/ Rope coiling?

Basemetal 11 Jan 2020

What's the best way to coil and uncoil a rope for avoiding twists and knots?

I've just embarrassed myself at the foot of a climb with a 50m 8mm rope in my usual "mountaineer's coil" that took 20 minutes to untangle! Am I missing a trick? First time it's ever been that bad,  so I'm looking into best practice!

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john arran 11 Jan 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

Plenty of resources online I'm sure, but look for one that shows a back-and-forward rather than a round-and-round technique. It's the loops that make the kinks. Means you can't simply carry in around your neck and one shoulder, but it's a small price to pay for kinklessness, and has the added advantage that you'll never be mistaken for Bear Grylls ;-)

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EarlyBird 11 Jan 2020
Basemetal 11 Jan 2020
In reply to john arran:

Cheers for that. I've used butterfly coils a couple of times but found them prone to tangling through dropped coils when uncoiling. Admittedly  fewer knots though. Harder to coil in a stiff breeze too.

If the choice is Alpine Butterfly in double, single or backpack variation or Mountaineer's Coil I'm up to speed. I also remember using a bulky chain link coil a couple of times, but that's no use with a smaller rucksack.

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teh_mark 11 Jan 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

Tangled coils from butterfly/lap coiling are a very temporary frustration which is sorted in seconds by flaking the rope, whereas a twisty rope is a persistent nightmare you want to avoid at all costs.

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Basemetal 11 Jan 2020
In reply to teh_mark:

I think you're right. I'll maybe switch to Butterfly from home, even if I have to use a Mountaineer's Coil to pack up on the hill.

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swalk 12 Jan 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

The best way I have found is just to feed it into a carry bag or rucksack and tie off the top end so that it doesn't drop into the bag. I usually run it over my shoulder and "push" it down into the bag. No fixed pattern just fill up the bag from the bottom. I learnt this in the Fire Service with 30m ropes ("lines"). To use the rope just throw the bag down from a high point (hopefully having secured the top of the rope first) or just pull the rope from the bag if at ground level. Not sure that this method will always be useful in a climbing situation but rather counter intuitively it really does prevent tangles.

Nowadays, I tend to use a Tesco's shopping bag (other bags are available).

Steve

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JLS 12 Jan 2020
In reply to EarlyBird:

Why wouldn’t you start at the middle marker and do two strands at a time?

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Wanderlust 12 Jan 2020
In reply to JLS:

> Why wouldn’t you start at the middle marker and do two strands at a time?

Makes tangles more likely when you flake it. In fact, if you coil from one end and you're careful, you shouldn't need to flake.

Edit to add: if you're climbing on a doubled over rope, the above does not apply.

Post edited at 18:01
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Luke90 12 Jan 2020
In reply to swalk:

DMM Pitcher bags are great for this. Light, reasonably cheap and very convenient. I always used to use a rope bag indoors but never outdoors. Someone asked me to explain the disparity once and I couldn't really come up with a good explanation. Gave in, tried it and wouldn't go back now.

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teh_mark 12 Jan 2020
In reply to JLS:

It might be quicker to coil, but you're guaranteed to need to flake it. If you're careful and neat, and especially if you finish it 'single' rather than folded in half, you can often get away with not flaking a rope that's been coiled from one end

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Basemetal 12 Jan 2020
In reply to Luke90:

>  I always used to use a rope bag indoors but never outdoors. Someone asked me to explain the disparity once and I couldn't really come up with a good explanation. Gave in, tried it and wouldn't go back now.

Looks like a good idea for cragging and sea cliffs, but maybe not for Scottish Winter?

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Luke90 12 Jan 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

> Looks like a good idea for cragging and sea cliffs, but maybe not for Scottish Winter?

Makes sense, cragging and sea cliffs is what I do. What makes you think it wouldn't work for Scottish winter? I have no idea, I've never tried.

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Basemetal 12 Jan 2020
In reply to Luke90:

>. What makes you think it wouldn't work for Scottish winter?

Two issues really -

1. The amount of kit I'm already carrying and the extra bulk of a rope bag.

2. Managing wet and frozen ropes in the bag in (hopefully!) freezing conditions.

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jkarran 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

No idea what the best option is but I always coiled mine over the between outstretched thumbs and over the back of my neck, back and forth as a single length. Never had curly rope problems and you can wear it as a backpack of sorts.

jk

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Basemetal 13 Jan 2020
In reply to jkarran:

Cheers - that's the butterfly coil as I understand it. Your point about outstretched thumbs is a big help to me- I think I've been going wrong by carelessly gripping the rope and so throwing random half twists in as I coil. I'll see if this unlocks it for me.

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nniff 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

I mostly daisy chain mine - double for cragging, single for winter climbing and double for descending after winter climbing because its going to have to be dried afterwards anyway.

For winter, I start with 15 feet or so not daisy-chained for the second to tie in and belay with, and just bundle it all into the rucksack.  It doesn't need to be flaked.

Doubled, it can be coiled or tied as a rucksack and is easily thrown for a quick abseil.  Does need to be flaked though.

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jkarran 13 Jan 2020
In reply to nniff:

Daisy chains work well until someone (usually me) pulls the wrong bit to unravel it!

jk

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Basemetal 17:17 Mon
In reply to jkarran:

I'm good with daisy chains in principle, but they're bulky. When my winter sack was an 80 litre karrimor Jaguar V they were no problem

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