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Cordellette, nylon webbing....cut to length or buy more?
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Aug 25, 2016
Complete newb here... In reading up on building anchors, PAS, auto blocks, etc, I'm seeing a wide range of uses for different length materials. Is it best practice to buy s bunch materials and cut to a variety of lengths before heading out? Or, is it typical to cut as needed on site and just build a stash as you go?

I'm assuming that hanging off a cliff is not the opportune moment to whip out sharp objects.

What would a decent stash of various length/type of cordage be to get started?
Tim Lau
From Hendersonville, NC
Joined Jul 21, 2016
21 points
Aug 25, 2016
Get 20 feet of 7mm accessory cord and tie a double fisherman for your cordalette. Some people advocate leaving it untied so you can more easily adjust the length, but I've never needed that. Good for years as your ready-to-go cordalette. You will eventually want two of them.

Get 2-3 feet of the same cord (or 6mm) to pretie your autoblock. Make sure it is the correct length so it's not so long it can hit your belay device.

Climb with an experienced person or guide for instruction.

Edit: It's always best to climb with an experienced mentor or guide for a while before you go buying and making gear.
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
279 points
Aug 25, 2016
Thanks Frank. I've been out with our local guide (Fox Mountain Guides, Brevard/Pisgah Forest, NC) 3 times in the last 6 weeks. Definitely doing it right! Tim Lau
From Hendersonville, NC
Joined Jul 21, 2016
21 points
Aug 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb of an easy water ice route near Colorado Spr...
CMC Rescue advises to cut webbing by length designated by color to make getting what you want easier. More important when time is of the issue in a rescue, but it makes grabbing the right pair for a top rope setup lots easier. Just start with 2x25ft black webbing for TR, then tie the water knot to be the size you need. Short webbing isn't very useful for TR, maybe as a bail sling etc. I have a large selection of webbing that I carry to single pitch for setting TR for my wife, kids, and noobs. More IS better.

m.facebook.com/cmcrescue/photo...

Fire departments use a slightly different scheme.

In case the link breaks:
Green 5ft
Yellow 12ft
Blue 15ft
Red 20ft
Black 25ft

I found purple at Moosejaw, and intend on doing a 40' or 50' pair.

Good cord advice above.
Faulted Geologist
From Lawrence, KS
Joined Jan 7, 2015
161 points
Aug 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Rock
Do not cut webbing / rope yourself unless you have a hot knife and know what you are doing, if you buy 50ft of webbing and start cutting it with a normal knife you will cause it to fail. Generally I just by webbing slings and have 1 small rope that i keep tied together with a double fisherman knot for multipitch bolted anchors. ViperScale
Joined Dec 22, 2013
201 points
Aug 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Hueco
ViperScale wrote:
if you buy 50ft of webbing and start cutting it with a normal knife you will cause it to fail.



Ummmmmmmm no?? Just cut it clean and burn the ends with a lighter.
grog m
Joined Aug 29, 2012
110 points
Aug 25, 2016
Tim Lau wrote:
What would a decent stash of various length/type of cordage be to get started?


You don't really need that much. I often don't carry any cord on a climb, or 1-2 pieces at most.

A 15-20' piece of 6mm or 7mm cord tied in a loop is the most common ("cordalette").
A short piece (1-2') of 5-6mm for a prusik/autoblock is the second most common.

For setting toprope anchors, the above may be sufficient, or you can just bring like 50' of webbing and tie it on the spot. It depends on your local area. For setting up top ropes, there's no reason to be cutting webbing to special lengths, just bring a bunch and leave a tail with whatever part of it you don't need. If you cut it and then need a longer piece next time, you'll have to buy more, doesn't make sense. You can also use bigger cord (8-9 mm) or static rope for setting up TR anchors, just buy 30+ feet of it and don't worry too much.

You certainly don't need a fancy color-coded system of webbing for top ropes. I can't think of a situation where you have a 30 foot piece, but it won't work unless you cut it to 15 feet. Just neatly coil the extra and tie it off!
Kyle Tarry
From Portland, OR
Joined Mar 5, 2015
96 points
Aug 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: El Potrero Chico
Tim Lau wrote:
Complete newb here... In reading up on building anchors, PAS, auto blocks, etc, I'm seeing a wide range of uses for different length materials. Is it best practice to buy s bunch materials and cut to a variety of lengths before heading out? Or, is it typical to cut as needed on site and just build a stash as you go? I'm assuming that hanging off a cliff is not the opportune moment to whip out sharp objects. What would a decent stash of various length/type of cordage be to get started?

There are knives that are made to clip to a 'biner. Make a fat coil, put a bight through the eye, hang it off the harness or pack it with you. I need to get in the habit of taking webbing with me on long climbs for when I can rig a rappel off a tree, boulder, or part of a rock formation.
Paul Hutton
From Boise, ID
Joined Mar 26, 2012
848 points
Aug 25, 2016
ViperScale wrote:
Do not cut webbing / rope yourself unless you have a hot knife and know what you are doing, if you buy 50ft of webbing and start cutting it with a normal knife you will cause it to fail.



HOW will you cause it to fail??
Squeak
From Perth West OZ
Joined Feb 15, 2016
5 points
Aug 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: El Potrero Chico
ViperScale wrote:
Do not cut webbing / rope yourself unless you have a hot knife and know what you are doing, if you buy 50ft of webbing and start cutting it with a normal knife you will cause it to fail. Generally I just by webbing slings and have 1 small rope that i keep tied together with a double fisherman knot for multipitch bolted anchors.

Whatever you cut webbing or rope with, the material will be the same as it was before you cut it in between the ends lol!
Paul Hutton
From Boise, ID
Joined Mar 26, 2012
848 points
Aug 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Rock
Paul Hutton wrote:
Whatever you cut webbing or rope with, the material will be the same as it was before you cut it in between the ends lol!


Webbing isn't as big a deal since you can see it unraveling but if you don't seal the end on a rope correctly the core could unravel where you can't see it.
ViperScale
Joined Dec 22, 2013
201 points
Aug 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: High Exposure
BTW, if you cut your webbing at an angle instead of straight across it's a bit easier to thread when you tie your water knots. wivanoff
Joined Mar 3, 2012
409 points
Aug 26, 2016
I also like the visual management: using a certain color for certain lengths of slings. I find it easier for me to tell someone to grab 2x red slings vs grab 2x double length slings. I keep mine coiled up on a biner and clipped to my gear sling.


Im a gear whore and here is my set-up.

Slings:
yellow - single length slings
red - double length slings
blue - triple length slings
white - dyneema triple length (for multi-pitch to help unload an ATC)
Super short red - about a 6in loop - this one is always clipped to my atc for extending my rappel device. I am changing it to green when I find one. its not at risk for getting mixed up as its always clipped to the atc.

Cord:
yellow - 7mm cordelette
orange - 6mm prusik loop
Daniel T
From Riverside, Ca
Joined Mar 19, 2015
17 points
Aug 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb of an easy water ice route near Colorado Spr...
Back to TOPROPE, always take your gear with you when you leave. In the case of rap station building, consider the advice in this thread:

mountainproject.com/scripts/mo...

More advanced stuff in that link. Take your time learning with advanced climbers or guides. The takeaway from the link is: if leaving a loop behind as a rap anchor, always use natural colors or black webbing.
Faulted Geologist
From Lawrence, KS
Joined Jan 7, 2015
161 points


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