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Tech Tip: Answered Canyonero Rope - Wear and Tear or ???

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Put up a new Latest Rave today, after fielding a question from a Canyoneer. Not a FANCY Rave... Here is the question -

    Hello Tom,

    I hope you are doing well. I wanted to pick your brain about the Canyonero rope. I purchased this rope several years ago and the rope has seen a lot of use all over the world. After going to Costa Rica on a spring trip ( where we ran Mordor Canyon among others) I did a trip 2 months later in Nevada with friends and I noticed "flat spots" at different places along my rope. One of my friends reported he "thought he could hear the core snapping" as he was on rappel. Since we are conservative as far as safety measures go, I retired the rope due to these symptoms. I had a day off today and decided I to dissect one of these areas of "rope damage" to see what the inside of the rope looks like. Prior to dissection, the spot on the rope I selected had some visible sheath abrasion, didn't feel "round" anymore and had a specific point that I describe as "hyper mobile" when the rope is bent in your hands. I dissected the sheath back as carefully as possible but still likely cut into the core a little bit in the process. When I exposed the core, I didn't find any obvious damage to the core other than a couple of outer strands that were likely cut by me when I removed the sheath.

    The point of this email is:

    A) Do you suspect the acidic conditions in Costa Rica could have accelerated the breakdown of my rope?

    I understand you have supplied the Toros group a great deal if gear and was wondering if they have had any similar observations. My friend who was also on the trip core shot her BlueWater rope on her next canyon trip after Costa Rica. Both of our ropes were well used prior to Costa Rica so I can't rule out normal wear and tear. Scott of the Toros group mentioned that they change the cord on their anchors frequently in Mordor Canyon due to the acidity of the environment there.

    B) In your opinion and with your knowledge of the construction of this rope, did I make the right decision to retire this rope? There is definitely sheath abrasion though no core is visibly exposed. Upon dissection, I can see no obvious sign of core damage though I am also not familiar with the core used in this rope. Most of the ropes I've ever looked at the insides of are more of a classic Kern mantel design with obvious twisted core strands.

    I attached pictures of the process to provide better visualization of the rope. Thanks in advance for any insights into the rope. I'm definitely a big fan of Imlay ropes and would like to understand them better to better gauge their lifespan and safety considerations when using them.

    Cheers, D. K.
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