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Question on rope health
Hi! I've been climbing for a little while now using some old gear that was handed on to me. Until very recently someone tipped me about this site. After inspecting my rope section by section I found this small wear about half way along my rope. Can I still use it? How can I tell the rope is no longer safe for climbing?
Thanks a lot! I'm looking forward to climbing more often.
That should be perfectly fine. Looks Like normal wear after some use. But with used textiles you always want to know the history, as even short contact with chemicals, like sulfuric acid (Car battery), could severely damage the Rope. If the person that gave you the Rope stored and used it normally, then you are fine
But if he/she didn't?
Good idea to ask him/her about this.
Hello! This is always a delicate topic since any advice given could be subject to culpability. Having said that I invite you to read the information on this link: https://www.mtalpine.com/uncategorized/when-to-retire-a-climbing-rope/
If you have no idea how old your gear is, a safe rule is to dispose of all the textiles.
In my opinion you could still use that rope for toprope climbing.
Alberto Sanchez already said that it's a delicate thing to give such advice and added a good link (nice summary for this topic!)
with a little expertise for PPE and material inspection, I could also add some common answers to this question you could receive:
Thanks for the comments guys! They're very helpful. It's been used only for climbing occasionally and carefully stored. But I definitevely need to be on the lookout for a new one. Great info!
A quick Test is: when you can bend the rope and the two parts come together (like on the Petzl image)
A bug costs seven dollars in Australia. Chop it when you see the core, and carry on until it is of no use because its 35m, then make 3/4 of an edelrid ropemat. Free template on the world wide web
Thanks! That's good info Jan Hantke Sales and I like the alternative use for the rope.
Testing for core damage is fine but only if you are sure there's nothing else wrong with it. It's a weird topic. I don't think twice using someone else's rope when I'm on a climbing trip but I'd never buy someone's used rope to use it as my main rope. Invisible damage is rare (I guess) but not impossible. (Acids etc.)
The standard advice you get for climbing related issues is always safe by a really big margin. I mean big big. My advice is to get more experience with handling ropes, so maybe if you don't have this experience right now start off with a brand new one until you feel like you can make good calls. Making a sensical, experience-based call is in my opinion better than following manufacturer's guidelines. Until you feel like you are able to do so, stick to the predrawn guidelines.
By the way: I climbed about another 4,5 years on Alberto Sanchez's old rope I bought of him back in the day. Over the years I had to shorten it down from 70m to 50m because the ends wear out the fastest. I retired it in January and I've never felt unsafe using it. I ditched it for the sake of logistics more than anything. Climbing ropes are really strong when used and handled well.
there is NO scientific releation between rope health and age of rope!!
There is NOT A SINGLE rope faillure worldwide due to age of ropes.
if you dont have damage or acid your rope is well for climbing
what Tobias Auth said!
Richard Schneider - no evidence so far, but still: PA ages. Not linear, but depending on circumstances.
And as we were initially talking about a used rope without knowing its history, I'd also answer to Evan Wells: I don't completely get how big Australian bugs are, but see: €1/m.
- rope price
Mel how do you handle your rope? dont think that any climber treat their rope bad..
nevertheless if you want to protect our planet and be green, dont buy a new rope too soon, use them till it's End!! Physical End not Age!!
I'm not recommending to climb with a rope that looks like that, however...
This is a Beal Joker and I was curious how reliable it still was so I sent it for testing to Beal. These are the results, as you can see it would still be good enough...
> You know that, in the drop test, the rope breaks in the « carabiner ». So we thought important to make a test with the « destroyed » section exactly in the carabiner during the test. We had enough rope to make a second test on the better rope section.
I remind you that we had chosen to make fall factor 0.5 drop tests.
In the standard drop test the interval time between successive falls is 5 minutes to allow the rope to partially recover. In the present case, we have decided to reduce the interval time to 1 minute, which is far much harder for the rope.
> Drop tests with the “destroyed” section in the pivot edge.
First fall: breakage of the sheath. Impact force: 4.07 kN
9th fall: breakage of 1 of the cables of the core. Impact force: 6.02 kN.
14th fall: breakage of a second cable. Impact force: 6.38 kN
18th fall: breakage of a third cable. Impact force: 6.81 kN.
21st fall: breakage of the rope
> Drop tests on the “better” section.
First fall: impact force: 4.01 kN
10th fall: breakage of the sheath. Impact force: 5.83 kN.
At the 26th fall we got an impact force of 6.44 kN. We stopped the test because the rope could still hold many falls…
That right there are some inspiring Numbers. My own rope looks really Bad, after Just two seasons, because of all the sandstone climbing around... But it's just the sheath. Haven't ever fallen on it either...
Holy makrel, that is stunning Ulfi. The surety of modern rope construction.
Yes Ulfi, very comforting. I'll sleep better tonight.
Does any one here know, first hand, of a rope that broke while climbing?
My 3 days old climbing rope "broke" (was cut) by a not very sharp vertical sandstone edge.
I fell to the ground.
Very simmilar to this documented case:
But i guess cutting ropes is an other topic.
Yes, a YouTube classic!
There was a nasty groundfall at Frog Buttress many years ago. Similar to the clip. Rope ran around an arete and severed in a fall.
I read, some years ago, of a top Spanish climber who died when his rope was cut by rockfall.
It's pretty rare, but it does happen.
you cannot brake a rope due to age or any climbing...
but you will brake any rope due to sharp edge or acid...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9Wzx-9JzsI funzt sogar
Nicky glad you live to tell! Did the rope come up in the crack on your picture and the out R to the Friend and was cut by the "Kante" in your picture?
Watched the scary clip of Michele Caminati's rope shears as he falls off Elder Statesman. Apart from the the comments on lead rope management, sometimes you may find yourself with the rope potentially running like that. Double rope would be beneficial. Idea, if the belayer has the situational awareness he could feed out rope as the leader falls to increase the area of abrasion. Making this comment as a note to myself partly...
Thomas Weber yes exactly. The rope was within the crack and i was not particular far to the right. More dehidral styl
But the fall direction was to the righ so that the rope was dragged over the edge.
BTW:Did Michele survive the fall, and if he did, what happened to him?
Google said: "Miraculously, the Italian walked away with nothing more than a fractured wrist and heel."
So lucky ...
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