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9.0mm rope as a trad/sport single rope?
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Dec 3, 2011
Great quality rock on this one!
I'm a pretty experienced sport climber getting into trad and was wondering if people could help me out with this. I really want to get a rope that's light but will still take a few falls. I'm wondering if a 9.0mm rope marketed as a half would work as a single. Please discuss and let me know what you think. Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Nov 4, 2011
176 points
Dec 3, 2011
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
Are you under 50 lbs? M Sprague
From New England
Joined Nov 9, 2006
5,783 points
Dec 4, 2011
Unless you are in the Alpine where weight Reallyt matters, than I would say no. Jace Mullen
From Oceanside, Ca
Joined Jan 11, 2011
6 points
Dec 4, 2011
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination R...
my rule: twins as singles get ONE lead fall.

ETA... and as per Jace above, that's for alpining- i wouldn't take a single twin to the crag.
Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Joined Jun 24, 2011
267 points
Dec 4, 2011
You should buy my buddy's rope, it's 9.4mm.

Seriously, he's selling it in the forums.
Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Joined Jul 11, 2008
119 points
Dec 4, 2011
no. you could pick up the Mammut Serenity at 8.9mm thats a single line if you're that hell bent on saving weight.

the rest of us usually land in the 9.4mm to 9.8mm range, depending on our preferences.
John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 1, 2004
2,395 points
Dec 4, 2011
Sterling 9.2 nano
Light and as long as u are leading an following handles great. If toping hangdoggers it gets twisty. But that rope has at least 10 lead falls over 15 feet and still has such a soft catch it makes a screemer seam obsolete.
From Glenwood Springs CO
Joined Jul 20, 2010
231 points
Dec 4, 2011
10.5 is where it's at J.J
Joined Aug 23, 2008
185 points
Dec 4, 2011
perfect seam
you should definately fuck around and use a half rope. hell you might as well go thinner, or just use some cordelette. Its a half rope for a reason bud, those options for a single in the same range are golden for sure. fat cow
From St. Paul, MN
Joined Nov 17, 2009
88 points
Dec 4, 2011
Grande Grotto
Half Ropes are nearly ALWAYS fallen on as a single cord. They are designed to survive at LEAST 1 "standard" UIAA single rope fall (FF 1.78, 80kg etc) . They test with the lower 55kg weight to get a better idea of how strong they are "above" the single 80kg Drop.


Also, a rope's rated Thickness isn't an accurate indicator of "lightest". You should be more focused on the weight/meter rating.

That said, I'm not sure WHY you'd want to use such a thin cord for Trad work. You'll be buying ropes more often, many skinny cords have higher impact forces (with Mammut being REALLY high) and the risk factors increase (edges that cut ropes always seem more common in the trad realm).

Unless you're doing a lot of pitch linking and running a long rope with that (70m+) the weight savings can be found elsewhere without compromising safety (biners, choice in cams, etc).

Do what you want but realize that really skinny ropes and Trad climbing is REALLY rare and with good reason...
From TX
Joined Jun 2, 2006
1,238 points
Dec 4, 2011
The Shield
Take a bigger shit in the morning and use a 9.5 or bigger so you never feel the need to say "take". Sam Lightner, Jr.
From Lander, WY
Joined Apr 9, 2006
2,309 points
Dec 4, 2011
Responding to the OP - back in the 90's, I actually seriously considered buying a 9.0mm half-rope to use as my sport redpoint rope. I already had two 10.5mm rope which I was using for trad and sport and there were only a small number of sub 10mm single ropes available back then.
A successful UIAA testing of half-rope is 55kg weight drop 5 times (FF of almost 2.0) without the rope breaking. I weighed about 52kg back then so I figured I should be OK with a 9.0mm half rope. I asked around and was not able to find someone else who had tried the same and lived! :) So I got a Mammut Galaxy 10mm instead; one of the best ropes I have ever used. For the life of that rope, I never felt any failed redpoint attempt was because the rope was too fat or heavy. Since then, I have stuck to 9.8mm to 10.2 mm ropes. I have come to realize that the doubt that comes with using a super skinny rope more than negates any weight and rope-drag advantage that it may offer.
S. Neoh
Joined Oct 4, 2009
508 points
Dec 5, 2011
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
Jace Mullen wrote:
Unless you are in the Alpine where weight Reallyt matters, than I would say no.

Lightweight sport climbers. Giggle.

There are a few situations in which I would and do use a half rope as a single: very fast and light multipitch, alpine, and the odd situation where I happen to have doubles, but am going to do some playing around on straightforward single pitch stuff. These are all against recommended specs, so be aware.

You will save money in the long run by getting a good solid single, say around 9.8. A super skinny won't make you climb any harder, and you pay more for a rope that just won't last.
Joined Aug 9, 2010
74 points
Dec 5, 2011
Stray dog found in rural Alabama w severe mange. T...
I've been beating on an Edelweiss Performance 9.2mm 70 (now 63ish) for over three years. I'm considering replacing it just now. Just be judiscious with it. UncleBen
From The Briar Patch
Joined Jan 12, 2007
1,789 points
Dec 5, 2011
Great quality rock on this one!
Sam Lightner, Jr. wrote:
Take a bigger shit in the morning and use a 9.5 or bigger so you never feel the need to say "take".

Thanks for all the advice people. Way to work around all the angles, i'm super amped on getting a new rope. I won't be using a half as a single and will also avoid the low-diameter ropes as well, maybe a 9.5 - 10.0 range is more the rope I need. Strength and durability. Appreciate all the comments.
Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Nov 4, 2011
176 points
Dec 5, 2011
JSH @ home  photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker
Aside from rope diameter, I'm going to suggest that you should perhaps reconsider your approach to falling while learning trad.

First, there's the issue of how good your gear is -- which you won't really know for sure for a while, and should probably refrain from finding out the hard way.

Second, there's the issue of ledgy falls. You may be a 5.18 climber who only needs to step it down to 5.11 to learn trad, or -- like many people, you'll dial it way back to easy routes to concentrate on learning gear. Most easier routes are far less steep than even their corresponding sport grade, let alone harder sport. Falling on less-steep routes is less good of an idea.

Just something to consider ...
Joined Apr 3, 2007
1,071 points
Dec 7, 2011
Great quality rock on this one!

That's exactly what I've been doing is jumping on 5.7 and placing a lot of gear to get use to it. But these cracks are steep, but juggy. I've also been taking falls on the gear 10ft off the ground with a crash pad to test placements. Could you suggest another method to get into traditional climbing?
Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Nov 4, 2011
176 points

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