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sheath damage prevention and repair
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By someDuder
From Montreal, QC
Nov 1, 2012
Sasquatches are real!
I bought a new Sterling 10.1mm Marathon rope a couple of months ago, and the sheath is already looking as bad as my friends' ropes which are about 2 years old. I first thought that this might be a defect in the rope, but from the articles and posts that I have found it seems like this happens randomly to ropes of all brands and models, especially newer ropes.

So instead I am wondering what I can do to limit damage and prolong rope life, and to stop sheath damage from getting worse.
I know preventing sheath damage seems like a pretty simple thing to figure out: use extended draws and anchors to try to keep your rope away from sharp edges, rappel instead of lower if you cant avoid an edge, don't climb with porcupines, etc., but I feel like I do all that and am a little disheartened at how quickly this rope wore. So if anyone has advice here I'd be happy to hear it.

As for repairs, on my rope there are a number of spots wear a bit of sheath has been cut and little tufts of nylon fiber are sticking out. I was thinking of taking a hot knife and lightly stroking (giggidy giggidy) these sections and melting the stray strands to prevent them from getting snagged on something and ripping more. Is that a bad idea? Any better ones? Here is the worst section of the rope.
sheath damage
sheath damage


Also, I know dry-treatment will make the sheath last longer. Anyone have experience on how much longer the sheath lasts? Is the extra cost worth the extra mileage?
Thanks!

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By Burt Lindquist
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Nov 1, 2012
Trying to stay warm up on Brownstone Wall Red Rocks, NV
Don't wash the rope. I made that mistake after finding mild sheath damage and YUP... washing the rope made the damage worse. I don't recommend trying to melt back the frays either... it doesn't work either and may in fact make the problem worse as well.. I am not super sure about the heat thing but when I did it, thinking the same thoughts you are, it made the problem worse.

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By Cole Phinney
From Sheridan, Wy
Nov 1, 2012
In my experience that looks like either normal wear or user error. My sterling has lasted 3+ years and is fuzzy but no worries here. If you are so worried about it that you want to take heat to it why don't you just send it to me for use and go buy a new one.
Oh and in good mp fashion, yer gonna die.

Edit to add: Nevermind just saw that its a 10 1 too heavy send to someone else for use. HAHAHAHAHA

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By Jim Sweeney
Nov 1, 2012
Use a nail clipper. It's rounded and can pretty much fit the contour of the rope and get down close.
Make sure all you do is clip the errant strands without pulling on them. After clipping you can roll the rope between the palms of your hands.

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By bearbreeder
Nov 1, 2012
It happens ... Especially if you tr a lot ... How much did you use it in pitches and whay kind

The dry treatment generally wears aout in about 2 months or leas of daily use i find

Which is why i buy CHEAP ropes for cragging ... Youll blow em out anyways if you climb a lot ...

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Nov 1, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
Top roping will wear ropes fast, especially if you don't extend over edges well. Same with lowering off of climbs that have an edge. That damage looks pretty minor. I wouldn't do anything to try and fix it. Just let it be. Dry ropes won't fix the problem. They might wear slightly less quickly, but not enough that you'll likely notice a difference.

I had a person seconding a climb on a brand new rope of mine. I did not protect a traverse very well and he came off, slicing my brand new rope to the core. It happens.

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By cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Nov 1, 2012
So I saw this video awhile ago. DMM has done some great testing and this one on carabiners causing rope damage is pretty eye opening.
I am not now worried that I'm gona die. What I did take away is that this is probably why ropes wear prematurely and for no apparent reason.
Everyone wants to place the blame on the brand of rope, washing it or whatever. Pretty solid evidence that running it through seemingly good biners is what might be causing that fuzz.

DMM video

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By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Nov 1, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey
Buy thinner ropes with higher sheath the core ratio.

