Forums: Climbing Information: Gear Heads:
Should I retire my rope?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Gear Heads

Premier Sponsor:

 


Cds26


Jul 17, 2012, 5:12 PM
Post #1 of 19 (5249 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 19, 2012
Posts: 20

Should I retire my rope?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hey, I have recently started consistently getting outdoors and doing some sport climbing and I bought a rope, 70 m bi pattern. It honestly has been used maybe 20 times, taken 3-4 small falls, was kept in my trunk for a month or two (but I have removed it from that situation cause I dont want heat damage), and i check it regularly. Considering I have had it maybe 4-5 months and honestly my numbers could be a bit off, as it hasnt been used much. I have noticed a bumpy section though near the middle of the rope with a flat spot I can feel, but not really see. Should I return the rope? I cant tell if I am being paranoid or should be concerned. I've read you should look for flat spots, but what if you find one? do you retire the rope? It has been used conservatively, kept clean and such...
Here is a link to my specific rope http://www.rei.com/product/783832/new-england-glider-bi-pattern-99mm-x-70m-dry-core-rope


(This post was edited by Cds26 on Jul 17, 2012, 5:17 PM)


rocknice2


Jul 17, 2012, 5:29 PM
Post #2 of 19 (5242 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2006
Posts: 1208

Re: [Cds26] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I can think of 3 scenarios.
1 It's a manufactures defect. unlikely but could be.
2 You took a full rope FF1. Think you'd remember that
3 Flattened out after a few rappels from mid point of rope. most likely

Rig a short safe rap where you can rap repeatedly over the flat spot. This will take out any lumps and bumps due to deformation.

If it's still there you may have a more serious problem.
A core shot will not get better after repeated passes through a rap device.


Cds26


Jul 17, 2012, 5:40 PM
Post #3 of 19 (5236 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 19, 2012
Posts: 20

Re: [rocknice2] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thank you, that was helpful. I agree prob number 3. I have read that occassionally flat spots come up from a twisting of the rope/rappel like you said, but can be worked out. Is this what you are saying with the short rap? Applying some static pressure to work out the kink/flat spot to check for damage?


Cds26


Jul 17, 2012, 5:48 PM
Post #4 of 19 (5229 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 19, 2012
Posts: 20

Re: [Cds26] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

One more question, I ask so that I may be safe and my gear solid, though this is unrelated to my flat spot question. I did keep my rope in the trunk of my car for maybe a couple of months during the summer. I now realize this shouldnt be done, and keep it in a cool out of the sun area. Should I be worried about heat damage? I figured no, since the rope looked fine, seems to be working well, and figured I would probably have to have a pretty pathetic rope if a couple months in a trunk compromised its safety. I can elaborate more on details if needed, but anyways that is my question.
In reply to:


rocknice2


Jul 17, 2012, 5:54 PM
Post #5 of 19 (5221 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2006
Posts: 1208

Re: [Cds26] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yes
Short because you don't need to rap the entire rope. Just start above the spot and finish below it.

You can put the rope into a QD and pull on both sides applying as much pressure as you can slide the rope back and forth so the spot passes over the biner.

Go to Barstow CA. and pay a pro $5 to suck the flat out. Caution you may end up with a core shot.

Static pressure? if you mean constant pressure on a single point. Then that's what may have caused the flat spot


acorneau


Jul 17, 2012, 6:53 PM
Post #6 of 19 (5196 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 6, 2008
Posts: 2889

Re: [Cds26] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Take the flat spot of the rope, put it between your palms and roll them (like of you were trying to warm up your hands via friction).

If flat spot goes away than it was just a temporary flat spot. If it doesn't go away then you may have a more serious issue and should have an experienced person look at your rope.


Cds26


Jul 17, 2012, 7:18 PM
Post #7 of 19 (5186 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 19, 2012
Posts: 20

Re: [acorneau] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for all the help everyone, im pretty sure I got it out. looks like a temporary. That doesnt surprise me though as my ropes in good condition.

