What rope should a new climber get?

Original Post
Jackson Chambers · · Springville, Utah · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

I'm just starting out climbing, and figure it's time to buy my own rope. I know that I'm going to get 60-70m single rope, but I'm not sure about the exact rope. Do I go cheaper, for one that won't last as long? Or go all out on a nice Petzl or Black Diamond rope for a few hundred bucks? 

DRusso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 230

Mammut Transformer is an awesome first rope. Anything in the 9.6mm to 10.0mm range will work.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

Get the cheapest dynamic climbing rope you can find that is over 10mm, preferably 10.5. They stand up to toproping better.  Don't make your first rope an expensive one.  

GoatSlayer · · Olympia, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

My $0.02:

Keep your eye peeled for a Blue Water Lightning Pro in 60m. You can get one for roughly $150 or $160. Sometimes you can get one with full dry treatment for the same price.

Amazon, surprisingly, often has good deals on this rope. Super durable, highly regarded by many climbers. Very nice handling, and decent weight.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 95

If you are top ropping, something in the 10 - 10.5 mm will hold up well.  Dry treatment is nice, but not a requirement.  Brand does not really matter either, any rope from a reputable manufacturer will do.  Get one on sale if you can.  A middle mark or a bi-color is really handy if you plan on doing an rappels.

If you want to get into leading,  then something in the 9.5 to 9.8 range is better for a 1st rope.  You will appreciate the lghter weight and less drag, even if he rope is less durable.

If you are mainly sport climbing, see what the areas around you use.  No sense in getting a 70m if you can do everything with a 60.  If you are getting into trad, then the extra 10m is often handy.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

What kind of climbing will you be doing?  This, ultimately, will be the most important factor.  There's not really "beginner ropes" like there are for shoes.  If you're going to be toproping or trad climbing, go for thicker ropes (10+).  If you're going to be mostly sport climbing, you'll want a thinner rope (but not TOO thin - 9.4-9.8 is ideal).  Once you figure that out, go for the cheapest rope rated for climbing (UIAA) that you can find.

Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 150

a CHEAP and FAT one

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500

BD's ropes are actually really affordable- they start at $150 for a 60m, which, along with the Edelrid Boa at the same price is a solid entry level rope.

Generally, I'd recommend 9.8mm to 10.2mm for your first rope. 60m is fine unless you live in an area (or plan on climbing in an area) that requires a 70m line. 

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

Cheap, fat, 70m. You don't have to buy a bi-colored or middle marked rope, so long as you can mark where the middle is (machine washable sharpie works for this).

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

Indeed, just focus on price. Also, skip the 70m unless you know your area needs it. Contrary to seemingly popular belief, over 95% of single pitch sport climbs in America can be done with a 60m. I climbed for 15 years before I bought my first 70m, and even then I've owned nearly fifteen 60m ropes and only two 70s.

BryanE · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 35

I don't think it makes sense to buy anything over 10mm anymore. Get a 9.8 and the rest is how much you want to spend and how nice you want it to feel in your hand. Sterling Velocity and Petzl Contact are good if not expensive. I have the mammut infinity 9.5mm that retails for 150 (60m) but with all the sales going on you can get it for 120 probably. As a 9.5 it is a great lead line but I also use it for rough top roping (like climbing on top access cliffs with incredibally sharp rock with poor anchor positioning just loading and grinding the sheath over the rock while having forgotten my edge padding for the third day in a row and it doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear. this is my second or third season with it and it still has a ton of life left.

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

Regarding a 70m: the main reason I suggested this is it will reduce the chances of you rapping off the end of your rope. Some raps are set right at 60m, having a little more is better than only just enough.

Just my two cents, of course.

coldfinger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 0


Your first rope should be a workhorse, the Edelrid Boa 9.8 in 70m will fit the bill perfectly. It's a great first rope and will make an ideal trad/sport dragging rope for years to come.

It can be found quite cheaply too!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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