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By Adam Floyd
From Las Vegas
Dec 7, 2012
Vegas the Dog
Just scored a 200 gift certificate to Sterling Ropes and thinking about new rope(s).

I have a bunch of ropes including a brand new 9.8 70m sterling evolution (wish I won the gift last week), an 80m 9.8 evolution that I rarely use, and a 7mm tag line. Also have a thick rope that I use for jugging/hauling/TR. I am thinking about selling my almost new 80m 9.8 and getting something thinner.

My question is whether I should think about getting a set of half ropes and ditch the tag line, or a nice thin 9.4 80m and charge some bigger routes with that, I am really lazy and hate to bring my regular rope and a second for rapping, I will bring less gear if my partner is down to go lighter. I will almost always choose a downclimb/walkoff over big raps.
Figured I would throw it out there, as I have little experience with half ropes. Do folks love them in Red Rocks, how much could I get away with carrying an 80m line and nothing else?

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By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Dec 7, 2012
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do
All depends on which routes you want to get on. The Nightcrawler raps with a single 80 I am told (part of why I bought mine). Conversely, when Xavier and I were on The Warrior, bringing his twins was extremely advantageous. All depends on the route and your personal preference. The advantages of each system, from a systems-based standpoint, has been discussed ad infinitum elsewhere. As it relates to Red Rock, look at the guidebook and the routes you want to climb. That should give you a good picture as to which way to go.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Dec 7, 2012
South of Windy Peak
I enjoy having a rope that's certified for both half and twin rope technique; I'm currently using PMI Verglass 8.1mm x 60m. I see that Sterling has the Fusion 7.8mm. When used as a pair of twin ropes, it's like using the same material as a 11mm rope or more - lots of safety there and yet the pair of skinny ropes run much smoother than a fat one.

I always question carrying a tag line only used for rappel - why not bring a second rope that can be part of the lead system as well? And if I get on a wandering pitch I'll switch over to half rope technique to protect traverses or reduce rope drag. I like that versatility.

That said, you're not going to get a set of twin ropes for the value of your $200 certificate.

Like lots of people, I have several ropes for different scenarios. But I'm super happy having the half/twin option at Red Rock.

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By Tom Lausch
From Madison WI
Dec 7, 2012
Chips and Salsa
Go with half ropes for everything. Then watch as the sportos gawk and ask you what your using.

On a serious note. Half ropes rocked out there. Good for wandering pitches and nice easy raps.

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By Adam Floyd
From Las Vegas
Dec 7, 2012
Vegas the Dog
Thanks for the ideas,
I know I wont' get twins for 200, but I might do some MP trading, or throw in a little extra cash.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Dec 8, 2012
You can get off 95% of every trade route in Red Rock with a 70m line. I had an 80m but ditched it because the only wall you need it for is the Black Velvet wall- and that wall is so clean, a trail line is no biggie.

Go with a 70m 9.4mm Ion2- its a sweet line, lightweight, and will get you off just about everything in the park with one rope.

If you get an 80m, get a Nano- weight really starts to matter with a rope that long. Plus, I think the Nano is rated as a half rope as well- but I could be wrong.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Dec 8, 2012
South of Windy Peak
I'd feel pretty exposed if I was leading 80m out a skinny single. In a fall you'd be going for a ride with all that stretch.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Dec 8, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
John Hegyes wrote:
I'd feel pretty exposed if I was leading 80m out a skinny single. In a fall you'd be going for a ride with all that stretch.

I'm old. 10.2 is my 'skinny' rope yet. 70 M is my longest rope to date. Trust the thicker ropes so much better, being fat and all.

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By Adam Floyd
From Las Vegas
Dec 8, 2012
Vegas the Dog
I've climbed with a 9.2 nano 80m before, awesome soft catches and super light, but terrible for the second with all the stretch.
I was looking at that 9.4, think it might be the business.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 8, 2012
El Chorro
FWIW, I pretty much always use half ropes on long routes. Whether I'm rapping or not, it's nice to know that I have the option to fix and bail from 400 feet up and also do 60 m raps in case of bad weather, etc.

I see taking thin halves as an opportunity to leave some of my long slings behind, so the added weight is minimal. Makes splitting up the gear easier as well. Being able to clip them as twins is useful too, so it's worth a bit of extra money to get ropes that are rated for that.

Like someone else pointed out, it doesn't make sense to carry a static line if you're not hauling. And i can't imagine having an 80m rope on a multipitch, or on the approach.

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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Dec 8, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
I typically use doubles as well. It is nice to have two ropes for wandering routes, and I do like knowing I can always get down no matter what.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Dec 8, 2012
The problem with doubles in Red Rock is that theres alot of rope there to get caught on stuff. Climbed on doubles for a long time here, wouldnt go back for the world- especially since there's just no need for most routes here. Rope of choice is 70m 9.4 Ion2 for sure, although I do love the Nano as well.

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By Rob Fielding
From Las Vegas, NV
Dec 8, 2012
Third pillar of dana descent.
Adam,

I got two 70's I switch out routinely. I have a cheap 70m 9.8/9 for general abuse and a mammut infinity 9.5 for longer approaches/routes.

