/ Half rope buying advice - rope length
I'm lookng to buy my first set of half ropes. From my research the pick of the bunch seems to be Mammut Genesis - good reviews, plus I've been very happy with both my Mammut single ropes.
However, I was wondering what length to go for and would appreciate any advice. 50m seems appealing (price and less weight to carry to the crag), but I'm wondering if I'll spend the rest of my days staring upwards at inviting belay ledges wishing I'd gone for the 60m option?
They'll be seeing most of their use on the easier trad routes in North Wales (up to around severe at the moment, but grades will hopefully be on their way up!).
50m is fine in the UK
60m if heading to USA or Alps
For trad I can't really remember an occasion when I thought I wish I'd bought 60s. More often they're just a faff.
Maybe a different opinion for winter stuff.
I got 60m ropes and ended up cutting them to be 50m as I never used the extra length and it was a pain and more weight.
Well, if you ever do the Old Man of Stoer you'll be thankful for 60s. Otherwise they are a general faff, especially for single pitch crags.
Since I only have one set which I use for Scottish Winter and multi-pitch abroad, I have 60s.
As others have said, if you want to do winter climbing, Alpine climbing or climb in the USA definitely get 60m. For UK rock 50m is fine, I've never come accross a pitch that was longer than 50m.
That said, 60's can allow you to run pitches together to over 50m which I have done a few times. Also you can sometimes manage an abseil on one rope rather having to tie 2 together and at short crags I sometimes only take one 60m rope and use it doubled up with the leader tying in to the middle.
These are minor advantages but worth considering.
If just climbing uk trad rock, 50's are best really. Ok, 60's give you more flexibility (which you will rarely want or actually need on UK rock) but at more cost, weight and rope handling faff. I've never understood why some people try to push 60's for trad.
Another vote for 50s for 99% of uk rock trad. Unless you have a fetish for climbing classics in the rain, or envisage doing a bit of winter, I wouldn't bother with dry treatment.
also since these will be your 'go to' set of half ropes, you will be climbing a lot of the wandering N Wales classics with rope wearing edges and corners, and these ropes will most likely see a lot of service I would think about durability over skinniness and light weight I.e don't go below 8.5mm diameter.
When your grades progress you can think about another lighter and possibly longer set, but even then you'll probably still be taking these ropes out a lot of the time.
If you buy 60s for the terrain your doing you'll have a lot of rope untangling sessions......unless you're real slick with your rope work, and your 60s are well trained!
I'm gonna throw a little spanner in.
I have 2 sets of half ropes. 60m and 70m. I climb trad with them. Lots will scoff, and rightly so if you like to follow the guide book pitches of yester-year hemp ropes and the unknown above, there is no need for longer than 50's in the UK (or 30m's in many venues). However, if you like to get the meters in.... longer is better.
I like to run pitches together, am blessed with stamina and understanding seconds.
Many UK sea cliff and non grit venues have height where you could use more than 50m. Its not always on the climb, but to the belay behind that the extra is useful. I pick my crag for taking the 70m's, but 60m is frequently used.
Grade doesn't matter to rope choice, what you want to acheive does, you will quickly learn good rope work with longer pitches.
I'd go with 60's as a recommendation. But I guess it depends what you want.
My genesis's (60m) have been great, hard wearing and manageable. Does anyone know of a comparable half rope?
Length advice is well commented on, what about make and model?
I'd go for 50s for UK trad, only 1% of the time you might want longer, and even rarely necessary. 60m or even 55m would feel a chore to coil and mostly redundant,
I totally agree. I much prefer 60's. Short pitches seem pointless when you can run two or three together, and on easier ground you can just run the rope out.
Me too. And if you like grit length routes, you can use one rope folded in half as doubles, saves loads of wear on the pair. If you do that with a 50, you'll run out lots of the time.
As others have said if you want to do winter then I think 60m can be pretty handy and for alpine climbing its more necessary.
For summer UK rock if you intend to do a lot of multipitch stuff in north wales I think you may find 60m handy for running pitches together and as other have said on shorter crags 60 allows you to better able to half rope it using one rope (with the second tied in to the middle).
Personally I wouldn't buy a 50m rope of any diameter now a days.
I have 60m halves and the last couple of weeks have seen them used a lot at Stanage, well one of them folded in half - it's been a lot less faff than two 50s.
There's been times when they've been used to skip a belay or two, as on Cemetery Gates on the Cromlech, on Lliwedd and Raven Crag in the Lakes.In winter however, they've really come into their own - in fact a couple of times, it would have been nice to have 70s like Kevster.
I have Edelrid Merlins, which are wearing well so far but tangle more when they are dirty.
You buy 50s, and then you find you need 60s.
I have a pair of Mammut Phoenix ropes, 60m, approaching 2 years old and have so far seen 2 scottish winter, 2 UK trad summer and 1 alpine season. They are now closer to about 55m due to having had to trim the ends. At the end of this summer I will probably trim them back to 40m for use on single pitch routes and buy a new 60m pair.
Thanks to everyone for your input - some useful pros/cons there of different lengths.
I've just ordered myself a pair of Genesis in 50m and managed to bag a bargain at just £200. Now all I need is some good weather and I'll be off outside to play :-)
The downside of these super long pitches is the amount of rope stretch in the event of a fall. On trad it is hard to fall a long way without hitting something hard. These were my thoughts whilst belaying a mate who insists on doing the full height of Bosi in one pitch (just doable on 50m!) and did a full length route next to Eroica at Pentire in one massive 60m pitch.
Agreed but we are not talking big safe fall out zones like you have on steeper sport routes. I'd rather be caught hard than have a soft catch after hitting a ledge.
Found 60s ideal when joining two or more pitches together on Welsh mountain routes, and also essential for the abseil is more than 50m (e.g. Dinas Mot)
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