Both will also serve (and are rated as such) as half or twin ropes.

Anyone selling rope should have known straight away that 8.5mm was too thin for a single.


I'd consider their actions to be negligent, the issues with returning climbing gear imho relate to what the store does with it afterwards. Even if the store can't/won't resell your rope, I'd argue they should definitely refund you - even if it results in a loss on their part.

They made a huge mistake. One that could conceivably lead to a fatality.
SCC - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983:
> (In reply to John Killie)
>
> From the Ellis Brigham website...
>
> 'We regret that for Health & Safety reasons we are unable to accept returns of climbing hardware or underwear'
>

A rope isn't "climbing hardware".

I'm assuming he didn't fashion a pair of skiddies out if it either...

Si
needvert on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to needvert:
> ...One that could conceivably lead to a fatality.

I do admit that bit is quite unsubstantiated! There's not much of a body of data on how safe regularly leading on a single half rope is.
Oceanrower - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983:
> (In reply to John Killie)
>
> From the Ellis Brigham website...
>
> 'We regret that for Health & Safety reasons we are unable to accept returns of climbing hardware or underwear'
>
> From Cotswold website...
>
> 'Please note that for the safety of all our customers, we are unable to exchange or issue a refund for any new or unused climbing equipment and all helmets (including Ski) once the goods have left our premises. Please bear this in mind before you make your purchase. (This does not affect your statutory rights).'
>
> Looks like you could be onto plums mate....unless you kick up a real stink about the incompetent sales assistant.

"This does not affect your statutory rights"

One of which is that the item sold sould be fit for purpose.

Which this obviously wasn't.
Zebdi - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to needvert:

I believe the thinnest single rope is 8.7 Mammut Serenity.
craig1983 - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:

The rope is fit for purpose though.

Not the purpose the OP needs it for...but it is not faulty, properly advertised and the description on the packaging clear. The 'fit for purpose line' would apply if you bought a 60m rope, got it home and measured it and its only 55m.

OP should have done their homework and gone in knowing what they need. I've never worked in a shop, but I'd guess that sales assistants don't go through months of training to know every detail of every item in the shop...therefore don't rely solely on their advice.

Like I say, if the OP kicks up a real fuss, then they may get their money back/exchange, otherwise....plums. :)
SCC - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983:

The OP asked the shop for a rope suitabe for leading indoors.
If the sales assistant didn't have the knowledge or experience to know which rope was suitable they should have either gone and got someone who did know, or told the OP that he would need to choose for themselves.

Strangely I do expect a sales assistant in a specialist shop to know what they are talking about - at least as far as the difference between a single and a half rope!
It's not like I'm expecting them to memories the different strength ratings on crabs or the number of falls a rope is rated for.

I don't think he'll need to make a big fuss to be honest, he's been sold the wrong type of rope - end of.

Si
craig1983 - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to SCC:
> (In reply to craig1983)
>
> The OP asked the shop for a rope suitabe for leading indoors.

How much detail did the OP go into though? We don't know....But yes, I'm not denying the sales assistant got it wrong. I'm just going by the returns policy of the store and the definition of 'fit for purpose'.

> If the sales assistant didn't have the knowledge or experience to know which rope was suitable they should have either gone and got someone who did know, or told the OP that he would need to choose for themselves.


Agreed!
John Killie - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to everyone:

Thanks very much for everyone's thoughts and opinions.

I have just spoken to Ellis Brigham on the phone, and their response was bring it in and we'll sort you it.

I am assuming they are going to exchange/refund, alternatively they may just be planning to give me a kicking and throw me in the Clyde.

Thanks again. I look forward to sparking more interesting debates in the future with my new found enthusiasm, and lack of knowledge.

John
deepsoup - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983:
> You guys are arguing with someone that works in an outdoor retailer?

Yes. In spite of the many years of training and the very rigorous exams they have to pass, it's still occasionally possible for some bloke who works in a shop to be wrong about this kind of thing.
Mark Bull - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to ripper:
> if Ratho is a full 30m (not been so can't comment) then I'd probably go for a 70m rope to allow for tying on, slightly wandering lines etc, although a 60m would probably be fine given that it will stretch a bit under your weight when lowering off.

The longest route at Ratho is 28m, and a 60m rope is fine for climbing there.
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deepsoup - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983:
> How much detail did the OP go into though? We don't know....

Yes we do. "A rope suitable for leading indoors" is enough information to determine that he needs a single rope, not a half rope.

> I'm just going by the returns policy of the store

The Sale of Goods Act (1979) wouldn't be a very useful bit of legislation if it didn't trump the returns policy of the store.
LJC - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: Bought a harness online from Ellis Brigham which ended up being too small to fit over my winter clothing. Sent it back and had it replaced with the next size up without any fuss. I was aware of the PPE notice on their website, and certainly didn't mention it, but it didn't seem to matter to them. Hope the rope gets sorted, you definitely shouldn't have been sold a half rope for indoor use.
deepsoup - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie:
> I am assuming they are going to exchange/refund

Of course they are, and I expect they'll be very gracious about it. They're probably quite embarrassed that you were given such poor advice.

Will you post again to let everyone know how you got on?
craig1983 - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to craig1983)
> [...]
> Yes we do. "A rope suitable for leading indoors" is enough information to determine that he needs a single rope, not a half rope.

OP didn't state exactly what he asked the assistant for...the indoor leading line you refer to is taken from his opening statement which is just 'what he was really looking for'.

