Good review Dunc.
My only criticism of the Duetto (which has been my double rope of choice for a few years now) is the absence of a half way marker. Performance-wise I can't really fault them - they feel good, handle nicely, and are a good balance between soft and stern - but at times I just wish there was a mark in the middle. Granted, I could easily have done this myself (Beal produce a rope marker from what I recall), but it clearly hasn't mattered that much, otherwise I'd have done it.
On a final (jealous) note, that's one awesome array of routes you've got done within the review
Well to provide a more balanced review on these ropes. The Duetto's were my third pair of half ropes and were by far the worst (compared with a pair from Elderid and Tendon). They got ruined quite fast compared to others (the speed at which they got furred was quite impressive), they tangled much easier. Additionally, I bought two 60m ropes and they did not have the same length. One was slightly (~2m) bigger, which was very annoying when multi-pitching as the mismatch of the end of the ropes were significant.
Interesting, what rock type have you been using them on?
I'm unsure as to how many hundreds of pitches mine have done, but they've been my sole trad ropes for over two years (two years in which I've done a hell of a lot of trad) and they've still got plenty of life left in them. Compared to other ropes I've used in recent years such as the Mammut Genesis/Phoenix and DMM Migrant/Prophet they've certainly compared very favourably. That said, I haven't used the latest offerings from Edelrid or Tendon, so can't really pass comment on that front.
> Interesting, what rock type have you been using them on?
Mostly granite, but also quite a bit on limestone and gneiss
I am quite sure I do not abuse my ropes as much as you as most of my trad is done usually only in the summer! That is why it is even more impressive the speed at which they got trashed.
> I just wish there was a mark in the middle. Granted, I could easily have done this myself (Beal produce a rope marker from what I recall), but it clearly hasn't mattered that much, otherwise I'd have done it.
Unless Beal have changed their marker I'd really NOT recommend it - we tried it once and it was very waxy and paint-like - took forever to dry and left a very stiff section on the rope. There are some marker-pen type ones produced by some of the rope manufacturers which are much easier - we've had a Bluewater one, and currently a Tendon one. The marks don't last as long, but are easy to redo. We've never worried about the warnings of only using them on the manufacturers own ropes, but I'm sure someone will come along and tell me we're about to die!
I've always liked the sound of the Metolius system - bright tufts of nylon thread sticking out of the rope at the halfway point - easy to do and long lasting -
I do think a halfway mark is useful!
> I've always liked the sound of the Metolius system - bright tufts of nylon thread sticking out of the rope at the halfway point - easy to do and long lasting
I've wondered how this might or might not work in winter - clumping up with snow and ice that then jam in the belay device or runners seemed like an inevitable problem, but maybe it'd just knock off.
Presumably one could add this to any rope with a not-too-sharp needle gently pushed through at the appropriate point
Yes this is very different to my experiences. Since around May last year I have pretty much exclusively used these ropes for trad climbing. Check my logbook to see how much they have been used! Including taking them to Australia and using them on anything adventurous or traditionally protected, I also took one to Taghia to use as a tag-line. I’ve fallen on these ropes, dogged routes on them, and generally abused them! They are only just showing light furring now. They still have a long life ahead of them. I know a lot of people (such as Rob) who also have these ropes and haven’t had the issues you have had.