/ unicore rope
I am looking to get an 80 metre so any usefull feedback would be greatly appreciated
I've owned an older Beal Joker (traditional core) and the current Joker (Unicore). Also, I'm currently writing a review of said rope for a NZ publication; having said all this, I have not had the opportunity (or is that misfortune?) to see the benefits of the Unicore technology in reality.
IMO the principle behind the improved puncture resistance and the mitigated core shrink/expansion during wetting and drying is worth it (for both rock and ice pursuits). And thus my next rope will be the Gully to pair with my Joker for full length repels.
I'd be keen to see independent controlled testing results if they exist??
I shredded a Cobra II to the core in a fall, not sure if a normal rope would have completely ripped, probably not. the core was still in good condition afterwards, just nothing around it
Ok thats food for thought , thanks for your feedback
Quick comment on Unicore.
Some will remember me talking not so positively about the Unicore concept. I was in fact under the impression (clearly a wrong one) that Unicore was aimed at increasing the lifespan of the rope. That was my desire. But Beal clearly says that Unicore does something else. And it does it brilliantly as many videos and comments on forums worldwide prove. So, just to be fair to Beal and its Unicore concept, if you're concerned about the sheath coming undone and all of a sudden realising you've taken a fall on the core (that can indeed result in a "catastrophic failure", see Beal videos) then Unicore will address that safety concern. That is what Unicore does to the rope and Beal does say these are "extreme situations". More here: http://bealplanet.com/sport/anglais/unicore.php
The Diablo comes in 9.8 mm, btw. It's the Booster that comes in 9.7 mm, for that matter. In fact, has anyone ever measured the actual rope diameter with a caliper? You'd be surprised :-)
What is the surprise in the measurements?
> What is the surprise in the measurements?
Simply put, it can happen that 9.7 ropes are thicker than 9.8 ones. It's actually no surprise since manufacturers are apparently "allowed" an "error" of +- 0.2 mm. That'd be understandable and very acceptable in fact. 1 mm is a tiny enough measure. 0.2 mm is nothing. Small enough that only a caliper can capture it.
Did you measure it slightly weighted as in the UIAA standard, or unweighted? The diameter on the packet will be the slightly weighted one.
> Did you measure it slightly weighted as in the UIAA standard, or unweighted? The diameter on the packet will be the slightly weighted one.
I don't know how weighted the rope has to be to meet EN 892:2004 test criteria (you need to purchase the specifications and there is no point in doing it unless you're a rope manufacturer... these specs are not cheap...). However, the freely available UIAA 101 document confirms the actual rope diameter on the hang-tag has to be within +- 0.2 mm of the diameter as measured by the EN standard. So, it wouldn't be surprising or unacceptable to find out that for whatever marketing reason the diameter printed on the packaging differs from the actual EN-measured diameter.
I have a Joker Unicore and rate it highly. When you see the abrasion-resistance advertising video, you should be convinced of its merits compared to conventional 'core & sheath' ropes. Worth the extra dosh IMO.
Only if the manufacturer could produce ropes with a tolerance less than the 0.2mm, which is pretty low for a woven product. (Although I am more than willing to be corrected by someone with more knowledge of rope manufacturing than me). Otherwise some ropes would be thicker than the allowed amount.
But is it more resistent to abrasion? I buy that the sheath is not going to seperate from the core in a way which is going to as negatively effect the rope as much (especially if you need to prussic up it), but how commonly does this happen in practice, pretty bloddy rarely I'd say.
Ofcourse the unicore system may help prevent the rope from getting cut through (but may not depending on the circumstances), but once you can see the core the rope is for the trash either way. There is no data suggesting that the sheath will actually be able to cope with more abrasion using the unicore system before retirement is necessary. I suspect for example the Mammut genesis could typically actually handle more abrasion before retirement than the unicore beal cobras (the gensis has 10% more sheath for starters and mammut ropes are typically harder wearing than beals).
Fair point, and I don't know the answer I'm afraid. The Unicore has furred up a bit at the ends, but it's had more 'working' than anticipated, so it's hard to say if it's wearing faster than other ropes. Personally, I buy a rope for the handling and (more particularly) the mental comfort it provides me in extremis. I'm slightly less concerned about the wear factor on an ongoing basis, although this is obviously a practical consideration.
