/ Mentally thin half ropes

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teh_mark on 10 May 2017
I've just been browsing ropes, and found that Edelrid have released a 7.1mm half, presumably to compete with Beal's 7.3mm and Mammut's 7.5mm. Does anyone have any experience of using these ridiculously thin ropes? I just can't imagine they're pleasant to handle.
walts4 - on 10 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

Not sure on the 7.1mm Edelrid, think they have a 6.9mm flycatcher & a 7.9 Apus.
I have a pair of the Apus 7.9mm bought specifically for high mountain granite routes last year, I really like them, they handle well, super light & after the first initial doubts about them when way above the last runner, especially as my last ropes were much beefier, I have learnt to relax & trust them.


My only beef is that they wear fairly fast which I expected, they will be retired after this current summers granite fest so 2 summers use on the Chamonix granite or the equivalent, approximately total days use maybe 5o+ days use.
The weight advantage alone is worth this penalty so will buy again for sure.
Jon Greengrass on 10 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

I can't imagine the handling of the rope will be any worse than when we moved from 9.0mm to 8.1mm half ropes, as long as you have a belay device rated to be used with such thin ropes. The issue will be the belay device, my DMM buggette is miniscule and rated down to 7.5mm so quite how small a 7.1mm belay device would be?
davidbeynon on 10 May 2017
In reply to walts4:

What do you use as a belay device with them?
Toerag - on 10 May 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

You don't - there's no point as they'll snap as soon as they have to hold a fall over an edge.
9
ianstevens - on 10 May 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

Body belay
1
Deadeye - on 10 May 2017
In reply to walts4:

> Not sure on the 7.1mm Edelrid, think they have a 6.9mm flycatcher & a 7.9 Apus. I have a pair of the Apus 7.9mm bought specifically for high mountain granite routes last year, I really like them, they handle well, super light & after the first initial doubts about them when way above the last runner, especially as my last ropes were much beefier, I have learnt to relax & trust them.My only beef is that they wear fairly fast which I expected, they will be retired after this current summers granite fest so 2 summers use on the Chamonix granite or the equivalent, approximately total days use maybe 5o+ days use.The weight advantage alone is worth this penalty so will buy again for sure.

The difference between 7.9 (yours) and 7.1 (new ones) is pretty big though.
I'd expect them to tangle rather easily.
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walts4 - on 10 May 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

I use a petzl reverso, no issues with this to be honest, but obviously on the abseil's I always use gloves & a prussic, the gloves being a pre- requisite.
To be honest regarding the difference between the 7.9 & the 7.1 unable to comment although I looked at the flycatcher 6.9 whilst buying the 7.9's, this for me & my intended use would be a step too far at the moment.
My initial thoughts & most peoples who have climbed with me since buying these ropes have been that they are super skinny, but by the end of the day this is not dwelled upon as using them becomes the norm.
Obviously I'm comfortable using them but aware whilst abseiling that I'm not too aggressive running them over edges or swinging about whilst looking for the next abseil station.
No tangle issues to speak off either, although small diameter ropes are allegedly prone to this, but having owned Edelrid ropes before & being completely satisfied with the quality, lack of tanglement, can only comment on these.
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2017
In reply to walts4:

> I use a petzl reverso, no issues with this to be honest, but obviously on the abseil's I always use gloves & a prussic, the gloves being a pre- requisite.

If you feel the need for gloves when abseiling with a device, I would have thought that they would be absolutely essential for holding a substantial fall.
teh_mark on 10 May 2017
In reply to Toerag:

Interesting comment as I think one of the things that'd stop me buying one is the potential to ruin it over an edge. I'd be very dubious about using a single 7mm half on a ridge in the same way that I currently use an 8.5mm.
daWalt on 10 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If you feel the need for gloves when abseiling with a device, I would have thought that they would be absolutely essential for holding a substantial fall.

Abseiling runs the rope through the device; belaying doesn't. There's a fundamental difference right there.
besides "pre-requisite" does not mean essential.
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2017
In reply to daWalt:

> Besides "pre-requisite" does not mean essential.

So what did you mean by it here? and why did you say "obviously".

MFB - on 10 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:
I like skinny ropes right up to the point I have to pull down an abseil rope, hard to get good grip, fine through an appropriate plate
Post edited at 17:25
jonnie3430 - on 10 May 2017
In reply to daWalt:

Do you not find they stretch for miles? I went down to 8.1mm once (Beal ice-line?), thought the rope was fine, but the stretch really put me off. I had to prussic up it once to get stuck abseil ropes back and it was like trying to prussic a bungy cord. Back to 8.7mms for me after that.
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3leggeddog on 10 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

I am pretty sure I have heard all this before when the first batch of 8.x mm ropes came out.

I have a pair of 7.5 mammut ropes, they are good for ice climbing. There weight is such that I volunteer to carry both ropes and let my mate take the rack.
walts4 - on 10 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So what did you mean by it here? and why did you say "obviously".

