Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Climbing Rope Length
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Paul Hills
Jan 20, 2013

Hi there! Iím new to the climbing world. My brother and I have purchased some of the equipment, and we are in the process of purchasing the remaining necessary pieces. We are interested in traditional climbing. We have a rope that is 60 meters long, and we understand that when lead climbing, you have to have enough length for the rope to double over in the case of a fall. But we still have some questions...

If we were to do toprope climbs, how much length should we leave for belay in the case of a fall?
When lead climbing, how high should the highest climb we perform be?


FLAG
By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 20, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

Don't take this the wrong way Paul, but with questions and statements like the ones you have posted, you're not ready to go outside and set up your own top rope rig- and definitely not ready to lead. If there is a rock gym or guiding service near you, go there and get some instruction from someone experienced and qualified. Also, you may want to pick up the book Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills by the late Craig Luebben.

All it takes, especially as a beginner, is one mistake and/or one little piece of misinformation about something to put you at serious potential risk for injury or worse. Again, this is not meant to be a slight toward you and your brother. It's cool you got into climbing and you're excited about it. You just need to learn some things before you go diving into the pool head first. Good luck and be safe.


FLAG
By Paul Hills
Jan 20, 2013

Oh, we are planning on spending a lot of time in the gyms before we head out and try to set our own gear. We are just waiting for some warmer weather, and we are spreading out our purchases to lesson the cost at once.
I was just curious about how high we would someday be able to climb with our rope, because I canít seem to find anywere online that tells me.
But thank you for the safety advice, and you can have peace of mind knowing that we have plans for hitting the gym long before we hit the rocks.


FLAG
By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 20, 2013
You stay away from mah pig!

Paul Hills wrote:
...we understand that when lead climbing, you have to have enough length for the rope to double over in the case of a fall.


huh?


FLAG
By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Jan 20, 2013
Aiding.

You could climb a bit under 60 meters with your rope (your knots take up some rope, and depending how you anchor, your belay anchor set up uses rope, too).

If you construct anchors mostly with cordelettes or slings, you could lead a 55m pitch, more or less.

You can top rope just under half of your rope length, so a bit under 30m (almost, but not quite, 100 feet. Say 90 to 94 feet.)

Be careful.


FLAG
By Paul Hills
Jan 20, 2013

Is it not true that you have to have enough rope length that, if the climber falls at the top of the route, they will be able to be lowered to the ground by the belayer?


FLAG
By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 20, 2013
At the BRC

This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.


By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Jan 20, 2013
old 1/4" bolt.

Mark E Dixon....you may not wish to come off as a douche, but you do. Here's a case of a climber and his partner, who are new to climbing, asking a naive, but sincere question about climbing and you TRY to crack wise (albeit NOT wise or humorous). Crawl back to your hole, or do the honorable thing and provide a constructive position answer. Edit....your 1st statement was appropriate regarding putting away the cord until Paul and his buddy get more experience. Beyond that it was worthless and NOT helpful.


FLAG
 
By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 20, 2013
At the BRC

Benjamin Chapman wrote:
Mark E Dixon....you may not wish to come off as a douche, but you do. Here's a case of a climber and his partner, who are new to climbing, asking a naive, but sincere question about climbing and you TRY to crack wise (albeit NOT wise or humorous). Crawl back to your hole, or do the honorable thing and provide a constructive position answer.


Well flag me if you think it's all that bad.

If they lack the sense to take my "suggestions" for what they are worth, they have bigger problems.

Frankly the whole post screams troll.


FLAG
By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Jan 20, 2013
old 1/4" bolt.

Mark....alright, fair enough.


FLAG
By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Jan 20, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

Mark E Dixon wrote:
As far as maximum fall calculations, this is best determined by calling the county rescue squad and verifying the length of their longest ladders. If you are naturally talented, you can add a few feet to that length before calling it quits.


This is the same algorithm I use. Works every time.


FLAG
By Larry S
Jan 20, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Paul, I'd recommend finding a guide service an hiring them for a day. I know of guides around here that do groups so you don't have to shell out so much $. Many of us are happy to give out advice but it can scare us a bit to answer real basic questions. There's alot of knowledge you need for climbing and we don't want to end up giving you just enough information to get yourselves in trouble. Many of us have witnessed people at the crags in this situation, who don't know just how much they don't know.

