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Static Rope Certifications

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Mountaineer, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Which static canyoneering ropes meet NFPA 1983, EN 1891 (Type A), or CI 1801 standards?

    Or if none, recommendations for a static rope that meets one of these standards that would be best for canyoneering?





  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Are you interested in ropes that meet those Standards? Or in ropes that are certified to meet those Standards? Those are not the same thing.

    And if so, why?

    What are the Standards, and what do they mean to you?

    I tried to get to the National Fire Protection Association 1983 Standard, but could not access it. Standards in general are copyrighted documents and require paying a substantial fee to access. Certifying to a Standard generally costs quite a bit of money.

    Tom
  3. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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  4. TJ Cottam

    TJ Cottam Adventure Plus

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    Sterling's 9mm HTP says it has the NFPA 1983 certification, it has almost identical specs to Tom's Canyonero rope. As Tom said, why the interest in the certifications? Most canyon ropes have close to the same specs as the HTP but aren't "certified" to those specific standards.
    Mountaineer likes this.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I asked BlueWater a while back and this is the email I got back:

    Mr. Jones,
    The 9.2mm Canyon Rope carries no certifications. Please let me know if you have any more questions and thank you for your interest.
    Jonathan Snyder
    BMO Rescue
    209 Lovvorn Rd.
    Carrollton, GA 30117
    (770) 842-9292
    info@blackjackmountainoutfitters.com


    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Contact Us Requested
    From: ratagonia@gmail.com
    Date: Fri, March 08, 2013 2:17 pm
    To: info@blackjackmountainoutfitters.com

    You have received a contact request from a visitor to your storefront athttp://shop.blackjackmountainoutfitters.com:

    E-mail Address: ratagonia@gmail.com
    Name: Nolan Jones
    Company: Canyoneering USA
    Phone Number: 435-648-3089
    Request:

    http://shop.blackjackmountainoutfitters.com/BlueWater-Ropes-92mm-CANYON-ROPE-5267.htm

    I am wondering what certification this product carries? I find no mention of certs on your website or BW's website.

    Thanks.


    Thank you,
    The Quick Shopping Cart Team
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  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Interesting document. Of course, the real question is what document is this? It appears to be the 1983 Standard with DRAFT stamped across it. Any indication, Brian, on what this particular document's status is?

    Tom
  7. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Thanks Tom for jumping in. Very different things indeed. Boy Scout Climbing policy (or at least the council I'm in - and I assume National as well as it comes from their "National ACCT selected standards"); requirement reads as meet, not certified. However, due to everyone trying to push liability somewhere else, I would have thought certify.

    Quoted from the BSA policies:

    "1.2.12.1.1. Low Stretch Rope and Static Rope shall meet one or more of the following standards: UIAA 107, NFPA 1983, EN 1891 (Type A), or CI 1801 or be approved by the manufacturer for belaying a single participant."



  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The Greater Salt Lake Council canyoneering requirements are a little different, and both the Canyonero and Canyon Fire meet their requirements. When I developed the Canyonero, it was explicitly to meet a 5000 lb strength requirement.

    Tom
  9. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Well, that's how you find free copies on the 'net I suppose. Was revised in 2006 and apparently again in 2012. Seems like I fished around a few years ago and found a released copy somewhere.

    The NFPA 1983 document has some interesting things in it, especially for static ropes. In the U.S., I suppose its the gold standard for folks to live (cough cough, ha) up to. In Europe its, what, the EN 1891 or some such? EN 892 for dynamic lines?

    I think across the puddle, if you're going to sell a rope for PPE use, it has to be certified. In the US? Not so much? Seems strange. But, to mitigate the lack of standards and/or requirements, the NFPA took on and came up with a standard for "life safety rope".

    When I bought that big spool of rope that I cut the 100m chunk out of that we used on the Mountain of Mystery trip, I was psyched to find the NFPA threader in it...
  10. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    BlueWater response on asking if their canyoneering ropes meet any of the standards mentioned above:

    These ropes are not certified but meet or exceed the stated properties. These particular ropes have no particular standard to which they can be certified or the projected sales of these ropes do not warrant the cost of certification.
  11. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Cutting in with more details:

    Many products have the capability to meet the physical testing requirements set forth in certain standards and manufacturers make such claims in their product literature. NFPA 1983 expressly forbids such explicit claims, unless the product actually meets the standard in full. At least they used to, I am not familiar with the 2012 edition, which is the current one. Note that the NFPA 1983 standard contains some of the more rigorous (some say ridiculous) requirements among current PPE standards. It was written for users involved in fire-rescue.

