The Handy Guide to Climbing Ropes
Whether taking up the challenge at your local indoor climbing centre or attempting to scale the Scottish Cairngorms, you should have the assurance of strong and supportive climbing ropes. Such ropes should have undergone stringent safety testing and be considered entirely suitable for your purposes. If you’re in any doubt as to the best choice of climbing rope then you should check out the handy guidance in this blog.
Types of climbing ropes
There are two main categories of climbing ropes – dynamic and static. The dynamic rope will stretch to around 8% of its length following the addition of a static load. However, the static rope will only stretch between 2% and 5%. This means that dynamic ropes are typically the best choice for climbers, as they can be stretched with minimal risk personal safety and equipment. However, static ropes can be used for ascending without the bungee jump effect.
Dynamic ropes come in the following varieties:
- Single ropes – these ropes can be used exclusively and are recommended for sports climbing
- Half/double ropes – thinner than single ropes, two of these half or double ropes must be used when climbing. They can be attached to hooks on either side of the climber for stability
- Twin ropes – typically thinner than double ropes, two of these twin ropes should be clipped together for the climber’s safety.
Choosing the best kind of Climbing Rope
Diameter and length are the key factors that determine the suitability of rope for different climbing activities. You’ll find that there is some variation, with climbing ropes measuring anywhere from 30m to 80m in length and 8mm to 11mm in thickness. The best choice will come down mainly to the environment and distance that you are going to be climbing. However, you should be aware that the skinnier ropes are typically less durable and more difficult to safely belay.
It is essential for your chosen rope to be of equal or greater length than the route or pitch that you will be climbing. As an example, if you’re going to be climbing a route of 40 metres then you’ll need a rope that’s at least 80m long so that you can ascend and be lowered safely.
A 40m rope will be sufficient for most indoor climbing walls. Just bear in mind that climbing ropes will expand in diameter and shrink in length given repeat use.
Checking and Maintaining Your Ropes
The ropes should be carefully inspected for wear and tear before each climb. This applies to climbers of all levels, given that the ends of the rope will inevitably become worn over time. You can assess the level of damage and the potential need for replacement by comparing the worn and unworn elements of the rope.
The end may be cut away to prevent further fraying and ensure that you can keep on climbing in safety. You should also routinely clean the rope so that it remains in the best condition.
Choose Renco Nets
Offering ropes in a range of materials and diameters, Renco Nets should be the climber’s first choice. Made from fire-retardant and water-proof materials, varieties such as our multifilament soft rope are also tested and certified to British and European standards. We are even able to supply hard-wearing braided polyethylene and propylene netting, ideal for indoor climbing centres. So make the smart choice and buy from Renco Nets.