/ 30m rope long enough for easy alps?

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ralphio - on 09 May 2013
Trying to sort or rope out for first alpine trip. Just sticking to F and PD routes. Have been reading through a few of the older posts and i like the idea of just carrying 30m for the nifjt factor. Question is, with two people on the rope on glacier crossing, would 30m leave enough to set up a haul system for crease rescue?
steveej - on 09 May 2013
In reply to ralphio:

for glacier / snow routes where there is no need for pitched climbing or abseils then yes perfectly fine.
steveej - on 09 May 2013
In reply to steveej:

and also fine for rock where there is no pitched climbing / abseils
MG - on 09 May 2013
In reply to ralphio:
Question is, with two people on the rope on glacier crossing, would 30m leave enough to set up a haul system for crease rescue?


Clearly not enough for an assisted hoist. If you believe a unassisted hoist would work with two people, perhaps just enough. If you are relying on prussiking out then no problem.
Si - on 09 May 2013
In reply to ralphio: I reckon so. Take a few coils each and then leave 8-10m between you.
Robert Durran - on 09 May 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to ralphio)
> Question is, with two people on the rope on glacier crossing, would 30m leave enough to set up a haul system for crease rescue?
>
> Clearly not enough for an assisted hoist.

No. I wouldn't want a rope that short.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ralphio:

I'd say it was a bit short, 15m abseils would make for a long descent! It depends on the route of course. A light 50m rope would be better and I there was a short more difficult pitch you could use it double.
glaramara - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ralphio: I did Strahlhorn, Lagginhorn, Weismeiss, Rimpfischorn, Breithorn Traverse, Pollux, Castor, MB, Nadelhorn, and no doubt a few others with either a 30 or 35m rope. Works great with a pair. All those ascents required a bit, or a lot, of glacier work. In summer, up the popular routes, your not going to be on your own if 1 of u got really stuck, which u won't.
graham F - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ralphio: For a team of 2 on F and PD routes 30m is usually plenty. Roping up 12-15m apart on glaciers leaves each climber with a few coils, which is enough to rig a Z haul (I carry 5m of 6mm static cord which works for rigging extra pulley advantage)

jonesieboy on 10 May 2013
In reply to ralphio:

So I wonder if this Decathlon cheapie would do the job??

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/82mm-x-30m-hiking-rope-id_8174811.html
David Barratt - on 10 May 2013
In reply to jonesieboy: I'd say no... that is just a walking rope and not rated to take falls. wouldn't want to rely on it for abs. or crevasse rescue. I just bought a 35m beal Joker. you might want to look that up.
steveej - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ralphio: for non technical snow plods with no abseils it will be fine and faster because your carrying less weight.

Ive clibed alpine mixed routes upto TD- with a single 8.5mm half rope.

I'm off to Alaska in 2 weeks and will be taking a 45m 8mm rope.
libation - on 10 May 2013
In reply to jonesieboy:
> (In reply to ralphio)
>
> So I wonder if this Decathlon cheapie would do the job??
>
> http://www.decathlon.co.uk/82mm-x-30m-hiking-rope-id_8174811.html

please tell me the above was posted as a joke?

get 50mts of quality single rope - your life might depend on it. i prefer 10mm for better grip especially when it's cold and wet.

steveej - on 10 May 2013
In reply to libation: seems like a decent glacier rope to me
steveej - on 10 May 2013
In reply to libation: perfect for something like the gouter route on mont blanc
JLS on 10 May 2013
In reply to steveej:

"Does not withstand falls from height" would give me pause for thought.
steveej - on 10 May 2013
In reply to JLS: when have you ever pitched anything on a PD route?
JLS on 11 May 2013
In reply to steveej:

You assume I'm competent enough to stay on route. I'm not. Therefore I have. :)
steveej - on 11 May 2013
In reply to JLS: fair enough..

seriously though, I see rope as a different thing in alpine compared to cragging.

in alpine the rope isn't going to snap from a fall. but will get cut. a thinner rope will get cut far easier over a sharp edge, get ruined by skiing over it, or standing on it with crampons.

but for non technical snow plods which are essentially walking and not climbing short thin ropes are fine.

then again I see ropes as generally disposable items so if you want some longevity go for something thicker.
Bruce Hooker - on 11 May 2013
In reply to steveej:

PD routes can have a pitch of 3 or 4 which is quite enough for a beginner to feel the need of a rope, especially if they are not accustomed to exposure. People do get into trouble even on PD routes, having a bit of extra rope is not a luxury if things go wrong. Apart from this buying a special rope for "snow plods" rather than just taking one half of a double rope doesn't seem cost efficient, it gives you a 50m rope, the weight of 15m of rope is no big deal.
Jasonic - on 11 May 2013
In reply to graham F: That's interesting, the 6mm could double as ab tat. Do you keep it tied as a loop or loose?

