/ Ropes - Half/Twin/Double?!

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euanryan on 31 Oct 2013
Despite climbing for 12 years now, I've never owned double/twin/half ropes.

What is the difference between them? One set thinner I think? What are the different uses?

Need to get 2 ropes for harder trad and winter stuff pretty soon (single just isn't cutting it anymore...) what should I be looking for/at?

Cheers!
The Lemming - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan:
> Despite climbing for 12 years now, I've never owned double/twin/half ropes.
>
> What is the difference between them?

The simple answer is weight. A pair of single ropes at 10mm or 11mm weighs an awful lot, once you've run out a long pitch compared to a pair of half-ropes dangling between your legs on the same route.

Also, during the walk-in, you've got less weight on your back carrying all your kit.

I won't try to insult your intelligence by explaining why two ropes are better than one on many trad routes, especially multi-pitch routes. :-)
euanryan on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to The Lemming: Thanks for that. Yeah in the alps in August we ended up only being able to retreat 35m at a time (having climbed on a single 70m) and so not able to reach the belays, then having to look for other things to abb off... Lesson learned!

If weight is the only issue, I'm assuming that thinner ropes can't take big falls? Or wear out quicker?
alooker - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan: twin ropes are more specialised, pretty much exclusively ice climbing really where you want lightweight, long abseils and two ropes just in a case one gets gets cut and the line is fairly straight up.

Twin ropes are designed to be clipped through the same carabiner each time, never separate. For all intents and purposes they are 'one' rope.

Half ropes sound like what you need, they're a bit thicker and more durable than twins and are designed to be clipped into separate pieces of gear. Nice and stretchy and tested to 55kg on the UiAA test (as opposed to single ropes 80kg I think). Giving you full length abseils, two rope strands just in case and all the other stuff re rope drag.

Neither doubled single ropes or half ropes *should* be clipped into one carabiner when leading. They flatten out too much which leads to surprisingly high loads cross loading the carabiner even when in the optimum position. You do see people doing this, and even clipping into alternative pieces and then through a single piece (ropes then rub against each other in a fall) but like most things in climbing think about it and make a decision.

Triple ropes like the beal joker can be used as all three types of rope, great for versatility but they would be relatively heavy half ropes compared to the rest of the market and very heavy twins.
euanryan on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to alooker: 55kg?! Is that a typo or am I missing something?
The Lemming - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan:

> If weight is the only issue, I'm assuming that thinner ropes can't take big falls? Or wear out quicker?


Weight isn't the only issue. Two ropes give you lots of options when things go tits up, or if you run out a long pitch and wish you'd got an extra 10 meters of rope to make a belay stance safe.

I've never fully understood the difference between twin ropes and half ropes, and neither am I that bothered. For a multi-pitch day I climb with two ropes, either half or single in diameter. And for sports routes or little single pitch routes then one rope is more than ample.

Two 50 meter ropes are far better than one huge feking heavy 70 meter rope. :-)
alooker - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan: nope, it's a pretty mean fall though, fall factor 1.7 iirc
HeMa on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan:

Nope.

He's talking about UIAA rope drop test. Single ropes and twins (with both ropes) are tested @ 80kg weight.

Where as a single half-rope is tested with 55kg weight.

Test-rig
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J_Eu6IO6DE
alooker - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to HeMa: Yes. I should have worded it better though, they have to withstand at least 5 falls of 55kg at fall factor 1.77 - these are very harsh falls! In practice you're not going to break a double rope if you take a regular leader fall and weigh 70/80/90kg
alooker - on 31 Oct 2013
euanryan on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan: ahh that makes more sense, haha!

Looks like halfs are what I'm looking for I think! Thanks
The Lemming - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan:
> (In reply to euanryan) ahh that makes more sense, haha!
>
> Looks like halfs are what I'm looking for I think! Thanks

Make sure that the ropes are contrasting colours and that they are re4ally obvious to describe. This will cut down on confusion especially when tired, almost out of ear shot and in failing light.

You don't want to be pulling on the wrong rope, during a retreat, when time is not on your side.

Or the leader says "Take in Red and Slack on Red" at the same time. Which red do you take in, and which do you give slack to?
That could end messy.

JIMBO on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to The Lemming: good call on contrasting colours... I used to have two blue ones (bought the second really cheap and was blinded by cost rather than practicality).

Now have a yeLlow for the Left and a Red for the Right... good system except I have a friend of almost 40 that still can't remember their left and right!
Jonny2vests - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to alooker:

Just to add one thing for the OP, another reason why you generally shouldn't clip both halfs through the same runner is because you half the stretch and thereby increase the impact force on the top runner.
Jonny2vests - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan:

Oh, and half ropes and double ropes are the same thing.
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euanryan on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to euanryan: Thanks for all the info everyone, very useful! Off to have a look at halfs then :)

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