/ what rope combination

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midweekjolly2 - on 17 Oct 2016
Its coming to that time when ropes need replacing and searching for ideas before parting with cash..
what two ropes to buy?
I climb winter and summer. In summer I lead on twin 9s (or do I mean 2 half 9s .....anyway i think you get the idea), in winter I lead 111 on a single half 9 quite happily.

In summer , my second /partner has a 9 ( most do) .
Do I really want a pair of 9s (matched) for summer and single use in winter (so dry treated ) and a single 8.1 (iceline ..stretchy, for IVs and abs?)
or a single half 8.5 -9 (dry treated )and a thinner winter rope ..8.1 ish
and borrow the extra summer lead rope from a second (ie do not use 8.1 in summer)

your thoughts and comments encouraged and welcomed! I suspect I am not the only one who thinks like this
MFB - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:
Sterling fusion nano 7.8


Summer, winter, wet, dry
used for about 3 yrs, great rope
Mammut Phoenix is also spot on
DMM buggette handles these ropes reliably
Post edited at 02:24
cyberpunk - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

I have tried all the combinations of ropes over the years. Twin, Half, Full rope with skinny abseil line etc. The best for me is just 2 x 8mm half ropes dry treated and 60 meters long.
Colin Scotchford - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to cyberpunk:

second that
planetmarshall on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Colin Scotchford:
> second that


If leading single pitch crack lines, especially short ones on grit, a short single can save faff.

Having taken a fall in the Cairngorms that stripped the sheath from one of my halves, I wouldn't do complex multipitch climbs, Winter or Summer, on anything other than a pair.
Post edited at 09:03
midweekjolly2 - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

thanks ..food for though here
Casa Alfredino - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

It entirely depends on the sort of climbing you're going to be doing. If its grade 1 and 2 snow, then I'd say a 60m 9mm single is ideal as you simply don't need the length of abseil afforded by a pair of ropes. Then once you get onto more technical terrain when a retreat is going to be more difficult, doubles come into their own. However, don't fall into the trap of thinking that doubles have a lower impact force, or that thinner ropes have lower impact forces. This simply not the case and more often than not you can get fatter ropes with equal or lower impact forces. The only real reason in winter to go for doubles is abseil retreat and drag reduction - most of the time you won't be placing gear in parallel (i.e. Two pieces next to each other and clipping a rope to each) which is when impact really is reduced as gear takes longer to place and is more difficult to find - you're more likely to be placing a single piece, so single or double is not going to make much difference. Ignore the ratings on the rope packet - they don't give the full picture as doubles are rated using a 50kg mass whilst twins and singles use an 80kg mass - once you correlate a double to this sort of mass the impact force on a single strand of double rope is not much different.

The other thing to bear in mind is that singles are MUCH easier to organise - when you are tired and its getting dark, not having a complete clusterf**k of rope is really helpful. So really the answer is you need both ;) But I have happily used a Mammut 8.9 Serenity and an 8.5 Genesis together (the latter being considerably cheaper) and it works well. Both these ropes have good double impact ratings (although not as low as Beals) and great longevity. You don't really notice the difference in diameter. The only downside is a little extra weight, but then think of the extra friction afforded by a fatter rope when they are wet or frozen.

For cascade ice? I've used twins, doubles, a thin single and a double and a long single. For ice cragging I'd go with a long low impact single - basically a sport climbing rope. For anything else probably doubles...
CurlyStevo - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

If you mostly crag with some summer mountains and winter I'd go for 8.5mm dry treated 60m ropes, especially if you climb a lot of abrasive or sharp rock. If you do a lot of mountain stuff with walkins and not too much sharp rock I'd go for 8mm dry 60's.

Personally I wouldn't trust a single half rope on ground where you could fall in to space (other than a glacier where being cut is unlikely) but on easy ground it should be fine.
Mark Stevenson - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2: If you rock climb or mixed climb more than snow/ice climb then I'd always recommend a pair of 50m x 8.5mm.

If you're more into snow and ice routes and some Alpine faces then 60m x 8mm (or thinner) makes more sense.

However, either works. For example, I climbed Orion Direct on 50s this year which was fine although 60+ would have been nicer. However for the rest of the year, if I had 60s I'd be cursing the unnecessary kilometres of rope I'd be uncoiling, taking in, back stacking and coiling.

CurlyStevo - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to Mark Stevenson:
I'd tend to agree. If you plan to use your half ropes abroad then 60 metres are sensible (even some of the coastal sport climbs in Croatia required this) or if you plan to do a lot of routes in Scotland during the winter. Otherwise 50's are fine and save on money / faff / space. You do have to consider rope damage which tends to happen at the ends of the rope. With 60's you have something to cut off, whilst 50's are already bordering on shorter than you'd like for some purposes.

I think the 8mm 8.5mm debate is still valid if you consider the weight / space in sack saving is worth the slight reduction in safety of the rope. Life wise my 8mm mammut pheonixs lasted 5 years with a lot of varied use for a punter so that wasn't an issue, although I hear some of the other skinny ropes don't fair as well. I bought genesis 8.5mm last time as I was climbing at Swanage quite a lot and there is all those sharp edges to consider (someone in my local club actually got badly injured from a severed rope there).

Skinny ropes also tangle more in my experience.
Post edited at 17:31
midweekjolly2 - on 23:13 Mon
In reply to midweekjolly2:

again thanks to all, much to consider here!

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