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Frayed Rope End
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By Alex M. Smith
From Jersey City, NJ
Nov 26, 2012
Mt. Marcy

Hey MP, I have a question regarding the care of my climbing rope. I've climbed on the rope on a handful of trips and made a point to take care of it. Regardless, the ends are starting to fray a little bit, just from feeding it through the harnesses and tying in. Doesn't seem like any real issue as far as strength goes (no load is taken by the very end of the rope), but I was hoping to stop it from spreading too far. Any does/don'ts for taking care of something like this?


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 26, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I melt the ends with a cigarette lighter when it gets like that, but probably a better way is to use one of those nice electric cutters they have at REI and other gear stores. You just need to make sure it all fuses together nicely, otherwise it just gets frayed again.


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By Richard88
From Sheridan, WY
Nov 26, 2012
piney creek canyon

What kind of rope? Did the ends come melted and capped by the manufacturer? The only thing I can think of is to take it to a shop and have the ends removed by their heated rope cutter (it's a heated flat piece of metal that cuts the rope and melts the ends at the same time)


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Nov 26, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

You're going to want to soak the whole thing in bleach. Then, rub a serrated blade over the entirety of the sheath in order to equalize the fraying and make it more balanced.

Jk, Stich and Richard are right. It is a simple solution, just make sure when you melt it back together, it is even otherwise the core will shift around at the very end. Not that that would make it unsafe, just annoying and more likely to fray again.


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By Chris Norwood
From San Diego, CA
Nov 26, 2012
Hobbit Roof

Yup, I third taking it to a gear shop. My core was becoming exposed on the ends of my rope recently. Stopped by the local shop, and they just cut like an inch off each end and cleaned it up. The ends are sealed even nicer than when it was brand new :)


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By Cor
Nov 26, 2012
black nasty

if you don't have a local shop, or don't feel like going....

new razor blade for cutting.
blow torch for melting. (way more fun than holding a lighter!)
leather gloves to push hot material (melted end) together.

repeat until the end looks like you want it.


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By Richard88
From Sheridan, WY
Nov 26, 2012
piney creek canyon

Cor wrote:
if you don't have a local shop, or don't feel like going.... new razor blade for cutting. blow torch for melting. (way more fun than holding a lighter!) leather gloves to push hot material (melted end) together. repeat until the end looks like you want it.


I would imagine you could also put a piece of thin sheet metal or razor in a bench vise, heat it up with a torch, and use it just like the electric rope cutters


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By Alex M. Smith
From Jersey City, NJ
Nov 26, 2012
Mt. Marcy

Richard88 wrote:
What kind of rope? Did the ends come melted and capped by the manufacturer? The only thing I can think of is to take it to a shop and have the ends removed by their heated rope cutter (it's a heated flat piece of metal that cuts the rope and melts the ends at the same time)


In response to your post, Richard, here is the rope. Ends came capped and melted if I remember correctly.

Thanks for all the responses, guys!


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By John Husky
Nov 26, 2012

As stated above, a truly sharp blade will cut cleanly and evenly. I use my kitchen stove top flame to melt it. I keep a cup of water to dip my finger in so I can shape the end with out burns. Heat it slowly, no torches.


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By Dan Felix
Nov 26, 2012

I'd heat the ends as suggested above, but also try to find some heat-shrink tubing of the appropriate size and use that to help protect the end if you are concerned about it happening again.


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By Will Copeland
Nov 26, 2012
view off the 4th belay

Alex, I am guessing you have an REI or a local gear shop that sells webbing. They will have a hot knife that will properly cut and fuse the rope in a matter of minutes. It is much less of a hassle than doing it yourself and worrying about it. Be sure to mark exactly where you want it cut before going in. I'm 99% sure they will not charge for it. I have/had the rope you are using. I had significant sheath issues and now I have it only for top roping with inexperienced friends, guests, etc.


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