|Happy memories - my first rope serving me|
well on my first E1, Long Tall Sally
at Burbage North
A fair few ropes have been and gone since then, and between running a university club and later a climbing wall, many ropes of wildly varying qualities have passed through my hands. Ever the gear geek, I have always been interested in how they are made and what would be the rope for the job in any situation, and at one time I owned somewhere around ten different ropes all for different things.
I have done much experimentation with half ropes, twins, skinny singles, long ropes and short ropes, and also done a bit of travelling with limited cargo space. I have come round to thinking now that I need a rope that will perform well on the things I do most but be versatile enough to work in all situations. For me there are three major considerations.
|A short pitch by today's standards....|
Next the diameter. For me, I want to know it's going to work smoothly in a Gri Gri 2, since pretty much everyone uses them these days and I am no exception. Lightweight is always nice, but I would rather carry a touch more weight in exchange for durability, and want enough diameter to be able to grip the rope if a spot of hauling or ascending is required. The sweet spot for all these factors seems to be about 9.8mm, with much more than 0.3mm either side becoming too much or too little.
|Resistance to sharp edges|
is always a bonus!
When it comes to the build, I try to take a keen interest in all the processes and materials involved, but at the end of the day rope building is a very complex science and at a certain level I have to just have faith that the things they are doing that are beyond my realm of understanding are as good as they can be. To ensure this I always buy rope from a company I trust.
|Click here for more info about Unicore|
|The Beal Diablo 9.8mm|
The Diablo was my rope of choice for the Petzl Roctrip (more on that here) and I found it to be the best all round rope I have tried so far. On the trip, I used it in dusty conditions, on single and multipitch, on sport and trad, and with every different belay device I came across in a week of climbing with people from all around the world. I would definitely say it has been thoroughly tested and has passed with flying colours!
If there is one weakness, it is that the impact force is a touch higher than some of the other ropes on the market. This means it is not quite as stretchy so a 'soft catch' requires a little more attention on the part of the belayer. A small price to pay for such a trustworthy workhorse in my opinion but not everyone will agree, especially if climbing on ice or particularly sketchy trad where half a newton of extra force might rip a piece out.
|A safe detergent|
|Rope Brush -|
seriously, this is a
good deal quicker
and more efficient
else I have used!
It is also pretty standard practice to use a rope bag these days, it makes setting up and packing away quicker and helps to keep your rope clean and dry at the crag. Personally, I like to have one that can be used on its own with space for my shoes and harness but will also fit into a bigger pack for when I have a bit more to carry.
|The Beal Folio|