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REI Dividend + Need a New Rope = Which rope?
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By RimWalker
Mar 16, 2012

Hey everybody, long time listener, first time caller.

I've got round about $200 in my REI dividend, which looks about right for buying my first rope. Leaders from their selection so far are the Petzl Xion 10.1 60 meter and the Mammut Tusk 9.8 70 meter, but I'm open to suggestions.

To round out my info - I climb in the Donner-Tahoe area with trips throughout the Sierra - mostly been bouldering but aim to do more top roping and sport climbing this summer.

I've got an ATC XP, if that makes a difference.

Thanks for any advice.


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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Mar 16, 2012

I've heard nothing but complaints about Petzl ropes.

I love my Mammut Infinity.


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By Alvaro Arnal
Administrator
From Aspen, CO
Mar 16, 2012
Pup Tent OS

+2 for the Mammut Infinity. Just started using mine but so far it's a great rope: light, smooth, feels great.


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By RimWalker
Mar 16, 2012

Thanks guys. Wouldn't 9.5 be a little skinny for a newer climber/top roping?


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Mar 16, 2012
tanuki

IMHO, your first rope for TR and sport should be the cheapest one you can get your hands on. The New England Equinox 10.2mm x 60m Dry Rope that REI has for $144.00 looks perfectly fine. So does the Mammut Apex Classic 10.5mm x 60m Non-Dry Rope for $159.95.

Other than price, the big question should be 60M or 70M. I have owned 70s exclusively for a while now. In the right situation the extra 10Ms is priceless. However, for a lot of the stuff I do a 60M works great. You need to decide which length is right for you.

I have owned Sterling ropes for a while now, and think that they make an awesome rope. In my experience, they just last longer.

Good luck with you purchase.


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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Mar 16, 2012
Courtright Reservoir, September 2013

Don't forget to employ the annual 20% off coupon.


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By RimWalker
Mar 16, 2012

Thanks NC - that sounds more like what I've heard, but I do want to get a dry treated rope for all the dust up here. I have heard bad things about the last generation of Petzl ropes, but this Xion seems to have good reviews.

And good call on the 20% coupon, I imagine that'll be out next week?


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By Peter Rakowitz
From Portland, OR
Mar 16, 2012
Karl and me hanging out under the bolt ladder.

The New England Glider is an awesome rope.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Mar 16, 2012
Mathematical!

The 20% off coupon came in the mail with my dividend. I'll also add another vote for Sterling, they make good, durable ropes.


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By Rob Selter
From running springs Ca
Mar 16, 2012
me

I have to say that petzl ion is not a bad rope. I use mine at least once a week from family TR to jousha tree trad, and it is still in good shape. But if you are willing to fork out a few buck the the mammut supersafe is a awesome rope I just got a 70.


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By ParkerKempf
From atlanta, GA
Mar 16, 2012
sweet belay on El Cap Spire, Salathe Wall El Capitan

i haven't found any 1 company to be better than any other, i've owned petzl, bluewater, mammut, edelweiss, PMI, and beals so far
i make sure that my rope is always at least 70 meters and dry treated...you never know where you may end up climbing in the coming years
i like bi-pattern except if you have to chop an end 'cause of a core shot the middle mark is no longer correct....but at least your rope is probably still at least a 60m!
I like to keep the diameter between 9.4-9.8, any bigger and it gets alot bulkier and heavier (more suited for walls) and any smaller and it gets harder (IMO) to safely belay with

happy hunting


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By Bowens
From Carlsbad, CA
Mar 18, 2012
New Yosemite

NC Rock Climber wrote:
IMHO, your first rope for TR and sport should be the cheapest one you can get your hands on. The New England Equinox 10.2mm x 60m Dry Rope that REI has for $144.00 looks perfectly fine. So does the Mammut Apex Classic 10.5mm x 60m Non-Dry Rope for $159.95. Other than price, the big question should be 60M or 70M. I have owned 70s exclusively for a while now. In the right situation the extra 10Ms is priceless. However, for a lot of the stuff I do a 60M works great. You need to decide which length is right for you. I have owned Sterling ropes for a while now, and think that they make an awesome rope. In my experience, they just last longer. Good luck with you purchase.


I don't see any reason to get the cheapest rope possible?

That said, I do think that a 10.2mm rope would be more ideal, and whether you should get a 60 or a 70 depends on the routes in the area you climb most. While you can save money by getting a non dry treated rope, it is a nice feature to have and improves rope longevity.

I don't want to say that the more money you spend the better the rope will be, because that's not true, but I don't think that you should buy from the bottom of the barrel if you can avoid it. Ropes around the $200 range seem to be of ideal quality and value, and they are often on sale.


