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Alyosha

Rope for glacier?

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If you were doing a two or three-day climb that involved some glacier travel, what rope would you bring to use on the glacier?

 

In particular, can you comment on bringing along "half" of a double rope system (an 8.5mm-ish rope that has "1/2" markings on its ends)?

 

Thank you

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I would not hesitate to use a half rope for glacier travel. Be sure to have small diameter cord for the prussiks you bring to go with it, though.

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closeout from Northern Mountain Supply... they still have standard ropes, but they're out of dry coated ones online. maybe you could call them and see if there are any lying around? wave.gif

 

they've got a 30m rope too...

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For smaller alpine glaciers on the coast (i.e. all those except for the ones on the big glaciated volcanos), I have found a 35m length of 7mm cord great. It packs as small as a water bottle, and should have plenty of strength for the short falls expected on the usual coast range glacier. Shit, people rap on 6mm, so 7mm should be plenty strong. Obviously, more than 3 people is getting kind of tight on this length.

 

It is cheap, and so small that you are more likely to bring it with you in situations where you would hesitate to haul along a thicker rope, even if you really should have it along.

 

The only trick with 7mm rope: you will need to use 4mm prusiks - regular 6-7mm won't grab. They look kind of dinky, but they haven't broken on me yet! (I usually bring along some 6mm too for setting the anchor auto-block thing - you can make extra wraps to keep it from slipping, and will give you some extra strength while hauling). I am sure the safety freaks won't like the 7mm suggestion, but I would rather wear a thin rope like this than nothing at all because everyone in the party was too lazy to bring a thicker rope.

 

I have seen a 7.5mm dynamic rope for sale, I think sold as a twin rope for ice climbing. That would be great, but probably way more expensive.

 

 

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Shit, people rap on 6mm, so 7mm

 

hmm... 6mm static. strength difference. if it is 7mm static... no worries about breaking strength, but back breaking strength when you ty to arrest a crevasse fall. i have a 7.9mm 30 meter that kicks serious ass for quick glacier travel in relatively safe areas. sucker is sooo light!

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scott_harpell said:

Shit, people rap on 6mm, so 7mm

 

hmm... 6mm static. strength difference. if it is 7mm static... no worries about breaking strength, but back breaking strength when you ty to arrest a crevasse fall. i have a 7.9mm 30 meter that kicks serious ass for quick glacier travel in relatively safe areas. sucker is sooo light!

What kind is it and where did you get it?

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Hey Bug, I have a 35 meter, 8.2 mm ultra dry dynamic rope made by PMI for exactly this purpose. Super light and packable yet thick enough for regular prussics, ascenders and belay/rap devices. I bought it at basecamp in B'ham but they are out of business. I'm sure you can find PMI products online.

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some dude on Logan held a 200 foot fall onto a single fluke where the rope was YELLOW BOAT POLYPRO back in the 1970's. I think it was Dave Jones author of the NEW SELKIRKS NORTH GUIDE cool.gif in point of fact.

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Bug said:

scott_harpell said:

Shit, people rap on 6mm, so 7mm

 

hmm... 6mm static. strength difference. if it is 7mm static... no worries about breaking strength, but back breaking strength when you ty to arrest a crevasse fall. i have a 7.9mm 30 meter that kicks serious ass for quick glacier travel in relatively safe areas. sucker is sooo light!

What kind is it and where did you get it?

 

mammut... got it at MEC off a roll for $50 canadian. already pulled one person out of a crevasse with it crazy.gif

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In Nepal, yellow "boat rope" is commonly used for fixed lines - and pretty small diameter, too (certainly no more than 9mm). Standard jumars work OK on it.

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Beal makes an 8mm x 30M dynamic rope that REI sells for $57. It packs up small, about the size of a 1.5 liter bottle of water. Not sure if it's rated as a single, though.

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I don't believe there are any ropes out there that are 8mm and rated for use as a single line, Toast. That was the assumption underlying the original post, I think.

