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KarlHelser

Tagging a rope....

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I've collected several ropes in the past few years....along with ropes cut from a spool. The manufacturer's tags usually fall off. Just wondering if there's a good way to tag the rope with pertinent information, like the diameter and length. The more ropes I collect, the harder it is to remember...especially the length.

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I've seen the ends melted and flattened, then a heated metal stamp is used to put some number and or letters on the end. This becomes the identification for the rope and its details are stored in a log book. Not sure that would be practical for recreational use but I've seen in used in the guiding industry.

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This might not help if you've got multiples from the same spool, but what about a close up pic of the rope showing color/weave and then writing whatever data you want to maintain. This could be maintained in electronic or hard copy.

 

Alternatively, what about making some kind of tag and then somehow attaching it to a knot in the rope. You store it with this tag attached and when you pack the rope for a trip you take it off. When you return the rope to storage you tie a knot and re-attach the tag. The tag and attachment method could be almost anything you could imagine and have on hand. It could range from paper and string up to the stamped metal idea listed above. This should work great for personal rope stashes where you only have a rope or 2 out at a time.

 

Super dirtbag could be writing the info with a pen on some masking tape and wrapping it around the rope. You just would have to make a new one every time you brought the rope home.

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You could get heavy duty heat shrink tubing from the hardware, electric, or auto parts stores. Either get a clear tube and shrink it over a numbered tag at the end of the rope or get various colors and keep records of which color is on which rope. I wouldn't suggest tubing anywhere but the very tip of the rope but it shouldn't be much different than what was originally on there from the mfg.

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I've been putting a tag that I've marked the pertinent info on with a felt tip pen (date bought, diameter and length and the rope brand). BIG BLOCK LETTERS cause I'm old and the eyes are going. The tag is clipped onto the rope bag with a removable cable tie. If I'm going someplace knarly, I usually leave the bag at home, but I have put clear tape over some tags, which are paper, to keep them together.

Something like this except the colorpaper-tag-psd-463588.png

 

The tags have been really good for may reasons:

 

* That rope some unfortunate rockfall chopped the end of but you love the rope so you keep it now has the 60M crossed out and it says 47M in big block letters.

 

* The 200M roll of static that you got a great deal on and then chopped up into a 70m 70m and a 60m WHICH ALL LOOK ALIKE, you will NEVER fuck up and grab the 60m when you really wanted to grab the 70m.

 

* Your (My) favorite skinny rope (which did a FA last month), that Beal 9.1 joker that you have been getting good mileage on cause you love it so much: you will start to realize you don't want to fall on it everytime you grab it to go out when you look and see the date on the tag: 2007! Which truthfully, still seems like @2 years ago so it's your new rope in your mind. The math, however, shows it to be purchased 8 years ago. This passage of time is confusing to me. So I've felt tipped the year onto my slings as well. One of the guys at BD had a good blog on how much weaker his skinny rope was than he thought it would be when tested.

 

If you swap out rope bags, the rope identifier tags get swapped as well. Takes seconds.

 

One more thing, I use Blue tags for Dynamic ropes and Yellow for Static. Then I have 3 piles: one static, one dynamic, and a pile of new ropes that you bought on sale still in plastic. Grabbing the right rope as you hit the door is simplified, or if your kid shows up hinting that he needs a 70M for long routes at a new place. Bamm, rummage the pile and toss him the one you think is best.

 

On the tubing idea. That sounds interesting. Hadn't thought of it. Heat shrink tubing can come with adhesive on the inside, I'd suggest that. I tried felt tip marking the ends: not too successful at that.

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Only problem with the shrink wrap idea is that it is a no go in the alpine or anywhere that a stuck rope is a real concern. Those little pieces have a tendency to wedge themselves in little cracks and get stuck. If your rope only goes to single pitch areas this wouldn't be a concern. I definitely cut the factory shrink wrap markers off when I uncoil the rope for the first time.

 

You can also just use a sharpie and write the details of the rope near the end. This lasts a surprisingly long time since that part of the rope doesn't really get used much.

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Thanks all....I think i'll try the tagging each rope with a tag and the pertinent info in BIG BLOCK LETTERS...for the same reason

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I had an Edelweiss rope BITD. Lovely thing. It came with a book where I was supposed to log all of my meters of top roping, leading, abseiling as well as details on falls. I never wrote anything in that book cuz I'm not a swiss machine.

 

You could keep relevant info in the rope bag. Each rope stays in its bag, except for alpine outings.

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If you are mostly worried about forgetting the length, just use your own system of coloring the ends. Sharpie the final 2 or 3 inches and consistently use red for 60m, black for 70m, green for 80m, etc.

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Only problem with the shrink wrap idea is that it is a no go in the alpine or anywhere that a stuck rope is a real concern. Those little pieces have a tendency to wedge themselves in little cracks and get stuck. If your rope only goes to single pitch areas this wouldn't be a concern. I definitely cut the factory shrink wrap markers off when I uncoil the rope for the first time.

 

You can also just use a sharpie and write the details of the rope near the end. This lasts a surprisingly long time since that part of the rope doesn't really get used much.

 

That's great advice Mikey. My son gave me a new bi-color last month and I just had the end come off when it was pulled on a rap (assuming in lieu of it getting stuck) I never had one get stuck, but I could see where in some of the wild places you go it could easily go way beyond inconvenience to being deadly.

 

Rope_ends.jpg

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