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Mar 18, 2012

mountainproject.com/v/first-rope/107455081__1


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 18, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Bowens wrote:
I don't see any reason to get the cheapest rope possible?


Well, they tend to get trashed a lot faster. So cheap is good for this kind of use.


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By dorseyec
Mar 18, 2012

Bowens wrote:
I don't see any reason to get the cheapest rope possible?


Thats because you are a new climber yourself... Typically a first rope gets top roped on a lot which causes it to wear out faster. So whether you spend $200 or $100 on a rope its going to wear out just as fast. Make sense?


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By wankel7
From Indiana
Mar 18, 2012

Get a bI pattern rope...you'll thank yourself every time you setup a top rope or rap.


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By jack s.
From Kamloops, BC
Mar 18, 2012
Mean Green P2

My 2 cents:
There seem to be two classes of thought on Petzl ropes: most people love them and write glowing reviews. Then there are the 10% (guessing) of people who had their rope disintegrate on the first couple uses and were told to f off by Petzl. This last reason is why I will never buy a Petzl rope again. The sheath should never peel off by rappelling with an ATC when the rope is new out of the packaging, IMHO.

So yeah, perhaps some other 10mm rope would be good as a first rope? I like my Edelweiss.


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By Bowens
From Carlsbad, CA
Mar 19, 2012
New Yosemite

dorseyec wrote:
Thats because you are a new climber yourself... Typically a first rope gets top roped on a lot which causes it to wear out faster. So whether you spend $200 or $100 on a rope its going to wear out just as fast. Make sense?


No, that doesn't make sense. For one, many climbs often involve top-roping for at least one climber involved (multipitch/most trad climbing). Second, the abuses from multipitch climbing seem to be just as harsh sometimes as top roping; don't you think that lead falls, rapelling, and winding trad pitches are harsh on a rope?. Third, the assumption that a climber's first rope will see a lot of top-roping seems far less than universally accurate; although in the first few months it saw more toprope action, at this point my first rope has seen as many pitches of lead climbing as it has top-rope belays, and the lead climbing has worn it out far worse than the top-roping. Why shouldn't I have made my first cord one that could transition well into multiple uses?

Last, and most important I think, your logic, if valid (that you should get a cheaper rope just because it's going to where out) should apply with equal force to every rope a climber purchases, not just the first.

No, I think that the price-point that one decides upon should be a factor of what they can afford and their intended usage. If you anticipate anything beyond setting up topropes for the next two years, then I think that you should consider it when buying your first rope.


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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Mar 19, 2012

Bowens wrote:
No, that doesn't make sense. For one, many climbs often involve top-roping for at least one climber involved (multipitch/most trad climbing). Second, the abuses from multipitch climbing seem to be just as harsh sometimes as top roping; don't you think that lead falls, rapelling, and winding trad pitches are harsh on a rope?. Third, the assumption that a climber's first rope will see a lot of top-roping seems far less than universally accurate; although in the first few months it saw more toprope action, at this point my first rope has seen as many pitches of lead climbing as it has top-rope belays, and the lead climbing has worn it out far worse than the top-roping.


Really? None of those situations are similar to top roping. The thing that kills ropes is lowering. Unless all of your top rope climbers plan to walk off or rappel every climb, then the rope will be weighted and dragging over rock as they come down. The same applies to lowering off a lead climb.

I agree with the original advice, get the cheapest possible rope. Over 10mmm diameter too. Don't go for light or waterproof or bipattern or anything fancy. 60 m is plenty in my opinion, this may vary by region. There are lots of people out there with 5 year old unused ultralight bipattern twin ice ropes that have never used them once. If you haven't done something before, there is a risk that you might stop doing it in the near future. Don't get stuck with a $300 alpine technomarvel in the closet.

If you have lots of money to spare, and get personal gratification from having the newest best gear (not that that is a bad thing), then get whatever the sales person sells you on.


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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Mar 19, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Bowens wrote:
No, that doesn't make sense. For one, many climbs often involve top-roping for at least one climber involved (multipitch/most trad climbing). Second, the abuses from multipitch climbing seem to be just as harsh sometimes as top roping; don't you think that lead falls, rapelling, and winding trad pitches are harsh on a rope?. Third, the assumption that a climber's first rope will see a lot of top-roping seems far less than universally accurate; although in the first few months it saw more toprope action, at this point my first rope has seen as many pitches of lead climbing as it has top-rope belays, and the lead climbing has worn it out far worse than the top-roping. Why shouldn't I have made my first cord one that could transition well into multiple uses? Last, and most important I think, your logic, if valid (that you should get a cheaper rope just because it's going to where out) should apply with equal force to every rope a climber purchases, not just the first. No, I think that the price-point that one decides upon should be a factor of what they can afford and their intended usage. If you anticipate anything beyond setting up topropes for the next two years, then I think that you should consider it when buying your first rope.


