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My rope is kinking severely when lowering a climber. Is it my Mega Jul?


Original Post
Alee Monaco · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55

I have a somewhat new rope. It's the Beal Zenith (9.5mm) and it's a pretty soft rope with 38% stretch. When I first got it, I uncoiled it according to Beal's video here:

youtube.com/watch?v=GkJIrmM…

It was free of kinks entirely for the first ~7 trips out with it (even the first time using it). Now, it gets TONS of kinks when I lower someone. To the point where I have to unravel a chain of kinks several times for a single lower. I belay with a Mega Jul and I can't tell if it's causing it or if it's just the rope.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

Were some of the lower offs from rings or directly through the bolts (ie a few inches apart) rather than chain (ie, in direct contact)? I've seen that cause some kinkage. I've had kinky ropes too, but I seem to remember that they were like that right out of the shop.

Alee Monaco · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55

One of them was through rap rings but the others were not.

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300
Alee Monaco wrote:One of them was through rap rings but the others were not.
Did you tr through the rings? I think that could maybe take some time to get rid of the twists.

In the case of the kinky ropes I mentioned (this is about 20 years ago now) I got in touch with Black Diamond and told them I thought something was wrong. I shipped the ropes (doubles!) back to them and they replaced both. The replacements were perfect and I've bought a whole lot of Black Diamond gear since, so it was win/win. You might try that with Beal. To be honest, I think maybe it was Beal that was making the ropes for BD back then, perhaps someone can correct me on that if I'm wrong.
RyanJames · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 505

Never lower through rap rings when they are apart from one another. Even one lower can FUCK your rope into a cluster of coils. There is something you can do to improve it and get the coils out: thread your rope through the top anchors, preferably on a rope-stretching pitch. When you're on the ground and both rope ends are on the ground, alternate between pulling and working out the coils by spinning the rope end on each side. Work both sides, going back and forth, tugging, spinning the rope, etc. You'll be able to see which was the rope wants to uncoil. Facilitate this spin on both ends of the rope.

Obviously, when you're doing this, the rope can't be through any gear on the wall. This helps tremendously. Good luck!

Travis Provin · · Boulder CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 105

It's not your mega jul. Although I don't have the exact same rope as you, I've used my mega jul on many different ropes, sometimes there are coils, sometimes not. The gear you are lowering from is probably the issue.

Alee Monaco · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55

Thanks for the replies guys!
Haven't top roped through the rap rings, only lowered once, but still that could be the problem. I'm glad it's likely not the mega jul as I like the thing and don't want to have to toss it. I suppose I'll try to work out the kinks and see if it happens again. Thanks everyone!

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

Also aside from lowering, do you coil your rope or toss it in a bag? You can introduce a twist while cooking a rope.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,

the mega jul does tend to slight kink or extreme kink the rope, depending upon the karabiner of your choosing. it is good to use one quite fat, and round.

Mark O'Neal · · Nicholson, GA · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 1,285
Nick Drake wrote:Also aside from lowering, do you coil your rope or toss it in a bag? You can introduce a twist while cooking a rope.
I don't recommend cooking your rope
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

^^^

Good point. Never cook your rope, but coiling it is acceptable.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 12,363

Don't know if folk know about this "de-kinking" technique that we used in the "old days" of the 'mountaineer's coil' (which put a half-twist into each coil)...drag the rope out for 3 or 4 rope-lengths. To keep it off the ground, we'd put it over a near-to-the-ground tree branch every 10-30 ft. Drag it along and leave the end free to untwist. Back in the days before everyone rapped off, we'd do this every few climbs along the climber's trail at the top of the Gunks on the way back to the Uberfall.

Even ONE lower off of bolts-with-rings, horizontally placed 6-12 inches apart will TOTALLY kink up a rope, heck, even rapping and pulling the rope, especially if 2 ropes tied together, will do this.

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

It should be said it depends on how the rap rings are configured more than their distance apart that will introduce a kink in the rope.

If the rings sit perpendicular to the rock and are less than a foot apart, it's fine to lower off of them. More than a foot can be an issue depending on whether there is chain or not.

If the rings are just links or rings and no chain and sit parallel to the rock, don't lower off them if at all possible. This is what introduces the half twist.

Metolius rap hangers should never be lowered off of, as they will also introduce a twist into the rope.

I actually suspect either you or your partners belay device is responsible for the twist. I know the Smart will introduce a twist if you don't belay correctly with it. Not sure if the mega jul would, but it seems plausible.

Alex Rogers · · Sydney, Australia · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40

Megajul can seriously kink a rope. I rapped on mine with the device reversed ("tube-style") and it kinked my rope horribly. It is easy to test - use one of the techniques described to unkink your rope (I take mine for a drag, old school) and then use it for a while with regular ATC, then try the Jul again.

I sold my Jul as I didn't like rapping or how it twisted my rope.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
Mark O'Neal wrote: I don't recommend cooking your rope
I don't recommend posting from a phone with a creative autocorrect :)
Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,

yes, if you use it the phat one the karabiner and round, it will barely kink your rope, but it still seems like it does the kinking even some tiny amount... SAD!

Otherwise, you nearly have one device that make almost perfect for everything. Tell those germans to increase their researching and developmental so they truly build one device to rule them all.

Ben Stabley · · Portland, OR · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 171
Mark O'Neal wrote: I don't recommend cooking your rope
But the video shows them cooking a rope.
Troy Woodard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0

The rope I climb with is made of over cooked ramen lots of twists and stretch
Got hungry last trip now it's a gym rope

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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