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plark42

8.5mm dry, dynamic half-rope good for top-roping?

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Hello out there- I have an 8.5mm dry rope that I have used only on glacier climbs thus far. I was wondering if it could suffice for top-roping some rock/ice climbs in the future.

 

Thanks for the input- (I am guessing it will work but I wanted to get some advice)

 

also: could I trust this rope to lead class 4 or low grade 5? rockband.gif

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I wouldn't use it for top-roping. That is pretty rough on a rope. 10.5 or 11mm recommended.

If you are on easy terrain I would use it, with the option of doubling it over for difficult sections where a fall is likely.

Make sure you didn't step on it with crampons, etc, during the snow use. That should dedicate it to "glacier rope only" status.

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Thanks for the input... What would be a good compromise? I am looking for a lightweight mountaineering rope that I can use on alpine rock and snow with some moderate top-roping?

 

Also, what do you mean by "doubling it over?" Do you mean to use another half rope or what?

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assuming it is a 60m rope, doubling it over would get you a 30m pair of half-ropes.

some new ropes (sterling I believe) are actually 120m ropes that work the same way.

unfortunately top-roping and alpine climbing are quite different. I think you would be good for easy alpine climbs with your 8.5mm but still recommend a "work horse" rope for top roping. smile.gif

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also: could I trust this rope to lead class 4 or low grade 5?

as a final comment, falls on 4th class can generate just as much force as those occuring on a 5.10 route. Moving "fast & light" on alpine climbs can push arguments for lighter ropes, but remember it's called a half-rope for a reason.

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I would definitely not use one double rope for leading. While it is generated to hold the fall of a following person (e.g. when two climbers are following in a group of three), it is not designed to hold a lead fall. There are a few light single ropes out, if you try to save weight.

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I think that 9.7 is a pretty good compromise for you here... Toproping seems to put the rope through a lot of work, and I agree with Chriznitch's comments. Just using your 8.5 as a 30 meter rope would work, but that doesn't get you up to the top of much. I think there are a few 9.2 mm ropes out there that are okay as single ropes, but I feel like that is similar enough to your 8.5 that you may want to go slightly larger than that. Also, depending on your belay device or system, it may be harder to get the friction you are looking for with a skinny rope, and it could make holding toprope falls harder on the belayer as well.

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Sounds good- I will look into getting a 9.7mm rope.. I definitely want a versatile single rope that is lightweight yet strong enough for what I intend to use it for. (which is pretty much everything from glacier climbing to rock top-roping).. any suggestions?

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I've been using 8.5 doubles for about 14 years now. I have had no problem using them as top ropes, but I do highly recommend that you use care, as with any rope, in watching what you drag them over. I trashed one early on very quickly although, I believe its sheath was flawed.

 

One 60m double rope doubled for fourth class and low fifth simul-climbing has worked very well for me - you have the security of double ropes and can usually keep in verbal contact with your partner due to the shorter separation distance. This has worked well on more moderate climbs such as East Ridge of Ingalls, West Ridge of Forbidden, and East Ridge of Forbidden.

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One great trick I just remembered for top-roping is to run the rope through a piece of one inch tubular webbing to protect it as it runs over a rough surface.

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The skinny ropes tend to stretch more. If used for top roping this means bigger falls. I've seen someone deck from 5m up when toproping an ice climb on a single 8mm.

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I wouldn't use it for top-roping. That is pretty rough on a rope. 10.5 or 11mm recommended.

If you are on easy terrain I would use it, with the option of doubling it over for difficult sections where a fall is likely.

Make sure you didn't step on it with crampons, etc, during the snow use. That should dedicate it to "glacier rope only" status.

 

Yeah, I would have to agree

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While is possible to generate as much force on 4th class as 5.10, it is highly improbable. Falls on fourth class would be more of a bouncing down ledges which absorb alot of force. The rope would most likely keep you form rolling off a ledge after you crash into it. 5.10 falls would be steeper with the rope taking a higher fraction of the force.

So a half rope could be "acceptable" for fourth class terrain. Personal call.

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