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New rope size.

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Keith Hoffman, May 26, 2005.

  1. >>> QUOTE Question Two: Over the past years I have acquired 11mm dynamic ropes and webbing and the usual junk (but no cams, nuts etc). The most extreme rap for all of was was 100 meters at Lost World in New Zealand (on their gear), on a caving rack descender. We have also rapped down waterfalls in NZ. Anyway, it seems like canyoneering needs a different kind or rope - lighter, static, tough etc. So in order to keep my recreation options open to include a few nominal fun raps while on vacation, any rope recommendations? Seems like 8mm(at least) or 9mm. I am thinking of getting 160 ft, and use a double coil to manage extra rope not needed for a particular short rap. <<< UNQUOTE

    Well, you might get totally different advice from some of the older, wiser folks but here's my attempt. Keep in mind my perspective: I like my gear to last more than I mind carrying heavy stuff.

    I am not fond of 8mm and 9mm ropes for any rappelling situations where there is going to be much abrasion. What's too much abrasion? Hard to say. Are you going to be canyoneering mostly with people who are not experienced? Kids? Large groups? Do you want to be bothering to set rope protection for the rap? Then don't bother with smaller ropes. On the other hand, if you are mostly talking about smaller, experienced groups or don't mind premature wallet exercise to replace the smaller diameter ropes, go for it.

    Ropes are not created equally. Particularly if you are getting a small diameter rope, pay attention to the thickness and tightness of the sheath. You don't need more than a 8mm core to support rappels. It is the thicker, tighter sheath that gives you the durability. Of course, a thick tight sheathed rope can be a real pain to handle.

    You probably knew this stuff. Hopefully some other folks will chime in with their wisdom. I expect to hear a vigorous defense of scrawny ropes.

    Keith
  2. scott c.

    scott c. Guest

    Here is my two cents worth. I am by no means an expert but love to canyoneer as often as possible here in Utah. I agree with Keith that ropes are not created equally. I for one prefer the skinny and fast Canyon Pro rope by Blue Water. It comes in 60 meter lengths or on a spool. They are very tightly woven and very durable in Utah's sandstone. They are bright orange and show up beautifully in photos. Yes, at times they are a pain in the you know what to untangle. They are a bit stiff but I would rather have stiff and durable when it is grinding on the edge of a cliff. I have used the same rope many many times with little wear to the sheath. I also wash them after each trip. I warn you that they are fast ropes particularly when the rope is brand spankin' new and the rappeller is larger than smurf sized (I'm 6'2" and about 210 lbs.) They are even quicker if you are single rope rappelling. Consider a Piranha rap device if you are going to do any single rope stuff. If you are taking newbies, you will probably want a lot more control meaning the ability to slow them down. Obviously belay but also consider the old-stand-by static Gold line, I think that is what they call it, from Blue Water. My experience is that they are no where close to being as durable as the Canyon Pro but are static and wear pretty well. The gold line you can get in various thicknesses depending on your comfort level and it is less expensive than the Canyon Pro. Remember, for little light weight kids, thick ropes, particularly if you are double rope rappelling, may cause so much weight/friction as to make it difficult for them to get down the wall. Hope you have a great time in Utah.

    Keith Hoffman khoffman22@sbcglobal.net> wrote: >>> QUOTE Question Two: Over the past years I have acquired 11mm dynamic ropes and webbing and the usual junk (but no cams, nuts etc). The most extreme rap for all of was was 100 meters at Lost World in New Zealand (on their gear), on a caving rack descender. We have also rapped down waterfalls in NZ. Anyway, it seems like canyoneering needs a different kind or rope - lighter, static, tough etc. So in order to keep my recreation options open to include a few nominal fun raps while on vacation, any rope recommendations? Seems like 8mm(at least) or 9mm. I am thinking of getting 160 ft, and use a double coil to manage extra rope not needed for a particular short rap. <<< UNQUOTE

    Well, you might get totally different advice from some of the older, wiser folks but here's my attempt. Keep in mind my perspective: I like my gear to last more than I mind carrying heavy stuff.

