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9, 10, or 11 mil for jugging/hauling?
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By Brassmonkey
Mar 21, 2013
Brass monkey
I'm getting some mixed information on what size to get for a big wall static haul line that will be jugged as well. I've haven't used my own rope for this, only what my partner supplied, and am now looking to buy my own. Not going to be needed for massive loads, more like 2-4 day loads. Thoughts?

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By Mark Hudon
Mar 21, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
9 mil static or even something like an 8.9 static is fine. I've hauled twelve day loads on El Cap with an 8.9. It bounces a little bit not too badly.

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By Brassmonkey
Mar 21, 2013
Brass monkey
Works me me, lighter is...umm, righter. My only concern with the thinner cord is the longevity or wear; unfounded?

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By Mark Hudon
Mar 21, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
Well, it is a haul line. I had a 9.2 from Metolius that was stiff as a cable that I used on 7 El Cap routes and would still be using it now if it hadn't hung up on a rivet on Iron Hawk and got a core shot.

If you get five walls out of a haul line, I think you're doing fine.

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By Steve86
Mar 21, 2013
I use a 10mm and I've seen it get sawed through on an edge. Lesson here: If you are someone like Mark who has a ton of experience, you can get away with using a thinner cord. If you don't have a ton of experience dealing with fixed lines, rebelays, jugging etc, I would err on the side of durability and go with something 10 or larger. Then again I tend to be cautious. Edit: By cautious I mean jugging lines still freaks me out and I like having a thicker rope between me the great plunge.

As far as massive loads affecting the size of the rope, even a 9mm static line is going to be rated at an order of magnitude higher than the working load. That's not going to be the limiting factor.

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By Mark Hudon
Mar 21, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
I have a solid 11 mil Yates wall rope that I've used as my lead line on 7 of my last 8 walls and it's still going strong. I like that larger size for it's resistance to cutting. If I was a young speed demon, I might go with something lighter. Lounging around, enjoying the experience is a large focus for me on walls these days so it doesn't bother me to carry heavier ropes.

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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Mar 21, 2013
A 9mm used to be pretty standard back in the day, though beefier isn't a bad suggestion as they get chewed up quickly. Fixing and rapping on a 9mm should not be a problem, however, regardless of the experience of the party. Still, when you're way off the ground, I have had times however when rapping or jugging that 9mm feels real skinny. Some folks bring a thicker dynamic cord as a back up in the event that the lead rope gets chopped.

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By Brassmonkey
Mar 22, 2013
Brass monkey
I guess I can split the difference and go with the 10. Probably get a little more use out of it at least. I'm thinking I'll bring a length of thin cord to drag it for the first half of the pitch or so so the weight doesnt bother me, at least for free pitches. Thanks for the advice!

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By Mark Hudon
Mar 22, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
Certainly you should never let your ego, or desire to save weigh, compromise your safety or even enjoyment of a climb. You really, really, really do need to do what YOU feel comfortable with on a climb.

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By Luke Stefurak
From Mountain View, CA
Mar 22, 2013
Below "Inspect Her Gadget" at HP40 after sending it the previous day.
Get a 10mm or 10.5 line and take care of it. Make sure to have a knot protector, look for edges when you start jugging. Even beefier ropes can get trashed super fast if you are not careful.

I've used 8mm, 9mm and 10.5 for hauling, jugging and mini-traxioning. Having a thicker rope definitely gives you a mental plus if you are otherwise in an uncomfortable place. I find my 9mm is pretty stretchy versus my 10.5. I've done damage pretty quickly to a dynamic rope running over and edge (while jugging), so I would not suggest using an old lead rope.


As everyone is said, Mark is a pro, and once you get more experience you can try and save weight on your ropes. For now, go heavy on the rope and cut weight from other parts of your pile of gear.

- Luke

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By randy88fj62
Mar 22, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Remember that all ropes are not the same and diameter is not the only factor to consider. Canyoneering ropes for example are designed with thicker sheaths.

I have a 9.8mm canyoneering rope from tom jones. It has served me well for over 150 rappels and I've used it on two walls for hauling. His current version is called the "canyonero" and can be found on canyoneeringusa website.

Sterling also makes some canyoneering ropes which contain a lot of technora in the sheath.

Certain bluewater ropes (especially in the 8mm) have a lot of bounce to them and I generally don't use them but they are very light.

Make sure to read up on what the sheath is made out of, static elongation, overall rope diameter, and weight. Ask yourself why some ropes cost well over $1.50 per foot and other $1.00 per foot.

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By "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Mar 25, 2013
Left to right - me, Sam Adams, Thomas Huber, Alex Huber
There is no single answer to this question! There are pros and cons of each.

9mm static works fine as a haul line. You can haul anything with it, no problem. At least in the beginning. The problem is as the rope gets older, and it gets nicked, you will have to retire it sooner - a lot sooner.

9mm static also works fine as a jugging line, provided that it DOES NOT RUB against the rock. We cavers use it as a push rope because it's smaller and lighter, but if it's going to see much jugging at all, you really need to make sure it's well padded anywhere it could rub, and that the pad won't move. Well, what I mean is it either needs to be padded, or else rebelayed beneath the rub point.

The problem with padding it everywhere is that it's really a pain, and sooner or later the pad moves, or someone moves it for you. If you do a poorly executed bouncy jug on a poorly padded 9mm rope across an edge, it probably won't cut, but it will abrade enough that you will have to toss it. Trust me on this - been there, done that.

For my money, 9mm static haul lines have little to no use on the big wall.

Now let's go to the other end - 11mm. It seems awfully heavy, and you want to make sure that you have a flexible "Easy Bend" type of static rope, and not the really stiff static jugging ropes that cavers use, because those things are like steel rebar, they're so stiff, and won't work well in your hauling device, if at all.

Somewhere in the middle is 10mm, which is probably my recommendation for climbers who are only going to do a few walls every now and then. Get the "easy bend" kind, and you're probably good to go.

As for me, who climbs a lot of walls fairly regularly, I no longer get anything skinnier than 10.5mm. I want my ropes to last, and last they do. A 10.5mm rope will last 4x as long as a 9mm rope, and an 11mm will last even longer.

I am something of a dirtbag these days, and I need my haul lines to last because I can't afford to buy new ones too often. So when it's time to buy a haul line, I will find whatever I can that is cheapest, between 10.5mm and 11mm.

As for length, definitely nothing shorter than 60m. But I would recommend 70m because it is very handy for linking hauls when you fix a few pitches above your big wall bivi, or you want to straighten out crazy diagonals on your route.

Hope that helps.
Cheers, eh?
Pete

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