I would also go for a light single rope as less scary on sharp edges- many easier routes involve a bit of rocky scrambling.

http://www.facewest.co.uk/Beal-Joker.html



The Ex-Engineer - on 11 May 2013
In reply to steveej:
> seems like a decent glacier rope to me

That'd be my view as well. 30m of twin-rated 8mm is would be ideal for a pair on pretty much every Facile route I can think of and most (although not all) PD routes.

I can understand why some will see it as a rather limited bit of kit and hence prefer a longer rope for abseiling. As such, for those who already own a 50m/60m half rope, buying another shorter rope may make little sense.

However, for easy alpine use, especially on snow routes, I am not convinced by the arguments that a thicker rope is needed. Again, I'd concur with steveej, ropes are consumable and worrying about wearing them out doesn't make too much sense. Owning a large number of ropes and splitting use across the most suitable ones makes more sense to me than having a smaller number of thicker ropes on 'durability' grounds. Finally, in terms of a single PD route, I can't readily see how an 8mm rope is going to be massively more susceptible to damage from stone fall or abrasion than an 8.7mm rope, just because the former is rated as a twin rope and the later a single rope.
PMG on 11 May 2013
In reply to steveej: Its manufacturer states that it is not suitable for climbing or mountaineering, including glacier travel.

http://www.simond.com/en/cat/Ropes/prd/8.2mm_Hiking_Rope

Short rope limits crevasse rescue options (e.g., dropped loop technique). This may be fine if you have a lot of other people around to assist you with their equipment, or if your team is sufficiently skilled and strong to operate with minimal resources.
OwenM - on 11 May 2013
In reply to ralphio: 30m x 8mm ropes are pretty well standard for ski touring in the alps, where you spend a lot of time on glaciers. Ok you don't rope up as often on skis as on foot but your still in the same territory.
steveej - on 16 May 2013
In reply to PMG: neither does any manufacturer recommend using a half rope by itself. People still do and its safe in certain circumstances.
steveej - on 16 May 2013
In reply to ralphio: I've had my partner take a fall off a traverse whilst leading half way up El Cap on a 10.3mm single. We hard a core shot 15m into the rope and the next pitch was my block to lead. so I know from experience what can happen to ropes.

Selecting an alpine route means doing your research and working out whether you need to abseil before you even start the approach.

For most standard non technical snow plods a 30m half rope or randonee rope will be fine.

If you have loads of rock, scrambling, pitched climbing, abseiling etc then you choose the appropriate rope, rack, and equipmemt for the task at hand.

Alpine climbing varies massively from walking along a glacier to climbing mixed vert terrain at altitude. Like comparing walking up easy path up ben nevis in winter and climbing grade X on the north face. Different things, different strategies, different gear required.
JIB - on 18 May 2013
In reply to ralphio: I'll offer this as a source of information, not specific advice.

ENSA (L'École Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme ENSA de Chamonix) did tests on the different type of ropes and their suitability for glacier travel. They published their results on Youtube on 17 October 2012.

You might find that this information differs from some of the advice received above, but it is very recent research and their findings are based upon a scientific methodology.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cwUaXR26CM

A complementary video by ENSA focuses on glacier travel for pairs, 2:27 onwards - considerations for your length of rope length if you wish to use knots in the rope to safeguard yourself, 2:50. Tie-in lengths, knot length, coils + distances suggests that 30m might be tight...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhw9AM7ahlA

Best wishes
jonesieboy on 20 May 2013
In reply to libation:

Not really a joke - just wondered what people thought. I've always used either a 50m half rope (for easier glacier snow plods) or a 50m lightweight single rope.

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