It doesn't look like you understand what wears out a rope. The climbing is not what wears out a rope, it's the lowering and hanging that do (specifically lowering and hanging on low angled rock or routes that go over a bulge). Seconding a multipitch won't put anywhere near the amount of wear that a new climber TRing a route will. Most lead falls will put much less wear on a rope than TRing will because the rope is generally only running over a carabiner while weighted, not over the rock. Again, the part that wears a rope is when the rope is moving over the rock while weighted. The advice is true, you will wear out your first rope(s) much more quickly than later ropes, so get a cheaper (and thicker) rope to begin with.


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By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Mar 19, 2012
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow

My first rope was a Sterling Marathon 10.4 Bipattern, that was ~3-4 years ago. My second was a Marathon 10.1 Bipattern.

The Marathons handle very well and are very durable. They aren't the lightest, especially at 10.1 and 10.4, but if you are asking which rope to buy, then the weight of your rope will not be your limiting factor for a while.

Personally, I'm happy to pay extra for the bipattern. I came to climbing late, and with a significant number of dependents, so an extra $30 for some peace of mind on long routes & rappels is worth it for me.

In short, buy something durable, thick and cheap. If you've got cash to blow, buy something durable, thick and colorful, and get some cool biners or QDs.

Matt.


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By Bill Dugan
From San Bernardino, CA
Mar 19, 2012

When does the 20% coupon expire?


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 19, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Toproping is murder on ropes. Anchors often are set back from edges that will make your rope a fuzzfest in no time or core-shot in one outting depending on how bad the situation is. You want your $350 bi-color, ultra-dri 9.2 mm destroyed toproping someone hangdogging Gumbotron 5.8++?

I'm getting a new rope for general use and you can bet it's going to be on closeout, half-off, with coupon, etc.


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By matt davies
Mar 19, 2012

Peter Rakowitz wrote:
The New England Glider is an awesome rope.

Yep


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Mar 19, 2012
Ooops...

www.rei.com/product/735478/new-england-equinox-102mm-x-60m-d>>>

if past experience is any indicator, this will handle like a thinner rope but still be quite durable, had the green and white version and was pretty happy w it

better yet, get your rope at Gear Express and save the $200 for stuff that's hard to find discounts on


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By Bowens
From Carlsbad, CA
Mar 19, 2012
New Yosemite

Stich wrote:
Toproping is murder on ropes. Anchors often are set back from edges that will make your rope a fuzzfest in no time or core-shot in one outting depending on how bad the situation is. You want your $350 bi-color, ultra-dri 9.2 mm destroyed toproping someone hangdogging Gumbotron 5.8++? I'm getting a new rope for general use and you can bet it's going to be on closeout, half-off, with coupon, etc.


I'm not saying that toproping is not rough on ropes, but you are exaggerating a bit. If a climber is smart, they will extend their anchors so that the rope does not run over a rough edge. Occasionally this is unavoidable, but occasionally ropes get snagged on rappel and must be violently yanked over rough edges and through choss and trees, and occasionally a lead climber falls with the rope running over an edge, and occasionally a second hangdogs and falls with the rope over an edge. I think that it's misguided to draw a dichotomy between toproping and other climbing that suggests that toproping is murder and other climbing is peace. Like I said, my rope has seen way more abuse from trad climbing, and even sport climbing, than it has from toproping.

More importantly, your straw-man argument is not what I was suggesting. I'm not advocating that climbers purchase a $300+, super skinny, bi-pattern triple-dry rope; I'm saying that if they are buying one rope to grow with them over the next year or two, they should consider that they probably won't spend the next year and a half exclusively toproping. If someone knows that they only ever want to toprope with their rope, then yes, get a beefy, inexpensive rope (even then, spending a little bit more will probably get you a more durable, longer lasting rope). That said, if there's a chance that you might do anything else, then get a rope with decent fall properties, weight, hand, and a dry treatment on the sheath. Alternatively, if you have a quiver of ropes, then naturally you aren't going to use your more delicate skinny rope, with the bipattern and other expensive features that aren't useful for top-roping, to top-rope; you'll get a beefy, plain, inexpensive rope for that purpose. That said, I can't see any justice in saving $50 over the course of 2 years, at the cost of greater utility in your rope, simply because you think that you're going to beat it up at first.

Would you advise a new trad climber to buy the cheapest possible protection for their first rack because they are going to abuse it way harder while they are still learning to place gear? I think that you'd probably advise them to get the nuts and cams that they will continue to appreciate as they grow as a climber; otherwise they'll just end up replacing their first purchase anyway.

I'm just suggesting that the same applies to ropes; that when choosing a first rope, you choose one that can grow with you.


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