Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 


TimeSpiral


Sep 28, 2012, 11:08 AM
Post #1 of 20 (5274 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 16, 2012
Posts: 25

Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Story time ...

In reply to:
So I meet this climber, who claims he's experienced. He certainly looks the role; lean, fit, equipment dangling from his harness, clinking together as he shifts about.

I pull out a rope from my bag and ask, "This rope has be dipped in battery acid, shit on, pissed on, and I found it in the river behind my house. Is it safe to use?"

Chalk billows into the air from beneath his palms slapping his knees. He even chokes a little on his fit of laughter. He wipes the dirt and tears away from his face before he finally responds, still chuckling lightly, "I would never use that rope for trad or leading. You're likely to kill someone, or yourself." His eyes and face focused and serious.

"Oh, yeah," I respond, slightly embarrassed. "I suppose I could have guessed that."

"But," he says, cocking his head to the skies. "I mean. It's fine for top roping."

His buddy calls for him, he turns, and in an instant he is clinking and clanking along and he is gone and I'm left holding this shit and piss and acid ridden rope thinking, "what?"
... End story time

Question: Is top roping that much less stressful for a rope that when people retire their ropes from leading they are comfortable TR'ing with it?

I'm a noob, sure. But I'm really curious here. Isn't the rope still keeping you from becoming not-dead in a top rope situation? If you're not comfortable with the rope for a lead climb, why would you use it in a TR anchor, or use it as a TR?

Thanks, guys! I'm really liking it here so far.

p.s. RE: The story; dramatization. May not have happened.


redlude97


Sep 28, 2012, 11:40 AM
Post #2 of 20 (5253 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 27, 2008
Posts: 990

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The reason is that many retire ropes for toprope only has to do with the maximum forces being generated that are possible in a slingshot toprope setup, where the belayer is on the ground is substantially lower than what is possibly in a lead scenario. Simplifying to the case for single pitch climbing, the maximum fall factor in a toprope is 0.5, because the farthest distance the climber can fall is equal to half of the rope that is out because the rope on the belayer side will still be equal to the full length of the climb. On lead, the fall factors possible in a single pitch climb are generally limited to values below 1, but it is potentially possible in cases where you might be belaying from a ledge to get fall factors greater than 1. But regardless, in lead climbing you can get much higher potential impact forces on the rope.


njrox


Sep 28, 2012, 11:52 AM
Post #3 of 20 (5245 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 12, 2011
Posts: 251

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Would I use a rope that was "retired" from lead climbing because it was no longer safe to use for leading, but use it to Top Rope on instead? NO.

If a section of the rope was compromised and the rest of the rope was fine I wouldn't have a problem with cutting of the bad section and using the remaining undamaged rope.

If a rope's core is shot, or the sheath is damaged I'm not climbing on it.

The static load of top-rope vs fall factors and all that other good Newtonian stuff goes out the window when you're attached to a bum rope.


csproul


Sep 28, 2012, 11:54 AM
Post #4 of 20 (5244 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Posts: 1768

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Question: Is top roping that much less stressful for a rope that when people retire their ropes from leading they are comfortable TR'ing with it?


Yes. Unless you know something has compromised the strength of your rope (cuts, acid...) your retired lead rope is almost certainly good for top-roping.


njrox


Sep 28, 2012, 11:57 AM
Post #5 of 20 (5239 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 12, 2011
Posts: 251

Re: [csproul] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

csproul wrote:
In reply to:
Question: Is top roping that much less stressful for a rope that when people retire their ropes from leading they are comfortable TR'ing with it?


Yes. Unless you know something has compromised the strength of your rope (cuts, acid...) your retired lead rope is almost certainly good for top-roping.

to include a shot core???


TimeSpiral


Sep 28, 2012, 12:00 PM
Post #6 of 20 (5234 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 16, 2012
Posts: 25

Re: [csproul] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Okay, guys. I think I'm getting it. I expected something of a mixed bag and figured it had something to do with loading.

Falling while TRing, I mean, sometimes you barely fall at all, you just load the rope with your weight and it stretches a little bit. Falling while leading, heck, you could fall ten feet, which I imagine is going to apply much stronger loads to the rope.

So, well cared for, well stored, rope that you retire do to manufacturer suggested age-retirement is generally okay to use with TR anchors and TR climbs?

At what point do you retire the TR rope?

I know they may be impossible to answer, but it is a question I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking about.

Thanks!


csproul


Sep 28, 2012, 12:08 PM
Post #7 of 20 (5217 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Posts: 1768

Re: [njrox] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

njrox wrote:
csproul wrote:
In reply to:
Question: Is top roping that much less stressful for a rope that when people retire their ropes from leading they are comfortable TR'ing with it?


