Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

There is really a lot to be said about the ropes to climb, more than you might think and make good use of, that’s why we decided to tell you everything about everything you need to know about ropes to climb. We will also teach you how to choose a solid climbing rope for rock climbing and tree climbing, along with the presentation of different types of ropes and climbing products.

Although climbing ropes may appear as an uninteresting story with layers, there are many points that must be covered and learned before you can find and buy the perfect rope for you. We are covering all the details to climb ropes, so you would be safe and could find a rope that fits your personal needs.

First, you should know that there are two different types of climbing ropes (Dynamic and Static) and each one fulfills its purpose in different situations. Once you learn what each of these two types represents, you will know which one is best for you based on your personal preferences.

Static climbing rope

The static rope, as you may have noticed, is a type of rope designed to not stretch under the pressure of the load.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

This makes it less useful for climbing a rock, but there are many situations in which a static rope is used, such as:

  • Rappel: climbers use static ropes to walk safely through the rock. Because the static rope has zero or a very low level of stretching, climbers can control where they land as they descend the rock, reducing the possibility of injury.
  • Rescue: Static rope is amazing during rescue missions, so you may want to have one of these if you are a climber.
  • Caving, hanging and hauling.

If you want to buy a decent static rope to help you during the rappel, we recommend some of the products below.

# 1: Singing Rock R44 NFPA

This rope is light and durable, supports up to 35 kN of resistance and weighs 80 grams per meter. The best part is that you can order from 1 000 feet and up to 600 feet of rope, but be sure to calculate your budget since it is not cheap.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

This rope is perfect for rappelling, but it does not work well in activities that require some flexibility like lead climbing. Otherwise, the sheath is dense enough to resist any abrasion that may occur with the rock.

# 2: BlueWater Ropes AssaultLine NFPA

A durable rope that will not disappoint you in need! This type is specially designed for military and police where little visibility is required, but, of course, it can be used by individuals.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

In general, the rope is very durable and handles well.

Dynamic climbing ropes

The dynamic cables are designed to have the ability to stretch under the pressure of the load, unlike static cables. The level of stretching will reduce possible faults and reduce the chances of injury in case of a sudden fall. It also prolongs the time necessary for the load to fall, also decreasing the speed. So if you fall, the rope will stretch, reducing the impact and the chances of injury. This makes the dynamic climbing rope ideal for mountaineering, rock climbing and ice climbing.

The dynamic ropes are durable and strong due to the ability to stretch under load and withstand sudden surges of pressure without being torn. Perhaps the most popular dynamic climbing ropes are the Kernmantle strings, also considered one of the safest for all kinds of purposes.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

The Kernmantle rope is designed to have a strong core covered with woven material on the outside for protection: the inner or kern provides the durability, strength and flexibility necessary for the rope to last a long time and support it in different situations without failing The fibers in this core are what make the rope kern revolutionary, as it not only reduces the pressure in case of free fall, but also reduces the chances of your rope breaking under pressure.

The original use of this rope was for water sports and many other different ones, but it has proven to be ideal for rock climbing and mountaineering. Like any other rope you would use to climb, the kern rope should be checked and tested before and after each climb.

The appearance of tufts protruding from the core is a sign that you need to change your rope, as it could break in the middle of the climb and put you in an unflattering situation where you could, and you will probably get hurt. Also, if the rope is thinner in some parts or cut at the edges, you must replace it and buy a new one.

Our product recommendation:

# 1: MilSpec Paracord / Parachute Cord. 8 or 11 strand

This is a lightweight type of paracord that any climber should consider included in his backpack. It is even used by the military in all its outdoor campaigns because of its durability and resistance. The fact that it is small in diameter and has a breaking strength of more than 600 pounds makes it one of the most sought after Kernmantle cables.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

The MilSpec Paracord has 8 internal strands, twisted for greater durability and each internal strand is formed by 3 twisted internal strands. It can be used for almost anything outdoors (anchor shops, rescue missions and others) and around the house.

# 2: Evolution Velocity Rope Climbing Rope

This type of rope can be a bit expensive but is highly recommended by professional climbers.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

It is durable and the soft case makes it very easy to use and extremely resistant to friction. It goes very well both on difficult routes and on routes for beginners.

Climbing ropes of sizes and types.

Just as we have different types of climbing ropes, we also have different sizes, called: Individual, Double and Medium or Double.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

the single rope size It is suitable for rock climbing, indoor climbing and lead climbing. The individual ropes have different lengths, but the standard length of 50 meters. The width of a single rope is between 9 and 11 mm.

