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I just wish there was a way to give this thread 6 stars.


Since the title of this thread is "stores in PDX" I'd like to just give a thumbs up to the folks at Climb Max. Unlike REI the folks there know a thing or two about what they're selling; that's worth supporting.




OK, now you can get back to the question of how to untie your new rope's gordian knot.

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What's more of a main drag than Sandy Blvd.?


Its not on Sandy Blvd.


Well, it doesn't face it, but for all intents and purposes it's on it. Are you talking about access or visability? The people that need to go there, don't need to see it from the street. It's not like a convenience store.

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hey, did you know Gloryholeportland has wifi and free Astroglide? I'm posting from there right now!


Hey! There you are! :wave:


Dudes, dudes dudes: I'm afraid to ask what Steamportland is, it's obviously not taking a Spitz at the "Mittleman Jewish Community Center"?


I'm so friggan out of the loop.





We present to you, gentle reader, some here before unknown to all but a few mystics and rare experts, "facts on ropes" including some highlighted and more germain and rare characteristics to pay attention to.




Buying a climbing rope can be confusing but belayed with a few facts your purchasing decision can be anchored. Rope prices can vary greatly and the consumer may wonder, why purchase a more expensive rope over one costing much less. As with anything, less expensive ropes are that way because less effort was put into their construction and design. Initially, less expensive ropes seem to be the most cost effective rope purchase but, more expensive ropes have the best balance of all rope characteristics, they last longer and will perform better over the life span of the rope.


Ropes for climbing are called Dynamic Mountaineering Ropes and are constructed to stretch and absorb energy (heat) when a climber falls which is the dynamic effect. This energy absorbing stretch reduces the amount of force on climber, belayer and gear during a fall. Reducing the amount of force during a fall increases the safety factor. If a static rope was used to lead climb and a fall happened, even a very short fall, the impact forces on gear would be higher than the rated breaking strength. This force would also reach body damaging forces too. All dynamic mountaineering ropes have a kernmantel construction; a twisted or a braided core (kern) inside a woven sheath (mantel) and are constructed from very thin threads of either nylon 6 or nylon 6.6. Before the rope is constructed, the nylon is heat treated to change the molecular balance of the nylon which controls shrinking, and enhances suppleness and elongation properties. The most important part of any climbing rope is the kern which can absorb up to 80% of the force in a fall which is called impact force. The kern is made by first twisting the thin nylon threads with Z and S twists into yard bundles. This initial twist will dictate the level of elongation and strength of the rope. Then these yarn bundles are twisted together with the same Z and S twists to finish the core. The twisting of the yard bundles affects the hand and knotability of the rope. Ideally each pair of twists will have exactly the same amount of Z and S twists to neutralize kinking of the rope but his is not always case especially on cheaper ropes. Another core construction process is thicker strands are plaited into bundles which makes a braided core. Braided cores are reported to have lower impact forces with subsequent falls over a short time span like working a route sport or gym climbing. They are also reported to be less susceptible to kinking.


The mantle protects the kern and has little to do with impact force. Sheath yarns are twisted together with Z and S twists just like the kern then braided together to form the sheath. The mantle is twisted in a way to align the load bearing direction of the nylon with its longitudinal axis which offers the greatest strength and abrasion properties. The mantle is woven with either a double-pic or single-pic sheath. A double-pic sheath has two bundles over two bundles and is the standard sheath construction. Double-pic sheaths have a loose weave producing a softer feel or hand but offer more abrasion resistant due to the increased nylon in the weave. Single-pic sheaths have one bundle over one bundle and produce a tighter weave. Single-pic sheaths are found in smaller diameter ropes to decrease weight and normally have a stiffer hand but due to the lack of nylon offer less abrasion resistance. Single-pic sheaths are also more waterproof due to the tighter weave of the sheath allows less water inside. The draw back to single-pic sheaths are they are more prone to kinking and with poor quality ropes, they can become kink-o-matics no matter how careful the climber is with their rope. Sheaths are woven using 48, 40 or 32 bobbins into a 2-ply sheath. The higher the carrier number the more individual threads are in the sheath but ropes woven with lower bobbins have a thicker sheath which provides a longer-lasting sheath. Some manufactures twist their ropes with a 3-ply sheath with a higher twist rate to increase abrasion resistance. While this will add a gram or two per meter more in the rope's weight, their long term durability far out weighs the extra weight. A thicker sheath can be more economical over the life span of the rope due to most ropes are retired when the sheath wears through or is damaged called core shot. As a general rule, larger diameter ropes will last longer, double-pic sheaths will wear longer and single-pic sheaths will have a better hand and waterproofing.


The UIAA certifies all dynamic mountaineering ropes using the same identical perimeters by performing drop tests (UIAA 101) on a 2.8m/9.2ft section of rope on a total static anchor across a 5mm radius. This test represents a violent high-impact force fall (1.78 fall factor) rarely duplicated in actual climbing. This drop test is repeated until the rope breaks. When ropes finally break during the UIAA drop test, almost 100% of them have the kern melted and fused together by the heat generated during the fall which is the force absorbing dynamic stretch. The rope is not repositioned during the drop test so the same sections of the rope are subject to the same forces during each drop test. The UIAA 101 test drop subjects’ ropes to tremendous forces to ensure ropes are safe during normal climbing activities. It is wise though, if you are working a route where the rope is subject to a lot of consecutive falls to let the rope cool during route working sessions. And if possible, reposition the rope so the same sections of rope are not subjective to the same forces during each fall. And if you just took a high fall-factor fall, it is also wise to let the rope cool before continuing to climb. Dynamic mountaineering ropes are labeled into three different rope systems; single, half and twin.


A single-rope is dropped with an 80kg/176lb weight and must hold five consecutive test drops with an impact force not exceeding 2,640lbs (12kn) on the first test drop. Twin-ropes are tested as a pair and must hold twelve consecutive test drops with the same impact force as a single-rope.


Half-ropes are tested with just a single rope of the pair but use a 55kg weight and must hold five consecutive test drops with impact forces not exceeding 1,760lbs (8kn) during the first test drop. The impact force goes up at an exponential rate during subsequent test drops till the rope fails. Dynamic elongation, the stretch on all three systems must be less than 40%. Static elongation must be less than 8% on single and twin-ropes, half-ropes must be less than 12%. All ropes systems must have less than 10% sheath slippage.


The impact force is the single most important feature of any rope. The lower the impact force of the rope the less force is transferred to the climber, gear and anchor during a fall. But it is also one of the most misunderstood. The UIAA rated impacted force that comes tagged on each rope is measured using a total static belay on a short section of rope. During actual climbing, a friction device is used to belay a climber that applies friction across the rope system in a dynamic manor to slow down and hold a falling climber. The most used friction device in use today is the tube style (ATC). These tube style devices allow the rope to start slipping through them before the rated impact force of the rope is reached. Ropes with a similar diameter can transfer the same impact force on the climber and gear, no matter the UIAA test data. If using a Black Diamond ATC Guide and a Black Diamond Rocklock as your friction / belay rig, with all 10.5mm 9.5mm, 8.5mm, etc., ropes, the slipping force of the rope through the ATC Guide and around the Rocklock will be the same which is less than the UIAA rated impact force of the rope. The more rope between the leader and the belayer when a fall happens, there is more rope to absorb the fall so less force will reach the friction device and less force will be transferred to the protection and leader. Confused yet? Read on.


Actual impact force in a real climbing situation goes even deeper. In a climbing scenario, a dynamic anchor system is used consisting of harness', knots, webbing / cord and the body. The stretching of the harness' and webbing, the tightening of knots and the bodies flexing during a fall further reduce the total impact force. So, actual impact force in a real life climbing situation is more dependent on the friction / belay device, how much rope there is between the leader and belayer, harness', webbing, knots and bodies than the actual UIAA rated impact force. While impact force is the most important feature of rope construction and should be a priority for a purchase decision, just dropping the coin on the rope with the lowest impact force is not the wisest option. Ropes with very low impact forces tend to wear faster and elongate faster due to their construction.


Fall rating is the second most important feature of a rope. The more test drops a rope can hold generally indicates a stronger rope. During the UIAA drop test where all the perimeters are identical, the rope is drop tested till failure so the more falls the rope holds till breaking means it is stronger than those with fewer held falls. But, the higher the fall rating typically means a higher rated UIAA impact force but not necessarily in a real climbing situation.


