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Jamin

How many lead falls can a rope take?

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A friend of mine asked this question after he had taken a 12 foot whipper. I have heard that 10 falls of 4 feet or greater will completely stretch out the core of the rope, but I am not really sure.

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Ropes are rated for their fall factor. It should be in the literature that comes with the rope. There is a thread on this if you search.

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How much duct tape are you willing to climb with and pull through biners - at least that was the only question back in the day in our neck of the woods when we were climbing on MSR ("knot special") fully-braided rope. It would get big poodle hairballs you had to tape down. We'd retire them when they got to be a hassle to pull through biners...

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"How many lead falls can a rope take?" A friend of mine asked this question after he had taken a 12 foot whipper. I have heard that 10 falls of 4 feet or greater will completely stretch out the core of the rope, but I am not really sure.

 

It could be that the Mfgs of ropes are talkin about this very subject.......nahhh, probably not.

 

OK, maybe they "heard" something.

 

I wonder if they have web sites?

________________________________________________________________

 

BTW Jamin, I SAW one break under bodyweight, ON RAPPEL. (I didn't "see" it but was actually in the same remote area on lead when some kid ran up breathlessly asking for help) Made a rope litter, splinted and carried the dude out. Had his thigh bone sticking out through his pants.

 

Maybe it did not have had enough duct tape. This event made me a believer in rope bags.

 

One more thing: I went out climbing with Alan Lester once and he brought the rope. I asked how many falls it had had, and he said, "over 200". When you are 100 feet up and fall 4 feet, it's not so much a "fall" as a ....hmmm, snugging action. What a fall is are actually tightly specified by the rope Mfg if you peruse one of their pages or th Uiaa site.

 

Oh look, the link to the Uiaa standards is right here if you click it

 

Hope you get google back online soon. :wave:

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A friend of mine asked this question after he had taken a 12 foot whipper. I have heard that 10 falls of 4 feet or greater will completely stretch out the core of the rope, but I am not really sure.

 

Ah bull! I have had the same rope for sport climbing for 7 years. Works great! lol :grin:

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A friend of mine asked this question after he had taken a 12 foot whipper. I have heard that 10 falls of 4 feet or greater will completely stretch out the core of the rope, but I am not really sure.

 

Ah bull! I have had the same rope for sport climbing for 7 years. Works great! lol :grin:

 

It depends.

 

Being 2' above an anchor and falling 4' is a fall factor 2 fall and most likely if you are doing it on your older used rope, assuming that your kidneys survive, it will break your rope with a few falls, rope dependant of course. I have heard that ropes come in many sizes. Some have said that 9.1mil diameter (uiaa rating 5 fall factor 2 falls until breakage) is available. Some say 11mil (uiaa rating 18 fall factor 2 falls until breakage). So I suppose it really depends on many variables. Doesn't it? How much do you weight? How much does Jamin weigh. You weigh 80 kilos? 50? Some have noted previously that weight may play a difference.

 

Falling 200 times 10' with 100' of rope out is a different thing altogether and nowhere as severe as a 4' fall on 2' of rope, not anywhere close to a fall factor 2 as defined by the Uiaa and will not harm your rope (excluding abrasion issues) .

 

Totally. Click the UIAA link.

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Diameter: 10.5 mm

Grams Per Meter: 68

Impact Force: 8.0 kN

UIAA Falls Held: 11

Static Elongation: 7.2%

Dynamic Elongation: 31.8%

Sheath Slippage: 0 mm

 

It looks like my rope held 11 falls with an impact force of about 1800 lbs. In other words, ropes are good for many falls of decent (10-15 ft) distances for about 5 years. Anyone concur?

 

Billcoe, was that guy who was rappelling even using a climbing rope correctly. It sounds like that guy had been abusing his climbing rope for ten years by storing it near leaky batteries and hacking it in half in numerous places.

Edited by Jamin

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Reread Billcoes post. Now your rope was rated to catch 11 falls a set distance, weight, amd on a prescribed length of rope (look again at those UIAA standards). It is a matter of the length of fall as a ratio compared to the amount of rope that caught it. Most manufactures recommend replaceing anything that has caught a fall that exceeds 1 in that ratio (remember this is the rope sellers reccomend) but in reality a 4 ft fall could toast a rope while it will totally survive a 60 footer if the ratio is in your favor.

 

Do a search on fall factors and you will find all sorts of info.

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A friend of mine asked this question after he had taken a 12 foot whipper. I have heard that 10 falls of 4 feet or greater will completely stretch out the core of the rope, but I am not really sure.

 

 

lots and lots and lots.....the company that make the ropes has to (for insurance reasons, and to SELL MORE ROPES)put a limit of falls on there literature. I have taken dozens and dozens of falls (mostly little ones) on years worth of ropes.

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A friend of mine asked this question after he had taken a 12 foot whipper. I have heard that 10 falls of 4 feet or greater will completely stretch out the core of the rope, but I am not really sure.

