/ what rope combination

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
midweekjolly2 - on 17 Oct 2016
Its coming to that time when ropes need replacing and searching for ideas before parting with cash..
what two ropes to buy?
I climb winter and summer. In summer I lead on twin 9s (or do I mean 2 half 9s .....anyway i think you get the idea), in winter I lead 111 on a single half 9 quite happily.

In summer , my second /partner has a 9 ( most do) .
Do I really want a pair of 9s (matched) for summer and single use in winter (so dry treated ) and a single 8.1 (iceline ..stretchy, for IVs and abs?)
or a single half 8.5 -9 (dry treated )and a thinner winter rope ..8.1 ish
and borrow the extra summer lead rope from a second (ie do not use 8.1 in summer)

your thoughts and comments encouraged and welcomed! I suspect I am not the only one who thinks like this
MFB - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:
Sterling fusion nano 7.8


Summer, winter, wet, dry
used for about 3 yrs, great rope
Mammut Phoenix is also spot on
DMM buggette handles these ropes reliably
Post edited at 02:24
cyberpunk - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

I have tried all the combinations of ropes over the years. Twin, Half, Full rope with skinny abseil line etc. The best for me is just 2 x 8mm half ropes dry treated and 60 meters long.
Colin Scotchford - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to cyberpunk:

second that
planetmarshall on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Colin Scotchford:
> second that


If leading single pitch crack lines, especially short ones on grit, a short single can save faff.

Having taken a fall in the Cairngorms that stripped the sheath from one of my halves, I wouldn't do complex multipitch climbs, Winter or Summer, on anything other than a pair.
Post edited at 09:03
midweekjolly2 - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

thanks ..food for though here
Casa Alfredino - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

It entirely depends on the sort of climbing you're going to be doing. If its grade 1 and 2 snow, then I'd say a 60m 9mm single is ideal as you simply don't need the length of abseil afforded by a pair of ropes. Then once you get onto more technical terrain when a retreat is going to be more difficult, doubles come into their own. However, don't fall into the trap of thinking that doubles have a lower impact force, or that thinner ropes have lower impact forces. This simply not the case and more often than not you can get fatter ropes with equal or lower impact forces. The only real reason in winter to go for doubles is abseil retreat and drag reduction - most of the time you won't be placing gear in parallel (i.e. Two pieces next to each other and clipping a rope to each) which is when impact really is reduced as gear takes longer to place and is more difficult to find - you're more likely to be placing a single piece, so single or double is not going to make much difference. Ignore the ratings on the rope packet - they don't give the full picture as doubles are rated using a 50kg mass whilst twins and singles use an 80kg mass - once you correlate a double to this sort of mass the impact force on a single strand of double rope is not much different.

The other thing to bear in mind is that singles are MUCH easier to organise - when you are tired and its getting dark, not having a complete clusterf**k of rope is really helpful. So really the answer is you need both ;) But I have happily used a Mammut 8.9 Serenity and an 8.5 Genesis together (the latter being considerably cheaper) and it works well. Both these ropes have good double impact ratings (although not as low as Beals) and great longevity. You don't really notice the difference in diameter. The only downside is a little extra weight, but then think of the extra friction afforded by a fatter rope when they are wet or frozen.

For cascade ice? I've used twins, doubles, a thin single and a double and a long single. For ice cragging I'd go with a long low impact single - basically a sport climbing rope. For anything else probably doubles...
CurlyStevo - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

If you mostly crag with some summer mountains and winter I'd go for 8.5mm dry treated 60m ropes, especially if you climb a lot of abrasive or sharp rock. If you do a lot of mountain stuff with walkins and not too much sharp rock I'd go for 8mm dry 60's.

Personally I wouldn't trust a single half rope on ground where you could fall in to space (other than a glacier where being cut is unlikely) but on easy ground it should be fine.
Mark Stevenson - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2: If you rock climb or mixed climb more than snow/ice climb then I'd always recommend a pair of 50m x 8.5mm.

If you're more into snow and ice routes and some Alpine faces then 60m x 8mm (or thinner) makes more sense.

However, either works. For example, I climbed Orion Direct on 50s this year which was fine although 60+ would have been nicer. However for the rest of the year, if I had 60s I'd be cursing the unnecessary kilometres of rope I'd be uncoiling, taking in, back stacking and coiling.