You would assume that the width of a single string also determines its strength, but that is not necessarily the rule you can apply here. Apparently, the thinner the rope is, the stronger it is. The strength of a rope is determined in the falls, and we will discuss it later through our instructions. However, a rule can be applied: the thinner the rope, the lighter it is.

Petzl Mambo 10.1 mm simple dynamic rope

Petzl is a well-known name in the passionate community of the outdoors and everyone knows that their products are of high quality. This individual rope has a diameter of 10.1 mm and can be used for both gymnastic and rock climbing. The thick case (37%) protects the internal strands against abrasion.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

In addition, the rope is specially treated so it will increase grip and maneuverability over time. Its weight is 65 grams / meter and it has an amount of factor drops equal to 7. It will bear an impact force of 8.5 kN and comes with a 3 year guarantee.

Twin ropes, As you can guess from its name, there are two separate strings that are designed to be used in pairs when cut together. The twin ropes are being clamped through each piece of the gear. The two strings are quite thin, and do not exceed 8 mm in width. There are several lengths available and you can decide which one you want to go based on what you need. The twins, unlike the simple ropes, are somewhat less popular and are used for actions where light equipment is needed, such as mixed rock climbing and rock climbing adventures.

7.7 mm Double Dry Dynamic Cord of Ice Thread

This rope is only 7.7 mm in diameter, but do not be fooled by its thinness! It supports an impact force of 9.2 kN and weighs only 38 grams / meter, which makes it the ideal rope to transport when you’re on the mountain in search of the perfect place to start climbing.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

Half or double If you want to be and feel perfectly safe, the size of the half and the double rope is the perfect size for you. Half and double are two strings, which are used separately when hooked. One is independent as opposed to another, since it is intended to add more protection if one of the strings fails. This means that you are much less likely to fall and injure yourself. The two ropes are thicker than the twin ropes, and exceed 8 mm, approximately up to 8.8 mm each.

The ropes are always used in pairs, since one should provide protection in case the other rope fails. This is a much better and safer option if you are climbing a terrain with sharp rocks that can cut your rope.

Dry rope Sterling Evolution Duetto

This is the thin side of this duo, that is, the half string. It is ideal for both climbing and ice and has a dry sheath and a dry core. This makes it ideal for when the air is extremely humid or it is raining.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

Due to the intricate fabric and special sheath, the rope will resist any abrasion that occurs during climbing.

Fusion Nano IX dry climbing rope from Sterling Rope

This can be used as a single, double and half rope, which makes it incredibly versatile.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

Even so, it is not recommended for beginners and was not designed to be used on work routes or on higher ropes. You can use it on traditional sports or climbing routes.

Dry ropes

The dry treatment for ropes is used because the ropes do not act and react in the same way and as expected when the humidity is high, due to the increase of humidity in the air or in case of rain. The rope shrinks by up to 10% when it gets wet, so it will not be as flexible as you would need it. This is bad since it will be left with an unreliable rope in an uneven and unreliable terrain.

When a rope is soaked and wet, it becomes heavier and, of course, that makes it harder to climb. In addition, due to the increase in friction, the chances of falling increase and, as the ability to stretch decreases, the chances of injury increase. If you are waiting for rain or if you are climbing icy terrain, you certainly want to use a dry rope, as your rope can even become frozen and unusable.

Then, think about the terrain you plan to climb and choose a dry rope if there is a possibility that your safety is threatened due to wet or rainy weather.

BlueWater Ropes 9.1mm Icon Double Dry Dynamic Single Rope

A thin rope that will definitely stand with you in some of the toughest climbs! It only weighs 55 grams / meter and has an impact force of 8.8 kN that places it in the category of durable ropes. In addition, the cover and the interior are treated dry so that moisture does not affect their characteristics.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

There are a couple of more types of string when it comes to string sizes. So, we have Trusted strings which can be used to walk on and over rocky terrain to tie uncertain hikers who do not feel comfortable walking through certain terrains and need to be sure they are safe and will not fall. However, this rope is not suitable for rock climbing, as it is too thin and does not support free loading, no matter how light you are.

Triple ropeHowever, there is something like a novelty that has not yet reached its deserved popularity, but there is a good reason for that. The problem is that you can combine single and half or double ropes to make sure you climb a bit more challenging terrain for extra support and rope resistance.

The fall, and probably the reason why not many climbers are choosing to use strings with triple classification, is because the strings that are thinner will inevitably be the first, while the thicker ones will last longer. The triple ropes are classified as excellent for traditional climbing, since you can climb much easier and safer.

