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Uhhhh, used ropes for sale?
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By Sarugo
Dec 21, 2013
So recently I went to a fabric store outside of Asheville to buy some ripstop nylon for a tent project.
I noticed that they had buckets of old used climbing rope for sale for $5/lb, some of it looked pretty beat up.
I asked an employee if they sell it for climbing purposes and was told they they aren't allowed to say "yes", but thats what people buy it for. I was then told about SAR personnel who frequent the store and pick through the rope bins.... I really hope this was misinformation.

Here's a pic of an almost completely severed rope for sale.
Core shot!
Core shot!


Upon leaving the store my mind was blown and I felt like I had to share.
What does everyone think, buyer beware or negligence on the part of the store(or both)?

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Dec 21, 2013
I think it's fine to sell those. Not much different than someone buying a manila rope or clothesline in a hardware store, then using it for climbing. They said they didn't sell it as a "climbing rope," right?

Edit: To take it a little further, the store can't decide for you what to use it for or not use it for. So if you buy that rope to hang a tire from a tree, pull your horse out of a pond or climb on, that is entirely the owner's decision. As long as they don't advertise it as "climbing rope."

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By Meme Guy
From Land of Runout Slab
Dec 21, 2013
Meme guy
Hahaha so typical for NC

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By Robert Cort
Dec 21, 2013
I'm a SAR person, and I would look through that bin. I always need rope to tie branches on to my trailer or something. Don't be scared, nobody is going to go on a rescue mission with used core shot dynamic rope!

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By Woodchuck ATC
Dec 21, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
5 bucks a pound? Hmm, a full rope is like 8 lbs, so 40 bucks for a typical sized rope...think that's a bit high for questionable used. They should sell for maybe 10bucks a rope. A dream supply for those (like me) who are weaving the biggest backyard rope hammock they can possibly make from any available ropes..too bad I'm not near Ashville.

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By Sarugo
Dec 22, 2013
Interesting perspectives, thanks for the replies.

I guess my line of thinking was that many ropes which are not intended for body weight have a warning stating such.
Because climbing ropes are manufactured specifically to hold humans, given that some of the ropes sold in the store are no longer suitable for that purpose, I felt as though the store had an obligation to make that known.

It just kinda seemed when talking to the employee that a wink-wink nod-nod thing was going on where the store viewed it strictly as a liability thing and didn't give consideration to the very real safety concerns of selling beat up climbing ropes.

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By Jonny 5
From Squamish BC
Dec 22, 2013
Chilling at top of pitch 6
Buyer Beware.

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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Dec 22, 2013
Those ropes are still good for lots of stuff. Way better than going into a landfill.

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By Peter Jackson
From Rumney, NH
Dec 23, 2013
Just in case the two big belay anchors aren't obvious enough for you, here is where to find the belay station.
Sarugo wrote:
I asked an employee if they sell it for climbing purposes and was told they they aren't allowed to say "yes", but thats what people buy it for


That's the only part that bothers me. The answer should be "No, those are retired climbing ropes. Don't climb on them."

Everything else seems fine to me. I make rugs out of ropes, so finding a steady supply at the local fabric store would be like Christmas.

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
5 bucks a pound? ... so 40 bucks for a typical sized rope.... They should sell for maybe 10bucks a rope.


The going rate in my area is 20 bucks, $25 shipped.

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By Eddie T
Jun 20, 2014
I would like to purchase a cheap but usable retired 1/2 inch rope for general use around the property, pulling limbs and etc. Can anyone suggest a source?

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By kcradford
From Asheville, NC
Jun 20, 2014
Foot
Eddie T wrote:
I would like to purchase a cheap but usable retired 1/2 inch rope for general use around the property, pulling limbs and etc. Can anyone suggest a source?



A hardware store.

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By Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
Jun 20, 2014
FrankPS wrote:
I think it's fine to sell those. Not much different than someone buying a manila rope or clothesline in a hardware store, then using it for climbing. They said they didn't sell it as a "climbing rope," right? Edit: To take it a little further, the store can't decide for you what to use it for or not use it for. So if you buy that rope to hang a tire from a tree, pull your horse out of a pond or climb on, that is entirely the owner's decision. As long as they don't advertise it as "climbing rope."

This is incorrect. That's not how law works.

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By Dylan B.
Jun 20, 2014
Orgasm Direct, Devil's Lake, 5.11a  c. 2008
Jon Frisby wrote:
This is incorrect. That's not how law works.


How does "law work"?

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By Eddie T
Jun 20, 2014
kcradford wrote:
A hardware store.
Sorry, but hardware stores don't carry used ropes and their new ropes are pricey and don't have the soft feel of a climber's rope. My son has one he picked up (I think off Craig's list) that he uses when he walks his wolf-dog and it's a great rope.

