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Skinny ropes thoughts comments and concerns

Original Post
Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 55

I'm headed in a trip where an 80m rope will be necessary for many routes. My partner and I are highly considering purchasing a skinny dynamic rope, there are a few out there in the 9.0-9.2 range that are rated for singles. What are your thoughts on the balance between durability/weight/ safety/ grigri use/ etc... thoughts... comments.. concerns.. recs! Gracias

George W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 8

Unicore technology seems to be the best thing to mitigate the risks associated with a skinny rope. I have three ropes with that feature and they've been great. I think Edelweiss and Beal make one or more in 80m lengths.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

I have 9.1...Love/hate relationship.

Love - how light it is, so nice. Good handling.

Hate - how fast it can blast through an ATC or GriGri. You have to pay attention when lowering or catching...or it will rip through. Took a huge lead whip on it (~30ft with two blown pieces) and it has a deformed core now.

My next rope will be in the 9.3-9.5 range

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 653

I'm with Grog, I prefer a little bit more rope when using a single. 9.4 is a nice balance.

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 55

thanks guys, we will be mostly sport climbing so the risk of blown pieces SHOULD be lowered. the concern I've been harping over is fall risk/ larger than expected falls due to the rope flying through ATC or grigri.

decreased weight on long routes (encroaching on 40m) is the incentive to go for such a thin rope. perhaps there is a high performance, light weight 9.3 on the market i'm missing

Ronald B · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I had the Edelrid Swift Pro 8.9 mm rope. It was noticeably lighter and it handled fine when belaying and rappelling through assisted braking devices although I had to be a little more careful when using a regular atc. It was a little more tangly so proper rope management was extra important. But overall, I loved the rope and used it on a bunch of mountains. Unfortunately, it was the wrong rope to use for a Tyrolean traverse and got core damage that led to me having to chop the rope. The damage was near the center so now I have 2 nearly 35 meter ropes that I use as glacier ropes. Could use them as gym ropes too I suppose although I mostly boulder in the gym.

NWNINJA · · Nederland, CO · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 80

I'm on my second Bluewater 9.1 Icon.

I currently use an 80m for really tall sport routes and it is awesome! feels light clipping the 20th bolt and handles great.

My first Icon was a 70m and I used it exclusively for all sport/trad climbing for the first year. It took a beating and now is about 50m and still going strong.

Works really well with a Grigri2, but you need to go slow when bringing your partner back to earth. It gains speed quickly.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
eye of the choss wrote:. perhaps there is a high performance, light weight 9.3 on the market i'm missing
Bluewater Wave 9.3mm. The standard one is on eBay for like $150.
Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

I've use a sterling nano quite a bit, bought it as an alpine rope, but ended up using it for some sport also. Lead falls with a grigri are fine, didn't notice any issues lowering. I have caught small falls with an ATC and felt it was fine as well.

The sheath isn't the best though, I've seen a fair amount of fuzzing for how much use it's really seen. I hear the bluewater icon/wave has a burlier sheath for the size.

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 55

I've been staring down the blue water icon

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

I use a skinny for everything except aid. The thickest rope I use anymore is 9.5mm and my main rope is 9.2 for sport climbing. For multipitch, I use a 70m 8.9mm Unicore. I have few concerns with using them, although you do need to be careful around sharp rock and make sure your belayer actually uses the GriGri the proper way.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

The biggest thing with skinny cords is the abrasion- if you're not climbing at least dead vertical routes or steeper, get something with a bit more sheath (say 9.4mm minimum).

I'm happy to run all day on steep sport on a skinny cord- they're light, the clip fast, and they take up less space in your pack (i use a 40m Nano in Red Rock and its a dream).

But, if i'm not on overhangs or at least dead vert rock with few features, i'm bringing a fatter cord.

I'm also in the same boat as you- getting ready for a trip and I'm debating which cord to bring- i'll probably bring the 9.4mm just because I dont know what i'll be climbing on a daily basis and will want options.

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 55

John this is more or less exactly my concern, I don't want to be overseas with an issue. I ended up going for the bluewater 9.3

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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