Fall qualifications – qualifying strength

The fall classification is an indicator of the strength of your rope. In other words, the fall rating determines how many falls your rope is made to save by supporting the load pressure.

According to the specialists, the strongest strings are the twin cords with values ​​of up to 12 falls, while the single and medium or double cords have a value of 5 falls.

Keep in mind that the International Union of Alpine Associations (UIAA) has to approve each cable and evaluate each manufacturer, so be sure to buy your cables from reliable and certified sources. If UIAA approves a cable, you will see it on the label and in the product description.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

To make sure you know exactly how many falls you have, keep a record of your diary and write a number each time you miss the rope to know how many times you have left. When there are 2 falls, we recommend that you buy another rope just to be sure and play safe.

How to choose the best climbing rope?

Basically, there is a type of rope designed for each type of climbing, each one perfect for the use that is made. That means you must have at least 10 different types of ropes for each type of climbing. However, if you do not have the luxury of having so many ropes, you can find a single rope that fits all your needs when it comes to climbing ropes.

First you must pay attention to the type of terrain you are climbing and determine the length of the rope you need.

  • If you are climbing indoors, the required length would be between 30 and 40 m, although 30 would be sufficient.
  • If you are looking for a perfect rope for sport climbing, your rope should have at least 60 or 70 m. One of the 80m would be perfect and the safest option.
  • For traditional climbing, use 50 or 60 m long ropes, as you need enough freedom to push the weight of your body from one rock to another.
  • In case you are doing ice climbing or rock climbing in a rainy climate, you should use a dry rope treated
  • If you are doing regular mountaineering you can use a standard rope. We recommend the use of two-colored strings, although this type of string is a bit more expensive.

Next, consider the size of the rope:

  • The thicker strings will last longer, although it does not necessarily mean that the thinner strings are weaker.
  • The twin ropes are always an excellent option since you will surely get a fair and square protection with two sets of identical ropes.
  • For light climbing, choose light ropes and vice versa. We recommend dry treatment ropes and two color ropes: you can choose if you need one, one or two or two.

Products that we recommend

Now that we are so close to finishing our journey in the world of ropes to climb, it is time to make some recommendations.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

These are proven products that we trust and that specialists often use.

  • Joker BEAL 9.1 mm X 70 m Dry dry climbing rope UNICORE Golden: it is a multi-tasking rope that can be used as a lead cable for single, double or medium use. Its weight is only 53 grams / meter, which makes it very easy to transport, and can be used for trade, mountaineering, ice (it is dry) and rappels. Do not forget to take your gloves with this one!
  • Beal Opera Golden dry climbing rope: although not cheap, this 8.5 mm rope is definitely one of the finest individual lines on the market. It is treated in golden dry on each strand in the core and in the sheath to prevent it getting wet a little. In addition, it only weighs 48 grams / meter and has a sheath ratio of 37% with a UIAA drop of 5 for single use, 20 for average use and more than 25 for dual use. When used as a twin, it supports an impact force of 8.6 kN and has a dynamic elongation of 29%
  • Edelrid Python TouchTec: a 10.0 mm climbing rope with TouchTech technology that allows the insurer to feel every movement of the rope. It supports a UIAA drop factor of 7 and weighs 64 grams / meter. You can find it in 60 or 70 meter lengths, which makes it ideal for rock climbing.
  • Mammut Supersafe Evo: easy to tie and untie, this 10.2 mm rope has a strong and dry treatment, so it is safe to use in an environment with a high level of humidity. It also has high fall rates (UIAA 11 to 13) and is impregnated with Teflon for greater strength and durability. It can be used both by professionals and beginners indoors and outdoors due to the incredible sheath that allows the rope to slide on the rocks without being damaged.
  • Edelrid Anniversary: ​​a lightweight sport climbing rope produced by one of the best rope manufacturers in the world. With 9.7 mm in diameter and 61 grams / meter, the Anniversary of Edelrid is equipped with the Pro Shield treatment to reduce friction to a minimum and allows the rope to move smoothly through the containers.
    The dry shield is specially designed to keep water and dirt out of the case, which means that maintenance will also be easier. The rope only comes in 60 m lengths, which is a little inflexible, but otherwise supports an impact force of 8.7 kN and has a UIAA fall factor of 9.

Surely we hope we could tell you everything there is to know about climbing ropes.

Climbing Rope 101: Everything You Need to Know About Climbing Ropes

The most important thing is to make sure that, no matter what happens, you are completely safe and sound. We are confident that, with all you have learned today, finding a perfect climbing rope will not be a problem.

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