Discussion: Measuring route length?

  • Started: 4 weeks ago on Sat 18th Aug 2018

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started this discussion 4 weeks ago.

Measuring route length?

Hey there, I'm looking to verify or document the length of my future ascents, any idea how to do so with minimum hassle? My current best ideas are: 1 carrying a laser distance meter, but that gives only the chains height and not route length. 2 marking the rope every 5m + small tape measure, but rope marking is a topic with lots of heated debate on whether or not it damages the rope... Which im not very keen to try on my very much loved and only own. 3 carrying a marked 1mm tag line and clipping it too? (recipe for tangle I guess) Any good idea or established method? Cheers

replied 4 weeks ago.

The tag line (static rope) would be the most accurate option. Marking the climbing rope is the most convenient. No extra gear necessary. I regularly refresh my middle mark with an edding pencil. No issues so far.

replied 4 weeks ago.

Also, which length is it correct / accepted practice to record? On a straight vertical route, no question. On something with roofs / traverse / overhang? Simply rope length along the routes to the chains? I guess so because cleaning would in worse case require exact double. Even though both abbing and lowering will require less than double (even without considering stretch).

replied 4 weeks ago.

Usually we want to know the length (distance) to climb. Any extra corner because of bad protection isn't of interest.

replied 4 weeks ago.

The platform inconsistently uses length and height interchangeable in different places, but we basically always want length. This is for a whole bunch of reasons but the most important is safety. There are also climbs which are traverses or even roofs so steep they go down!

eg Four meters of madness

There are plenty of climbing rope specific markers for ropes, these are fine. Also I personally think it's a great safety practice for you to know exactly what a meter is, eg I know that on my body it is from my pinched fingers to a point on my collar bone, so I can fairly accurately measure a distance on any rope in the field, and it's easy to do while flaking or coiling a rope. It's easy to practice and double check at home.

replied 4 weeks ago.

Thanks Kai & Brendan, will give it a try ! The finger - collar bone measurement seems an easy one to do by the belayer between belay device and mid-rope, when the leader is busy cleaning chains.

Robert Mudie replied 4 weeks ago.

A mate uses some tape. Do the route, then wrap some tape around the rope to mark the distance, then measure at home/camp.

replied 24 days ago.

Another possibility for putting measurements directly onto your rope without chemical interference would be an old-style whipping using a contrasting coloured fine sail-maker's thread or whipping twine. You would have to judge the tension carefully so it was tight enough not to slide along the rope but not so tight that it interfered with the stretch or relative movement between the mantle and the monofilament core. The longer the whipping, the less this consideration would be a problem because you could achieve more friction with less tension.

You would also have to check that the whippings ran freely through various belay devices, biners, etc., as the whipped sections would be stiffer than the rest of the rope.

Another downside is that it would be very labour intensive to do.

Having thought it through (as I typed), probably NOT such a good idea after all! I like both Brendan's and Robert's suggestions better.

replied 24 days ago.

If there‘s top rope access and the routes are straight and vertical or slabby, I‘m sometimes carrying a 20 m tape measure and let it dangle down the wall. Reasonably accurate.

Cisky replied 21 days ago.

Carrying a marked 1mm tag line and clipping it too in my personal opinion is the best way to get the right distance. Unfortunately the dynamic rope is not so accurate, because could be extended (of course just a little bit) for any reason. But on the long distance Can modify the real lenght of the tracks. I quote your idea about the string line mate!

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