Sharp edge resistant dynamic certified ropes must hold a single UIAA 101 drop test over a 90 degree edge with a .75mm radius. This test is called UIAA 108 Sharp Edge Resistant Dynamic Rope drop test. But these ropes are not necessarily any safer in a real world climbing environment against the rope cutting over an edge. But again, for some this safety feature is worth considering when climbing in remote areas with blocks and edges, typical ice and alpine climbs. In the past, ropes with this feature had a very stiff hand due to a nylon mesh located between the mantle and the kern. This nylon mesh would protect the kern from cutting on edges. But as advancement in rope design has improved over the last few years, now there is no extra material in rope construction to pass this UIAA drop test. Standard ropes are now passing the UIAA 108 test. But there is a slight gray area with ropes UIAA 108 certified. Some rope manufactures believe this sharp edge resistant test has no real justification. Each rope manufacture must pay the UIAA located in Europe a good sum of money for each test the UIAA performs on their ropes. So, some manufactures elect to not have their ropes tested UIAA 108 to save cost even though their ropes may past this test. But, all ropes manufactures pay to have their ropes certified to the UIAA 101 drop test standards. The UIAA 108 test has been suspended till further notice due to inaccuracies in the test data. Ropes currently UIAA 108 certified will remain that way till January 2005.


Length is a personal preference but 60m (198’) has become the standard. The longer the rope the more challenging rope management becomes and the weight increases. Pulling up a few extra meters of rope to clip it after a long pitch of stiff climbing can be very difficult and may drain strength further, and slow the climbing down. Most modern routes require 60 meters of rope to reach anchors or the top. Ropes are still offered in 50 meter (165’) length but the selection is becoming scarce. Long 70 meter (231’) ropes are popular with sport climbers and have gained popularity for trad, ice and alpine climbers. Their longer length allows combining pitches which increases speed. In fact, the request for 70 meter ropes has become so prevalent; AMH stocks all our most popular ropes in 70 meter lengths. We predict in the next few years, 70 meter ropes will be the standard just like 60 meter ropes were a novelty at first but have become the standard over the last ten years. And now, some super skinny single cords are offered in 80 meter (264') lengths. As ropes get thinner in diameter the weight decrease's, so carrying an extra 10 meter of rope is the same weight as, and at times even lighter than thicker 60 meter single-ropes. Super-long ropes of 100-120 meters have their uses but the rope management can be a nightmare on a climbing route. Climbing moderate alpine routes with these pythons can speed up the ascent to lightning speed. When the terrain becomes technical, double these long cords and use as a standard 60m half-rope. There are even a few Alaskan speed freaks that use a pair of super skinny 120m half ropes for ice and alpine climbing.


Understand your rope will shrink in length over time. After a season of use, your 60 meter cord may shrink to 58, 55 or shorter meters in length. We have seen one budget priced rope shrink 10 meters over two years of use due to poor thermal molecular balance of the nylon. Most high end manufactures cut their ropes a few meters longer than the hang tag lists. A 60 meter cord may actually be 63 meters in length so after some use, your 60 meter cord is actually 60 meter in length. But as time wears on the cord, you may find it shorter than 60 meters and constantly shrinking. If you climb on half or twin-ropes, you may find that one strand is now quite shorter than the other. This is normal but high end rope manufactures spend more research, time and energy in thermo-balancing the nylon so their ropes change shape the least over the longest amount of use.


There is a huge misconception about dry treated ropes. Quality rope's dry treatments are designed to increase the strength of the nylon vs. actually keeping water out of the rope. Of course keeping water out of the rope is a major factor too and is what most consumers understand about dry treatments. Nylon will absorb water and wick it deep into the core decreasing the strength of the rope. Tests of wet ropes show them decreasing their ability to absorb a fall by as high as 70% where as the same ropes with dry treatment lose around 40%. Also, dry treated ropes do not necessarily mean the rope is for ice, snow and alpine climbing only. The dry treatment helps keep dirt out of the internal rope fibers (the core) for increased rope life and strength. It also helps the rope slide with less friction over carabiners, through friction devices, and of course over rock and ice. Manufactures apply dry treatment by different processes and they all work well initially at water absorption into the sheath with the differences being how long this coating lasts. The big deciding factor is if the core is treated. Most inexpensive ropes only have the sheath treated and this coating wears off after just a few pitches. Of course the dry treatment on all ropes will wear off the surface area of the sheath with time but if the core is treated, the rope will have greater handle impact force absorbing abilities during a fall. It's the protection of the internal core which increases rope life and safety that out weighs the higher initial cost.


Ropes come in different diameters but the UIAA drop test not necessarily the diameter of the rope is what determines the system the rope will fall into; single, half or twin. Single-ropes (8.9-11mm) are used singular and the rope is clipped into each piece of protection as one climbs. Single-ropes are the easiest to use and are the standard all-use cord identified with a 1 marked on the labels at each end of the rope. Half-ropes (8-9mm), which is the correct term are used in pairs as a double rope system (this is often the term used for half-ropes) and are clipped alternately into the protection. These ropes are good for ice, alpine or for rock areas with edges or traverses because they offer a safety margin over the cutting of both ropes. Half-ropes have the lowest impact forces but can be difficult to manage during belay duty taking in one rope while giving out the other rope at the same time. Half-ropes must be used as identical pairs and are marked with 1/2 on the labels at the end of the rope. Twin-ropes (7.6-8.5mm) are two ropes used as a single rope meaning both are clipped into each piece of protection; also used as a double rope system.


Argumentatively, twin-ropes offer the highest safety margin against total rope failure but the impact force is also the highest of any rope system. Twin-ropes must be used as identical pairs and are marked with a T or 00 on the labels at the ends of the rope.


The weight of a rope vs. its mass or diameter is hard to compare. Some ropes will feel thinner when comparing same diameter ropes from a different manufacture yet some will be labeled heavier gram-per-meter of rope when labeled smaller diameter. A three-meter section of rope is measured by adding weight 22lbs (10kg) for a single rope, 13.2lb (6kg) for half-ropes at 6 different points along this section then an average is taken using all measurements. As you can see it is hard to compare like diameter ropes between the manufactures.


Fall factor is determined by dividing the length of the fall by the length of rope in use to absorb the fall. This is a single concept but is also very hard to get a firm understanding on what it actually means. If you have climbed 100 feet from your belay you should have 100 feet of rope in use. Now if you are 20 feet above your last piece of protection and fall, you will fall 40 feet which translates into a .4 factor fall (40 divided by 100). But, if you have climbed 30 feet from your belay and take the same 20 foot fall, now it is a 1.33 factor fall (40 divided by 30). While that is not that hard to understand, things can change this simple concept that many climbers over look. Very few if any climbs allow the rope to run perfectly in a straight line. The rope will have slight bends in it as the rope runs through your protection. Traverses, roofs or wondering routes can greatly shorten the rope-in-use length. All these things can increase the fall factor, slightly but it is misunderstood and is sensible to take into account. Always use the proper length runner or quick draw to ensure your rope runs as straight as possible. If you feel a lot of rope drag while climbing understand your top piece of gear, the rope between you and this top piece of gear, your harness and even you will be subject to a higher factor fall than simple dividing the length of fall by the length of rope is use. The rope is your lifeline so it is wise to protect and care for it. Laying your rope on a tarp while climbing will protect it from dirt. Never step on a rope especially when wearing crampons. Ropes should be stored and carried in a rope bag and those with a built-in tarp are a wise choice. Inspect your rope before and after every use. Dirty ropes should be washed to remove dirt before the dirt has time to grind through the sheath reducing the life of the rope. Re-waterproofing ropes will help keep water and dirt out and will also increase the life of your rope.


All ropes kink with use, some much faster than others due to their construction. We have found some ropes are kink-o-matics right from the bag from poor Z and S twisting in the core. Some brand names are worse than others and certain ropes within a manufacture are worse than the other ropes they construct. Most kinking can be attributed to improper use. The rope running through a fiction device either during belay duty or rappelling will install a mass number of kinks. Feeding the rope a true as possible during these technical skills will help the rope remain neutral. But the biggest factor in kinking ropes comes from improper un-spooling of a new rope. Uncoiling a new rope puts over 40 twists into the rope; do not lay your rope flat on the ground and pull an end to uncoil or hold the rope in one arm and pull an end to uncoil. We have even seen customers drop an entire new rope on the floor and then start pulling on the ends, middle and where ever they grab to uncoil it. Un-spooling a new rope using both arms is the best method. Slide both arms through the rope and un-roll it arm over arm or have a partner pull an end as the rope unrolls from your arms. Another method is un-coiling 3-4 coils at a time alternating between left and right hands will also help keep the rope neutral. Coiling your rope with a butterfly or backpack coil with no twists as you coil will help your rope remain kink free. Running the entire length of your rope through a clutched hand removing twist from time to time will eliminate kinks and let you inspect your rope.


Retire a rope when it attains sheath damage, flat or soft spots, becomes stiff or holds a single high-impact fall. A diary will help document usage. We have been known to core shot ropes in less than a season (winter or summer as a season) so we generally have a good understanding on how long many ropes last. We have used many inexpensive ropes and watched them turn into unusable kink-o-matics, acquire flat spots, shrink by great lengths and fuzz up with tiny tears in the sheath with little use. AMH believes in higher-quality manufactures with their longer lasting construction and believe they offer the better economic value. In addition, AMH cherry picks (of course we climb on them too) ropes from quality company’s entire line of ropes that we believe are their best ropes that the company offers."

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The important part:


But the biggest factor in kinking ropes comes from improper un-spooling of a new rope. Uncoiling a new rope puts over 40 twists into the rope; do not lay your rope flat on the ground and pull an end to uncoil or hold the rope in one arm and pull an end to uncoil. We have even seen customers drop an entire new rope on the floor and then start pulling on the ends, middle and where ever they grab to uncoil it. Un-spooling a new rope using both arms is the best method. Slide both arms through the rope and un-roll it arm over arm or have a partner pull an end as the rope unrolls from your arms. Another method is un-coiling 3-4 coils at a time alternating between left and right hands will also help keep the rope neutral. Coiling your rope with a butterfly or backpack coil with no twists as you coil will help your rope remain kink free. Running the entire length of your rope through a clutched hand removing twist from time to time will eliminate kinks and let you inspect your rope.
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"Top tips on choosing and using ropes:




The single biggest indicator of rope quality is price - a more expensive rope will offer higher performance and a longer life. Buying a cheap rope can ultimately be more expensive, as it will need to be replaced more regularly.



Kinks cause tangles - tangles cause frustration, and take time to remove. It is always well worth taking that bit of extra time to neatly uncoil and stack ropes prior to use, at belays, etc.



When uncoiling a brand new rope, place your arms through the coil and 'unwind' the rope - this will put far fewer kinks in the rope compared to putting the coil on the floor and pulling the end.



A rope bag will increase the life of your rope (by protecting it from dirt and abrasion whilst lying on the ground), reduces kinking, and means no more coiling (just dump the rope on to the tarp and roll up into bag).



When coiling a rope use the lap-coil method - this greatly reduces kinking.



When removing coils (e.g. whilst moving together) take time to uncoil the rope one turn at a time - this again reduces kinking.



Climbing ropes only break on rope breaking machines in the lab - in the 'real world' they only fail if they are cut. They are very strong, but cut very easily when under tension. Always be aware of sharp edges that the rope may run against, especially in situations where the rope will move sideways along an edge in the event of a fall.



Always allow a rope to 'rest' for at least 10 minutes after a big fall.



If your rope gets damaged during use, a partially cut section can be easily isolated using an alpine butterfly knot.



It is time to replace your rope if it suffers any damage that exposes the core, or simply if you lose confidence in it.



Always avoid standing on ropes (especially if wearing crampons!) as this will lead to accelerated breakdown.



Occasional washing will remove abrasive dirt and will help prevent it getting into the core of the rope.



Store in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight (and it's damaging UV)."



From: Link


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You can't loose with REI's return policy though. A friend of mine threw his rope down at the local crag and it was the most twisted mess I'd ever seen. We climbed on it a few frustrating times and he returned it for a new rope. Another friend picked up some boots, wore 'em up hood and through the Cascades then returned them for an upgrade no questions asked.





I'm done talking about ropes now, I didn't mean to come off so rude. But I suspect, given that REI carries quality Mfg ropes only. Like real real good stuff, that your buddy was responsible for his rope being kinked, and not REI or the Mfg. I put a bunch of info up there to look at.


I've been wrong plenty of times before though. So your results still may vary.

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BTW, thanks for the ropes the other day Joseph. I was uncoiling them just 2 days ago, and the blue one got F*ed up right out of the bag. So I had to manually untangle it like when you untangle it after washing it in a washing machine. You can tell, by the fact that it kinks easier than the other one, that I did a poor job of that one, not like the links above tell ya to do. Which is why it's still fresh in my mind to share with everyone.


Noted that one was 1 foot longer than the other, which was better than the last pair where it was what? 5 feet or so difference?


However, I suspect that rappeling 3 or 4 times on it should get it on tract.


Thanks again jh!


Cyall later :wave:

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