Can you use two single ropes as half ropes?


Original Post
sjh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

Thinking of switching from single to half ropes.

If possible id like to try out the system before investing the $$$.
The fat singles will prob be a pain in the butt to feed slack to the leader(noted), but this is just a try before you buy situation.

My main concern is would a fall on two single ropes alleviate the stretch in the rope making it painful, unsafe, or generate to high a fall factor???


t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I'm not sure you understand how ropes work, but yes.


txclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0

You're just describing a typical double rope setup. No issues with that, in fact lots of reasons to use that system in certain situations.

Your concern about not being enough stretch isn't really an issue either. Mainly because typically you don't clip both ropes into the same piece of gear. Most of the time you alternate, so if you fall, you're only actually falling on one rope (the one attached to the highest piece).


JRM89 · · New Haven, CT · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 315

Assuming you are using them as double ropes rather than twins (i.e., clipping only one rope to a given piece of gear), you are only actually falling on one rope. So no worries.

If you are using them as twins, that is a different story - and I don't know the answer. There also wouldn't be much point in doing that. :)


FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
t.farrell wrote:I'm not sure you understand how ropes work, but yes.
Sounds to me like he understands and is asking a reasonable question.

t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote: Sounds to me like he understands and is asking a reasonable question.
Yeah I'm starting to learn more toward your side. It's just worded in a confusing way to me. Apologies if I offended.

ridethejoy · · Denver, CO · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 0

All depends on how they are rated. Some manufacturers have put out ropes rated for both half use (alternate clipping ropes every other piece) and twin (clipping both ropes to every piece).

The number one thing is to be consistent on each pitch, the real benefits to clipping as half ropes 1) mitigating rope drag on wandering pitches 2) not introducing slack while clipping (esp. if you like to place gear high above you).

Either way having two ropes can be really nice for bigger routes that require multiple raps and/or making bailing easier, faster, with leaving less gear.

I have been very happy with dynamic.pmirope.com/product... as they are rated for both half and twin and have a decent dry coating for ice climbing.

Reading material:

http://coloradomountainschool.com/single-half-twin-ropes-mean/

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/rope-markings-explained


Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 129

Some half ropes such as the Mammut Genesis and Twilight are also rated as twin ropes, meaning that the impact force from a fall on both ropes at the same time won't exceed UIAA limits.

It's unusual to use twin rope technique on a rock climb (i.e. clipping both ropes at the same time) but I've sometimes climbed that way on long, moderate ice climbs where we've needed two ropes in order to rappel.


wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 337
sjh wrote:My main concern is would a fall on two single ropes alleviate the stretch in the rope making it painful, unsafe, or generate to high a fall factor???
I see that some have responded without seeing that you are asking about "experimenting" using two single ropes in double rope technique (clipping one rope per piece) - to see if you like it before buying.

This is fine as long as you do not clip both ropes in one piece (twin rope technique). As you suspect, that would generate too high of an impact.

An option to buying two buying two half ropes in the future might be to get one half rope and one "thin" single rope. Use single rope technique or double rope technique as the situation requires. Kind of the best of both worlds if you only occasionally plan on using DRT. Again, do not use this configuration in twin rope technique

sjh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

Thanks for all the replies. Just wanted to bounce it off a few people to see if I was overlooking something. Climb safe everyone !!!!


20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128
Martin le Roux wrote:It's unusual to use twin rope technique on a rock climb (i.e. clipping both ropes at the same time) but I've sometimes climbed that way on long, moderate ice climbs where we've needed two ropes in order to rappel.
I prefer twins over halves. They are easier to belay with, easier to lead with and easier to manage since they are basically treated as a singe. If I had a rope rated for halves and twins, I would use it as a twin most of the time.

David Gibbs · · Ottawa, ON · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 6
txclimber wrote:You're just describing a typical double rope setup.
Confusingly the term "half" rope and "double" rope are synonyms for the same way of using a pair of ropes. (Only one rope at a time clipped to any particular piece of gear, often used to reduce rope drag, also can reduce fall length while clipping.)

The term "twin" rope is used for the case of clipping the two ropes together into gear, where the two ropes are clipped like a single rope.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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