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 20, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
Eddie T wrote:
I would like to purchase a cheap but usable retired 1/2 inch rope for general use around the property, pulling limbs and etc. Can anyone suggest a source?

Our climbing gym sells worn out ropes at low prices. They cut them into shorter pieces so they don't have to worry about your use (dog leashes, rope swings, etc.). But, if they know you personally, and you have a suitable reason/use for the rope, they will give/sell you a long one.

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By Jon Frisby
From New York, NY
Jun 21, 2014
D.Buffum wrote:
How does "law work"?

You can be liable evenwith a disclaimer for people putting your product to that use. Didn't mean to sound like such a dick. Fwiw, this isn't legal advice

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By Eddie T
Jun 21, 2014
As a veteran I find it ironic that brave men have fought and died for our freedom yet some refuse us the freedom to re-purpose something as simple as a rope.

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By kcradford
From Asheville, NC
Jun 23, 2014
Foot
Eddie T wrote:
Sorry, but hardware stores don't carry used ropes and their new ropes are pricey and don't have the soft feel of a climber's rope. My son has one he picked up (I think off Craig's list) that he uses when he walks his wolf-dog and it's a great rope.



you said you wanted a rope for pulling things. you dont want to use a climbing rope for pulling things. They are esentialy springs and store energy diffirently thain a cain,webbing, or static rope. diffirent tools are good for diffirent jobs. dynamic climbing ropes are not intendend to be used to pull things with. that is what chins, steel cables, tow straps, and static ropes at the hardware store are used for because they do not absorbe and store energy that can be release later.

I am pretty sure you can sue whatever you want to walk your "wolf-"dog", but that is not what you asked for.

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By Dylan B.
Jun 23, 2014
Orgasm Direct, Devil's Lake, 5.11a  c. 2008
Jon Frisby wrote:
You can be liable evenwith a disclaimer for people putting your product to that use. Didn't mean to sound like such a dick. Fwiw, this isn't legal advice


You can be liable even with a disclaimer, yes, but you also may not be liable with or without one. Liability is determined by what a jury believes a "reasonable person" would have thought the product was intended for. If the jury concludes that a reasonable person in the plaintiff's position would have thought the rope was sold for climbing, then they may find the retailer liable. On the other hand, if the jury of twelve thinks that a "reasonable person" in the shoes of the plaintiff would have understood that used climbing ropes are not safe for climbing, then they will find for the defendant.

A disclaimer is one piece of evidence that supports the claim that a reasonable person would have understood the rope not to be appropriate for climbing. It is not conclusive proof. If the retailer is putting the disclaimer on the rope, but then selling the ropes with a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink," they are undoing the legal protection the disclaimer might provide by creating evidence that would support the plaintiff. That's why the clerk's comments are problematic for the retailer. Juries generally believe that a "reasonable person" should be able to rely on the advice of the seller. With the contradictory messages that the plaintiff was given, the defendant will have a harder time convincing a jury that a "reasonable person" would not have used the rope for climbing.

But even with the contradictory evidence, it's not a forgone conclusion whether liability will be found. A good lawyer for the defense will present evidence of the prevailing sensibility in the climbing community against using used ropes, will demonstrate that the clerk is just a schmo that the plaintiff should have known the clerk was not the right person to take advice from, and that the plaintiff was an experienced climber who knew better. The 'reasonable person" is a "reasonable person" in the plaintiff's shoes with the knowledge and experience that the plaintiff has. So if this is Royal Robbins buying the rope, probably the jury will not find the seller liable; if it's joe-gym-n00b, they may feel differently.

There may also be a defense for the store if they can demonstrate that the clerk was not acting as their authorized agent at the time of the sale. If the store has clear policies and training about what to tell the buyer, and was unaware that this clerk was violating the policies, then the jury may conclude that it's the clerk was acting in a manner not authorized by the store. Of course, a retail clerk making $10/hr is probably judgment proof (i.e. has no assets), so the plaintiff needs the store to be a defendant, and the store's insurance. Rather than litigate the claim, the insurance company will probably try to settle. But that's a whole different can of worms.

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By Eddie T
Jun 23, 2014
This website sells them but has no inventory at present plus what they have had of late was not all that cheap. repurposedmaterialsinc.com/use...

At a suggestion I contacted a nearby climbing gym, they wisely suggested (as did kcradford) that static line would best suit my purposes but they donate theirs to an organization which sells it to benefit underprivileged kids. Interestingly they failed to name the organization.

