Mountain Project Logo

Can "Retired" rope and harness be used?

Original Post
Toby Ni · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

I've got a couple of almost brand new (used twice) dynamic ropes and a harness that I don't use anymore.  They have been kept clean and in great condition in a plastic bin in my closet.  I was thinking of selling them, but should they be considered "retired" simply because of age (10 years)?  I don't want to sell equipment related to safety if age can compromise the integrity of the equipment.  Any advice?

Eric Fjellanger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 845

They are safe, just be honest about their history.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800

As with most such questions, there's a spectrum of ways to deal with this: use them with complete faith, since they are virtually unused.  Or use them only for top-rope, where loads will be light.  Or retire them completely and buy new.  

There are advocates out there for each; only you can gauge your comfort level and choose what to do. Maybe review the gear makers' advice before you decide, but keep in mind that that advice is 99th percentile on the conservative side.

PMing you my own thoughts on this.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Don't expect to get much money for a ten-year old rope! 

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346

The whole "it's only safe for TR" argument is ridiculous . Either a rope is safe for all forms of climbing or it's unsafe for all forms of climbing. What happens when someone mistakenly picks up the "TR only" rope and starts leading on it? If you don't trust the rope don't use it for any form of climbing. 

Marco GJ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0

Hey Tobi. Actually the issue with old ropes, even those stored optimally, is that they lose their elasticity over the years. Thus the impact force of a lead fall is much greater due to the rope not stretching. A ten year old rope is a great top-rope or rap-line or any other static application but I would be reluctant to lead with it. In other words it is strong but would fail an IUAA drop test. It will have virtually no value to sell. Sorry!  The harness will not have  lost strength due to its age, but once again, who wants it?  I use old harnesses and ropes for tree trimming, working on steep roofs etc and save my newer stuff for climbing!  I just gave away a couple of old ropes to some canyoneering friends who will use and abuse them. Hope that helps!

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 205
Marco GJ wrote:

Hey Tobi. Actually the issue with old ropes, even those stored optimally, is that they lose their elasticity over the years. 

Can you actually find a credible source  that has data on this, people spout this shit constantly and i have yet to see anybody give a reference.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "Can "Retired" rope and harness be used?"

Log In to Reply