Posts Tagged ‘rock climbing’

Taking Care of Your Climbing Rope

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Avid climbers often accumulate a number of mountain equipment in the years they devote to the hobby. One of the best ways of getting your money’s worth is taking care of said equipment. Not only that, when things go wrong, well maintained climbing gear can be your only chance. With this in mind, one might want to practice these rope care tips:

* Dry climbing rope that has been exposed to moisture as soon as possible. You can drape it over some branches or across your tent’s guy lines. A wet rope loses some of its strength and prolonged exposure to water may produce permanent damage. This is why the sheath of a climbing rope meant for ice climbing is often treated with a process that helps it repel water. Be careful not to dry it under the sun – or God forbid, near the campfire. UV rays and excessive heat will damage it faster than exposure to water.

* Before heading out, inspect the entire length of your climbing rope. Look for cuts, tears, and signs of excessive wear on the sheath. Run it through your fingers and feel for any irregularities. Small nicks are common, especially for ropes used for rock climbing. But if you see a cut that is deep enough to reach the core, you need to get yourself to a climbing gear store soon.

* If the damage is near the end, you are in luck. You can simply cut off the damaged portion and as long as you end up with enough length, you’re still fine.

* After a major fall, use the other end of a dynamic rope. A fall stretches out the fibers and stresses them. Repeated stress over the same area will severely weaken that part of the rope. Switching ends will give one end some time to “rest” and regain some structural integrity as well as elasticity.

* As with all camping equipment, keep your climbing rope clean. Small dirt particles find their way through the sheath and abrade the core. You cannot see it, but dirt is slowly wearing down the fiber. And because it is hidden, it is doubly dangerous.

Some basic care and maintenance tips can go a long way into ensuring the continuous service out of your climbing rope. A little TLC may be all that you need for an enjoyable time outdoors.


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