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selkirk

Leader Falls on a Rope...

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Had a new experience this weekend and took my first real leader fall (5 m on 15 m of rope?) and was wondering about when to retire a rope. The rope is rated to 6 falls.... so for all you expert when is the appropriate time to retire a rope. After it's rated number of leader falls? or just continually expect it for soft spots, core shots, exposed core etc.? Everyone's thoughts appreciated....

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I would just inspect it periodically. If it is almost cut in half, I would consider retiring it.*

 

* I do not hold a doctorate in petrochemical materials science

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When it breaks. hahaha.gif

 

Generally no 2 falls you take aren't equal (unless you can't lock in the DFA chain beta and keep missing the jug) so you just need to keep track of the severity of each fall. Example: One factor 2? Retire. 100 TR falls? Probably still good. You need to remember the 6 fall rating is the number of falls it took your rope to break in the UIAA test... something you will never recreate... I hope. Read up on the conditions of the test to better understand what 6 actually means...

 

What you use the rope for (cragging, alpine, aid) will also dictate how soon...

 

You should already be continually inspecting your rope... preferrable after every trip (this is why coiling your rope is a good idea).

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5/15 = .33 Fall factor, not a big deal consider the rope takes 6 FF 1.78 falls in the UIAA tests. Be sure to inspect the rope periodically like Iain said and be careful. I'll post some more rope care info when i get the chance, it's pretty interesting reading.

 

edit: in addition to what NOLSe said, TRing drastically changes the elastic properties of a rope. for more info, check out this link from the ACC

Edited by wazzumountaineer

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And remember UIAA considers "a climber" to be 80kg in their tests. So all you tubbers better go on a diet.

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i don't count falls on my ropes...i retire it when it starts to fuzz hard near the middle...otherwise i keep chopping the fuzz portions near the end of the rope...

 

you won't be able to break a rope in real use...maybe cut it, but then your screwed whether you have a new rope or not...

Edited by RuMR

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When it breaks. hahaha.gif

 

You need to remember the 6 fall rating is the number of falls it took your rope to break in the UIAA test...

 

Actually, six falls is the minimum, and these tests are extreme in nature. However, if you're feeling a bit squeamish, I suggest you give your rope to me wink.gif

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No, just more curious than anything else. Til now all it's seen are TR falls/takes which don't really count... tongue.gif

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Til now all it's seen are TR falls/takes which don't really count...

 

Did you read that link that wazzumountaineer posted? By the way thanks for that link.

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shocked.gifshocked.gif spooky... So is it best to lead on one rope, and drag a second for setting up topropes? Does anyone do that?

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When it breaks. hahaha.gif

 

You need to remember the 6 fall rating is the number of falls it took your rope to break in the UIAA test...

 

Actually, six falls is the minimum, and these tests are extreme in nature. However, if you're feeling a bit squeamish, I suggest you give your rope to me wink.gif

 

and they are also back-to-back which means that the elastic properties are negated. Pretty extreme. There is a video of the testing I saw somewhere.

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shocked.gifshocked.gif spooky... So is it best to lead on one rope, and drag a second for setting up topropes? Does anyone do that?

 

yes it would be best to have a designated TR rope. do people actually do it? I don't know, but i've taken to it sometimes on hard leads.

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shocked.gifshocked.gif spooky... So is it best to lead on one rope, and drag a second for setting up topropes? Does anyone do that?

 

ummm no...

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Diddo, what Rudy said. Retire the rope when you can see or feel a difference in appearance ie. flat spots, core showing, unmanageable. That being said, I am still a bit weary of the smaller diameter ropes since I am a heavy climber that is going to give my ropes a beating.

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shocked.gifshocked.gif spooky... So is it best to lead on one rope, and drag a second for setting up topropes? Does anyone do that?

 

ummm no...

kinda but not realy. to me all things have a life cycle rotation. i buy a new rope and it is my lead rope...when it starts to get al mangy and i begin to wonder about it... it then becomes my top rope opnly rope, and i have to buy a new lead rope. if i feel i can't top rope on a rope any more then i will use it for non climbing things fruit.giffruit.giffruit.gif

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shocked.gifshocked.gif spooky... So is it best to lead on one rope, and drag a second for setting up topropes? Does anyone do that?

 

ummm no...

kinda but not realy. to me all things have a life cycle rotation. i buy a new rope and it is my lead rope...when it starts to get al mangy and i begin to wonder about it... it then becomes my top rope opnly rope, and i have to buy a new lead rope. if i feel i can't top rope on a rope any more then i will use it for non climbing things fruit.giffruit.giffruit.gif

 

smileysex5.gif what sorts of non climbing things? wink.gif

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I also follow the school of Muffiness:

 

New rope = lead rope.

 

Lead rope becomes top rope when it is ready to retire from the sharp end (see below).

 

Old top rope becomes anchor fodder when trees are really far back from the cliff you want to toprope (I haven't encountered this yet in the PNW but did in the Traprocks of CT.

 

Older still gets cut up for dog leashes or otherwise discarded for the snaf.gif

 

When to retire lead rope? People do different things. Mammut recommends you keep a log of falls (length, fall factor, date etc) and abseils (rapping for euros). I don't know anyone who really does this but it would be good. When the lead rope gets about half the number of recommended falls, or is otherwise damaged or just getting older, then buy a new lead rope and turn your old lead rope into a toprope.

 

Unless you are working a route with long run-outs your rope will probably wear long before you max out on its UIAA fall rating.

 

These factors include:

 

Abrasion over rough rock or sharp edges (think about this when setting up those topropes).

 

Dirt ground into the core can damage a rope. Keep your rope out of the dirt as much as possible and don't step on your rope. Wash it from time to time in the washing machine - woolite, slow spin, drip dry. Easy.

 

Excessive UV exposure, heat, or exposure to gas fumes (don't leave your rope in your car).

 

The actions of idiots wearing crampons.

 

Lastly, if you're not falling you're not pushing yourself. However, if you're logging factor 2 falls you're not thinking.

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Selkirk,

Congrats on falling. Seriously. Being able to do it safely is an important part of the learning curve.

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I pretty much do the same as muffy. As for "non climbing things" yes, my girl loves the retiring of the rope....

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Wash it from time to time in the washing machine - woolite, slow spin, drip dry. Easy.

 

Careful, there. You don't want to throw your cord in a top-loading washer, unless you are looking for an excuse to by a new washing machine. Take it to the laundromat unless you have a front loading machine.

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i use a top loading washer for my rope and thongs...i just put them in a mesh bag, tie it off and throw them in...

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I used to wash ropes in the bathtub. Pain in de arse, that.

Care must be taken to make sure the rope load in your washer is balanced, just like any other load you'd put in there.

I've never had problems.

Edited by Rad

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Hmm ... the mesh bag trick sounds smart, although DFA wouldn't know anything about thongs tongue.gif.

 

Word on the street, though, and from at least one person DFA knows, is that just tossing your cord in a top-loader can result in the rope wrapping around the agitator and wrecking the washing machine. For what it's worth.

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Hmm ...smart, although DFA wouldn't know anything about being smart or thongs tongue.gif cuz his missus wears burlap sacks.

 

ahh dude...i'm sorry fruit.giffruit.gif

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