One more question though, I ask so that I may be safe and my gear solid, though this is unrelated to my flat spot question. I did keep my rope in the trunk of my car for maybe a couple of months during the summer. I now realize this shouldnt be done, and keep it in a cool out of the sun area. Should I be worried about heat damage? I figured no, since the rope looked fine, seems to be working well, and figured I would probably have to have a pretty pathetic rope if a couple months in a trunk compromised its safety. I can elaborate more on details if needed, but anyways that is my question.


billcoe_


Jul 18, 2012, 6:47 AM
Post #8 of 19 (5102 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Posts: 4668

Re: [Cds26] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Cds26 wrote:
Hey, I have recently started consistently getting outdoors and doing some sport climbing and I bought a rope, 70 m bi pattern. It honestly has been used maybe 20 times, taken 3-4 small falls, was kept in my trunk for a month or two (but I have removed it from that situation cause I dont want heat damage), and i check it regularly. Considering I have had it maybe 4-5 months and honestly my numbers could be a bit off, as it hasnt been used much. I have noticed a bumpy section though near the middle of the rope with a flat spot I can feel, but not really see. Should I return the rope? I cant tell if I am being paranoid or should be concerned. I've read you should look for flat spots, but what if you find one? do you retire the rope? It has been used conservatively, kept clean and such...
Here is a link to my specific rope http://www.rei.com/product/783832/new-england-glider-bi-pattern-99mm-x-70m-dry-core-rope

I put stuff in my basement. Do you feel that you will never have jumper cables or a battery in your trunk? Ever? Are you keeping it in a rope bag?

After watching a rope faill..that is ...become into 2 parts, on a light kid who was rapping on it, I have become much more circumspect on how I treat my ropes. Tossing them into my "trunk" or on the ground, isn't done. In fact, I clean out my cargo space of the suv with a lot of soap and water every spring specifically for this purpose. ie, so that when my rope, WHICH IS ALWAYS IN A ROPE BAG OR MY PACK goes in that space, I'm not worried at all.

But that's me. I would think that the heat from your trunk won't affect your rope at all. They heat the holy crap out of the yarn in the mfg process, should be the last thing you need to be concerned with.

http://www.sterlingrope.com/...ument/techmanual.pdf


http://www.ussartf.org/ropes_knots.htm

http://kristinandjerry.name/...pes%20-%20Cutler.htm


Cds26


Jul 24, 2012, 5:17 PM
Post #9 of 19 (4918 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 19, 2012
Posts: 20

Re: [billcoe_] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I do not have a rope bag, but I have things I have used (clothes, mat) to set it on while climbing and I try to keep it out of the dirt. The only thing I am really worried about is the heat it was exposed too in the trunk, I have read that that can damage a rope, but I am not sure to what extent. I dont think its a big deal at all, but I wanted to check. Any more opinions/comments?


acorneau


Jul 24, 2012, 6:43 PM
Post #10 of 19 (4892 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 6, 2008
Posts: 2889

Re: [Cds26] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

The heat in your trunk will never reach anything close to what the rope is exposed to during the manufacturing process.

Just keep it out of the battery acid and/or other chemicals and you've got a good chance of not dying.


USnavy


Jul 24, 2012, 10:31 PM
Post #11 of 19 (4860 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2664

Re: [rocknice2] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

rocknice2 wrote:
2 You took a full rope FF1.
FF1 is not really "that" serious. My partner took a 40' FF 1.75 fall in Yosemite and the rope was fine afterwards.

Anyway, the best option for the OP is to take his rope to a climbing shop (a real one, not REI) and have them inspect it. I say this because one cannot truly explain how something feels over the Internet, you need to be there in person touching the rope to truly understand how it feels.


curt


Aug 5, 2012, 1:23 PM
Post #12 of 19 (4643 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18230

Re: [USnavy] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

USnavy wrote:
rocknice2 wrote:
2 You took a full rope FF1.
FF1 is not really "that" serious. My partner took a 40' FF 1.75 fall in Yosemite and the rope was fine afterwards.

Actually, you have no idea if the rope is "fine" or not. If you're still climbing on a rope after a 40 foot FF = 1.75 fall on it, you're an idiot.

