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Recommend a basic rappelling rope for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by chconnor, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. chconnor

    chconnor

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    Hi -- I'm a beginner starting out with some rappelling and need to get some rope so I can start practicing and building up my skills.

    I'm not actually going to be canyoneering or caving but (eventually) rappelling down steep ravines in the woods: anchoring to trees, rappelling down, ascending back up. (Hopefully it's OK to post this here anyway... please remove if not...) Descent device is an SMC Micro u-rack.

    Based on research and goals, I was thinking to get a basic ~10mm, non-dry, static or semi-static rope, not too stiff or slippery. If it's relatively light that's great, but not crucial.

    I have some PMI Sport Max-Wear 11mm. It's very stiff and I'm hoping for something significantly more knottable. I was suspecting that a canyoneering rope is not really what I want, so I shied away from the Imlay and Bluewater stuff, which I've heard are pretty stiff.

    I find the Mammut 10 Performance, the Edelweiss Speleo II 10mm... any other obvious brands that I'm missing? Can I assume they'll be more pliable than the PMI I have?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I don't want to keep pestering this forum if it's inappropriate to ask not-precisely-canyoneering questions here... it just seemed like there's enough overlap to make it relevant.
  2. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Ever take a look at Sterling? my favorite rope I own is their C-IV for its smoothness and knotability. it is one of my oldest ropes which might help its case, but I feel like it was always great even from the get-go. I picked up their 9mm HTP since I needed a cheap replacement and its much stiffer and knots somewhat poorly.

    I dont think alot of people here deal with 10/11mm ropes. Have you taken a look to see what arborists use?
  3. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    PMI also makes EZ-Bend; you might sell the Max-Wear and get an EZ. Bluewater II+ or New England KMIII are other good choices for a basic (flexible) rappelling rope.
    Rapterman likes this.
  4. chconnor

    chconnor

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    @Sutitan -- thanks for the thoughts; the Sterling stuff looks nice but the C-IV is maybe a little out of my price bracket (at least what I saw in a few minutes of searching around). I've delved a little into the arborist world (I live a few blocks away from Wesspur, which is great!), but the caving/canyoneering/climbing worlds seem a little more aligned with my needs. (Wesspur has harnesses that seem more fit to be horse saddles. :) )

    @hank moon -- Thanks, yeah I saw that PMI EZ-Bend, I'll consider it. I've read that the Bluewaters are on the stiff side -- not your experience?
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  5. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    BW canyon ropes, the Dyneema ones, can become quite stiff. My experience is that BW II + stays quite supple over time.
  6. chconnor

    chconnor

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    Ah gotcha. I have learned to stop interpreting all the stuff I read about ropes as necessarily having anything to do with static ropes, as obviously people are usually talking dynamic...
  7. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    For the price, the Imlay Canyon Gear 9.2 canyonero is a good value. The down side is that it handles like piece of steel cable.

    I also think the 9mm Sterling HTP is a great rope for the price. It is much better handling and runs more smoothly through devices, though likely not as durable. But that isn't to say its a wimpy rope either.

    Here. 200' of white for $147.

    https://sterlingrope.com/store/climb/ropes/canyon-ropes/9-mm-htp-canyon
    Kuenn likes this.
  8. chconnor

    chconnor

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    Thanks Bootboy -- that aligns well with what I was able to dig up online.
  9. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    My 2 cents...

    I think it really comes down to what you are most comfortable with and what fits your needs. I have used the Sterling, PMI (maxi-wear and EZ), C-IV, several BW products, as well as the Imlay Canyonero 9.2.

    Personal preference is a rope that can be ascended easily...a habit that's hard to brake. For that reason I'm reaching for the rope that offers the best of both directions - PMI or Imlay (Canyonero 9.2 is a goody).

    In my circles a rope that "handles like steel cable" is a HIGH compliment. YMMV
  10. chconnor

    chconnor

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    Yeah I settled on an Edelweiss Speleo II 10mm (mainly because I had a line on a great deal). I don't think I'll mind the semi-stretch, and I wanted to err on the side of safe/thick/durable. Thanks for the input!
  11. Jimmy Olsson

    Jimmy Olsson

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  12. chconnor

    chconnor

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    Nice, good to know.
  13. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    It’s also got about 4% stretch on it so not very static, and the sheath doesn’t seem to be very durable. I saw it core shot on it’s very first use.
  14. Jimmy Olsson

    Jimmy Olsson

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    Whaat? Really? You should reclaim that rope.
  15. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Wasn't mine, but I think the guy did send it back.
    Jimmy Olsson likes this.
  16. pyle762

    pyle762

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    I got a really good deal on a spool of Petzl Push, which is why I bought it. I cut it in half to have 2 long ropes for big drops. I did Insomnia on Wednesday this week and holy cow, that thing had a ton of stretch in it. They advertise it as semi-static and my buddies and I joked that it was more semi than static. It was really hard to rappel without bouncing a lot on it because of the stretch in it. Plus it absorbs water, so a 12.5 pound rope turned into a 15+ pound rope after the first pothole.

    Let I said earlier I got a smoking deal on it but I would not recommend it.

    As always, you can't go wrong with an Imlay.
    ratagonia, Kenmoto and Jimmy Olsson like this.
  17. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    These two posts have a dubious common denominator. "Price" Almost the least important reason for buying a specific rope.

    "What is the lowest?", you might ask. "That pretty chartreuse green one with red tracers...."
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Return the rope, I assume you mean?

    Why? The rope is not defective. Coreshooting a rope is either due to user error or to choosing an inappropriate rope for the activity. This rope has a 32-carrier sheath which means the sheath is not particularly thick, which has tended to be a problem for canyoneering in places other than Europe. You would do better to purchase a rope that is 16-carrier (ie, 1 over 1 or 8x8) or that uses especially cut-resistant fibers for the sheath (ie, technora).

    Tom
  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Bootboy likes this.
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