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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Rob, The "ideal" sheath proportion will depend on what type of climbing you intend to use your rope for. Normal climbing ropes have a sheath:core ratio of around 2:5 but it does tend to vary. Ropes with a higher percentage of sheath will usually be more durable, but this comes at the cost of suppleness and stretch. If you are planning on using your rope for top roping or with groups, then a higher sheath percentage might be a priority for you. If you are looking for a performance rope for leading, then it should be less of a concern. Hope that helps, Dave

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Dixon, Technically you should be safe doing this. In fact the scenario isn't too dissimilar from brining up two seconds on separate half ropes. However, I wouldn't recommend using a half rope for top roping on a long term basis. Firstly, half ropes are far more stretchy than single ropes so you may find yourself or your partner falling much further than expected. And secondly, the abrasion your rope suffers while top roping is more severe than using it for lead climbing.... (more)

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Kendra, Many companies make rope protectors for just this eventuality. Here is one such example from edelrid: http://www.edelrid.de/en/work-safety/protector-iii-oasis.html But there are many more out there. If you don't fancy forking out for a bit of tarpaulin, then a common work around is to place your rucksack underneath the rope at the point that it is running over the edge. Clipping the hip and chest straps around the rope can help to keep it in place. Hope that helps, Dave

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Hasse, An overhand is a fast and safe way to attach two ropes together. It is recommended that when using this method, you should leave a long tail so that there is no chance of the knot pulling undone. Many of my climbing friends use this knot on their prusik loops, I however, still stick with a double fisherman's. This is mostly out of habit, and if I had to tie a loop of rope together quickly, while out climbing, I wouldn't hesitate to use an overhand.... (more)

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Joan, The best way to do this is by feeding the rope between your fingers. Look out for soft, spongy sections or where the rope has started to feel flat from repeated falls. Also look out for stiff, hard sections, this could be an indication that the core has become knotted inside the sheath or otherwise has undergone some sort of chemical damage. Either one of these abnormalities could be a sign of core damage and you might have to consider retiring that rope. Even if there are no visual markers on the sheath you should still check your rope for damage regularly.... (more)

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Panu Lehti's picture
Aug 29th 2015
Just as Dave stated on his reply, some transceivers use a magnetic compass while searching (e.g., Mammut Pulse and Ortovox S1). It is especially important that you keep all magnetic items and your electronic devices (mobile phone, MP3 player, GPS navigator etc) away from these transceivers while searching. The Black Diamond Magnetron carabiners include a warning saying that the carabiners should be kept 50cm (20 inches) from avalanche transceivers.

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 28th 2015
Hi Camella, Often it is actually more important for a belayer to wear a helmet than the leader, as the leader can knock rocks down on top of the belayer. Climbing helmets are designed primarily to protect the wearer from rock fall. Hope that helps, Dave

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 28th 2015
Hi Camella, The simple answer is when the weight of your bag becomes too much for you to climb with. Haul bags are usually only used on multi-day rock climbs where the food, water and sleeping apparatus, along with all your climbing gear accumulates to more than you could feasibly climb with. Sometimes on difficult multi pitches routes, where you wont be bringing sleeping equipment etc., you may also want to take a haul bag so that you can climb more naturally. Hope that helps, Dave

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