Which rope for toprope anchors?

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Jan Viljoen
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Which rope for toprope anchors?

Post by Jan Viljoen »

Hi everyone

After a few years of not really climbing I'm keen on getting my boys interested in it by means of doing a few topropes with them, and also get climbing myself again. I recently bought them a one-size-fits-all type harnass as well as a new rope. Since I've previously always had various ropes for trad climbing, it was easy setting up a top rope station with one (cordelette style or similar) and toproping with the other. Now with having only one (new) rope for the climbing, I was hoping for some advice on what to use for the ±15m needed to connect the trad placements to a central toproping point.

Option 1: use my previous 10.2 x 50m rope, still in excellent condition BUT around 12 years old.
Option 2: buy ±15m of new (dynamic) rope (9mm or 10mm?)
Option 3: buy ±15m of new static line (9mm or 10mm?)

Any info will be appreciated.

Cheers
Jan


RyanKarate
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Re: Which rope for toprope anchors?

Post by RyanKarate »

A nice thing my instructor told me once - if the age or the condition of a piece of gear concerns you - then don’t use it.

No one else should make that decision for you as you are putting your own life + kids on the line.


Top rope anchor things to think about -

Dynamic anchor ropes - lower peak forces at placement points, but more rubbing is going to occur over the edge.

Semi static anchor ropes - the opposite.

I prefer tackling the rubbing over the edge issue with pads and static gear like webbing or slings. 8mm accessory cord padded is also a cheap light option.

Padding - think simple - your now empty back pack - jersey - swimming towel - shirt.
Helping People to the Top of Their Mountain
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Jan Viljoen
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Re: Which rope for toprope anchors?

Post by Jan Viljoen »

Thanks RK, agree on what you said and feel the same way about old gear, hence the fact that I'm not really comfortable to use my old rope and looking for alternatives.

Will give some though w.r.t. buying a new 15m length of either dynamic or static. Tend to think more in terms of the static since the kids will take numerous falls/tight ropes but not put much impact force due to their light weight and almost zero dropping distance on the toprope. In other words the constant rubbing might be a slightly bigger issue than the load on the placements.
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Which rope for toprope anchors?

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

It's a top rope anchor, dynamic reduction of fall forces is not really relevant since the rope will always be tight and fall factors will be negligible. Static rope will therefore be fine. (It is also significantly cheaper per metre, so you can get more and double up)

As said above, far more important for in situ gear is protection from the elements, especially the sun. Use a thicker rope, as the sheath percentage will be higher, and protect it. Hose pipe fitted over the rope does an excellent job (try the local fire department for retired hose). It will suffer particularly at points where the rope is stretched, as in the turns of the knots, which may be harder to protect. There are commercial rope protectors with velcro that can be used, or you can use the top of a 1.5l Coke bottle over the knot.
Happy climbing
Nic
Jan Viljoen
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Re: Which rope for toprope anchors?

Post by Jan Viljoen »

Thanks Nic, a few great tips there, much appreciated.
SNORT
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Re: Which rope for toprope anchors?

Post by SNORT »

Ropes no matter how old simply do not break. Period. They do cut though and easier than you think. Top rope is dangerous on low angle if kids swing on them side to side and can cut through if there is a sharp edge. Straight up and down probably safer than your car brakes and there are billions of brakes on the road.

Your real danger is incorrect tying in, and lax belaying. Probably 1000 times greater risk than a standard dynamic rope breaking on TR.

If you worry about a rope or an anchor shock load it with your heavier adult weight first.
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