Curt


crasic


Aug 5, 2012, 2:17 PM
Post #13 of 19 (4628 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 25, 2012
Posts: 18

Re: [curt] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

curt wrote:
USnavy wrote:
rocknice2 wrote:
2 You took a full rope FF1.
FF1 is not really "that" serious. My partner took a 40' FF 1.75 fall in Yosemite and the rope was fine afterwards.

Actually, you have no idea if the rope is "fine" or not. If you're still climbing on a rope after a 40 foot FF = 1.75 fall on it, you're an idiot.

Curt

Could you explain your reasoning? The length of fall doesn't really matter except that more of the rope is involved (if you were worried about a short FF2 fall just off the belay you could cut off ten feet of rope since the rest wasn't involved), and the fall factor is about the UIAA testing standards, which while not ideal, at the very least show that the rope is able to withstand multiple unrealistically hard falls at that FF. In fact I would wager that since the longer fall distance means a larger stretch, which in turn translates to more slip on the anchor biner, which means the kinking force on the rope that causes breakage in drop test is spread over a proportionally larger length of rope the potential damage to the rope is reduced in a longer fall. It would be interesting to see drop test comparisons between short length and long length falls to verify though.

If the rope wasn't visible or tactily damaged afterwards, I don't see the issue in continuing to use it. From what I've understood repeated drops cause damage primarily because the rope's modulus changes drastically after the first fall and then takes many hours to recover. If the rope took a single severe lead fall and has since had a long time to recover, all the evidence I've seen says its basically fine.

But in the end, this is climbing, confidence in your equipment is vitally important, if a FF 1.75 is enough for you to retire the rope thats your prerogative and I can't fault you for it.

I would of course be very interested in seeing a test where a rope that has taken a severe fall is pull-tested to breaking after various waiting times.


curt


Aug 5, 2012, 3:50 PM
Post #14 of 19 (4594 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18230

Re: [crasic] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

crasic wrote:
curt wrote:
USnavy wrote:
rocknice2 wrote:
2 You took a full rope FF1.
FF1 is not really "that" serious. My partner took a 40' FF 1.75 fall in Yosemite and the rope was fine afterwards.

Actually, you have no idea if the rope is "fine" or not. If you're still climbing on a rope after a 40 foot FF = 1.75 fall on it, you're an idiot.

Curt

Could you explain your reasoning?

This is from Mammut, my preferred rope manufacturer, but most rope makers offer similar recommendations:

Mammut wrote:
Short, sport climbing falls only minimally damage a rope; it can withstand hundreds of them. If the rope end becomes stiff or rough you can cut off the damaged section. Also, bigger falls of ten or fifteen meters donít have to mean the end for the rope, assuming a dynamic belay technique has been used.

Fall factor and impact force are critical for the well being of a rope. A longer fall with fall factor over 1, which is not gently braked, can clearly reduce a ropeís safety reserve. Even then it may still hold simple sport climbing falls, but can, however, break with edge loading, even over a less sharp edge, when compared with a new rope.

Under no circumstance should it be used in alpine terrain or in climbing areas with rough edges. Safety oriented climbers will replace a rope after such a heavy fall.

A FF = 1.75 fall well exceeds FF = 1.0 and is, in fact, fairly close to a standard UIAA test fall, which is extreme. No rope manufacturer in the world would suggest that a rope experiencing a 40 foot, FF = 1.75 fall not be retired.

Curt


(This post was edited by curt on Aug 5, 2012, 3:51 PM)


crasic


Aug 5, 2012, 4:54 PM
Post #15 of 19 (4567 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 25, 2012
Posts: 18

Re: [curt] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

curt wrote:
crasic wrote:
curt wrote:
USnavy wrote:
rocknice2 wrote:
2 You took a full rope FF1.
FF1 is not really "that" serious. My partner took a 40' FF 1.75 fall in Yosemite and the rope was fine afterwards.

Actually, you have no idea if the rope is "fine" or not. If you're still climbing on a rope after a 40 foot FF = 1.75 fall on it, you're an idiot.