    I am not fond of 8mm and 9mm ropes for any rappelling situations where there is going to be much abrasion. What's too much abrasion? Hard to say. Are you going to be canyoneering mostly with people who are not experienced? Kids? Large groups? Do you want to be bothering to set rope protection for the rap? Then don't bother with smaller ropes. On the other hand, if you are mostly talking about smaller, experienced groups or don't mind premature wallet exercise to replace the smaller diameter ropes, go for it.

    Ropes are not created equally. Particularly if you are getting a small diameter rope, pay attention to the thickness and tightness of the sheath. You don't need more than a 8mm core to support rappels. It is the thicker, tighter sheath that gives you the durability. Of course, a thick tight sheathed rope can be a real pain to handle.

    You probably knew this stuff. Hopefully some other folks will chime in with their wisdom. I expect to hear a vigorous defense of scrawny ropes.

    Keith



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  3. Neil

    Neil Guest

    8mm ropes are best for people who want them and know how to use them. something in the range of 9mm - 10mm seems a good size for canyoneering. My favorite 'working' rope at the moment is the 9.2 mm from Bluewater. The Goldline is okay but not nearly as tough as the 9.2 Canyon.

    If you just bought an ATC-XP and you're using something larger than 10mm you best bring a crow bar to load your device. maybe, they should have left those on the sailboats. Anyway, if you're looking for a rope to start out with I would suggest the 9.2mm Canyon form BW, the 9mm from Imlay Canyon gear or the 9mm Maxwear from PMI. All of these seem to have gained a concensous as being good ropes and a nice balance between weight and bulk. I personally like to buy off the spool and get 225' to give myself room for shrink plus a little for security. YMMV.

    The previous post that Canyon Pro is really super tough has proven itself true to me. Also, super expensive. However, 8mm is still not the best rope for a first purchase IMO.

    Good Luck, Neil
  4. Hank Moon

    Hank Moon Guest

    Ropes are not created equally. Particularly if you are getting a small diameter rope, pay attention to the thickness and tightness of the sheath. You don't need more than a 8mm core to support rappels. It is the thicker, tighter sheath that gives you the durability. Of course, a thick tight sheathed rope can be a real pain to handle.

    **** True, true. But, not all thicker, tighter sheats are created equal. For example, the Imlay polyester rope has a thick, tight sheath. When the rope is new, it is fairly stiff and somewhat klunky to handle. However, after a few uses, the sheath fuzzes up a bit and the rope becomes more pliable. As to what diameter to get, I bet Tom has an FaQ somewhere on this (or otta). I will iterate what others have said and recommend that beginners NOT start out with 8 mm, no matter how strong and abrasion resistant.

    hank

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  5. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Hank Moon" <hmoon@p...> wrote: > **** True, true. But, not all thicker, tighter sheats are created equal. For example, the Imlay polyester rope has a thick, tight sheath. When the rope is new, it is fairly stiff and somewhat klunky to handle. However, after a few uses, the sheath fuzzes up a bit and the rope becomes more pliable. As to what diameter to get, I bet Tom has an FaQ somewhere on this (or otta). I will iterate what others have said and recommend that beginners NOT start out with 8 mm, no matter how strong and abrasion resistant.
    hank >

    The FAQ is right here: If you don't know, then you want the 9mm rope. If you do know that you want the 8mm, then you can handle it, and the 8mm is the best choice for you.

    On a related note, I've always found it best to train new rappellers on a single line, 8mm to start out, and move up from there. It is good to train on a couple different diameters, so they can learn "the ropes" on how rope diameter effects friction. This way, when presented with a single 8mm to rappel off in a canyon, they can handle it. I know some experienced canyoneers who cannot handle the psychic stress of rapping on single 8mm - improper training for sure.

    Ropes available at the CanyoneeringUSA.com store.

    Tom
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