Ok when I buy a rope I do try to weigh up all the factors. But abrasion resistence / rope life time is pretty high up there for me (more so than rope handeling unless the rope handles really poorly). With regards to the mental comfort - is a rope that is more likely to get abraded so the core is visible but less likely that the sheath will actually seperate from the rope (in a way that a distinct section is only core) actually any safer? (I'm not really suggesting for a fact the beal is typically less abrasion resistent before the core is visible, just suggesting it is possible seeing as the cobra has less sheath than the genesis and what it does have is more loosely woven)
To be sure someone independent will have to compare the ropes under different types of fall (sharp edge, abrading accross an edge etc etc)
Ype, I wouldn't disagree with any of that. I should have clarified that I was citing those factors were for a skinny, redpoint-attempt rope, not a working one, where the durability is much more important.
I agree with what youíre saying about abrasion and whatíavíy, and as you say I think the unicore thing becomes worthwhile if youíre in the high mountains (prussicing etc), or for heavy use (static rope).
But I think itís worth pointing out De-Sheathing a rope is not uncommon, Iív seen it happen (as per papashangoís post above). Because the all sheath strands (bobbins) wrap around the core; you only need cut a short distance lengthways (~2cm maybe) and youíve gone through all the bobbins and de-sheathed the rope.
Even in a straight up/down fall the rope can get de-sheathed fairly easily if it runs over something sharp/abrasive.
Ting is tho, the unicore construction doesnít guard the rope from being cut through.
I have to say my main gripe about beal ropes is that they donít come pre-marked with a middle marker......... especially when their ďuncoiling a new ropeĒ instructions tell you to unroll from the middle mark; cheapskates :-(
My partner stripped the sheath off our rope in a relatively innocuous fall at an indoor wall, whe it rubbed against a featured part of the fake rock 'formation'. It was rapidly followed by a very careful lowering to the deck!
I'm pretty sure the new Unicore Joker is middle marked but I'll need to check.
I'm currently using the Edelweiss Performance 9.2 which is unicore and I think its great! Feels and handles just as well if not better than my old Beal Joker and from what I have seen from the videos, unicore can only be a good thing.....
Constructive. I certainly don't buy in to the Unicore sheath having improved resistance to abrasion. Most of the range is light weight and svelte items as such are seldom going to be as robust as their heavier counterparts.
Regardless, my understanding was the same re. sheath/core but I gathered that this was most critical after any dry treatment had ceased being effective and the rope becomes wet and drys again (shrink/expansion failure?)?
I think it's resistance to puncture in an emergency situation is a huge benefit and for me personally the Joker, coupled with an iceline or similar, is a great winter rope.
The Jokers (original and two variants of the new Unicore)I have climbed on have had middle markers.
"I think it's resistance to puncture in an emergency situation is a huge benefit and for me personally the Joker, coupled with an iceline or similar, is a great winter rope."
Personally I would prefer two lines the same diameter around 8 -> 8.5mm. Simpler for abseiling, belaying, lighter etc. Also you can choose a belay device best suited for both ropes (for icelines I'd use a buggette but this would not work effectively on the joker)
WRT resistance to puncture how would having that be a huge benefit to you based on your previous climbing experiences? (Have you ever de-sheathed a rope?)
Iíve never had a sheath alone fail me. My first Joker was compromised (partially severed, if that is such a thing) by falling rock and even if that was a Unicore model I would not have retreated on it.
I donít expect the Unicore to be a miracle or failure resistant concept but from what I have seen it is something worth having if it is available. Similarly, I donít expect a shock absorber to guarantee I donít blow a gnarly screw placement but IMO it is comfort knowing it is placed.
Maybe Beal just has good marketing and Iííve foolishly bought in to it but Iím happy with my foolish decision until proven otherwise. Hence, 'I'd be keen to see independent controlled testing results'
Have you read the various tests that have been done on how crampons piercing ropes effect them? Basically unless you have created knife sharp edges on your points its a non issue. I've certainly never heard of anyone de sheathing a rope with a crampon (or even an axe) before. (Obviously it is faintly possible but there are far bigger thinks to worry about ice climbing IMO!!)
I'm not by any means suggesting you a made a foolish choice just saying its far from proven that 8.6 unicore cobra is any safer overall than 8.5mm mammut genisis (comparing like with like). I personally think there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
> Have you read the various tests that have been done on how crampons piercing ropes effect them?
When managing the psychological ramifications of (ice) climbing, I still feel the unicore branding is mitigating - even if the punk who trods on my rope has blunt crampons.
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