It basically means that usually I'm abseiling in the region of 300 metres or more depending on the route all together, I usually only climb long multi pitch granite routes in the Alps.
Also I find, that after nearly 4 weeks of climbing continuously my hands can be totally trashed, gloves are a protective measure, the amount of rock granules on the rope especially if wet is like running sand through my palms.
The size of the rope makes no difference to me & as to whether I wear gloves whilst abseiling, its like using a prussic, the two go together.
walts4 - on 10 May 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Do you not find they stretch for miles? I went down to 8.1mm once (Beal ice-line?), thought the rope was fine, but the stretch really put me off. I had to prussic up it once to get stuck abseil ropes back and it was like trying to prussic a bungy cord. Back to 8.7mms for me after that.

One of my regular climbing partners actually prefers the skinny ropes for the stretchiness, her reasoning being that its less of a impact on her body if she falls!
She obviously comes from a sports climbing background & doesn't mind taking falls if the gears good.
MFB - on 11 May 2017
In reply to walts4:
Scary when seconding long pitches with committing first moves, watch your ankles!
Post edited at 01:17
jonnie3430 - on 11 May 2017
In reply to walts4:

Too many ledges on the routes I climb...
walts4 - on 11 May 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Too many ledges on the routes I climb...

Good point, always wary setting off from a ledge nowadays regardless of the rope.

However, my recollection of the Beal ice line is that it gives, stretches way more than the Edelrid, sure there must be some data somewhere on this?
Robert Durran - on 11 May 2017
In reply to walts4:

> Good point, always wary setting off from a ledge nowadays regardless of the rope.However, my recollection of the Beal ice line is that it gives, stretches way more than the Edelrid, sure there must be some data somewhere on this?

Yes, I see no reason to assume that a thinner rope need mean that it is more elastic.
davidbeynon on 11 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

One thing that has been bothering me about this thread: Surely the title should be talking about physically thin half ropes.

krikoman - on 11 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

You could make a lot of shoe laces out of 50m
Wayne S - on 11 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

I can't really give much input on 7.x mm half ropes, but have been using 8.0mm Phoenix halfs for well over a year. Admittedly I didn't need to buy a different belay plate as 8mm was in the range of the existing one just. This is going to be a consideration for sub 8mm ropes though. I find the thinner ropes easier to handle and have held some leader falls without any excitement. After a year they are pretty trashed, though I guess this will in part be due to using 30m lengths for single pitch climbing. That said I would expect that a workhorse rope like a genesis would have held up better, I guess this isn't an earth shattering revelation though! A bit like when I first used Phantom carabiners, it took a while to get comfortable using/trusting smaller kit.

For me other than Alpine climbing I think the fragility of the rope rather than any real issues with handling will be the thing that will keep these super skinny ropes in the specialist category.




davidbeynon on 11 May 2017
In reply to Wayne S:
I did some sums, and a pair of the 7.1mm ropes would save me about 1.5kg over my 8.5mm genesis, which is significant but I'm not sure I could cope with having to buy a new pair every year.

Having a pair to hold in reserve for the few routes where fast and light matters is tempting though.
Post edited at 12:28
Wayne S - on 11 May 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

I guess like everthing it's a trade off. You would save a considerable weight using 8mm over 8.5 without going to extremes. Equally you can save weight by using a rope length to suit the chosen objective. Don't drag 2 off 60m when 50m is enough. I have a number of ropes "in reserve" as ultimately you are extending the life of the kit you have anyway.

30m 8mm half ropes for Grit (saves masses of time/faff at the top of routes)
50m 8.5 halfs as workhorse ropes
60m 8mm for mountains, though 10m may get cropped!
60mm 10mm for sport climbing
80m 9.7mm euro sport climbing, but mostly abseils into sea cliffs
30m 10.5mm fat boy wall rope

If I could have only one it would be the 50m genesis 8.5 halfs.


Wayne
Rock to Fakey - on 17 May 2017
In reply to daWalt:

> Abseiling runs the rope through the device; belaying doesn't. There's a fundamental difference right there.

I don't understand this. Runs the rope through the device same way with most belay devices, some you can turn. Do you mean it's always weighted whist abseiling, but only in holding a fall with belay?


Toerag - on 18 May 2017
In reply to Rock to Fakey:

You're right - abbing = person moves, rope stays in one place. Belaying = rope moves, person stays in one place.
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planetmarshall on 18 May 2017
In reply to daWalt:

> Abseiling runs the rope through the device; belaying doesn't.

Sorry, maybe I'm being dense, but not with you at all here.
jimtitt - on 18 May 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

daWalt thinks that when he holds a fall the rope never moves throught the device (and thus through his hand) and therefore there is no need to wear gloves. He is very much mistaken, if you canĀ“ t comfortably abseil with one hand on the rope you will have major problems in any substantial fall.
galpinos on 18 May 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

Wasn't this is relation to the needing gloves for belaying/abseiling? When abseiling, the rope is constantly running through your hand and the device, when belaying the rope is static in your hand when braking and you feed it through the device.

I think that was the point, though I may well be wrong......
daWalt on 18 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:

exactly, thanks.
didn't think it was that complicated............

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