Thinking of getting yourself a rope? It could get confusing with all the types of ropes out there. Here is a guide that will help you figure out what kind of climbing rope you need.
These questions can help guide you:
● What kind of climbing do you do? Top rope? Lead? Trad? Multi-pitch?
● Where are you climbing? Quebec, the US, or Internationally?
If you mostly climb top rope indoors and/or are starting outdoors, you will want a robust single rope that will sustain rubbing against the rock. We recommend a rope between 9.8mm and 10mm.
The length of rope will depend on where you climb or plan on climbing. If you are in Quebec, a 60m rope will do the job, since most top rope accessible climbs are not longer than 30m.
If you climb top rope and lead on sport, a single rope of 9.5mm to 10mm will do the job. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a thinner rope:
- Thin ropes are lighter
- They provide more stretch (be mindful when lead climbing)
- They wear out faster
Length of rope: If you plan on doing multi-pitches, climbing trips, etc, we recommend a 70m rope.
For advanced climbers who already have a rope and are looking for a more performant sport climbing rope, we recommend a single rope between 9.5mm and 9.8mm.
For trad and alpine climbers, you can consider double ropes for routes that have wandering protection or for long rappels.
Dry Rope or Non-dry Rope?
The advantage of dry treatment on a climbing rope is that it is more resistant to water and particles, making it more durable. The disadvantage is it is pricier than a non-dry rope.
So, if you don't have the budget for a dry rope, here are tips to preserve your rope:
- Keep it away from dirt and sand by always keeping on a rope tarp or bag.
- If your rope was caught in rain, make sure to properly dry it out when you get home.
- When putting up a top rope anchor, make sure the rope does not rub against a sharp edge.
If you are lead climbing and want to bring your own rope to the gym, a 40m gym rope between 9.5mm and 10mm should suffice.
Duration of your rope
How long will your rope last? It depends on how often you use it and how you use it and store it.
The maximum lifespan of a rope, stated by the manufacturer is usually 10 years, from its manufacturing date.
The more you take care of your rope, the longer it will last you. It is also important to check your rope and pay attention to it every time you climb.
To give you an idea of how long a rope can last you:
- If you climb a few times a month, your rope should last you about 2-3 years
- If you climb at least once a week, your rope should last you about 1 year
If you climb lead and take many falls, make sure to check for rope fraying or a flat surface, about 1-2 metres from the tail end of the rope.
If you climb on top rope, make sure to check for rope fraying as well.