Curt

Could you explain your reasoning?

This is from Mammut, my preferred rope manufacturer, but most rope makers offer similar recommendations:

Mammut wrote:
Short, sport climbing falls only minimally damage a rope; it can withstand hundreds of them. If the rope end becomes stiff or rough you can cut off the damaged section. Also, bigger falls of ten or fifteen meters donít have to mean the end for the rope, assuming a dynamic belay technique has been used.

Fall factor and impact force are critical for the well being of a rope. A longer fall with fall factor over 1, which is not gently braked, can clearly reduce a ropeís safety reserve. Even then it may still hold simple sport climbing falls, but can, however, break with edge loading, even over a less sharp edge, when compared with a new rope.

Under no circumstance should it be used in alpine terrain or in climbing areas with rough edges. Safety oriented climbers will replace a rope after such a heavy fall.

A FF = 1.75 fall well exceeds FF = 1.0 and is, in fact, fairly close to a standard UIAA test fall, which is extreme. No rope manufacturer in the world would suggest that a rope experiencing a 40 foot, FF = 1.75 fall not be retired.

Curt

Over-caution about liability on the side of the rope-manufacturers aside, The UIAA test fall has a rock solid belay. Soft belays extend the slip and can significantly lower the force on the biner (from what I've read the maximum that a locked atc can hold without slipping is around 500LB, around 800lb for a grigri). Notice how your bolded quote specifically says "which is not gently braked"

The distance doesn't actually matter much, force wise. A 40ft FF1.75 fall produces as much force on the section of rope over the biner as 10ft FF1.75 fall, and like I explained it may actually reduce the edge damage as a longer section of rope dissipates the energy of the fall as it slides over the top anchor. Its easier to trim the end on a shorter fall to avoid retiring the rope, but the shock on the rope is the same. Additionally, the chance taking a hard fall on the exact same section rope is close to 0.

It seems the manufacturers are more worried about the corner (kinking) damage caused by the fall, not some systemic core damage to the entire length of rope. Such damage can usually be felt through the sheath, and if the fall had an unnaturally hard belay sheath damage will be evident as well. If thats the case then the rope should be replaced, and you should be more worried about potential rope damage in harder falls, but the damage should dictate the replacement. There are plenty of realistic climbing scenarios where lower FF falls actually produce more damage to the rope then a high FF fall.

A soft catch on an low angle section with a long runout resulting in a long fall (with high FF) but clean rope path can and will produce less fall force then a hard catch on a winding overhanging route (rope drag can drastically increase the effective FF) but a much lower FF. Additionally fall force equations assume free-fall acceleration, which (from my experience) i'm not convinced holds true for longer falls on low angle terrain.

Its all about the dynamics of the fall and the damage to the rope. Which, granted becomes more likely with higher FF's, but takes into account many other factors besides just the FF.


curt


Aug 5, 2012, 7:08 PM
Post #16 of 19 (4530 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18230

Re: [crasic] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

crasic wrote:
curt wrote:
crasic wrote:
curt wrote:
USnavy wrote:
rocknice2 wrote:
2 You took a full rope FF1.
FF1 is not really "that" serious. My partner took a 40' FF 1.75 fall in Yosemite and the rope was fine afterwards.

Actually, you have no idea if the rope is "fine" or not. If you're still climbing on a rope after a 40 foot FF = 1.75 fall on it, you're an idiot.

Curt

Could you explain your reasoning?

This is from Mammut, my preferred rope manufacturer, but most rope makers offer similar recommendations:

Mammut wrote:
Short, sport climbing falls only minimally damage a rope; it can withstand hundreds of them. If the rope end becomes stiff or rough you can cut off the damaged section. Also, bigger falls of ten or fifteen meters donít have to mean the end for the rope, assuming a dynamic belay technique has been used.

Fall factor and impact force are critical for the well being of a rope. A longer fall with fall factor over 1, which is not gently braked, can clearly reduce a ropeís safety reserve. Even then it may still hold simple sport climbing falls, but can, however, break with edge loading, even over a less sharp edge, when compared with a new rope.

