GET TO KNOW ABOUT CLIMBING ROPES
When out for climbing, a very important gear of which knowledge is required is a climbing rope. As this would form an important part of the safety mechanism helping the climber to have a safe climb. If you’re shopping for a climbing rope, there are three main considerations:
1. Rope type: The choice between single, half, twin and static ropes depends on what type of climbing you do.
2. Diameter and length: The diameter and length of a rope affect the rope’s weight and durability and largely determine its best use.
3. Safety ratings: Looking at these ratings while thinking about what type of climbing you will be doing can help you choose a rope.
Types of Climbing Ropes
There are two main types of ropes: dynamic and static. Dynamic ropes are designed to stretch to absorb the impact of a falling climber. Static ropes stretch very little, making them very efficient in situations like lowering an injured climber, ascending a rope, or hauling a load up. Never use static ropes for top roping or lead climbing as they are not designed, tested or certified for those types of loads.
If you are looking for a dynamic rope for climbing, you’ll have three choices: single, half, and twin ropes.
• Single Ropes - These are best for trad climbing, sport climbing, big-wall climbing and top roping.
• Half Ropes - These are best for trad climbing on wandering multi-pitch rock routes, mountaineering and ice climbing.
• Twin Ropes - These are best for trad climbing on non-wandering multi-pitch rock routes, mountaineering and ice climbing.
These are best for rescue work, caving, climbing fixed lines with ascenders and hauling loads. Static ropes excel in situations where you don't want the rope to stretch, such as when you are lowering an injured climber, ascending a rope, or hauling a load up with the rope. Never use a static rope for top roping or lead climbing as they are not designed, tested or certified for those types of loads.
Climbing Rope Diameter
Generally speaking, a skinnier rope is lighter. However, skinnier ropes can be less durable and require more skill to safely belay with. Thicker-diameter ropes can be more abrasion-resistant and often stand up better to frequent use. If you’re top roping at the local crag, you’ll probably want a thicker rope. If you’re hiking long distances for multi-pitch climbs, you’ll want a skinnier, lighter rope.
Climbing Rope UIAA Safety Ratings
The Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme (UIAA) is the international mountaineering and climbing federation that creates safety standards to which all climbing ropes must adhere. Independent labs are responsible for carrying out the tests.
The packaging on dynamic climbing ropes lists the test results for UIAA safety standards, including fall rating, static elongation, dynamic elongation and impact force. Looking at these ratings while thinking about what type of climbing you will be doing can help you choose a rope.