    Most modern standards require that all published requirements be met in order for claims to be made by manufacturers regarding a standard. In the case of NPPA 1983 or CE, meeting the standards implies certification. The requirements start with physical testing, and can also specify materials, color, marking, labeling, etc. When anything changes in an NFPA 1983 certified product (such as color of sheath material in a rope), it could warrant a new round of testing. So this type of certification is costly, and such costs are passed on to the purchaser. The most costly requirement is 3rd party testing (by an independent lab such as UL, for example). In the case of the CE mark, manufacturers must also have their manufacturing and QA processes certified.

    Note that the quote posted by Mountaineer ends with:

    "or be approved by the manufacturer for belaying a single participant." so no need to have a 3rd party cert'd product for the BSA. Whew.
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  12. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Confirmed that this change in policy now applies to the GSLC as well.
  13. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    I own a Sterling RIT 500 rope. It is NFPA 1983 certified. It is not my favorite, but I suppose is the one I have to use for BSA activities.

    As finding a manufacturer that approves their rope for belaying, that is another possibility. Need to investigate if Blue Water or Imlay does so.
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Speaking as official spokesperson of Imlay Canyon Gear LC, I approve my Canyon Fire and Canyonero ropes for top rope belaying a single participant.

    It is such an odd piece of wording. Somewhat like the statement that you can use a "Certified Guide". Both my Canyon Fire and Canyonero meet the requirements for canyoneering use in the Great Salt Lake Council.

    Tom
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  15. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    What is "belaying"? The BSA should review their standards...some vague stuff in there, apparently. For example, the RIT rope you mention is probably made from Aramid fibers and would be totally inappropriate for belaying a lead climber (as would any truly static rope). OTOH, a rope that is "approved by the mfg. for belaying..." could be a climbing rope, which might not be ideal or desirable for canyoneering. But I haven't read the entire BSA document, so could be missing something. Is the complete BSA policy online somewhere?
  16. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Without too much slack :) Yes, odd wording.
  17. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Quoted from the BSA policies:

    "1.2.12.1.1. Low Stretch Rope and Static Rope shall meet one or more of the following standards: UIAA 107, NFPA 1983, EN 1891 (Type A), or CI 1801 or be approved by the manufacturer for belaying a single participant."

    Possible translation: Do not use hardware store ropes.
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  18. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Excellent point Hank, a bit more context is always needed. Climbing policy is taken from the Topping Out Manual (which I have a PDF of), and then several appendices. Some of the BSA COPE material is referred to, and select ACCT standards (not all of them). For example, there is a similar statement for dynamic rope but UIAA and CE standards are asked for. I'm not aware of this all being compiled online. The Trapper Trails climbing policy (just revised), I found here:

    http://trappertrails.org/Training/P...il589/Climbing Committee/Climbing Policy.ashx

    Note that for rappelling, belay must be a) single-line rap w/ independent belay line b) double-line c) double-line with fireman belay d) single-line rap with fireman. And, Trapper Trails has an exception: they do not allow (d).
  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Thanks Mountaineer.

    Any idea why they disallow "(d)"?

    Tom
  20. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Thanks for that link. Note that b) is actually "Double-line rappel with an independent belay line."

    It is curious that c but not d is allowed.

    Another vague and potentially dangerous line:

    "The belay line used for a climber on a natural surface must be attached with a figure eight follow-through, either directly through
    the front of the harness or as recommended by the harness manufacturer."

    that is partly offset later by "All equipment must be used in the manner intended by the manufacturer"


    And big points for addressing a core issue that has often caused trouble:

    "Every rappelling device shall be rigged to provide appropriate friction for the circumstances and characteristics that are specific to
    the rappel and the participant."
    Mountaineer likes this.
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