Half Rope Suggestions


Original Post
NeilB · Oct 4, 2016 · Tehachapi, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 30
I've only ever climbed with a single rope.
I'm starting to do longer routes that require me to carry an extra rope for rappels. Example 1: climbing just the chimney pitches of Epinephrine in Red Rock and rapping off. Example 2: doing long wandering alpine routes in the Eastern Sierra

From reading, I think what I want is a pair of half ropes. Which means I lead with two ropes tied to me, each is capable of holding a lead fall on it's own, and I can wander around clipping only one rope to strategically reduce rope drag.

My question is twofold:
1. From your experience, is this a good solution?
2. Any recommendations for 60m half ropes? I don't care about dry treatment. Lightweight is nice.

Kyle Tarry · Oct 4, 2016 · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 84
I have a pair of Beal Cobras and I like them a lot. They are a bit beefier (heavier) than your average half ropes for ice use, but Beal claims they have sharp edge resistance and a tough(er) sheath. I've used them for multipitch rock, multipitch ice, alpine, and one of the pair for moderate mountaineering and alpine climbing.

J. Albers · Oct 4, 2016 · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,228
NeilB wrote: My question is twofold: 1. From your experience, is this a good solution? .
Yes.

NeilB wrote: 2. Any recommendations for 60m half ropes? I don't care about dry treatment. Lightweight is nice.
Bluewater Excellence. I have owned probably 5 brands of double ropes and I keep coming back to the BW. Reasonable price, reasonable weight, and you will almost certainly end up retiring the rope because of age, not because its worn out (BW are the only half ropes I have every owned that I didn't retire because they wore out like other brands).

Sam T. · Oct 4, 2016 · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 170
I've been very happy with the Mammut Genesis 8.5mm. Now that being said they do now make ropes that can be 1/2 and twin rated and I would definitely look into a few of those. Major upside is that you have a lot more flexibility in how you clip and can either clip both through single pieces or alternate depending on terrain/hazards. I love my 1/2's but every once in a while I find myself wanting twins.

One other thing to consider is the sheath/core percentages. I really like a much higher sheath percentage that can handle more abrasion for the skinnier ropes with the idea that I don't really plan on falling on them. Lowers the number of falls they can take but makes them much less likely to get cut/worn through too fast.

Nick Drake · Oct 4, 2016 · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 413
I have an 8mm mammut phoenix that I combine with a 9mm sterling nano (triple rated) when I need half rope technique. The only time I do this is on tenuous friction slabs, where any drag could be the difference between falling or not. If your route doesn't wander a lot I don't think the benefits of half rope technique outweigh the rope management shenanigan potential (I also prefer to lead in blocks, swapping leads rope management isn't bad).

If you want a set up to lead on half ropes I'd stick to the mid range, 8.4-8.8mm. These will have thicker sheathes and be easier to catch a lead fall on. Still consider using two biners with a regular tube device.

VRP · Oct 4, 2016 · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 30
I have a set of the Phoenix's and they've held up great for two seasons of alpine rock and some light winter use. Being skinny lines they do get kinked/twisted easily making rope management a pain at times.

wivanoff · Oct 4, 2016 · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 337
NeilB wrote:1. From your experience, is this a good solution?
Yes.
But, if you are only occasionally going to use DRT and already own a thin single rope why not consider buying just one half rope?

NeilB wrote:2. Any recommendations for 60m half ropes? I don't care about dry treatment. Lightweight is nice.
Currently own Mammut Genesis 8.5mm X 60m half ropes which I like a lot.
Previously had Beal 8.8mm x 60m. Don't remember the model. They were nice also.

John Wilder · Oct 4, 2016 · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,495
I climbed on doubles in Red Rock for years and enjoyed the experience- especially when doing new routes. I climbed on Bluewater Excellence lines and would highly recommend them. I also hear alot of great things about the Mammut Genesis lines.

That said, I prefer whenever possible to run a single line- doubles definitely have their advantages, but weight and just having 400' of rope on you is a drag alot of the time and I'm not a fan when trying to run fast and light.

Jay Eggleston · Oct 4, 2016 · Denver · Joined Feb 2003 · Points: 13,831
Mammut

Luc-514 · Oct 4, 2016 · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,393
I own a pair of Mammut 8mm Phoenix, great lightweight half ropes.

Previously had Sterling Duettos, great feel, tough rope.
and also the Mammut 8.5mm Genesis which were great to learn with and abuse.

Idaho-Ian · Oct 5, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0
Just picked up a pair of Edelweiss Oxygen 8.2 ropes from AlpenGlow for a very fair price. They have a great hand and seem quite durable (especially with their Unicore tech), but take that with a grain of salt because I haven't had them long. Reviews of other unicore ropes from Edelweiss are quite favorable, especially in durability.

J. Albers · Oct 5, 2016 · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,228
Idaho-Ian wrote:Just picked up a pair of Edelweiss Oxygen 8.2 ropes from AlpenGlow for a very fair price. They have a great hand and seem quite durable (especially with their Unicore tech), but take that with a grain of salt because I haven't had them long. Reviews of other unicore ropes from Edelweiss are quite favorable, especially in durability.
Hopefully yours perform better than mine because I found them to degrade pretty quickly (the Oxygen and the Petzl Firefly are the only doubles I have owned that were retired because of degradation instead of age). Then again I owned a pair of Oxygen's maybe 8-9 years ago, so perhaps Edelweiss has upped their game.

Anyway, sorry to rain on your parade man....

Bill Kirby · Oct 5, 2016 · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 40
+1 for Mammut Genesis doubles

+1 for Bluewater.. Can't go wrong with either

NeilB · Oct 5, 2016 · Tehachapi, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 30
Thanks for the suggestions.
I'm thinking of springing for a couple of the Bluewater Excellence 60m, one blue, one red.

Idaho-Ian · Oct 5, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0
J. Albers wrote: Hopefully yours perform better than mine because I found them to degrade pretty quickly (the Oxygen and the Petzl Firefly are the only doubles I have owned that were retired because of degradation instead of age). Then again I owned a pair of Oxygen's maybe 8-9 years ago, so perhaps Edelweiss has upped their game. Anyway, sorry to rain on your parade man....
Interesting. These are definitely a new model (Oxygen ii).
It would be interesting to know what you mean by degrade. Do you mean the sheath just wore quickly? Or was there an actual degradation in performance?

Thanks

J. Albers · Oct 5, 2016 · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,228
Idaho-Ian wrote: Interesting. These are definitely a new model (Oxygen ii). It would be interesting to know what you mean by degrade. Do you mean the sheath just wore quickly? Or was there an actual degradation in performance? Thanks
The rope got super mushy, the sheath got fuzzy, and the rope got fat. Hopefully the fixed it!

Eric M Parks · Oct 5, 2016 · Campo, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 165
PMI Verglas 8.1mm X 60m Coral and Caribean colors

Alex Rogers · Oct 5, 2016 · Sydney, Australia · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 15
As per several comments here - if the need is only occasional, just buy 1 half rope and pair it with your existing lead rope in a half rope system.

I do this by choice frequently - we have very sharp rock where I climb most often, and it is reassuring to have 2 ropes, one of them single rated.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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