£339.71 (inc Vat)
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A hard wearing rope ideal for commercial use in climbing walls. Available in a 150m and 300m reel.
£325.00 (inc Vat)
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Up and Under
Save £95 on some excellent and well selected sports climbing product from Sterling Ropes, DMM and Beal that make up this Sports Climbers Pack.
£168.66 (inc Vat)
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Fusion Nano IX 9mm
The Sterling Nano IX 9mm dynamic rope is the perfect all round rope. It's a triple rated rope so can be used for everything from pushing hard sport routes to classic trad.
£140.48 (inc Vat)
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Anniversary DT 9.7mm
Sport climbing rope with exceptional features to make it long lasting and supple
£128.71 (inc Vat)
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Evolution Duetto Half 8.4mm
The Evolution Duetto is an 8.4mm half rope and is built to be lightweight whilst retaining excellent handling, durability and water and abraision resistance.
£128.42 (inc Vat)
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£124.27 (inc Vat)
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Evolution Velocity 9.8mm
Sale on Neon Yellow and Blue 50m ropes - RRP £140 now only £109.99! The Evolution Velocity is a 9.8mm single rope with exactly the right amount of stiffness to stop your rope drooping just as you are making a d...
£123.85 (inc Vat)
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The light end of double ropes means that you reduce weight and have greater elasticity (very important for reducing shock loading to delicate snow and ice belays). This Alpine/winter rope comes with a dry tream...
£123.08 (inc Vat)
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Classic double rope perfect for UK trad
£105.67 (inc Vat)
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Cobra II Unicore 8.6mm
Half rope. Dynamic rock/ ice/ trad climbing rope, with unicore technology.
£80.65 (inc Vat)
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Cobra II 8.6mm
Top end half ropes with a high number of UIAA falls.
£47.51 (inc Vat)
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Very versatile rope that can be used for sport, trad and even big wall climbing
Everyone recognizes that ropes are an integral part of a climber's equipment, however, not everyone realises that not every rope is suitable for every facet of climbing.
On top of this the use of rope is not restricted to just climbing. Ropes are often of equal importance to walkers and even more so to cavers and roped access and rescue workers. Indeed, our selection of static ropes can be found within the Vertical Rope Access and Rescue section of the catalogue, even though they are equally relavant to certain aspects of climbing.
So what are these different types of rope?
As static ropes are in Vertical Rope Access and Rescue, they and their uses are described there.
What you'll find here are dynamic ropes. These have a degree of elasticity which reduces the shock to a falling body and also onto the anchors that are connecting the rope to the load bearing point/s, ie the protection or the anchor.
Modern mountaineering ropes are constructed of nylon and are composed of two parts, the kern (core) and the mantel (sheath). The core is what gives modern ropes their incredible strength, whilst the sheath protects it. The core can be made to different specifications by varying the core structure and thickness. The sheath construction can also be varied to give the required balance between abraision resistance and suppleness for different uses.
The first thing to evaluate when selecting a rope is the purpose for which it is intended. There are three main groups of ropes available:
dynamic climbing and mountaineering ropes, for arresting falls,
low-stretch rope / static ropes, for rigging, ascending and abseiling
accessory cord, for use as running belays when used in conjunction with a dynamic mountaineering rope for arresting falls (also see cords and tapes).
It's worth noting that a UIAA fall is much bigger and harder than anything most climbers will ever take, so you certainly won't need to throw your rope away after half a dozen normal falls.
Different Types of Climbing Rope
The first step in deciding which rope to use is to begin by choosing whether a single, two half or a pair of twin ropes are the best option before looking at the properties of each option.
Single ropes range from 9.1 to 11mm in diameter. They will hold at least 5 (massive!) UIAA falls without breaking when using an 80kg mass. These ropes are ideally suited to routes that follow a relatively direct line, and where no multi-pitch abseil escape or descent is required. If you're just starting out, this is definitely what you'll want, and many climbers will never need anything else.
Half ropes are designed to be used in pairs. Their diameters range from 8.0 to 9.5mm and each rope can hold at least 5 UIAA falls without breaking when using a 55kg mass. This lower mass is acceptable as the other rope of the pair is expected to reduce the impact force on the one rope. They can be clipped, alternately which means that when one rope is pulled for clipping the climber remains as tight to the previous protection as possible. These pairs of ropes are ideally suited to routes which take wandering and intricate lines and may involve traverses, or where large amounts of abseiling is involved.
Twin ropes are again designed to be used as pairs, or alternatively they can come in 90m lengths which can be doubled up. They are 8mm in diameter or less and when paired must hold at least 12 UIAA falls using an 80kg mass. It is important, however, that both ropes are always clipped into every piece of protection. These ropes are ideal for use on bolted multi-pitch climbs where an abseil descent is required. We do not currently stock twin ropes as their use in the UK is almost non-existant, but we can get hold of them if you ask!
Our recommendation is always to buy a dry treated rope, if your budget allows. For winter climbing it is almost essential, to prevent water getting into your rope and freezing it. For outdoor trad climbing a dry treatment will prevent dirt and grit from the ground ingressing into the rope and causing damage as it is used, as well as protecting it from the weather. Any rope will be weaker (and heavier) when wet, and will also wear much quicker if dirt gets into it. A dry treatment will help prevent this, and drastically extend the use you will safely get from the rope.