Also, I really like the 8.1 pmi's that can be used as half/twins. Great set of ropes and you can use them for tag lines once ya abused them enough.

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By Stone Nude
Dec 9, 2012
When dumb people have disposable income, hilarity ...
The skinniest I like to go for a route I could take a fall on (in Red Rock, on sandstone, I'd call that about anything-rock breaks, fact of life) is one of my favorite ropes, the Bluewater Dominator 9.4. My understanding is that the longevity of this rope is a bit better than the Ion 9.4/5 (the size has changed on this one) or the Mammut Infinity, which is a really nice handling rope, but I've had crappy luck with the brand so far. I like using a way skinny half line to trail, but keep the option open to double (half) rope if the rock dictates doing so.

Everyone seems starry-eyed about 70M and longer ropes these days, but in my experience climbing a lot of long routes here, the 9.4+8 combo in 60 meter length allows maximum rap potential in case of storm, a crappy route you want off of, or any standard Red Rock multipitch. I know a few folks who do doubles/twins in 70s, but I don't want to fall on twins at all, and feel like the extra 10M on two seperate ropes doesn't justify itself too often in practice. Lack of that extra 30 feet will keep you from too much linking BS (often a huge drag figuratively as well as literally with all the traverses on pitches here), allow a smaller rack because of this, which offsets the weight of two ropes as well.

70s are great for many trade routes, but nearly every 80s and 90s classic was originally set up for rap with 2 50M ropes, there have been plenty of times when I've been frustrated by taking just one 70 and looking at a long walkoff because I didn't have the option of rapping and skipping those last crunchy "who gives a shit" pitches, Triassic being an excellent example of this. With the time you save by not having to walk off Triassic after two fairly uninteresting pitches after the good climbing ends, you could easily rap with 2 60s and get on a host of sweet face and splitter pitches nearby.

One important point made by Wilder is the commonality of getting off the "trade routes" with a 70. If you're climbing just the buzzword chalked up classics, sure. I like getting on routes with long pitches and advenute climbing, having only one 70M rope with you doesn't let you get on routes like Ginger Cracks or Cloud Tower, both of which are area classics. If you're just sticking to Birdland, Cat In The Hat, and feel like making hitting every station on the way down Crimson, a 70 is perfect. That description doesn't apply too well for people who climb locally and want to explore.

In your position I'd use the 200 for a 60M 9.4 Ion, not fall on it much, and bring the 7mm tag out until I saw a good deal on a decent 8mil half rope.

That's my 2 cents. I climbed on 2 8.5 Bluewater 50M half ropes for my first couple of years out here, broke out the 9.4 to switch out for one of those on tougher stuff, always felt good about my options. Your dealio may vary.

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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Dec 9, 2012
Dow Williams, 2011
Do I think you should all go out and buy an 80m rope? Yes....it is good for the industry. Reinventing things you mostly do not need is the salvation of the outdoor equipment industry which I support and am a part of. Harnesses, shoes, waterproofing, down, protection and yes length of ropes.

The irony of carrying an 80m rope? A pet peeve of mine is relatively inexperienced folks climbing 5.10 and below who want me to carry their stuff on their lead because the extra weight might affect their performance. Trust me, at that grade level, the weight on your harness has nothing to do with it. If you lead 5.12 and up, then I will carry your water and shoes for you. How does this relate to an 80m rope? When I am leading a sustained (relative) long pitch, I am ready for a breather at 230'. I was probably ready at 180'. Why do you want to carry an additional 10 meters of rope on lead? My 70m already is 9.4mm. An 80m rope weighs more, not just on approach, but on lead. If the route varies direction at all, a standard at Red Rock, Zion and Moab towers...then rope drag also becomes a huge issue. If the grade is 5.9 or less or the pitch is not sustained...again, a standard in these areas, then rope drag becomes a huge issue as the surface area of the rope dragging across rock becomes substantial.

Very few if any new established routes anywhere I climb have been gauged for an 80m rope advantage. I really think an 80m is just an excuse to go out and spend some more dough on gear, which again, I totally support you do.

As far as folks afraid of doubles or simply have not learned their tremendous advantage on big routes, I tire of educating on that point. I do wish everyone would at least understand the difference between a double and twin and the different advantages of each system and how we incorporate them into different disciplines for different reasons...but again, ask your experienced climbing friends to explain it to you.

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By Stone Nude
Dec 14, 2012
When dumb people have disposable income, hilarity ...
Dow Williams wrote:
I tire of educating on that point. I do wish everyone would at least understand the difference between a double and twin and the different advantages of each system and how we incorporate them into different disciplines for different reasons...but again, ask your experienced climbing friends to explain it to you.


Thank you from the Aging Fruit Loop Coalition.

Dow, it's time to break out the 90M ropes to go link pitches on Terminal Velocity. Let's Chopper the hell out of the thing! You gotta carry my shoes, though.

Jokes are my Xmass gifts to you MP gangstas. Laugh with me, or at me. Enjoy.

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