Yes. Unless you know something has compromised the strength of your rope (cuts, acid...) your retired lead rope is almost certainly good for top-roping.

to include a shot core???
I'm guessing most everyone who thinks about it for just a minute would conclude that a core shot "has compromised the strength of the rope". If that's not obvious...


njrox


Sep 28, 2012, 12:19 PM
Post #8 of 20 (5212 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 12, 2011
Posts: 251

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My preference is to climb on a rope that is in good condition, leading or top-roping. I don't won't to feel any soft or spongy spots and I don't want to see significant abrasions in the sheath.

Climbing ropes are pretty heavy duty. I expect mine to last for many years. Every time I flake the rope I'm giving it an inspection. Like you said, keeping it well cared for and well stored will definitely make a difference.

Normally, a top-rope fall is couple of inches. But, it's possible to generate a significant amount of force if there is slack in the rope...it happens. Taking that into considertion, the possibility of something similiar to a lead fall happening to a rope retired from lead climbing while on top-rope.


marc801


Sep 28, 2012, 12:20 PM
Post #9 of 20 (5210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2747

Re: [njrox] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

njrox wrote:
to include a shot core???
What is a "shot core"? How do you inspect for it? Do you really mean core shot?


njrox


Sep 28, 2012, 12:30 PM
Post #10 of 20 (5202 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 12, 2011
Posts: 251

Re: [marc801] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I meant it as the core of the rope was like a wet noodle.

I just found this...

Word: “Core Shot” (n)
Definition: An unfortunate event in which the sheathe of a kernmantel rope either abrades or severs/separates to the extent that your rope core is visible


Ah, WTH! Totally off. My bad. I guess I'm looking for another term? Help me out guys?


kennoyce


Sep 28, 2012, 12:50 PM
Post #11 of 20 (5185 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2001
Posts: 1312

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

The real issue is the fact that ropes become less dynamic over time. That means that when you take a lead fall it will be more jarring, hurt more, and put more load on your gear.

When you're toproping however, the falls are generally short with a lot of rope out to absorb the force (i.e. low fall factors), so having a less dynamic rope doesn't matter. Personally I'm fine to TR on a static rope as long as I have an attentive belayer who doesn't let slack build up in the system because even a static rope has some stretch to it.

In short, as long as a rope looks okay (i.e. sheath is still intact), hasn't been exposed to acids or other chemicals that may degrade it, and is less than probably 30 years old, it will be just fine for TR.


marc801


Sep 28, 2012, 1:16 PM
Post #12 of 20 (5165 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2747

Re: [njrox] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

njrox wrote:
I meant it as the core of the rope was like a wet noodle.

I just found this...

Word: “Core Shot” (n)
Definition: An unfortunate event in which the sheathe of a kernmantel rope either abrades or severs/separates to the extent that your rope core is visible


Ah, WTH! Totally off. My bad. I guess I'm looking for another term? Help me out guys?
Deformed. Soft. Squishy. Odd-feeling.
All of which are still fine for the incredibly low forces involved in top roping.


dagibbs


Sep 28, 2012, 2:31 PM
Post #13 of 20 (5137 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2007
Posts: 887

Re: [kennoyce] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kennoyce wrote:
The real issue is the fact that ropes become less dynamic over time. That means that when you take a lead fall it will be more jarring, hurt more, and put more load on your gear.

When you're toproping however, the falls are generally short with a lot of rope out to absorb the force (i.e. low fall factors), so having a less dynamic rope doesn't matter. Personally I'm fine to TR on a static rope as long as I have an attentive belayer who doesn't let slack build up in the system because even a static rope has some stretch to it.

In short, as long as a rope looks okay (i.e. sheath is still intact), hasn't been exposed to acids or other chemicals that may degrade it, and is less than probably 30 years old, it will be just fine for TR.

kennoyce nails it right here.

It is all about the loss of elasticity.


bearbreeder


Sep 28, 2012, 4:27 PM
Post #14 of 20 (5097 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

what they said above ... if it looks ok, hasnt been exposed to chemicals, feels ok, and hasnt been left in the sun since moses left eqypt ... yr fine

if it stills stretches well id still lead on it if i had to ...

for more on climbing ropes ...

http://theuiaa.org/...f_Climbing_Ropes.pdf

ropes dont last me years if its my main rope ... they MAY last me a year ... it all depends on how much u use em


TimeSpiral


Sep 28, 2012, 4:32 PM
Post #15 of 20 (5095 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 16, 2012
Posts: 25

Re: [bearbreeder] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

bearbreeder wrote:
what they said above ... if it looks ok, hasnt been exposed to chemicals, feels ok, and hasnt been left in the sun since moses left eqypt ... yr fine

if it stills stretches well id still lead on it if i had to ...

for more on climbing ropes ...

http://theuiaa.org/...f_Climbing_Ropes.pdf

ropes dont last me years if its my main rope ... they MAY last me a year ... it all depends on how much u use em

You know, I bought some gear and in it was a 60m rope. It looks brand new, but I know it is not. It is probably several years old if it is the same age as the rest of the gear. So I have no clue if it's been dipped in acid, shit on, pissed on, left in the sun in Egypt ... You know.

