Monday, September 27, 2010

Rock Climbing Ropes

When you're life is on the line, literally trusting a rope in rock climbing helps. It is important to know about rock climbing ropes. Based on the climbing technique and rope system one prefers, one can choose the appropriate type of rope to be used. Two basic types of rope are the dynamic and static ropes. Dynamic rope provides maximum stretch of the rope to minimize and absorb the impact of a fall. Often used in standard rock climbing techniques, dynamic ropes are more subjected to wear and tear. Static rope is in contrast with dynamic rope. It is designed not to stretch, thus used in rappelling.
Types of Rock Climbing Ropes:
Single Ropes
Singles rock climbing ropes vary in length (although standard is approximately 10.5mm x 50m), and generally has a width size of 9.5mm to 11mm. One should not be discouraged with this type of rope because it is thinner. In some cases, a climb will require a lighter rope such as with subsequent lowering or rappelling.
Twin Ropes
Twin rock climbing ropes are basically two separate ropes of the same size, designed to put together through each piece of gear. They use thin ropes, about 7.6mm each. Often used in ultra-long rock, ice, or mixed routes, twin ropes provide light-weight gear used in such expeditions. Twin ropes offer the highest safety margin and full length rappels.
Half or Double Ropes
In contrast with twin ropes, half or double rock climbing ropes use two separate ropes of the same size, but clipped independently into pieces of gear. It is thicker than twin ropes, averaging 8.8mm in width, to compensate if the other rope fails to hold a fall. The security using half or double ropes is preferred by climbers taking on long and dangerous traverses, and razor sharp rocks. A belay method enables independent control of each rope used.
Rock climbing ropes follow a standard set by the International Union of Alpine Associations based on its fall ratings. Fall ratings measure the number of falls which the rope can handle. It is also possible for you to test your rope. In a single rope test, 80kg of weight is attached to 2.5 meter rope, and the weight will be dropped to 4.8 meters. Half rope test is made by attaching 55kg of weight to a 2.5 meter rope, dropping the weight to 4.8 meters.

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