Brand new rope has unexplained blue/black stain.


Original Post
Alex R · · Golden · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

I just bought a rope, while I was unpacking it, I noticed a dime sized black spot. Under strong light I could see that it was actually dark blue and appeared to consist of a powdery residue as well as staining of the fibers. I really want to identify a reasonable explanation for the stain before using the rope. It is a dry treated Edelweiss if that matters.

Picture of stain

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

If you want to return it, now would be a good time. It is probably a dye issue, which wouldn't cause any concern. If it is actual chemical damage, you will be able to peel off the damaged nylon strands.

I got to examine and pick apart a rope damaged by car battery acid once. It was lighter in color in the affected area and you could easily pick out fibers with your fingers. Also, it tasted of acid in a similar way that a bitter citrus fruit does.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Did you contact Edelweiss?

http://www.edelweiss-ropes.com/contact

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 15

My Mammut rope has a small dot like that a few meters from the middle mark in each direction. The dots on my rope appear to be intentional.

Brady3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 15
Stich wrote:Also, it tasted of acid in a similar way that a bitter citrus fruit does.
One of the first things they tell you in any chemistry lab is not to taste the chemicals!

Your best bet is probably to start by contacting Edelweiss. Without anything to give a clue as to what it might be it will be pretty difficult to figure it out without damaging the rope. Otherwise, take it back to the retailer and they may exchange it for another one?
Josh Kornish · · tufaclimbing.com · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 245

Taste the purple part first as a baseline and then test the dark blue, probably just a sharpie mishap

Brady3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 15

Josh, he said that there was a powder with it as well, so probably not sharpie. Maybe some sort of marking chalk? But again, I would not recommend tasting unknown chemicals.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 615

Definitely taste it - if you don't die, the rope is fine.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Nick Sweeney wrote:Definitely taste it - if you don't die, the rope is fine.
Sounds like a good opportunity for a super hero origin story to me!
Andreas Slette · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

i like to taste all my new ropes before i climb on them. i find that it gives me a special connection and trust with the rope that lets me climb harder.

Alex R · · Golden · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

The rope is from backcountry.com so it is going to take a little longer than it would if it were from a local shop. I had been hoping to use the rope this weekend so I was seeing if I could get a quicker response here thinking maybe this is a common well known issue with new ropes and I wouldn't need to worry. But it sounds like I'll have to wait for a reply from Edelweiss.

Bill Shubert · · Lexington, MA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 50

Powdery residue. Is it possible that this is colored chalk? Maybe they use dark colored chalk to mark things in the factory (e.g., where to cut), and some got on the rope accidentally.

That's my guess, but it's just a guess. Tasting it would tell you though, chalk has a pretty distinctive flavor.

Edit: I see I'm not the first person to guess chalk. If you don't want to taste it, try washing it away with water. Chalk should wash away without too much trouble. If it goes away, then I'd call it safe to climb.

Josh Kornish · · tufaclimbing.com · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 245
Brady3 wrote:Josh, he said that there was a powder with it as well, so probably not sharpie. Maybe some sort of marking chalk? But again, I would not recommend tasting unknown chemicals.
Brady, your recommendations run contrary to the conventional wisdom of this thread. Taste the watermelon rope.
Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 163
Stich wrote: Also, it tasted of acid in a similar way that a bitter citrus fruit does.
Connoisseur?
Alex R · · Golden · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

I actually tried washing it away with water and that was ineffective. I still do not know what it is, but Backcountry's customer service has been amazing. When I said I needed a rope this weekend, they rushed the returns process so I would have a non suspect rope this weekend.

Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0
Stich wrote:Also, it tasted of acid in a similar way that a bitter citrus fruit does.
Purple micro-dot?
Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 615
Alex R wrote:I actually tried washing it away with water and that was ineffective. I still do not know what it is, but Backcountry's customer service has been amazing. When I said I needed a rope this weekend, they rushed the returns process so I would have a non suspect rope this weekend.
Glad to hear. Backcountry has great customer service in my experience!
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136

I would recommend contacting the manufacturer even if you end up returning the rope. I'm sure they would like to know this if it is, in fact, more than a cosmetic issue. If it's possible, try to hold on to the rope until you hear back from the manufacturer as they might want the rope back for testing.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128

Start by contacting the manufacturer of the rope. They would know the most.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240
Brady3 wrote: One of the first things they tell you in any chemistry lab is not to taste the chemicals!
Tasting things is so much fun, though. I even know what antifreeze tastes like (sweet! mmmm). But motor oil, gasoline, and brake fluid I'll just smell.
Brady3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 15

While tasting chemicals to help identify them had been standard practice at one point (apparently our ChemE at work did this to pass a test because she didn't pay attention when they covered how to identify the chemicals through analysis), there are enough really bad chemicals out there you do need to be careful with it (we have cyanide compounds at work, I'm not tasting anything!).

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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