UKC

/ New Rope - dry or not?

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CumbrianCanary - on 23 Dec 2016
Hi, I am just getting into climbing again and building up my gear ready to get out in the summer. I am looking for a rope and interested in people's thoughts on dry ropes.

I understand the benefits of having a rope that doesn't absorb water, but I was wondering if people had treated normal ropes with something like the offering from Nikwax and if that had the same effect? I suspect it wouldn't last as long as a pre-treated rope, but from what I can see the cost savings could pay for a fair number of treatments.

I am hoping to pick something up in the sales but there is so much choice! It will certainly be a single rope, probably 60 m.

Thanks
In reply to CumbrianCanary:

Have a look at this Group Test for some good advice on single ropes - http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=8722

With regard to dry treatment: there are many different types since each manufacturer tends to have their own treatment. These varying degrees of water resistance but the ones that achieve the UIAA standard are certainly very water resistant.

However dry treatment brings other benefits to the rope like abrasion resistance and more supple movement of the internal fibres leading to better handling. I can not be certain but I would very much doubt that the DIY dry treatment options offer the same protection, durability and suppleness benefits.

If you intend to use your rope in an alpine or winter environment then I would go for a rope with UIAA standard dry treatment. If you are just using it for sport climbing and trad climbing in reasonable weather then I would go for durability and handling (and price if required).

Alan
tjin - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to CumbrianCanary:

Depends on the usage. If you are only using it for sportclimbing in the summer; no need for a coating.
CumbrianCanary - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Thanks for the reply Alan. I am hoping to do some winter stuff next year so looks like I will need to big a bit deeper into my piggy bank and get a decent dry treated rope.
The Ex-Engineer - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to CumbrianCanary:
Worth bearing in mind that the Nikwax rope proof isn't actually that cheap. In general, a basic dry treatment might only add £10 or £20 to the cost of a rope so will probably be better value than a new, basic rope and treating it yourself.
CumbrianCanary - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to CumbrianCanary:

Any thought on this as a compromise? It appears to have a level of treatment, but also seems good value.

http://www.needlesports.com/32664/products/beal-top-gun-dry-cover-10-5mm-60m.aspx
IainWhitehouse - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> However dry treatment brings other benefits to the rope like abrasion resistance and more supple movement of the internal fibres leading to better handling.

Hi Alan. I have to disagree here.

Dry treatments on the core or whole rope certainly do improve the internal characteristics of ropes and do change the number of falls they can suffer in UIAA testing.

But............the abrasion resistance thing is a total urban myth. Circa 1 micron of teflon or similar fluorocarbon will not matter a Gnats chuff to abrasion resistance on rock. If it did, we could all scour our non-stick pans with anything we liked and they would be fine.

Merry Christmas
1
In reply to CumbrianCanary:

> Any thought on this as a compromise? It appears to have a level of treatment, but also seems good value.


That rope has dry cover, not dry treatment. Big difference. One is just a waterproof cover that will wear off, the other is the actual dry treatment which may or may not comply with the exacting UIAA standard. That is also a fat 10.5mm which is heavy already and would remove it from use from many assisted-breaking belay devices. I would advise 10mm with proper dry treatment for your usage.

Alan
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

> Dry treatments on the core or whole rope certainly do improve the internal characteristics of ropes and do change the number of falls they can suffer in UIAA testing.

> But............the abrasion resistance thing is a total urban myth. Circa 1 micron of teflon or similar fluorocarbon will not matter a Gnats chuff to abrasion resistance on rock. If it did, we could all scour our non-stick pans with anything we liked and they would be fine.

Hi Iain,

I am happy to bow to your superior knowledge on this one, however there are certainly a lot of brands which 'claim' increased abrasion resistance following their dry treatments so 'urban' myth it isn't. Also, in our testing of these ropes we found the slicker ropes were less likely to pick up dirt and it is the dirt in the ropes that causes the abrasion. Whether this slickness was due to the dry treatment or (more likely) tighter weave is debatable.

Alan
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> That rope has dry cover, not dry treatment. Big difference. One is just a waterproof cover that will wear off, the other is the actual dry treatment which may or may not comply with the exacting UIAA standard. That is also a fat 10.5mm which is heavy already and would remove it from use from many assisted-breaking belay devices. I would advise 10mm with proper dry treatment for your usage.

> Alan

The difference is that only the sheath is coated, the core isn't. There's no reason the coating on the sheath will wear off any quicker than on a total dry rope (golden dry in beals terminology). The Individual fibres of the sheath are coated before the rope is manufactured in exactly the same way they are on a Golden Dry Rope. A golden Dry rope has the same treatment on core and sheath. Ropes with a dry cover are more abrasion resistant than a totally non treated rope and will also repel dust and dirt that would get into the rope with moisture or stick to a damp rope. It isn't an urban myth at all.
wbo - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to CumbrianCanary:

Given that you plan on using this in the winter I'd get the full treatment. I made a similar decision with my sport rope from Mammut. Mammut similarly provide two levels of dry treatment with a quite large cost difference, but also Mammut claim quite significant differences in how much water they soak up. Given that I would use the rope mainly in good weather or indoors I got the compromise but in winter a dry rope is very nice

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