/ Really thin half ropes?

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ERH - on 18 Jul 2013
I recently saw a crazy deal (a little too crazy if you ask me) for a pair of 7.9mm halfs for 120 brand new

As a firm believer in "if it looks too good to be true it probably is" I was trying to work out (if it was a legit deal), what is the problem with thin ropes?

I imagine that they wear quicker, and can't take as many falls (they always look like they'll break in a light wind!)

The benefits must be the lightness (for long walk-ins, etc.) and...?

Just wondering if there's any point in such thin ropes if you want to do normal multipitch trad with no hideous walk-ins? Why (in what situation) would you buy super-thin ropes?
puppythedog on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to ERH: Where did you see the deal? I might be interested if they are a reputable brand and seller
mattrm - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to ERH:

I've got some 8mm half ropes. I paid 100 each for them 3 years ago. 120 for a pair seems cheap, but I've seen halfs at that price before now.

I find personally, that while they're great to climb with and a bit lighter than 8.5/9s, they have a tendancy to tangle very easily. Next ropes I get are going to be thicker for that reason.
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to mattrm:
I had 8mm mammut phoenix and they definitely tangle more easily than all the fatter half ropes I've used. One evening in particular in Cogne this lost us a LOT of time abing and caused a mini epic!

There are obviously several other pros and cons to 8mm ropes. I bought 8.5mm genesis this time round as I'm primarily NOT climbing mountains anymore.
ERH - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

I was just browsing google (as ya do) and tried "60m half rope pair" and it popped up.
AlanLittle - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to ERH:

I climbed in the Dolomites last summer on my mate's Edelrid Apus 7.8s and was very impressed with them. Excellent handling, much less tangle rpone than my 8.1 Beal ice Lines.

We mostly used them as twins but they didn't feel too skinny/scary to use as halves on the odd not straifght up pitch. I wouldn't choose them for use mainly as half ropes for UK trad though - definitely go for something beefier for that.
Merlin - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

I think the rope tangle thing is due to age rather than type or diameter.

Ropes in the later stages of life tend to handle badly, and tangle as they become plastic/stretched and wire-like.

Ice lines are pretty nice.
Blue Straggler - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to mattrm:
> (In reply to ERH)
>
> I've got some 8mm half ropes. I paid 100 each for them 3 years ago. 120 for a pair seems cheap, but I've seen halfs at that price before now.

Yep, going back some time now, I got a pair of Zero G "G String" 60m 8.5mm ropes from The Mountain Factor in Ambleside at 100. That shop no longer sells climbing equipment though.
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Merlin:
> (In reply to AlanLittle)
>
> I think the rope tangle thing is due to age rather than type or diameter.
>
> Ropes in the later stages of life tend to handle badly, and tangle as they become plastic/stretched and wire-like.
>
> Ice lines are pretty nice.

well i find the opposite true the more flexible a rope is the more prone to making loops that feed in to each other and cause tangles....
mrchewy - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: I'm the opposite - my merlins were fine to start with but weekend saw me cursing them often!
More-On - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to mrchewy: That might just have been user error by your partner though ;-)
CurlyStevo - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to mrchewy:
Well in my experience 8mm ropes are generally more flexible and they generally do tangle more (a quick search through the forums will confirm that as this topic comes up quite often)
remus - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to ERH: I've got a pair of edelrid apus(i? es?) and like them quite a bit. Low weight is ace. As you mention durability isn't as good as on something thicker but for 120/pair I don't think you can go wrong.

I find the handling reasonable and haven't had any particular problems with tangling. I suspect tangling is more model specific than related to the diameter of the rope.
MaranaF - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Merlin: @I think the rope tangle thing is due to age rather than type or diameter.


A new rope is more likely to twist if it hasn't been pulled through correctly and a badly bagged rope will have tangles and kinks in it but I think the reason many people have problems with half ropes is, they don't clip into the pro in the right sequence and if you make that mistake your going to get tangles galore.

Our half ropes are 8.6mm and although very heavy, we love them because they are so versatile.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to DemolitionRed: its got nothing to do with how you clip the ropes the tangles happen when the rope is thrown for abbing or taken in to a pile belaying. also age can not be the only factor as it definitely seems to occur more the more flexible a rope is (and skinny ropes tend to be more flexible.)
MaranaF - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Are you saying that clipping a rope incorrectly has nothing to do with tangles on a half rope?!? When you're climbing with half ropes you need to be aware that its more flexible and keep that in mind when you belay a top roper. To say it has nothing to do with clipping into pros is ridiculous.

The amount of people I see incorrectly coiling/bagging/storing a rope always baffles me. They turn up at the first pitch with their rope already in tangles. When people can't correctly coil a single rope then they are going to get in a right old mess if and when they start using half ropes.

rgold - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to DemolitionRed:

> I think the reason many people have problems with half ropes is, they don't clip into the pro in the right sequence and if you make that mistake your going to get tangles galore.

Would you care to explain how clipping sequence produces rope twisting? Why isn''t this a problem with all diameters? For that matter, why isn't it a problem with single ropes, since after all one strand of a half rope pair is just a single rope clipped to some pro.

One thing a lot of us do to mitigate twisting is for the belayer not to tie in on the first pitch and have the leader take up almost all the rope before the belayer does tie in. This gives some of the twists a chance to work themselves out before being ``locked in'' when the second ties in.

Many rappel devices induce some twisting. If the ends are hanging free, this is not so much of an issue, but if the ends are on a ledge or the ground, the twists have nowhere to go and start climbing back up the rope towards the rappeller. Not much you can do about this, but it does help for the first person down to re-pile the rope so as to get rid of the existing twists before the next person down adds more.

Tangling is a different issue from twisting (although the two can certainly occur together) and is primarily a question of how ropes are stacked. If there is enough room on the belay ledge to pile ropes, this seems to me to always be better than flaking the ropes over a tie in; I've never had tangling issues with piled ropes. Ropes flaked over a tie-in can tangle easily and quite badly when loops that are being paid out capture other loops. There are well-known stacking techniques to avoid this, but they can be difficult to implement while managing a belay properly.

My impression is that 8mm halfs tangle and twist significantly more than 8.5mm halfs.


CurlyStevo - on 21 Jul 2013
In reply to DemolitionRed: firstly we were talking about tangles not twists. secondly if your clipping technique is resulting in either tangles or twists in anything but a very very rare case then you need to work on that as it shouldnt and I dont see how rope diamter could effect that and it can generally easily be avoided.
MaranaF - on 21 Jul 2013
Lets take a wandering route, you can clip them alternately into pieces of pro so as to minimize rope drag on a route that zig zags, but wandering routes are notorious for rope drag and rope tangles. Clipping into the wrong placement causes the other half to drag and for a belayer who is not used to half ropes (feeding one in and feeding one out), problems with tangles or twists can arise, especially if the leader clips a higher runner with the wrong colour and then steps down, say at the crux.

A half rope can cause dangerous drag when used incorrectly and because half ropes are more elastic than fat ropes, that in itself can cause tangles.

I would be wary regarding not tying in to a first pitch and having the leader take up 'almost' all the rope. What happens if the leader can't see me? and why not make sure all the twists are out of the rope before doing the first pitch?




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