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rope length for Ouray Ice Park
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By ColinM
From Escondido, CA
Nov 28, 2012
Capitol Peak

What length rope can I get away with for ice climbing at the Ouray Ice Park? I have a 50m Sterling Fusion Ion2. I've never ice climbed before, so I'm not going to be climbing the longest, hardest routes there.


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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Nov 28, 2012
Stairway to Heaven

50m will be quite limiting unless your partner belays you from the top of the cliff. If you want to belay from below 70m would be ideal. Even the easy routes are often 30m or so. It's the angle that determines the difficulty, not the length.


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By Baumer
From Boulder, CO
Nov 28, 2012
Easy Lieback

You will want a 70 for a standard "slingshot" TR in a lot of places, especially South Park. Often a 60 will just reach the bottom of the ice, but you'll want a 70 if you want to stand across the creek to belay, which is preferable if you want to avoid having ice fall on you all the time.


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By Dylan Weldin
From Austin, Texas
Nov 28, 2012
Summit of my first tower, the Rectory via Fine Jade

I agree with Martin. I bought my first 70mm specifically for TRing at the Ice Park. A 50 will not do you much good unless you lower in then climb out while belayed from above as previously described.

If you do find an area where the 50 works for TRing, it will force you to stand immediately under the wall for a while until your climber makes his/ her way up and you have enough slack to scoot away from the wall. While in close, you are likely to get hit with falling ice on the head/ collarbone...

Broken collarbone is one of the most common injuries in the park. (Buy a 70m)

Every rope in this photo is AT LEAST a 60

70, 70, 70.
70, 70, 70.


I have taught many of my friends how to ice climb and a 70m rope is also nice for when they do this:
70 is also nice for this....
70 is also nice for this....

...easy to lose a few feet on the end due to pick damage

Anyone have any success with a lightweight rope protector on the tie in side of the rope? Garden hose? PVC? And just so you don't have to say it, yes, they were total gumbies


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By Hiro
From Boulder, CO
Nov 28, 2012
Ouray Ice Park <br />Pick o' the Vic?

Thanks for this thread y'all, I had the same question... Does a 80m have 10m of useless length there then?


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By Dylan Weldin
From Austin, Texas
Nov 28, 2012
Summit of my first tower, the Rectory via Fine Jade

Hiro wrote:
Thanks for this thread y'all, I had the same question... Does a 80m have 10m of useless length there then?


For the aforementioned reasons, an 80 wouldn't hurt either. In my experience, however, I cannot recall an area where I was short roped with a 70. In the deepest parts of the canyon it is often narrow and falling ice makes it hazardous to belay slingshot style. Additionally, a lack of an easy approach (i.e. upper bridge) makes the common practice at these walls lower in, climb out.

Right end of the five fingers wall is the only area I can think of where TRing with an 80 would make much sense


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By ColinM
From Escondido, CA
Nov 28, 2012
Capitol Peak

That's what I worried. At least someone locally has a deal on a 70m rope. I don't know how many people would let me climb on their rope while I'm swinging all those points.


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