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Ideal haul line size?

Original Post
adam.b · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 161

I have an option to buy 9mm or 11mm static line from a friend (both spools are hardly used and in great condition). Which size would be more ideal for hauling?
Bonus question: 60m 70m or 80m for the haul line? 

Marlin Thorman · · Spokane, WA · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 2,480

Not an exact on haul lines, but I do know you want to make sure you get one that is longer than your climbing rope.  Because the haul line won't stretch and the climbing rope will.  I think a lot of people climb with a 60m climbing rope and a 65m haul line. 

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 420
Marlin Thorman wrote: Not an exact on haul lines, but I do know you want to make sure you get one that is longer than your climbing rope.  Because the haul line won't stretch and the climbing rope will.  I think a lot of people climb with a 60m climbing rope and a 65m haul line.
This is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.
Mostly, a shorter haul line is fine because the haul line will be in a straight line from anchor to anchor. On most climbs (certainly on all of the trade routes) a 65 meter lead line and a 60 meter haul line would be perfect.
Excluding places like Baffin Island or Trango Tower there is no need for a haul line bigger than 9mm
Marlin Thorman · · Spokane, WA · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 2,480
Mark Hudon wrote: Mostly, a shorter haul line is fine because the haul line will be in a straight line from anchor to anchor. On most climbs (certainly on all of the trade routes) a 65 meter lead line and a 60 meter haul line would be perfect.

You learn something everyday.....thanks for correcting my error Mark.
Moof · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 25

Only reason ever to bring a longer haul line would be of you want a long tail for a particular lower out.  Basically a contrived situation.

9mm would be best in most cases, though as thin as I personally would go (avoid 8 mm haul lines).  11 is huge, reserve that for true vertical camping trips with a half a dozen pigs (i.e. Canadian Assassin lead debacles).  I personally liked 9.5 mm polyester core for a staic line.  Mine was retired well before it got ratty.

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 420

In 31 El Cap routes I have needed more than a 60m haul line (for lowering our the bag) exactly once (and 98% of you will never do that route).

Ryan Pfleger · · Boise, ID · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 25

Question from a wall noob. I already own a couple lines I am considering using as a haul line. The first is my 10.1x60m dynamic in good shape. The second is a 8x60m static that is also in good shape,  but is at least 10 and could be 15+ years old. No question that either is plenty strong for haul duty, but I might be a little sketched if I had to jug the old 8mm static. Should I be? Also, I know the static will be more efficient for hauling, but what would you experienced folks recommend? Planning on possibly soloing a Grade V, and then hitting Zodiac with a more experienced partner (who I assume will have his own system already in mind), and then Muir Wall with a less experienced group of 3.

Paul Kalifatidi · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0
Mark Hudon wrote: Excluding places like Baffin Island or Trango Tower there is no need for a haul line bigger than 9mm

Why do you need a thicker line there?

JCM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 115

Speaking from a point of relative ignorance (have never been to and never intending to go to Baffin/Trango), I would assume the thicker haul line for those locations is due to the much larger loads people are hauling in those places. Big walling in those locations seems to often involve multi-week stints on the wall, waiting out storms, and all that. I'd expect this adds up to much more haul weight than your typical 3-6 day El Cap outing.

Soft Catch · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0
Paul Kalifatidi wrote:

Why do you need a thicker line there?

BURT BRONSON will tell you why.

Patrick M · · Greely Hill, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10
Mark Hudon wrote: In 31 El Cap routes I have needed more than a 60m haul line (for lowering our the bag) exactly once (and 98% of you will never do that route).

What’s the route?

Zachary Winters · · Winthrop, WA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 430
Mark Hudon wrote: This is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.
Mostly, a shorter haul line is fine because the haul line will be in a straight line from anchor to anchor. On most climbs (certainly on all of the trade routes) a 65 meter lead line and a 60 meter haul line would be perfect.
Excluding places like Baffin Island or Trango Tower there is no need for a haul line bigger than 9mm

Mark definitely knows what he's talking about - more than any of us.

But it's confusing - why would BD sell their static ropes only in 65m lengths to be paired w/ 60s? They say: "Designed at 65m with minimal stretch intended for use when hauling or rappelling with a 60m dynamic cord"

For rapping, it makes sense for the static to be at least as long as the lead line. But for hauling, Mark's point seems very logical.
Perhaps a 65m static with a 70m lead line would be a reasonable option? Thoughts, Mark?
csproul · · Pittsboro...sort of, NC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330

Rapping is the reason. A longer haul line paired with the shorter stretching static will be about even when tied together and rappelling.

Forthright · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 110
Paul Kalifatidi wrote:

Why do you need a thicker line there?

Real chance of being seriously fucked if your loads are separated from you + potentially hauling way more. 

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 420
Patrick Michel wrote:

What’s the route?

Native Son

Quinn Hatfield · · Los Angeles · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0
Mark Hudon wrote:

Native Son

2% Dreams 

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 420
Z Winters wrote:

Mark definitely knows what he's talking about - more than any of us. (10% is what you say, 90% is how you say it)  

Perhaps a 65m static with a 70m lead line would be a reasonable option? Thoughts, Mark?

Certainly on all of the trades, you don’t even need a 70 lead line. BITD, a 165’ rope was considered long and a “wall rope”. Porter got ahold of a 180’ rope by accident on the Zodiac and that screwed things up for a while. 

Only some of the newer lines require a 70 meter rope. (When Max and I did Reticent, we actually had to untie the anchor, twice, to get enough rope for the pitch.)
For the most part, this whole 65m, 70m discussion is a waste of time, two 60m rope will get you up most routes. 
Zachary Winters · · Winthrop, WA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 430
Mark Hudon wrote:

Certainly on all of the trades, you don’t even need a 70 lead line. BITD, a 165’ rope was considered long and a “wall rope”. Porter got ahold of a 180’ rope by accident on the Zodiac and that screwed things up for a while. 

Only some of the newer lines require a 70 meter rope. (When Max and I did Reticent, we actually had to untie the anchor, twice, to get enough rope for the pitch.)
For the most part, this whole 65m, 70m discussion is a waste of time, two 60m rope will get you up most routes. 

Oops didn't mean to be rude in my phrasing there..

Thanks for the background Mark. Awesome.
I'm a fan of using 60s when a 70 isn't necessary, just less to manage. Sadly 60s just seem to be going out of style at so many crags these days
Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 420

I didn’t see any rudeness, Z.

And true that, 60s are going out of style. 

Darrell Cornick · · Salem, OR · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 5

I retire my lead ropes in relatively good shape and haul with them. Infinity 9.5’s.  If its not a massive load I don’t think the stretch is that much of a hassle. Also,if my real lead line was damaged I could lead on the haul line. That never seems to happen. It probably just makes me feel better about things.

Ryan Pfleger · · Boise, ID · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 25

Thanks, Darrell. I appreciate the input. That is what I am leaning towards.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Big Wall and Aid Climbing
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