CurlyStevo - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to Mark Stevenson:
I'd tend to agree. If you plan to use your half ropes abroad then 60 metres are sensible (even some of the coastal sport climbs in Croatia required this) or if you plan to do a lot of routes in Scotland during the winter. Otherwise 50's are fine and save on money / faff / space. You do have to consider rope damage which tends to happen at the ends of the rope. With 60's you have something to cut off, whilst 50's are already bordering on shorter than you'd like for some purposes.

I think the 8mm 8.5mm debate is still valid if you consider the weight / space in sack saving is worth the slight reduction in safety of the rope. Life wise my 8mm mammut pheonixs lasted 5 years with a lot of varied use for a punter so that wasn't an issue, although I hear some of the other skinny ropes don't fair as well. I bought genesis 8.5mm last time as I was climbing at Swanage quite a lot and there is all those sharp edges to consider (someone in my local club actually got badly injured from a severed rope there).

Skinny ropes also tangle more in my experience.
Post edited at 17:31
midweekjolly2 - on 24 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

again thanks to all, much to consider here!
Tricadam on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Re Genesis vs Phoenix, I swithered over this before going for the Genesis due to it being that bit more durable and I'm glad of it: all you need is one rough abseil and the sheath is going to take some abrasion (as mine has!) And here's an example of a cautionary tale: http://www.moran-mountain.co.uk/blog/blog%202014.html#NeverMind (Well worth reading for narrative value too!) Only 180g extra per 60m rope. There's certainly no "right" answer though, and the Phoenix seems to be very highly regarded by its users.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to Tricadam:

The pheonix are very durable ropes for 8mm ask anyone on here that has owned them including myself. The risk of cutting is obviously greater the thinner you go mind.
Tricadam on 26 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yes, that's what I've heard: toughest you can get around 8mm. I prefer that extra margin that the Genesis potentially gives you though, especially with the potential length of falls on winter routes where gear is often rather spaced, and goodness knows what sharp edges the rope's going to come into contact with when it all snaps tight. Am still tempted by the Phoenixes though next time I'm feeling rich. You can never have enough ropes!
CurlyStevo - on 26 Oct 2016
In reply to Tricadam:
Aye 180 grams isn't that much is it (assuming your partner will take one of the ropes)! In my case as I already own 8.5mm ropes, bang for buck would be better spent on other light kit before shelling out for 8mm ropes and decreasing safety. In my case a lighter rucksack
Post edited at 10:19
Snoweider - on 26 Oct 2016
In reply to midweekjolly2:

Used Beal Icelines for winter for years, and had a seperate set of standard 9mms for summer (I forget which). Always gone for 60m. This was a good system except for the times when I really just wanted a single rope. Didn't really fancy a sincle iceline much of the time as its just so skinny, so also kept a 40m single rope for easy stuff/moving together.

Recently bought a 60m Dry Beal Joker triple rated which is a bit of a game changer. Can be used on its own or as a pair, although its not a great option for working routes/regular falls. One of these plus a dry treated half rope might cover all your bases?
CurlyStevo - on 26 Oct 2016
In reply to Snoweider:

These multiple purpose ropes nearly always have thinner sheaths than their equivalent half ropes so are not as durable.
Snoweider - on 26 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yeah definitely not a rope for repeated lob offs, but for the sort of winter stuff I do, its a nice solution.
TobyA on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> These multiple purpose ropes nearly always have thinner sheaths than their equivalent half ropes so are not as durable.

I'm not sure if that's true. I've been using triple rated ropes for years now and in particular the Mammut serenity has lasted incredibly well. Finally had to chop it in two just this summer, after five years of heavy use. They are though thicker than most modern half ropes.

Also take all stated weights with a pinch of salt, the actual weight of a 60 MTR rope seems rarely to be 60 x what the label says and I've had supposedly heavy ropes weigh less than lighter (according to the label) ones
CurlyStevo - on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to TobyA:
I meant thinner sheaths for a similar width or rope. There is possibly a very burly triple rated rope that would have a thicker sheath than the thinnest half ropes out there.

However comparing the serenity 8.7mm triple rated rope with the genesis 8.5mm half the serenity has a 0.87mm sheath whilst the genesis has a 1.1mm sheath

Also the Pheonix half 8mm has a 0.95mm sheath so even that has a thicker sheath than the triple rated rope.

The beal joker tripple rated rope 9.1 mm has a 0.88mm sheath, whilst the ice line half 8mm rope has a 0.93 mm sheath.

One of the ways they make these triple rated ropes light enough to work as a half rope but able to pass the single rope test is to lower the sheath proportion.
Post edited at 09:45
TobyA on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yes, I understand all that but my point is that 0.1 of a mm makes little or no difference in real life with quite a few ropes. My serenity was 9.1 or 9 I think anyway, so the new ones MIGHT be crap, but I own or have owned all the ropes you mentioned in various forms over the years, so I'm just saying what my experience is.