Under no circumstance should it be used in alpine terrain or in climbing areas with rough edges. Safety oriented climbers will replace a rope after such a heavy fall.

A FF = 1.75 fall well exceeds FF = 1.0 and is, in fact, fairly close to a standard UIAA test fall, which is extreme. No rope manufacturer in the world would suggest that a rope experiencing a 40 foot, FF = 1.75 fall not be retired.

Curt

Over-caution about liability on the side of the rope-manufacturers aside, The UIAA test fall has a rock solid belay. Soft belays extend the slip and can significantly lower the force on the biner (from what I've read the maximum that a locked atc can hold without slipping is around 500LB, around 800lb for a grigri). Notice how your bolded quote specifically says "which is not gently braked"

The distance doesn't actually matter much, force wise. A 40ft FF1.75 fall produces as much force on the section of rope over the biner as 10ft FF1.75 fall, and like I explained it may actually reduce the edge damage as a longer section of rope dissipates the energy of the fall as it slides over the top anchor. Its easier to trim the end on a shorter fall to avoid retiring the rope, but the shock on the rope is the same. Additionally, the chance taking a hard fall on the exact same section rope is close to 0.

It seems the manufacturers are more worried about the corner (kinking) damage caused by the fall, not some systemic core damage to the entire length of rope. Such damage can usually be felt through the sheath, and if the fall had an unnaturally hard belay sheath damage will be evident as well. If thats the case then the rope should be replaced, and you should be more worried about potential rope damage in harder falls, but the damage should dictate the replacement. There are plenty of realistic climbing scenarios where lower FF falls actually produce more damage to the rope then a high FF fall.

A soft catch on an low angle section with a long runout resulting in a long fall (with high FF) but clean rope path can and will produce less fall force then a hard catch on a winding overhanging route (rope drag can drastically increase the effective FF) but a much lower FF. Additionally fall force equations assume free-fall acceleration, which (from my experience) i'm not convinced holds true for longer falls on low angle terrain.

Its all about the dynamics of the fall and the damage to the rope. Which, granted becomes more likely with higher FF's, but takes into account many other factors besides just the FF.

Anyone can opt to climb on any rope they want to. And, I know very well there are very few black/white rules in climbing--everything is situational. I do have a problem with you giving potentially dangerous advice to other people here, however.

Curt


billcoe_


Aug 5, 2012, 8:14 PM
Post #17 of 19 (4515 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Posts: 4668

Re: [acorneau] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

acorneau wrote:
The heat in your trunk will never reach anything close to what the rope is exposed to during the manufacturing process.

Just keep it out of the battery acid and/or other chemicals and you've got a good chance of not dying.

Bingo, but the problem is that if you set your rope on the road next to your car so you can unlock your trunk when you are done climbing, then load it into the trunk. battery acid can AS IT HAS DONE TO AT LEAST ONE OTHER cause your rope to fail when you need it.


GET A ROPE BAG

GET A ROPE BAG

GET A ROPE BAG

GET A ROPE BAG

GET A ROPE BAG


socalclimber


Aug 6, 2012, 4:32 AM
Post #18 of 19 (4471 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 2433

Re: [Cds26] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The flat spot you speak of is always cause for concern. Curt is right on, you have no real way of knowing. One question, is the flat spot softer than the rest of the rope?

Soft spots are bad.

[Edited for lack of reading comprehension skills]


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Aug 6, 2012, 4:57 AM)


rocknice2


Aug 6, 2012, 10:38 AM
Post #19 of 19 (4417 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2006
Posts: 1208

Re: [socalclimber] Should I retire my rope? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

This thread has gotten off topic a bit.
"Cds26" had a flat spot near the middle of his/her rope and I believe he confirmed that the rope didn't encounter a high FF.
USnavy and Curt went a bit sideways here.

A flat spot can happen for a bunch of reasons, not all of which need a rope to be replaced. If you can get it out then the rope is good.

socalclimber is right on that soft spot are bad.


Forums : Climbing Information : Gear Heads

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook