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Gear Recommendations (Mostly Rope Related)

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by clangingsymbol, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. clangingsymbol

    clangingsymbol

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    With Christmas coming, and my desire to get out and do more canyons growing, I am looking at purchasing canyon specific gear, but am at a loss. So I turn to the collective knowledge of the Collective for some recommendations!!!

    Here is my dilemma: I am specifically looking at ropes (and possibly rope retrieval options – or “Advance Anchor Tools” as CUSA puts it). I would like to maximize my investment (or minimize my spend) while also maximizing the potential list of canyons with my rope purchase. I have Todd’s Grand Canyoneering Book and would like to cover as many of these canyons as possible. In addition, I would like to expand into the next level of Zion Canyons. Finally, there are a number of canyons in Arizona (my home state) that require longer ropes than I have right now, and, while I have not researched other canyon options (Escalante, the Roost, North Wash, Powell Area, etc), other canyon options. I do not want to put my preconceived notions in the discussion, so I will limit my input right now to say that from Grand Canyoneering, it seems like Water Holes at 320’ is about the top end of the length I would be looking at with THIS purchase. The only other thing I will add is that CUSA mentions “I would be hesitant to use a pull cord longer than 200 feet except in ideal pull-cording conditions.” If this is the case, what is my option to minimize weight in conjunction with that 300’+ rope (assuming that is a length I take)?

    OK…what input I am looking for from the collective: What rope length(s) would you recommend to cover as many canyons as possible (I think there may be more than one length)? What are the rope brands, types and size options? Example: Imlay 8.0 Canyon, Imlay 8.3 Canyon Fire, Etc.

    As a point of reference for me, I have started to become familiar with single rope rappels and purchased a CRITR recently. While I am not familiar (experienced with) things like FiddleSticks, I am open to those options. I think I would call myself an Advanced Beginner or Intermediate Canyoneerer.

    Thank you for the input. And by the way…I have really enjoyed being a member of the Collective!!!
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  2. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Rope choices!
    Depends on
    acceptable weight
    length of your drop(s)
    size of your wallet...
  3. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    A 300 footer is nice for a few canyons. Be great to share that kinda resource if you could.

    A pair of 200 footers is useful. When you core shot one, you'll have a set of shorter ropes.

    Skinnys for long approaches. Fattys for work ropes (if you take beginners on roadside canyons).
  4. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Best value on skinny rope: Imlay Canyon Fire 8.3mm
    Toughest (and most expensive!) skinny rope for long drops: Bluewater Canyon Extreme 8mm.
    I have never core shot a rope on a short (100 or less) drop
    Rarely damaged a rope at 200 feet
    And pretty frequently on long drops (300 plus feet)!
    For this reason having the technora sheath is a benefit on the Canyon Extreme.
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  5. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I would argue that the bluewater canyonline is more durable. 100% technora sheath but it's 9mm.
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The rope mentioned, the BW Canyon Extreme 8mm, is an 8mm rope with a technora sheath and a long chain PE core. A VERY nice rope. Expensive.

    Tom
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Looks like you will be buying a quiver of ropes, since you have conflicting requirements.

    For your one-time-a-year trip to the Grand Canyon, you will want 8mm ropes that are just the right length. Weight REALLY counts in the Grand Canyon. (Blue Collar = Imlay 8mm rope; Gold Collar = BW Canyon Extreme 8mm.)

    For almost everything else, you will want stouter ropes. Probably best to focus in on one particular model. The Canyon Fire 8.3 is quite popular, offers about twice the durability of the 8mm with a just somewhat higher weight and cost. If you are over 200 lbs, you might want the Canyonero instead. Some discussion at my website, here: http://imlaycanyongear.com/ropes2.php

    Generally, there are not all that many canyons that require ropes longer than 200 feet. Since you are asking, I think you can wait on that, and will know when the time is right. One 200'er and two 120s is a good starting point.

    Tom
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  8. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Indeed. I own and use an Extreme, and it is in fact my favorite rope. But the CanyonLine has the same sheath design in a stout, 9mm package. Sheath mass is 58% vs 53% respectively.
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  9. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    But to the OP:

    I'd recommend a Canyon Fire for a good value, do-it-all rope.
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  10. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Bear in mind that Canyon Fire can get INSANELY stiff after not very many uses. So stiff as to be unusable. YMMV.
  11. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I've rappelled several vertical miles on canyon fire and have never experienced that
  12. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Of course, "unusably stiff" is subjective. For me, it's when the rope becomes a noticeable PITA to manage, pretty much all of the time, wet or dry. So springy that it resists stuffing, makes horrible butterfly coils, is painful to knot, install in devices, etc. Not saying this trait is inherent to every piece of Canyon Fire (it's not), but that I've encountered it sufficient times for it to register. Can't say that with any other rope.

    p.s. I am not the only person out there who has had this experience with Canyon Fire. I recently floated the idea of a "Hey Tom, please fix this" petition among others afflicted with the cable curse, but they didn't want to rock the boat. Hence this public appeal to Tom: please fix this, or offer a flexier model of Canyon Fire. It really is a great rope if you don't get a cursed one.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
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  13. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I think that's a fair description, one to which I can relate.
  14. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    There is a usage sweet-spot between slick and fast (gone after the first few canyons)
    and 'Cialis -rope', where most cords end up, especially after multiple dunk-ings in canyon sludge.
    Sigh....nothing lasts forever...
  15. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The problem is intermittant. My solution is to replace ropes to anyone who is not satisfied with the performance.

    Tom
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  16. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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  17. clangingsymbol01

    clangingsymbol01

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  18. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Typically 3mm (1/8") dyneema like Amsteel or another brand UHMWPE line.

    If you've never used a knot-peg device like the smooth operator or fiddlestick, it's probably a good idea to get a few canyons under your belt with someone versed in its application and nuances. I don't think it's the best option for your first formal pull cord setup, though it is a great tool to eventually have. I use it frequently in trade route canyons with established anchors for its simplicity and lack of rope groove contribution.
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  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    This is an advanced technique, and probably best to get the core techniques down well before venturing into this territory. A lot of these advanced techniques are best learned by going out with people more experienced than you, and learning how to use them one on one.

    Tom
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  20. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    Ditto what Tom & Bootboy said. I got the impression you were experienced enough to use one based on the fact you were looking into getting one.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
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