For an analogy, it's like a guy who knows just enough about electricity to fix a bad outlet, which later catches his house on fire. We don't want to make you feel like you know everything you need to know.

So, get the book "Rock Climbing, Mastering Basic Skills" by Craig Leubben, read it front to back, then read it again, then go out with a guide service, or someone you know who climbs for a day (heck, even just go to a popular cliff and sit and watch), then you'll have a good basic knowledge base and everyone here will be much more helpful, and this will be a good resource to help answer your questions.


FLAG
By Maurice Chaunders
Jan 20, 2013
Colombian Crack

Paul, you'll probably want 2 different ropes for the climbing you want to do: a 50-60m 10.2mm or fatter rope to start learning how to top rope, build anchors and cut your teeth. Once you have some basic skills and you learn how to lead, you'll probably want a 60-70m, 9.8mm rope for leading. A longer rope doesn't make you climb higher, necessarily. Some places are only single pitches, and even the multi pitch climbs are typically set with anchors every 45-55m. You can also sometimes build an anchor wherever you want to stop, get tired or find a comfortable spot to belay your partner up to you. Some trad climbs have bolted belays, others do not. You are more likely to run into trouble with rope length when rappelling. Some raps may require 2 ropes, or a 60m. This is often more important than the actual height of the climb-you typically won't be limited by the length of your rope, as much as your ability to climb, build anchors and otherwise be a competent leader. You should buy your rope based on the area(s) you plan to use it. An 11mm, 50m static line for top roping may be all you need for your first adventures in climbing. Since you are new to the sport, you will likely wear out your rope faster as you learn how to use it properly. No need for a thin, high performance rope if you don't know how to care for it, or if you plan to top rope it at the local day crag.


FLAG
By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jan 20, 2013
El Chorro

Mark E Dixon wrote:
Well flag me if you think it's all that bad. If they lack the sense to take my "suggestions" for what they are worth, they have bigger problems. Frankly the whole post screams troll.


Just don't say you don't wanna sound like a douche. It's obvious that you were fully intent on doing just that.

Nothing wrong with that BTW. I thought your post was funny, and it is one way to answer questions like these. It wouldn't be the internet without some genuine douchebaggery, but I think we'd all enjoy it a bit more if you just came right out and said "ok, I'm gonna be a bit of an asshole here but it's for your own good..."

OP, it's normal to want to buy gear over a period of time. But looking around on the internet for advice about climbing never ends well. You have no way of knowing who you can trust. Go to a gym, take a class, and buy a few books that get good reviews. If you want to use the internet, the first thing you should do is Google John Long books.


FLAG
By Superclimber
Jan 20, 2013

Hey Paul, the most sound advice has already been given up thread. Read a couple books, then pay for a session or two with a guide service, and start hanging out at the climbing gym. It's also really helpful to meet some partners that have been climbing for a while. Books by Craig Luebben and John Long will serve you well.

When I started I didn't have anybody to learn from so here's what my girlfriend and I did.
1. Read How To Rock Climb by John Long.
2. Went toproping with a guide service and told them that we were interested in learning to climb on our own. They took extra time to explain and show us stuff.
3. Read Craig Luebben's Rock Climbing Anchors and practiced at home.
4. Took an Anchor's class from the same guide service we used the first time. We spent the first half of the day building anchors on the ground. Then our guide took us to a few spots and showed us some of the easy top rope set ups around the park. We finished the day on a short multi-pitch climb where we learned some rope management skills and rappelling. The guide service was really awesome.
5. Took an indoor lead climbing class. In hind site our instructor was kind of an asshole, but we learned what we needed to get started and some of the pit falls to avoid like z-clipping or backclipping.
6. Bought gear.
7. Started climbing outside on our own.

Last year I was out climbing and a party down the wall from us were climbing at a section of wall that is maybe about 120 feet tall. So you can lead up with a 60 meter rope, but you can't rappel or be lowered off with a 60. To get down you either need to walk about 50 ft to another set of anchors and rappel off where a 60 meter rope will make it or rappel with 2 ropes. A 70 meter rope might reach, but I'm not sure. Anyway, after the lead climber topped out his belayer lowered him until the end of the rope went thru the belayers hands and the climber fell the rest of the way. He left in a helicopter that day, but fortunately had manageable injuries and recovered. Be careful out there.


