/ Rigging Rope - Type

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Belayathon on 26 Sep 2012

I have searched the forums and can only find limited advice on rigging ropes... so here we go:

I have a 50m single dynamic rope (10.5) I would like to set up some top ropes (and belay from the bottom, I was hoping to find a crag which has trees at the top and to set up a big W or something similar.

I firstly though I needed 20m of semi static rope to allow me to use as a rigging rope I saw this which is quite cheap.. but cant find any reviews on the rope and some of the more specialised climbing shops dont stock it?

later after reading up a little more certain books advise that the rigging rope should have a little stretch, to minimise stress on the anchors.. I am also keen on taking my scrambling to the next level (i.e. protecting some gr2-3's) which made me think that potentially a new dynamic rope would be beneficial (i.e the 50m rope seems heavy and a shorter dymanic may be useful!)
Either 30m of the following (although at 9mm I dont think my "bug" belay would work on it for use in scrambling (and I dont fancy a hitch belay))


a 10.2 x 35m

any advice would be much appreciated.. also any good simple crags in the western lakes (Live in whitehaven) or the east of yorkshire (very east, spend every other weekend in Scarborough) would be appreciated.
The Ex-Engineer - on 26 Sep 2012
In reply to Belayathon: For dedicated rigging use, it is the stuff in your first link that you want.

It is variously sold as abseil rope or static rope but the correct term is semi-static. In all cases it is just rope that meets European Standard EN 1891 and will be 90%+ a single colour, invariably white.

The best place to pick some up cheap (when it is in stock) is often GoOutdoors -

The thing you've got to remember is that most climbers who have put the effort into learning to lead climb consider top-roping and abseiling for fun, as activities far beneath their dignity and treat them either as the last refuge of the weak-willed or the work of the Devil. As such, they never really buy rope specifically for top-roping or abseiling. Also, most Outdoor Centres and climbing instructors buy their kit direct from manufacturers. Both of these greatly influence what is stocked by outdoor shops.

What you just need to decide is how often you intend to go top-roping:
- If it is going to be more than a dozen times, you would be much better buying a length of dedicated semi-static (and possibly a rope-protector or two).
- If it is going to be less than 3-4 times you can probably get away without a second rope at all - you just belaying from the top of the crag.

Whatever you do, you really want to avoid using a decent climbing rope to rig with. Rigging ropes are pretty much guaranteed to end up dirty and abraded even if you are careful and protect them as best you can. If you can get hold of an older climbing rope that has been retired from leading with, that is another option that would be ok for occasional use.


PS You are in a distinct minority as regards using Italian Hitches on scrambles. Along with direct belays they are pretty much the default choice of most of the professional Instructors and Guides I've worked with.

PPS I've got around 25 metres of 11mm Mammut semi-static sitting here that has been used perhaps twice that you would be welcome to for £25 posted.
martinph78 on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: I have that beal stuff from Go Outdoors, got it for just under £1 a metre when they had an offer on.

15m seems a good length to me.

I'm very glad of mine, makes setting up top-ropes quicker, keeps the climbing rope clean and protected from damage etc. There is a bit of stretch in that Beal rope, more than I expected. I shall also be using it as a confidence rope for nervous friends on scrambles and winter walks.

As I say, I think 15m is a good length, about right for most crags I've been to so far, and a bit long for my local crag. If I need anything longer I'll use the rigging rope to extend the ancor as far as possible before using teh climbing rope for rigging the rest, but that's rare.

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