I'll keep pursuing this as I know there is no legal problem with it except in the eyes of some. Since Asheville is nearby maybe Sarugo will tell me where he saw the ropes. I could if necessary even knot ropes to obtain the length I need on occasion but a knot (even a proper one for joining lines) is the weakest point of a good rope. If I can find what I need it is a win for me and the environment as re-purposing is great.


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By Brad Caldwell
From Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Jun 23, 2014
Eddie T...
Once a year Sean Cobourn collects ropes in the Carolinas that are sold at the NOC festival for boaters to use to tie kayaks down. He graciously donates the money to the CCC in return. You might try getting in touch with him about getting a used rope...but I don't think anyone expects these ropes to be used for climbing purposes and might not sell them to you if that was your intent.

I've purchased several lightly used static ropes from the local climbing gym that I used for building top rope anchors or for non climbing use in the past, but the gym understood my intent and hooked me up with the best ropes they had to make sure I was safe.

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By Jim Corbett
Jun 24, 2014
Actually, old climbing ropes are outstanding for mooring boats because they are not static. I lived near Lake Lanier in GA, and when I moved I sold damn near 20 years worth of old ropes in garage sales at $50/ea., and they went fast.

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Jun 24, 2014
Gear
Anyone buying rope out of a bucket and being charged by the pound isn't using it for climbing. Even if they do use it for that purpose the store isn't liable. What climbing shop sells climbing rope that way?

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By Eddie T
Jun 24, 2014
Actually the stretch of a dynamic line would not be a problem for my repurposing use. When my son helped me move tree trunks and limbs the stretch provide enough tension that we didn't need to man the other end of the line.

The climbing community appears to be an excellent source for quality lines for general purpose use. IMHO making rugs and doormats from them would be a terrible waste of a resource though better than a landfill.

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 24, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
Contrary to what someone said above, I find climbing ropes very useful for "pulling things." I live 8 miles from pavement, off of a dirt road that gets no maintenance. I pull vehicles out of snowbanks, or get pulled out myself, several times every year. We also have the axle dragging mud bogs of springtime on some years.
The climbing ropes are superior in many aspects, compared to chains, or the typical tow straps. The extra length allow the pulling vehicle to be far away, on solid ground. The stretch can allow a smaller vehicle to use its momentum to pull a larger vehicle without the big "jerk" of a chain and related vehicle damage.
The only disadvantage I've run into is that the ultimate tensile strength of a climbing rope is low, compared to other things (I"ve broken, or cut, a couple). Now, to make my "tow ropes," out of climbing rope, I use a double strand, with one being a bit longer than the other. The short one takes all the stretching, and wears out faster. The longer piece acts as a backup, so the vehicles don't get get completely disconnected if things go awry.
I built a log cabin from scratch, in the early 90's. I used old climbing ropes to drag all the logs on skidding paths through the forest. They worked fine for that purpose as well. The vehicle didn't have to be nearly as close to where the tree was felled, and this greatly reduced the damage to the forest floor.

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By Eddie T
Jun 25, 2014
Tom Nyce wrote:
Contrary to what someone said above, I find climbing ropes very useful for "pulling things." I live 8 miles from pavement, off of a dirt road that gets no maintenance. I pull vehicles out of snowbanks, or get pulled out myself, several times every year. We also have the axle dragging mud bogs of springtime on some years. The climbing ropes are superior in many aspects, compared to chains, or the typical tow straps. The extra length allow the pulling vehicle to be far away, on solid ground. The stretch can allow a smaller vehicle to use its momentum to pull a larger vehicle without the big "jerk" of a chain and related vehicle damage. The only disadvantage I've run into is that the ultimate tensile strength of a climbing rope is low, compared to other things (I"ve broken, or cut, a couple). Now, to make my "tow ropes," out of climbing rope, I use a double strand, with one being a bit longer than the other. The short one takes all the stretching, and wears out faster. The longer piece acts as a backup, so the vehicles don't get get completely disconnected if things go awry. I built a log cabin from scratch, in the early 90's. I used old climbing ropes to drag all the logs on skidding paths through the forest. They worked fine for that purpose as well. The vehicle didn't have to be nearly as close to where the tree was felled, and this greatly reduced the damage to the forest floor.

My Hat's off to a man who thinks outside the box. I suspect that prepping and a pioneer spirit is a prerequisite to living out there. I built my own house but with conventional frame construction.

As for excessive regulations and "do gooders", I think Ben Carson said it well, "Historically, individual freedoms vanish as government interventions increase."

Meanwhile I am still searching for that bargain rope, climbers should realize thet the first climbers didn't use climbing rope and loosen up a bit maybe even helping those of us who think outside the box.
__________________

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