Which half ropes for trad?

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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by Gustav » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:29 am

Exactly Nic,

I have somehow arrived in a sitaution using a sport rope that is thinner than my trad ropes! Would never have imagined that possible.
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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by Old Smelly » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:03 am

I see that Beal have a Ø7,3 half rope too... That should weigh virtually nothing...can't use 7mm prussic on that...

http://www.beal-planet.com/en/cordes-a- ... gully.html

There you go Nic - that should be considerably lighter than a Joker...a whole kilo for a 60m in fact
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by hendriks » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:09 am

Garron wrote: The Mammut 8.2 (and smaller) dry ropes are too skinny and it would be difficult to hold a high fall factor on a belay plate.
I can't imagine this to be true. I find my atc works just fine on skinny ropes.

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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:20 am

Ya, my BD guide works well on on my 8.1mm PMIs. I've held falls on them just fine.

Also 7.3? Damn, that's like dental floss!
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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by NatureBoi » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:09 am

I've been climbing on Genesis 8.5mm for about 6.5 years now and they are not even fluffy yet. The outer core is showing signs of wear in one spot 5-6 m from one of the ends, but it is not serious.
I climb at least 1-2 times / week sometimes 3 times. (some of that includes granite slab, opening new routes and using the ropes for occasional ARF= they have been hard working!)
I bought 60's which I regret. I chopped them as I was impatient to pull the extra 10m at each stance.
If you are fortunate enough it is nice to have 60's for country routes/ long raps. But I just borrow ropes if I'm going to be in this situation.
Hope this information helps with your purchase going forward.


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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by robertbreyer » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:33 am

For trad, Trish and I own -
1/ a pair of 60m x 8.5mm Edelrid trad ropes;
2/ a pair of BlueWater Ice Floss 37m x 7.7 mm ropes;
3/a BlueWater Dominator 9.1mm SINGLE rope, cut over the years down to 30m.

We don't sell any of these ropes anymore, btw. As shop/gym owners you sometimes inherit stuff that hasn't sold :) So this is not a sales pitch.

Our experiences from climbing on TM:

Agree 100% that 60m is too long for most people.
No pitch I have ever lead has been longer than 50m. I have climbed with Charles/Snort who sometimes will lead a full 55m pitch at Yellowwood with minimal gear. But for chicken leaders like me, a 55 m pitch requires so much gear that it I have to carry a shitload of it, it then creates a lot of rope drag, so it becomes counter-productive. Might as well carry less gear and do shorter pitches instead.
Besides, with your belayer 55m below you, any lead fall will be > 10 m, (remember 40% dynamic elongation - with zero slack out!!), with your belayer far out of sight and attention, so I don't like to go there.
Charles on the other hand leads the entire Jacobs Ladder climb in one single pitch - a 60m rope will do it. Go figure.

Shorter ropes are sooo much lighter and so much easier to manage at stances.
The only place one needs 60m is on some abseils. e.g. TM Magnetic Wall or Staircase abseil - two sixties gets you to the ground. But there are halfway bolts for 50m ropes compliments of Andy Davies and ARF.

So on technical climbs that challenge us and where there is no long abseiling required, we climb with the 2 x 37m BlueWater ropes. Managing the ropes is just infinitely easier with 37m, than with 60m. The weight savings is huge if you carry the ropes up.

The 30m 9.1 SINGLE is great for easy climbs that we know. It is super-fast and super-light. We do Jacobs Ladder, Bombay Duck or Arrow Final with it. Weighs absolutely nothing, great for the walk up. We know the climbs, the gear placement, no abseiling of course. But what a pleasure. 30m can be a bit short at times, e.g. on Jacobs we have to simul-climb 2-3m, but that's a small price to pay for the elegance, weight and time saving of climbing on a single rope.

Diameter: the new Petzl Reverso and BD ATC Guide are fine with our 7.7mm diameter ropes. You have to concentrate at the end of an abseil when there is no rope weight slowing down the abseil, but it's fine. I actually carry a single belay glove these days - it weighs nothing and provides a lot of extra stopping power, just in case. Prussik takes too long.

The moral of the story: there is not one rope length/size that fits all. Buying 60m now allows you to cut them to 50m later. But few people I know have done that. If you are in the market of buying ropes, know what you will be climbing. 50m for trad does appear to be the best compromise for TM. Any diameter around 8mm will do just fine.

- Robert

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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by Justin » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:45 am

Two other downsides of a shorter (than 50m) rope is that it could hinder your ability to self rescue or retreat.

I have 2x 60m ropes (but my chances of performing a rescue are higher!)
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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by jabiru » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:30 pm

A big thank you to all that have contributed to this thread and given me their advice. I am going to go for The Mammut Genesis 8.5mm half ropes. They might be marginally heavier than the Petzl Salza ropes (a mere 2 g/m, which equates to a weight saving of 240g for both ropes) but I think that they will be substantially more durable if you compare the sheath percentages of both ropes, 31% for the Petzl Salsa as opposed to 49% for the Mammmut Genesis. Not quite sold on the length yet though.

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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by Old Smelly » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:46 pm

Ok - half ropes are generally for trad and in the general context 2 ropes ease abseiling from a route.

So lets assume that you are buying 2 half ropes exclusively for trad (a safe assumption). So then the abseiling advantage of 60m is not as great because you could say that you would control where you set the stances, so assuming that you don't abseil to the end of the rope and then look for another anchor to abseil off you could manage this just as easily with 50m as with 60. So what's the point of 60m Trad lines then (given Roberts observation that most people don't do 60M pitches)?

It boils down to your preferences - I prefer having the extra 10m to help with abseils. I have even found an occasion where carrying a 70m half rope meant not ending up just too high off the ground, dangling in space. Bad planning maybe BUT if you are climbing trad anywhere and everywhere then the versatility of the extra 10m can often make a difference...

Just saying...

Buy the Ø7,3 - it would weigh 2,16 Kg at 60m and 1,8Kg at 50m. That's just over 360g - so take one less muffin or apple...
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by BAbycoat » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:07 pm

Don't forget the all-important choice of rope color :hapban

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Re: Which half ropes for trad?

Post by PeterHS » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:42 am

Babycoat, hahahahahaha! I'm off to abseil down Dark Gorge on TM today. I wonder what colour ropes ..... :). P

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