 

Some people will carry a full length rope rated for twin or double rope technique, and travel on the single line when on a glacier but then double it up on steeper rock pitches (so they can lead on two ropes, up to one-half of the ropelength), and I often lead easy or low-angle rock on a single 9mm stratos (not rated for that purpose). However, the discussion here is about a rope that is to be used strictly for glacier-travel. Nobody here has suggested you need a rope rated as a single rope for that purpose (or are you?).

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That was the assumption underlying the original post, I think.

 

 

I disagree. I did not read any assumption in that area of strength ratings. It read and asked for a suggestion on glacier ropes with markings. Unless homey changed it.

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I have a new with tags 8.8 Sterling Marathon double dry dynamic 50 meter rope I will sell for $90. I can meet in Mount Vernon, Bellingham or Cascade Crags for exchange.

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Cpt.Caveman said:

That was the assumption underlying the original post, I think.

 

 

I disagree. I did not read any assumption in that area of strength ratings. It read and asked for a suggestion on glacier ropes with markings. Unless homey changed it.

 

MattP read my question the way I intended, Captain. What I meant was that a half of a double-rope or a twin-rope system isn't, strictly speaking, rated for use as a single rope. What I get from the responses so far is that, because crevasse falls are not leader falls, you don't need a rope that's rated for use as a single rope. I was jut too lazy to type all that in the original post, sorry.

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stinkyclimber said:

For smaller alpine glaciers on the coast (i.e. all those except for the ones on the big glaciated volcanos), I have found a 35m length of 7mm cord great. It packs as small as a water bottle, and should have plenty of strength for the short falls expected on the usual coast range glacier. Shit, people rap on 6mm, so 7mm should be plenty strong. Obviously, more than 3 people is getting kind of tight on this length.

 

<snip>

 

Have you ever caught anyone on this rope? If not I'd suggest you practice on a "safe" cornice or short drop-off somewhere. You may be surprised at the difference between 20-30 m. of dynamic rope and this static line. I'd be afraid of snatching my partner off his feet and dragging him along before he could get an axe in.

 

I've seen glacier ropes at gear shops, usually 30-35 m. of around 9 mm dynamic rope for $40-50.

 

Anyone else think using static line for glacier travel is a bad idea?

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For glacier I use a 30m, 8.3 mm dry rope. I've led lot's of rock pitches with it in the mountains also. Regular cord works well for ascending, but I use the skinny, thin tubular webbing.

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jaee said:

Have you ever caught anyone on this rope? If not I'd suggest you practice on a "safe" cornice or short drop-off somewhere. You may be surprised at the difference between 20-30 m. of dynamic rope and this static line. I'd be afraid of snatching my partner off his feet and dragging him along before he could get an axe in.

 

I've seen glacier ropes at gear shops, usually 30-35 m. of around 9 mm dynamic rope for $40-50.

 

Anyone else think using static line for glacier travel is a bad idea?

Actually, jaee, yes, I have. Falling into a small crevasse in snow doesn't produce a lot of force, and any force that is there is partially absorbed when the rope digs into the snow at the lip, and by the fricton of the rope over snow. Having said that, I carefully qualified my recommendation by saying I only use this set up on the smaller or less active glaciers we get in the south coast range (you know, those little pocket glaciers or cirque glaciers), or (and mainly) on ski trips where the chance of falling into a crevasse is slight, and where there will be a lot of soft snow to arrest a fall.

 

I would not take this set up onto Rainier in the summer where slots are opening up, and the snow is hard.

 

Have YOU ever held a normal crevasse fall? I am always amazed when I see 11mm ropes on Baker in early May...40ft snowpack, knee deep loose snow on the surface, and everyone on skis - WTF does one need 20lbs of rope for in this situation. Alaska, or even Rainier, in the summer is a different story. But the guy was asking for a rope for occassional use, not for heavily glaciated peaks. I'd rather use a small rope, than not have a big one because it was too heavy/I was too lazy to bring it along. But it is one's own call...

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