On the other hand the Edelrid Corbie was awful in this respect http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=6738 and it is interesting to see Edelrid has dropped that rope from their product line. The power of UKC reviews? ;)

I just really don't think you tell too much from those numbers, weight being notoriously unhelpful (is your rope really 60 mtrs? Perhaps it's only within 10% of this) but diameter doesn't seem much better either. I've tried 8.6 ropes that feel thicker than 9 mm ones.
CurlyStevo - on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Well based on a sample of one and not knowing your primary use case its hard to know how to gauge the durability of the serenity. I would imagine for example that the serenity may well be as hard wearing as a non triple rated skinny single. Also bear in mind IMO Mammut make some of the hardest wearing ropes out there, as other factors in their manufacture come in to play here such as tightness of sheath.

However as climbers we do know that comparing two ropes and lets say all other factors are equal, thickness of sheath is an important indicator that determines the durability of the rope.

In any case comparing like with like its not just 0.1mm of sheath is it . The beal verdon has 1.07 mm sheath thickness then beal joker 0.88mm thats' 20 percent thicker sheath despite the verdon being thinner.

With the mammut ropes the genesis is again thinner than the serenity but it has a 26% thicker sheath.

Basically these triple rated ropes are a compromise. The sheath is thinner and the ropes are generally a bit thicker / heavier than the half ropes you'd buy.

You pays your money and takes your choice.
Post edited at 11:51
TobyA on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

It's not a sample of one because I've been impressed with the longevity of Jokers (for complicated reasons I have two) and the Edelrid Swift I reviewed at the same time as the Serenity.

And I remain unconvinced at comparing stated stats for different ropes, particularly between manufacturers.

The best wearing half rope I've ever owned was a Beal iceline -doesn't make much sense looking at its stats but I used it for a decade and it stayed in great nick. I only binned it due to age.
CurlyStevo - on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Fair enough whilst I've climbed with people that own ice lines that say the opposite and have heard the same on here many times.

I was only comparing ropes from the same manufacturer.
Post edited at 12:38
TobyA on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yep, and I bought mine in 2001 I think, so the icelines of today could be very different in feel and performance. It's almost annoying when they keep the same names for quite radically updated products!

I totally understand why we all look at the stats on the swing ticket for ropes too, what else do we have to go on? Reviews can help, the Corbie being a case in point as it failed so quickly, but with other ropes, I guess I used those triple rated ropes for 6 months before writing up, we couldn't possibly know how well they would be going in five years! And of course the ropes with those names now aren't necessarily the same as the ones I tested. As you rightly say, it unfortunately a bit of the case of you pay your money...
CurlyStevo - on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Well I'm going back to that sort of vintage ice lines when two friends owned them and commented on the lack of durability and I'm pretty sure you can find threads on here from that sort of time too.

I have also found on a few occasions now for no explainable reason that one rope of a pair of identical half ropes is just more durable and despite using it more remains so!

What are you comparing the durability to? A half rope used as frequently in close to identical scenarios? A burly single? etc?

Also if you have 3 triple rated ropes (I guess freebies from your reviews ) and a bunch of other ropes I'm guessing here that these triple rated ropes weren't really hammered in usage. If people are considering buying just one rope to do it all however they may well find very different results to your self. It likely won't be as durable as either a thicker single rope of a thinner half rope if used in the same way.

I'm not by the way saying that sheath proportion is the be all and end all. But if you are comparing fairly similar ropes (thickness, price, usage scenario etc) from the same manufacturer I think its a pretty good indicator of the design choices they made and the likely durability of the rope.
Post edited at 13:04
TobyA on 27 Oct 2016
In reply to CurlyStevo:
On durability, the Serenity was used for trad leading, both as a single and double a lot for five years. I occasionally have used it sport climbing too, but mainly when traveling due to its weight, not because it makes a good redpointing rope. I also ice climbed with it a fair amount in Finland. I don't fall off enough to really "hammer" any of my ropes I guess, and I do have fat singles for sport climbing, I haven't used my half ropes so much in recent years because i've used the Serenity and to a lesser extent the Joker for most things. I'm quite happy to say that the Serenity and the Joker don't wear any quicker than some half ropes I've used (the Mammut ones you mentioned) but are more flexible as they can be used as a single also with more confidence than a single half rope can.

Have you used a Serenity or a Joker and managed to knacker it then?
Post edited at 20:47

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.