 

 

lots and lots and lots.....the company that make the ropes has to (for insurance reasons, and to SELL MORE ROPES)put a limit of falls on there literature. I have taken dozens and dozens of falls (mostly little ones) on years worth of ropes.

While there is a lot of imperical evidence to support this, the fall ratings are set for a near-worst case scenario. Ropes do break sometimes. Don't be too cavalear.

 

Unrelated to the above quote, Jamin has asked a legitimate question in a respectful tone in the newbie section.

Let's not scare him off for doing something right.

 

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You are supposed to let your rope recover after a severe fall so the core will recoil to be better able to absorb subsequent falls. Someone with more time can find a link for that.

 

As you may know, UIAA falls are more severe than 99.9% of falls your rope will ever endure.

 

This guy did his own 'experiment' which illustrates how tough ropes can be:

 

Old rope tested for ability to withstand severe falls

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Speaking of tests, Chris Harmon of BD did some tests with the new skinny ropes which...*GASP...* prove conclusively and shockingly that they do not last nearly as long as the old phat ropes. After a a few were tested and found that they will NOT hold 1 uiaa fall.

 

Heres a link to a 9.4 test which broke at 6Kn, (JUST CLICK THIS F*ING LINK AND READ IT BEFORE YA POST ABOUT IT) about what a toprope fall can generate. Surprisingly it did not break during the previous weekend's whippers (maybe dude was tied on the other end?) Beal ropes as well as Sterling, Edelweiss, Mammut were tested AND RESULTS WERE THE SAME.

 

So, old f*s like moi, need to pay attention to this. I own an 11mil 18 fall rope. These phat guys can be beat with a hammer, tow a car, run over a sharpe edge and take a 100' fall and like the energizer bunny still be working and hold up fine: However, NEED TO PAY ATTENTION as the new super ropes age super fast!

 

 

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Remind me not to borrow your rope. ;)

 

ha ha ! I've cored 2 ropes in as many years, I really do cut them up and retire them, sooner than many folks I know - I'm a chickenshit fraidycat deep down at heart:-)

 

BTW, Joseph caught and noted this early failure issue trend last year when he tested some skinny slings to (an early and low) failure. This should come as no surprise.

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Buy a new rope whenever you feel like you can't trust your old one. The distraction of wondering whether your rope is going to break when you take a fall (it most likely will not--but that ain't the point) will be detrimental to your climbing. I bought a new rope every year my first couple of years climbing; and I wouldn't use the same rope for rock that I would on ice. It made me feel better until I came to trust my equipment.

 

Just buy your rope off season (like right now) and you'll pay a lot less than full price. It's worth the peace of mind.

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The skinny ropes really do wear out quicker.

Many sport climbers put about 2-3 falls a day when sport climbing (warmups, onsights, and projecting) I buy about 1 rope a year for sport climbing. I usually buy a 70m and cut it down at both ends as it gets beat on. Did anyone ever use that Beal program rope that is fat at the ends and skinny in the middle? I'll bet we'll see something like that again someday.

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Unrelated to the above quote, Jamin has asked a legitimate question in a respectful tone in the newbie section.

Let's not scare him off for doing something right.

 

word.

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I recently took a big fall (40-50ft) on a new rope and have considered buying a new one for hard leads.

 

I will still use the rope for moderate's though.

 

Retire according to manufactures guidelines or whenever you ask' "should I retire this rope?"

 

Stewart

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Stewert has a good idea. Now what I do similar. Especially if you plan on being one of those old rich climber types. :D

 

I have a Lead rope that is used on the hard trad leads. When I take a big whipper that causes me concern it moves down the list to a general use rope and eventually through top rope use and project use. Consider that a new (or never fallen on) rope has the softest catch and an old rope with a bunch of catches gets stiffer.

Ropes don't just decide "i'm gunna fail now" they deteriorate in usefullness. As you build a selection use the most appropriate one and save the best for the most critical leads.

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if you have that many ropes laying around and being used interchangeably, have a system for keeping track of usage for each one. retire as necessary according to the rope log

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I have a system for runners: write my name on one side and the year on the other. Started doing it for ropes too, witht he date on the end.

 

One day your just sitting there fiddling with your stuff, and see a '91 on the damn thing and you're thinking....hummmmm, I thought I just bought this the other day, but sure enough you start working the math, get a calculator out and are shocked to see that when you plug in 2007-1991 you actually get 16 years.

 

The damn thing shockingly aged on you.

 

I just had that happen to some brand new skinny slings that I wrote '04 on.

 

3 years may be time to retire them perhaps. The data is fuzzy on those skinny guys.

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The data is fuzzy on those skinny guys.

And what about the fuzzy old fat guys?

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The data is fuzzy on those skinny guys.

And what about the fuzzy old fat guys?

 

We just climb easy stuff and don't worry about falling.

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