FLAG
By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 20, 2013
At the BRC

Ryan Williams wrote:
Just don't say you don't wanna sound like a douche. It's obvious that you were fully intent on doing just that. Nothing wrong with that BTW. I thought your post was funny, and it is one way to answer questions like these. It wouldn't be the internet without some genuine douchebaggery, but I think we'd all enjoy it a bit more if you just came right out and said "ok, I'm gonna be a bit of an asshole here but it's for your own good..." OP, it's normal to want to buy gear over a period of time. But looking around on the internet for advice about climbing never ends well. You have no way of knowing who you can trust. Go to a gym, take a class, and buy a few books that get good reviews. If you want to use the internet, the first thing you should do is Google John Long books.


Oops, I thought it was part of the formula to start with the phrase "I don't want to sound like a douche but..." Looks like I need to read the MP style manual again!

Obviously I was tongue in cheek earlier, but the more I think about it, the more I see more sense in my post than I recognized.

I genuinely respect the drive to learn to climb that says "I MUST climb, no matter what it takes." But for Paul and his brother to teach themselves to climb, even with the best equipment, the best internet advice and the best books is pretty sketchy. Maybe using sketchy gear actually would generate enough fear to trigger some handy self-protective common sense. I mean, the climbers of the clothesline generation mostly survived and it wasn't due to excessive smarts!

Anyway, worst case scenario and their Mom uses a dryer, they can always take a class. My Dad and I learned from the RCS of the Sierra Club and that didn't prevent us from 'enjoying' countless educational epics.

Oh, and some practical advice- unless you have money to burn, wait till you go climbing a few times before you buy a bunch of gear. You will have a much better idea what you need and want. Even if you want to spread out the expense, just stash the money in the bank for now.


FLAG
 
By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Jan 20, 2013
old 1/4" bolt.

Great response, suggestions, and recollections of your own personal experiences regarding learning to climb, Chris.


FLAG
By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 20, 2013
At the BRC

Benjamin Chapman wrote:
Great response and suggestions for someone wanting to get into climbing, Chris.


I usually stay away from +1s, but I have to agree that Chris has offered good advice.


FLAG
By Maurice Chaunders
Jan 20, 2013
Colombian Crack

Yeah, I agree-great advice mike


FLAG
By Jorge Gonzalez
From San Gabriel, CA
Jan 20, 2013

Like I always say all you really need to start climbing are really BIG NUTS.

Oh, am I being a douche? Again? Well, that's part of what makes us keep coming back to read what everyone has to say. It's a little fun to try and be witty and creative in your responses, just as long as you aren't mean, nasty, or pompous.

But, that being said, when the OP asks questions like should the rope be long enough to "double over in case of a fall," its a bit scary and its like you asked for it. Ask a dumb question you deserve a dumb response.

Those of us who have been around forever have a tendency to roll our eyes and think "not again." But, to be fair, if a person has enough nerve to put it out there on this site, then they deserve at least one thoughtful and helpful answer.

Chris and Mike, glad you are here for him (and the others lurking on here to afraid to ask the same type of question).

BTW, BITD a 50 m rope was long enough for most climbs, so if you had to rappel the route to get down, the practice was to use two ropes, usually twins of a smaller diameter. After awhile it seemed everyone was going to 60s, the thinking being some pitches could be run together, and it was long enough to double for top roping on most sport climbs, which tend to be shorter than trad pitches.

Now folks are using 70s to cover all possibilities, and I'm thinking we might be getting to the point of diminishing returns, what with the extra weight of the rope, and the few times the extra length is necessary. As I got accustomed to double ropes, I like two 60s now. That seems to cover all the bases. Point being, knowledge is only as good as it applies to the area you are climbing and what the local trends are. Ask around, you seem bold enough.


FLAG
By Maurice Chaunders
Jan 21, 2013
Colombian Crack

Paul,
To answer one of our questions...you typically do not need enough rope in your system to be able to lower your partner to the ground after a fall. No matter how long your rope was, you'd only be able to climb less than half it's length if you wanted to be able to do that. Unless the leader is unconscious, you wouldn't lower them to the ground anyway. If they wanted to give up, they'd have to build an anchor and belay you up, so you could lead to the anchors, where you could both rappel. If your leader did fall and was unconscious, you'd have to escape the belay, and go for help - requiring advanced techniques and lots of know how, hence all the suggestions that you read up and practice before going out on your own.

I don't think anyone understands your question about leaving rope in case of a fall when toproping.


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.