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WildBlue

30 meter rope on Rainier?

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Would you use a 30 meter 8mm rope to climb Rainier? Details: Two-man team, Disappointment Cleaver route, late July, summitted via same route before, decent crevasse rescue skills.

 

I am contemplating buying the Edelweiss Discover 8mm x 30m Super Dry Twin Rope that REI sells. It is so small and light and tempting. But I wonder if 30 meters is too short, or if 8mm is too skinny to hold a 6mm prusik. All feedback welcome.

Thanks.

 

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Several things:

 

8mm is too small for the 6mm prus..go with 5mm

 

2 man rope team isn't the safest way to go, but sometimes I know you have to. In addition, a lot of folks go with two ropes - in your case, couple o' 30m ropes should be fine. Not sure I'd feel good running around on glaciers with only one short rope. DC isn't too bad, though. Probably wanded/stomped like a mother. On that route, one rope might be just fine. Odds of going in are pretty low.

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Tell you what, for a two man party climb it is just enough. I had the unfortunate circumstance of my partner taking a fall into a crevasse on the top of cadaver gap. When all was said and done, I could not have effected a rescue with any less rope. Now, there were other issues at play, but long story short, I would say that 50M would be the ideal 3 party rope. Route would play a large part in it as well given that if you are able to be fairly closely roped, you could easily get away with it. There are some glaciers that have large and dramatic crevasses where an increase in the length of rope between climbers is necessary.

 

If you are just doing the normal "dog" routes though, it should serve you nicely.

 

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as far as the prussiks, I have always heard 2mm or greater in rope difference, but I would test it. Using 5mm prussiks is pretty gnarly especially if you were required to use them for a rescue. Even if you went with titan cord, that shit is really slippery and would not hold.

 

I would personally try it out before venturing out in the the "wilds" and ensure that your rope bights. As long as your prussiks are supple, you should have not issue though.

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Most people use a 30-35 meter rope on Rainier (for a rope team of 2-4 people). If you know what you are doing (i.e. that you do not need 50+ feet of rope between people and in fact this is quite unsafe, slower, and not necessary) then a 30 meter rope is quite reasonable and preferable for Rainier and other glaciers in the lower 48. (this does not mean that if you don't know what you are doing then you should go with a 50-m rope....)

 

The diameter is an all together different issue. 8mm is on the thin side, but not unheard of. I for one like a slightly thicker diameter rope for Rainier (and other glaciers), but if I'm sure plenty of people use an 8mm rope safely.

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I think it depends on the type of cord you're using - testing is a good idea. We tested because we practice rescue on dry ground - 6mm, like those pre-made Metolius dealios, don't do well on 8mm ropes. That's what we found. 5mm climbing spec cord works great.

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... In addition, a lot of folks go with two ropes - in your case, couple o' 30m ropes should be fine. Not sure I'd feel good running around on glaciers with only one short rope....

 

No offense here, but I don't know any 2 person rope teams that carry a second rope for a route like the DC. What would you do with the second rope? (rescue situations?)

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... In addition, a lot of folks go with two ropes - in your case, couple o' 30m ropes should be fine. Not sure I'd feel good running around on glaciers with only one short rope....

 

No offense here, but I don't know any 2 person rope teams that carry a second rope for a route like the DC. What would you do with the second rope? (rescue situations?)

 

gotta read my entire post, baby. I tend to agree with you

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i recently went up the dc on a two man team w a 30m 8mm rope. we used a bit under half the rope for spacing, i carried the rest of the rope in rescue coils around my shoulder,

 

my partner carried a 30m static line for an extra rescue rope if the shit hit and i went in.

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I did so now I take out my "on routes like the DC" and my statement still stands. I don't know any 2 person rope teams that carry a second rope for standard glacier travel.

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Does anybody ever cut longer ropes down to shorter lengths? I would prefer a rope a little longer than 30 meters, but it's hard to find a relatively skinny glacier-travel rope in anything less than 60 meters, and that's just way too much for two guys on the DC to carry. But I just can't bear the thought of spending $200 plus on a rope and then cutting a chunk off.

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Does anybody ever cut longer ropes down to shorter lengths? I would prefer a rope a little longer than 30 meters, but it's hard to find a relatively skinny glacier-travel rope in anything less than 60 meters, and that's just way too much for two guys on the DC to carry. But I just can't bear the thought of spending $200 plus on a rope and then cutting a chunk off.

 

There are 37 and 40 m glacier ropes that are sold (at least I recall that when shopping in the past).

 

For moderate slopes a 30m is fine for 2-3 persons, including the DC.

 

 

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Does anybody ever cut longer ropes down to shorter lengths? I would prefer a rope a little longer than 30 meters, but it's hard to find a relatively skinny glacier-travel rope in anything less than 60 meters, and that's just way too much for two guys on the DC to carry. But I just can't bear the thought of spending $200 plus on a rope and then cutting a chunk off.

 

Wit until one of your older ropes gets damaged then cut off a good 30m chunk.

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I did so now I take out my "on routes like the DC" and my statement still stands. I don't know any 2 person rope teams that carry a second rope for standard glacier travel.

 

Keep looking - I don't do 2-man glacier travel (so far). We carry a second rope all day for a 3 or 4 man team. My buddy did a two-man team with some random idiot, other guy didn't watch the tension, rope draped down into a crevasse, got mega snagged, had to cut the rope. Trip = over. Extra rope might have been nice. Super random, but happened.

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I did so now I take out my "on routes like the DC" and my statement still stands. I don't know any 2 person rope teams that carry a second rope for standard glacier travel.

 

Keep looking - I don't do 2-man glacier travel (so far). We carry a second rope all day for a 3 or 4 man team. My buddy did a two-man team with some random idiot, other guy didn't watch the tension, rope draped down into a crevasse, got mega snagged, had to cut the rope. Trip = over. Extra rope might have been nice. Super random, but happened.

 

okay, I'll keep my eye out for it...

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50 m should be a minimum length for a team of two if you think there is a chance that you will need to perform a complicated crevasse rescue with no one around to help out.

 

By complicated I mean that the rescuer needs to go down to a victim to offer first aid before lifting out. Or if the victim is unconscious. You need to carry enough rope in rescue coils to reach the other person. with 40 feet between climbers and some rope used up in knots to harness and stopper knots along length of rope between, this could mean a 130 foot rope. I guess that is around 40m of rope.

 

But being on the dc route will ensure that there is a high chance that someone will stumble over the surface member and help out.

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Gene speaks da troof. If you need to get to your homie in the crevasse, a 30m rope doesn't give you a lot of spare length to work with. The 30m rope is ideally suited to skilled climbers experienced in self-rescue who probably won't fall into a crevasse and won't get hurt if they do.

 

Feathered Friends sells 8.4mm dynamic Sterling rope by the foot. Or at least they used to. You could walk in there and say "Cut me 39m off that there spool" and you could have your own custom glacier line.

 

Edit: Gene, remember- you're not a victim until you're dead. If you're hurt you're a patient.

Edited by Fromage

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disclosure I do not have that much experience on glaciers (prefer non-glacier routes), though have spent a fair bit of time practicing CR and researching topic as much as I can.

 

1) I plan for the worst (ie my partner is unresponsive).

It may be a reality that one can plan on other climbers to be in proximity (rainier dog routes) but that as a plan in and of itself seems horribly short-sighted and incredibly selfish in regards to saying "hey, I will be slightly under-prepared and expect strangers to make up the difference, to take their time/risk themselves to help me if the worst happens". It makes assumptions and places expectations on them. But one still must reconcile the reality with the principle-maybe a middle ground exists.

 

2) setting an anchor and removing oneself after catching a CR fall on a 2 person team is a feat. a) setting the anchor into hard snow while holding the fall is a feat. b) have your prusiks set already and able to get that onto the anchor

 

3) on a 30m rope if you have some extra and your partner has some extra, you have enough in the 2 man system to get a decent Z rigged, but not tons, esp depending on distance of fall. If your partner weighs more than you/slope/rope bites into snow, etc, have fun with that.

 

I may be wrong but at my level of experience i actually have more confidence with three on a 30m and two on a 60m. rationale: with 3 even on a short rope you have two to haul. with 2 on the longer rope you have enough rope to set a better system.

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FWIW, I regularly travel on a team of three with a 30m rope. With 15m spaced out between people, safe, effective and efficient crevasse rescue can take place. Sometimes I'll add butterfly "stopper knots" every 2m between the first and second climbers on the rope as well.

 

Likewise, with two people a 30m rope is adequate. Either have both climbers carry 7-8m of rope at the ends, or give all 15m to the back. I almost always use butterfly "stopper knots" for a two-man team.

 

Just my two cents.

Edited by chris

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Well, so I bought the 30 meter, 8mm rope, but my 6mm prusiks would not hold on it for anything. Even with an extra loop they just slid right off. I happened to have a random piece of 5mm cord so I tried a prusik with that and it bit perfectly. But I just can't seem to accept the fact that I will have to replace all my cordelletes down to 5mm to use this rope. 5mm just seems too skinny to me. I think I'm going to return the rope to REI and find a fatter one. I'm really disappointed because that rope is so light and I was looking forward to the big weight savings.

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FWIW, I regularly travel on a team of three with a 30m rope. With 15m spaced out between people, safe, effective and efficient crevasse rescue can take place. Sometimes I'll add butterfly "stopper knots" every 2m between the first and second climbers on the rope as well.

 

Likewise, with two people a 30m rope is adequate. Either have both climbers carry 7-8m of rope at the ends, or give all 15m to the back. I almost always use butterfly "stopper knots" for a two-man team.

 

Just my two cents.

Could you explain the purpose of the "stopper knot"? Is this supposed to catch on the lip of the cravasse and prevent the climber from falling in farther? Seems to me the only thing it will stop is the rope team from pulling the climber out (rope will cut into the lip and the knot will jam into it)

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Just my two cents. Could you explain the purpose of the "stopper knot"? Is this supposed to catch on the lip of the cravasse and prevent the climber from falling in farther? Seems to me the only thing it will stop is the rope team from pulling the climber out (rope will cut into the lip and the knot will jam into it)

 

Info HERE with an illustration.

 

More HERE

 

Looks like it would work well for a two person team with both partners carrying enough excess rope to reach each other. If self extraction is possible (often likely) the fallen climber can use the pre tied knots in conjunction with a single (pre rigged ) prussik to ascend back to the lip and can also be backup belayed by the partner up top the entire time.

 

30m of rope is plenty to do this with but it doesn't leave any room for error when you're tired and trying to measure it out by the arm load in a white out. I would mark just past the one third points of both ends ahead of time to make this easy when it's time to pull the rope out.

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Thanks KirkW (and Chris). Thats pretty much what I thought. Its an interesting option to keep in mind under the right circumstances, as long as one understands the limitations.

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