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I think I need a rope. Advice?


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I had an Edelweiss Energy 9.5 mm rope, but my car got broken into one night, and the backpack it was in was stolen. :(


I've been climbing with a buddy who has a rope, and I can get by without one. But I'd like to practice on easy routes more often, and I'm thinking I can teach my girlfriend to belay me. Plus I'd like to practice prusiking up a rope some evenings at home, I tried this weekend and it was a lot harder than I thought it'd be. So while I'd prefer not to spend the money (again) it seems like I'll benefit from it.


Mostly I'll use it for crag climbing. But I'd like to do some alpine climbs once I build up enough skill. Seems like that's a little at odds, balancing abrasion resistance and weight.


I'm looking at a BlueWater Lightning Pro, 9.7 mm, bi-pattern, and with the dry treatment. I played with one in the store, liked the supple feel. I like the low impact force and the high number of falls it caught in testing. On Saturday I was the last one to climb, went up on a top rope, cleaned the anchor, and rappelled down; I couldn't find the middle mark on my partner's rope and a bi-color would have made it easier. Plus I preferred the feel of the 9.5 mm I had to his 10.2 mm when it comes to belaying and lowering.


So I'd love to hear about this particular rope and other suggestions, but I'm even more interested in general advice about buying a rope.

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I climb at nowhere near the level that I'd ever notice the difference between most ropes, so I usually set some basic criteria then find the cheapest rope that meets them. The last rope I bought had to be in the mid to upper 9mm range for diameter, dry treated, 60m long, and bi-pattern if possible. I ended up finding an bi-pattern Edelweiss Laser for about $150 and I've been pretty happy with it. For the slight difference in feel or weight to other ropes, I couldn't justify spending the extra money. I'm sure a lot of other people have specific ropes or brands they love, but I've been pretty happy using this method for my last few ropes.

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I think you're pretty on target. I normally recommend something in the low 10mm's for cragging, and something in the low 9mm's for alpine rock and ice, so something in between will give you a more durable rope for cragging with some weight savings for alpine.


I'm convinced that double and twin rope handling is an advanced technique and situation-dependent, so I stick to single strands for most applications.


Getting the water-proofed version actually increases durability and can improve handling, so consider spending a little extra for that. I used to be a big fan of Beal, but I started using Sterling a few years ago and I'm pretty satisfied with the cost vs. lifespan of the rope.

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I bought the Lightning Pro, in a bi-color and with the "double" dry treatment. It's had two long days of use so far, so it's too early to comment on much, but it's very supple and knotable, and the amount of friction is just right.


Can I leave it in the trunk for a day or so? Earlier this spring I camped in the Icicle, spent a day climbing, and another day cycling. I don't think the heat should be a problem, but I don't really know.

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This is interesting:


One thing they didn't mention is jumper cables. My buddy had his rope in the trunk one time, laying right on top of the jumper cables. That rope didn't kill us...but something to keep in mind...the trunk of a car is not the safest place.


As he said, keep your climbing gear in a bag, maybe even a plastic bin, and away from any chemicals. I also try to never set my gear down on the bare ground in parking lots, or out in garages.


I don't set mine down on the ground where cars park, either. And I keep it in a bag, one of those re-useable ones from Second Ascent. I need to get around to getting another crag pack, but it isn't at the top of my list of priorities... Anyway, I think it's well protected in my trunk. But that's a great point about the jumper cables!

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