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PRODUCT NEWS: Beal OPERA 8.5mm UNICORE - Triple rated rope

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Weighing in at only 48g per metre, the Opera 8.5 is the first sub 50g rope and is the lightest and thinest single rope on the market, the Opera 8.5 is also rated as a double and twin rope.

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 mcawle 06 Jun 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

From the header blurb: "Weighing in at only 48g per metre, the Opera 8.5 is the first sub 50g rope..."

Presumably this should be "the first sub-50g [single/triple] rope..."?

In reply to UKC Gear:

According to beal-planet.com Opera 8.5 golden dry 60m is €219.56 

A fine rope I'm sure, but it's quite a price!

In reply to CantClimbTom:

I got a 50m one from bananafingers for about £110 last year. It's often on sale and probably worth it, although the Alps trip I bought it for got cancelled and since then I've done hardly any climbing due to injury so can't give a proper review. It's very light though...

 AndyRoss 06 Jun 2022
In reply to pancakeandchips:

I bought an 80m one in a sale a few years and cut it in half to give me a 40m rope for the alps, and a spare one for when I trash the first! We used it for a few alpine routes, a mix of glacier, rock, mixed, etc, and it seemed really good. Just about thick enough to inspire some confidence, but still nice and lightweight. Previously I might have considered taking a half rope to save weight, but with the Opera I didn't find myself making that compromise. Have also used it for scrambling and lower grade routes in the UK. So far (helped by Covid) the first one is standing up pretty well, so I've not considered getting the other half out. I think ideally I'd have found someone else who wanted to buy 80m of the other colour, so that I could also sensibly use them as half ropes.

In reply to AndyRoss:

Have you used the rope much where it is being put under the stress of a climber's weight? Lowering someone off a sport route for example, or lowering someone after they have top roped?

I'm really interested in whether Beal have found a way of making a rope rated for single use that is this light and thin, without just reducing its sheath thickness/abrasion resistance. I reviewed the 8.6 Edelrid Corbie about 8 years ago https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/climbing/ropes/edelrid_corbie_-_for_when_weight_is_everything-6738 I think it was a bit of a disaster for Edelrid as I found the ropes were incredibly delicate, and from two days general cragging with the ropes, I got two coreshots that required cutting down the rope both times. My 70 mtr rope very quickly became much shorter! One of the super friendly engineers from Edelrid in Germany actually called me and basically said they had made it as a sort of "concept-rope" - it won an ISPO award, although they seem to be more marketing device than anything else - and their UK PR shouldn't really have sent them out to be used like other 'normal' ropes. But they were selling them, they were in the shops, so our review pointing out how subject to abrasion they seemed to be wasn't unfair. I do remember noticing the model was quietly dropped from the product line up the next year.

I imagine technology has moved on again - perhaps the unicore construction helps - so perhaps Beal has managed to go down as far as 8.5 and still have it reasonably tough. I'm still using two Beal Jokers, which are now over 10 years old - one from this review https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/climbing/ropes/the_ultimate_in_versatility_triple_rated_ropes-3765 and one that I bought myself for complicated reasons I can't quite remember! I've chopped down one of them a bit, but they are both looking ok considering they have both seen a reasonable amount of use over that time. I've been impressed with durability of number of different Beals I've had actually.

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In reply to TobyA:

This rope's been around for a few years now - in fact I was quite surprised to see this advert because it makes it sound like it's a new innovation. I bought mine after reading a really positive review by a guide who'd been using a pair of them heavily over a season.

 AndyRoss 06 Jun 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Nope, not used it for things like sport, other than a quick test at the climbing wall where we found it pretty stretchy so I don't think it'd be much fun, and yeah, would probably result in more wear.


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