I'm not even sure I'd TR on it ... but the naked eye, my untrained n00b eyes say: "Dude. It's in perfect condition!"

I think it has been settled for me. If you know the history, and the rope is in decent condition, you can top rope with it and feel confident. Even with all this great feedback, I still think I lack the experience required to judge a rope's usefulness (which is something I'd like to be able to do when going to the gym. Who knows if they keep their ropes well!).


granite_grrl


Sep 29, 2012, 6:24 AM
Post #16 of 20 (4984 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Posts: 14798

Re: [kennoyce] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kennoyce wrote:
The real issue is the fact that ropes become less dynamic over time. That means that when you take a lead fall it will be more jarring, hurt more, and put more load on your gear.

When you're toproping however, the falls are generally short with a lot of rope out to absorb the force (i.e. low fall factors), so having a less dynamic rope doesn't matter. Personally I'm fine to TR on a static rope as long as I have an attentive belayer who doesn't let slack build up in the system because even a static rope has some stretch to it.

In short, as long as a rope looks okay (i.e. sheath is still intact), hasn't been exposed to acids or other chemicals that may degrade it, and is less than probably 30 years old, it will be just fine for TR.

Yup.


DemolitionRed


Oct 1, 2012, 3:27 AM
Post #17 of 20 (4835 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 30, 2012
Posts: 77

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

 

TimeSpiral, you have already spoken about your concerns with this rope on another thread. How can you seriously think about using it when you are obviously so worried about it? People have already advised you to get rid of the rope.
Do you even know if the rope is dynamic or static?

I am just about to retire a rope that is just over a year old. It looks perfect but I know its taken some various large falls and in a year its done a serious amount of work.
I won't buy a rope unless it is new with a UIAA seal of approval.


TimeSpiral


Oct 1, 2012, 4:45 AM
Post #18 of 20 (4828 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 16, 2012
Posts: 25

Re: [DemolitionRed] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

DemolitionRed wrote:

TimeSpiral, you have already spoken about your concerns with this rope on another thread. How can you seriously think about using it when you are obviously so worried about it? People have already advised you to get rid of the rope.
Do you even know if the rope is dynamic or static?

I am just about to retire a rope that is just over a year old. It looks perfect but I know its taken some various large falls and in a year its done a serious amount of work.
I won't buy a rope unless it is new with a UIAA seal of approval.

No, I am not considering using the rope, but I was using it as an example to learn more about rope application and inspection. There has been some great feedback in this thread (and the previous one). You guys are great!

Does every new rope come with an UIAA seal or is that an attribute I need to be looking for when shopping?


socalclimber


Oct 1, 2012, 5:46 AM
Post #19 of 20 (4819 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 2433

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Old retired lead ropes also work as excellent extenders for top rope anchors as well.


DemolitionRed


Oct 2, 2012, 2:10 AM
Post #20 of 20 (4708 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 30, 2012
Posts: 77

Re: [TimeSpiral] Top Rope Question - Attack of the n00bs [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

TimeSpiral wrote:


Does every new rope come with an UIAA seal or is that an attribute I need to be looking for when shopping?
[quote/]

I'm sending you this link so you can understand better. Read the second answer on that thread, its very informative.
http://www.rockandice.com/rockandiceforum/21-ask-gear-guy/229-uiaa-vs-ce-ratings.

Second hand rope with no known history may as well not have any kite mark on it as far as I'm concerned. You can't put blind faith into something as important as rope.
Sports climbing is tough on rope because we tend to take more falls and multiple short falls will add to its mileage.
Remember, a ropes ability to absorb energy diminishes each time its subjected to a load.

I think in the long run, this second hand rope (that you are not going to climb on ;)) will teach you a lot because its made you aware of the dangers and that's perhaps something you wouldn't of become aware of if you had just gone out and purchased a new rope. There is now a world of information at your fingertips to help you become an expert of the rope you own and once you have become your own expert you will never again think about compromises.


(This post was edited by DemolitionRed on Oct 2, 2012, 4:30 AM)


Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$26.96 (10% off)
$10.76 (10% off)
$13.46 (10% off)
$57.31 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook