Borrowed gear etiquette. (a friend cut my rope)


Original Post
Georgeand · · Kalispell · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 0

I loaned a good friend a good rope. They were using it while cleaning a new route (not the coolest thing to do with a borrowed rope) and it was cut by a falling rock.

Should I let them buy me a new rope? Should we split the replacement cost? Should I just be a cool guy and say 'shit happens' don't worry about it?

It was not a new rope by any means, but it did have, say 30% of it's life left.

I can afford a new rope, and I'm mostly bouldering anyway right now, so I'm not heart broken.

What does everyone think about the etiquette of this situation?

Micah Klesick · · Vancouver, WA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 3,834

Personally, if I was the one that damaged it while using it, I'd buy the owner a new one, and would expect anyone else to do the same under the circumstances you described.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Yeah. It's one thing to get gear stuck when you're climbing with the person, but to borrow a rope and wreck it? I would replace it if I were him.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 95

What did they say when the returned the rope? It sounds like you are in the camp where you really don't care about it, so if it is not replaced, it is not going to strain your relationship. Maybe if you think there is 30% left, tell then to buy to a $50 or $60 piece of gear you don't have and call it even.

MarcYY · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 0

I had a couple friends using my rope cut it with a knife on the last rap of a multipitch...(no idea why other than they were benighted and dehydrated) They could have left it there and gotten it another day. That being said, if I loan a rope out, I figure it is never coming back and if I borrowed a rope, I would replace it if something happened. I just don't loan my ropes out or borrow ropes anymore.

M Bageant · · Cambridge, MA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 5

I haven't been in that situation, but if I tore up a friend's rope, I would think it was fair to at minimum offer them whatever percentage of the original price the rope's remaining life was at (for yours, 30% of the new price).

If I had extra coin I would just straight up buy them a replacement rope, because I don't want to be the shitty friend that breaks stuff and just says "whoops, sorry!" before walking away. That's a good way to lose some friends.

Wilson On The Drums · · Woodbury, MN · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 860

Personally I'd buy you a new rope if you let me borrow yours and I cut it. I borrowed a friends rack once and was sorting gear in the parking lot and may or may not have ran over a #3 cam. It didn't have any visible damage but I bought my buddy a new one just in case.

MarcYY · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 0
Wilson On The Drums wrote:I borrowed a friends rack once and was sorting gear in the parking lot and may or may not have ran over a #3 cam. It didn't have any visible damage but I bought my buddy a new one just in case.
Good man. =) And here we are worried about missing rivets. I see a new BD slogan in this one.
Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0

I think the right thing for your friend to do is replace your rope. But if you feel like the rope was near the end of it's life and not worth a brand new rope, it would be a really great gesture on your part to pro-rate it in some way - maybe he has a rope of similar condition he can give you, or maybe he can give you some cash or other piece of gear that you both feel is a fair trade. But I think generally if you borrow something you either need to return it or replace it.

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 90

They should pay for the damage. So, in this case, they should give you 30% of what that rope would cost new today.

Br3tt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

If I loaned gear to a good friend who broke it and didn't offer a replacement I would (i) never loan gear to that good friend again, and (ii) question how good of a friend they were.

Ask if they're fine paying for 30% of a new rope.

yukonjack · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

If I cut a friends rope, I'd replace it with a new one, regardless of the subjective wear on the rope.
You gotta leave it better than you found it.

If a friend tried to give me a new rope after he cut a beater, I'd refuse in favor of beers or dinner.

Jonny d · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 0

The friend should pay the difference between a burned hand and a burned and hairy hand.

In all seriousness, if you loaned the rope to a "good friend," as you describe, you should let the entire matter go without further discussion, and he should buy you a brand new rope without further ado.

SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 15
yukonjack wrote:If I cut a friends rope, I'd replace it with a new one, regardless of the subjective wear on the rope. You gotta leave it better than you found it. If a friend tried to give me a new rope after he cut a beater, I'd refuse in favor of beers or dinner.
This.
djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 0

If you borrow it your are totally responsible for it. Your buddy owes you .

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 438

I borrowed a friends old 30m glacier rope this spring. Fell through a thin snow bridge trying to get a runaway ski. Damaged the sheath getting myself out of the crevasse.

Later that week my friend had a shiny new rope on their doorstep. No questions asked.

Will S · · Joshua Tree · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 998

I'd offer to replace it with a new one, then you would tell me "that thing was almost toast anyway, how about just give me half".

We'd both walk away feeling like we'd done right by the other person.

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204
Will S wrote:I'd offer to replace it with a new one, then you would tell me "that thing was almost toast anyway, how about just give me half". We'd both walk away feeling like we'd done right by the other person.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45
Will S wrote:I'd offer to replace it with a new one, then you would tell me "that thing was almost toast anyway, how about just give me half". We'd both walk away feeling like we'd done right by the other person.
Just to clarify: you mean half of the COST of a rope, not half a rope, right? :p
Top Rope Hero · · Was Estes Park, now homeless · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 990

I know what I would do were I the offending borrower.... But that isn't the issue here. The issue is what should YOU should do as the innocent lender.

You showed in action that you were ah "good" friend by letting him (her?) borrow the rope. How about give him the opportunity to reply in kind. I say put it to him. Say, "Well OK, friend, you broke my rope. What's your remedy?" And see what he (she?) will do. That gives this other the chance to show you how good a friend THEY are.

If they insist on going halvesies because it was a mature rope? Well? OK...That's probably cool. I would probably take that deal without much grumbling. But I would never, never lend that friend anything again. (And I ALWAYS lend my friends anything I got.) And I wouldn't consider 'em that good a friend.

If they were like, well? Tough luck. I would pee on them and key their shitty Bronco.

And if they flat out, no questions asked, volunteered to replace the damaged rope? I WOULD consider them a good friend, and I would let them buy you that new rope, or not, depending on your needs, and I would have their back for life. AND I would buy THEM beers.

The point here isn't the rope. Forget the rope. Equipment comes, equipment goes. Shit gets used, shit breaks. What MATTERS is what people mean to each other. What matters is whether this friend is a stand up friend, or whether they're a mooch who maybe should be cut from your inner circle. Or something in between.

That's the thing of it. What friends willingly DO for each other is exactly what friendship is. Any I think you're lucky to be inna position to find out. NOT as some kind of BS loyalty test. But....as an opportunity. The same, reciprocal opportunity that allowed you to show what a great friend you were in the first place. So? So put it to your friend. Find out what kind of friend you actually have there.

Meanwhile, topical shout out to Auzzie man Rich Ham for volunteering years back to replace MY rope, no questions asked, when he returned it with a mysterious but life-ending core shot. You're ah good man, Ham.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 763

Yes. Let them.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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