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Michelle Webster's picture
Underwater Basket Weaving Champion 2002-2004
Sep 3rd 2015
It's a hardcore unicorn.

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Hasse, This is unfortunately one question you will have to answer yourself. If you have barely used your rope and stored it in a dry environment then your rope will probably still be safe to use. If you have been using it every day for the last three years then perhaps less so. Some rope manufacturers have recommendations on how long ropes should last but even they stress that ropes should be checked on an individual basis. Keeping a rope diary can help you to figure out when you should retire your rope.... (more)

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Emil, Usually you will find that thinner ropes have more capacity to stretch. During falls that are approaching factor 1 or above, this stretch can be very beneficial, putting less load on anchors and runners. However, if you have a competent belayer, and there is enough rope in the system, even the thickest ropes can still have enough stretch to allow for a comfortable fall. Hope that helps, Dave

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Shannon, The Italian (or Munter) hitch is usually used in situations where the climber has dropped or forgotten their normal belay device. It works by forcing the rope to rub hard against itself, creating enough friction to hold a person. If you are using it frequently as your method of rappelling, then you may well find that your rope wears out more quickly than it would other wise. Hope that helps, Dave

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Alex, There are specialized devices for cutting ropes (http://www.amazon.com/Seachoice-79901-ELECTRIC-ROPE-CUTTING/dp/B005150RE8) but this is probably too much of an investment for your one off situation. Don't worry! The alternative will only cost you one sharp knife (preferably a serrated one). Before you start, you should prepare some method of clamping the knife. Hold the knife over a hot flame until it is white hot; don't skimp on the heat, the more you can melt through your rope the better the final result.... (more)

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Aug 31st 2015
Hi Fin, It is normal when buying a static rope to be given some indication of its elongation under a given load. Mammut for example list an "impact force" on their static ropes. However, no such rating is given for the rappel cord suggesting that it is more dynamic than their fully static ropes. The rope has been woven with polyester to increase it's stiffness, however it has also been left with some stretch in order to help with rappelling.... (more)

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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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