Anyway...doesn't matter now as it seems Ellis Brigham are being nice. If its the store at Braehead then they're all pretty sound in there so wouldn't have expected any less.
ripper - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: Yes do let us know how you get on, a lot of people seem very interested in this one! I'll be amazed if they do anything other than apologise for the mistake and exchange it without fuss. I remember EB when they were just a shop by the Cathedral in Manchester, where Bob and Ellis Jr were frequently on the counter... My dad got me first pair of skis there when I was about nine.
johncook - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983: Does not affect your statutary rights. That includes mis-selling. If the OP asked for advice from the seller on a particular point, ie I want a rope for leading indoors at Ratho, and the seller gave that advice and it was incorrect, then the statutary rights of the customer take precedence, and the shop will have to stand the costs, and hopefully make sure their staff know their product in future.
captain paranoia - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983:

> You guys are arguing with someone that works in an outdoor retailer?

Yes. In my experience, shop staff know very little about consumer rights. Or they know about them, but try their best to get out of their obligations by trying to convince the customer that they have no rights.

They often have rather limited product knowledge as well.
cuppatea on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:
> (In reply to craig1983)
>
> [...]
>
> Yes. In my experience, shop staff know very little about consumer rights. Or they know about them, but try their best to get out of their obligations by trying to convince the customer that they have no rights.

In my experience the staff will have been trained in "company procedure" which may or may not be based fully on statutory rights.

If you're really lucky the managers might be more aware or they may have just been trained in "company procedure". :|


Lukeva - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to craig1983:
> (In reply to Oceanrower)
>
> The rope is fit for purpose though.
>
> Not the purpose the OP needs it for...but it is not faulty, properly advertised and the description on the packaging clear. The 'fit for purpose line' would apply if you bought a 60m rope, got it home and measured it and its only 55m.
>
> OP should have done their homework and gone in knowing what they need. I've never worked in a shop, but I'd guess that sales assistants don't go through months of training to know every detail of every item in the shop...therefore don't rely solely on their advice.
>
> Like I say, if the OP kicks up a real fuss, then they may get their money back/exchange, otherwise....plums. :)

Thankfully you don't run an outdoor specialist store ;)

You say it's still in the packaging. They ought to take it back and replace it with a single rope, upon paying whatever the difference is of course. No need to explain any further. The assistant made a gross mistake advising a double rope as suitable for leading sport routes indoor. Unbelievable.
deepsoup - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Lukeva:
Indeed.

Anyway, regarding that "fitness for purpose" thing..

From the link I posted way up the thread (this one: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/sale-of-goods-act ):

"Fit for purpose means both their everyday purpose, and also any specific purpose that you agreed with the seller (for example, if you specifically asked for a printer that would be compatible with your computer)"

Specifically asking for a rope that you can use for leading indoor routes at Ratho would be an equally good example.
In reply to John Killie:
Hi John, We apologise profusely and accept that an error has been made in the advice you received. I know that the store has been in touch directly to offer an exchange or refund as you require.

The safety of our customers is paramount and we will be carrying out more indepth training with staff to ensure this does not happen in future.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter

ripper - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Ellis Brigham: very well said, bravo
Oujmik - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to John Killie: Lots of good advice here. Hope you get a nice single rope and enjoy your climbing.

To those saying you cannot return gear on safety grounds, there is an obvious flaw. The shop may not be able to *re-sell* the gear in case it is unsafe, but there is nothing unsafe about accepting the return. If they have to destroy the rope then that's tough. This is a good reason for them to refuse returns where they have discretion to do so (i.e. if it was an unwanted gift, or you changed your mind), but if it has been missold it's irrelevant. They are obliged to sort it out.
deepsoup - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Ellis Brigham:
Well said & good luck to you. :)
In reply to Ellis Brigham:
> (In reply to John Killie)
> Hi John, We apologise profusely and accept that an error has been made in the advice you received. I know that the store has been in touch directly to offer an exchange or refund as you require.
>
> The safety of our customers is paramount and we will be carrying out more indepth training with staff to ensure this does not happen in future.
>
> Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter

Nice one, well done.


Chris
John Killie - on 28 Mar 2013
Fantastic service.

Changed with no quibble.

What a gret company!!!!
John Killie - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Ellis Brigham:

Can't thank you enough.

Fantastic service.

Puts you at the top of the I'll be back list.

Thanks again.
BrendanO - on 03 Apr 2013
In reply to John Killie:
Don't worry about shop not wanting to take it back cos it's PPE:

That's THEIR problem. Under Trading Standards Law (your statutory rights), it's not fit for the purpose you said you wanted it for, so you can return it. End of.

If it was me, as a first rope, I'd buy the cheapest (prob quite thick) FIFTY metre rope - lighter than a 60, lasts for a while, when/if the ends get worn you can chop 3m off them, and YOU CAN DO MOST OF RATHO with 50 m, just not the tallest bit.

I have 50m single and half ropes, and 30m single rope for the lovely Alien Rock. My trendy friends spend more cash on 60m ropes (thanks guys!), so I can use their's for tall bit of Ratho.

However, I think mine is not a fashionable opinion.

Cheers

John Killie - on 03 Apr 2013
In reply to BrendanO: Ellis Brigham were excellent about the whole thing. I hponed them the next morning and they were happy to exchange.

Went with 60m so I can do the Ratho thang.

Thanks for your advice and taking the time to post. Really appreciate it.


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