Most ropes that we stock have a standard surface dry treatment, but others such as Beal's Golden Dry, Edelrid's Hyperdry and Mammut's Superdry have a dry treatment that runs throughout the rope and is therefore more durable and effective.
Different Uses of Climbing Ropes
To choose between the above types of rope we first need to a look at what they will be used for. The different specific uses encountered by climbers and mountaineers are:
- top / bottom roped rock climbing,
- indoor wall climbing,
- single rope rock leading,
- half rope rock leading,
- twin rope rock leading,
- alpine mountaineering,
- glacier travel,
- winter climbing,
- scrambling, and
The properties of dynamic ropes that should be taken into account when evaluating a rope for a specific use are: diameter, mass per metre length, elongation, impact force, number of drops, knotability ratio, sheath slippage, static strength, dry treatment, abraision resistance, surface friction and handling.
Top/Bottom Roped Climbing
Top / bottom roped climbing, where no leading will happen, does not produce high impact forces, nor does it involve large amounts of drag between running belays, and a single rope is definitely best. This method of climbing produces much wear on ropes and therefore a broader, poorer handling, but abraision resistant rope is ideal. For groups and outdoor centres, suitable examples are Beal Wallmaster or a length of Mammut Flex Dynamic. Most individuals will want a rope that's also suitable for indoor climbing and basic leading (see below).
Indoor Wall Climbing
Indoor wall climbing requires the abrasion resistance of a top / bottom rope, but it also needs to have a higher fall rating to cope with repeated short leader falls. A good option is Beal Top Gun (one of our most popular all-round ropes) or the excellently priced Mammut Fever 10.5mm.
Single Rope Leading
Single rope leading requires good handling, abraision resistance (although not to quite the same degree as for top-roping) and low impact forces. As we are operating outdoors, the weight of the rope becomes more important and therefore it might be nice to reduce the weight by stepping down from 10.5mm rope. The thinner you go, the more appropriate to higher standard climbing the rope becomes, but remember the less durable the rope will become, and also less easy for beginners to handle. Dry treatment should also be of interest, especially to those who operate regularly at sea-cliff venues. Ropes to look at are the Beal Top Gun and slightly lighter Mammut Galaxy 10mm. Beal Flyer and Booster provide a graduated progress to lightweight top end operations. Go thinner than this and the rope becomes a specific top end onsight or red pointers rope, ie you are climbing at your absolute limit where every gram counts and you want to get that important onsight. At this point it's time to get out your Edelrid Falcon 9.4mm or Beal Stinger. Mammut Revelation takes this even further at 9.2mm, and is also used as a light single glacier rope.
Half Rope Leading
Half rope leading has the same requirements as single rope leading, but of course the ropes can be narrower. Good examples are the Beal Cobra and Mammut Genesis at 8.6 and 8.5mm respectively. If you want to save weight on your long walk in or are pushing your limits then you should look again at Edelrid Merlin ropes this time at 8mm diameter. Another specialist option is Beal Ice Line 8.1mm, which is stretchier than the other options and so as well as being light weight becomes ideal for winter climbs where protection is less reliable (the impact on the gear is less with this rope).
Alpine mountaineering generally falls into the same brackets as single, half and twin rock climbing ropes, however, greater emphasis must be placed on light weight. Longer lengths are also useful so that you can climb routes in less pitches, for speed and safety. Due to the all-day / multi-day nature of such routes and the presence of snow and extreme temperatures, good dry-treatment is a must. Recommendations include: Edelrid Merlin and Falcon, Mammut Revelation and Beal Cobra, Ice Line, Stinger, and Booster ranges in dry versions.
Glacier travel can be carried out using any rope (preferably dry-treated), however, to save weight for carrying in and out from the glacier and keeping bulk low many people use one half rope, eg Beal Cobra and Iceline or Mammut Genesis 8.5mm. Half ropes also mean extra stretch in the rope, which reduces shock loading on marginal ice and snow runners. Far better, however, is to use a single rope such as Mammut Revelation as it can be used for full lead use on rock steps as a single rope, thus making you fast and safe.
Winter climbing follows Alpine mountaineering somewhat, however, thinner ropes once again provide extra safety margins, this time due to the fact that they reduce the shock on dubious running belays (a fact of winter climbing). One important feature is that of extra length to enable rare rock belays to be reached. For the more extreme operations Beal Iceline is the one one to go for, but most people will prefer the greater lifespan of a Cobra or Genesis.
Scrambling has the same basic requirements as rock climbing for fall arrest. However, light weight is of increased importance as the rope may be carried all day without even coming out of the bag. At the same time, when in use the rope will invariably be run around a number of pinnacles and therefore will need to be fairly abraision resistant. The length of scrambling pitches are invariably short, so shorter lengths can be used to keep weight down. Check out the Ferrata and Edlinger from Beal.
Walking ropes are generally used as confidence ropes on tricky steps or when the weather makes easy passages treacherous. As with scrambling ropes, they need to be light. A rope specifically designed for this purpose is Beal Rando, a 30m 8mm walking rope.
For further information contact the BMC and ask about their "Ropes" information package.
Note that rope manufacturers change the colours of their ropes fairly regularly, and so the colours depicted in our images may not represent what we actually have in stock. If the colour if your rope is important, let us know (email@example.com) and we can inform you of what colours are available before you place your order. If you order two half ropes, we'll make sure you get two different colours.