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By bmdhacks
Nov 2, 2012
I have a similar problem. I bought a brand new rope and it seems one strand on the sheath got pulled (but not cut) so that it lumps out. It would be as if you got a tiny crochet hook and pulled on the strand so that it hangs out in a little loop. You can feel the bump from this strand as you run the rope through your fingers, and it's starting to fray.

Has anyone ever seen this?
Any tips on how to fix it without damaging it more?

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By John D
Nov 2, 2012
while it probably isn't recommended, I've taken a lighter and waved it over spots like that, it seemed to reduce and seal the frayed bits. Hard to tell from a picture, but that spot looks a bit lumpy like maybe there was some core damage?

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By someDuder
From Montreal, QC
Nov 2, 2012
Sasquatches are real!
Thanks guys. I like the nail clipper idea, and I think I'll try it today.

Will thinner ropes really wear slower? I bought the thicker one because I figured it would last longer. In my head a thicker rope means more overall sheath, and sharp edges and other nasty stuff being spread out over more surface area.

I also heard about the dangers of using scratched carabiners on your rope, and am careful to always have a dedicated 'rope side' of my quickdraws.

To answer questions:
-the core has no damage. double checked that yesterday
-I climb almost exclusively 1 - 3 pitch sport and trad routes, but I do take my girlfriend up on 2nd often, and will give her a tighter belay if she is strugging with a route. I'm sure that adds to the wear.
-no real idea how many pitches it has. Bought it during a month long climbing trip, using it heavily, and had it for another month or so, using it really lightly (~1day/week). If I had to guess I'd say about 100 pitches total (lead and followed).

and sorry about the photo quality, only had a webcam at my disposal.

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Nov 2, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
Thinner ropes do not wear more slowly. That is complete nonsense.

And I still say leave the rope as is. It is not that bad and I'm not sure you'll make things any better by trying top "repair" the damage.

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By T Howes
From Bozeman, MT
Nov 2, 2012
I saw this in another thread, and while it seems useless... you may have an application for it.

rei.com/product/719270/spiroll...

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Nov 2, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Where on the rope is the most damage? I've found that I get the most damage on the ends where I tie in, or on the ends where I join two ropes for a long rappel. It's not uncommon to get that kind of wear from a double fisherman's being pulled down a rough granite slab- which is one of the main reasons I switched to a EDK for joining ropes, but I digress.

If it's near the end, say a few feet or so, you could always cut off the end- just keep that in mind when you're rappelling. If there's no middle mark on the rope, you're good to go. If there is, either cut the same amounts off both ends, or remark your middle (if it's even something you use). If the worst damage is in the middle of the rope, or not close to the end, I got nothin'. It's been my experience though that if you start melting or trimming, the damage seems to get worse. The logic being that short frayed threads can more easily unweave. Good luck with your rope.

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By someDuder
From Montreal, QC
Nov 2, 2012
Sasquatches are real!
The most damaged spot is about 4 meters from an end, I guess where most of the falls happen. I'll cut the end when the core gets damaged or exposed, but I don't think I need to just yet.

And Tom, I've seen those rope protectors in big stores before and always wondered if they could be usefull for lead climbing, like maybe when going over an edge is unavoidable and you still have to bring your 2nd up. I'm guessing I would either forget to use it, or be too busy climbing to put it on, but it seems like it might be pulled or fall out of place during the climb/belay anyways. It would be interesting to see if anyone has used it successfully for anything other than top rope setups.

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By bearbreeder
Nov 2, 2012
those rope protectors are to protect fixed ropes ... not a moving one ...

if youve done everything you can to extend the anchors and extend the slings on lead to minimize friction ... and swaped the ends of the rope after hard sport falls .... then theres not much more you can do ... thats the price you pay for climbing ...

1-2 months of good use will introduce wear into ropes, maybe a dry rope wear a bit longer, but usually not enough to justify the cost, when the dry treament wears off itll be no better

you often see me repeating over and over again just to buy a cheap rope for cragging, 70m is posible and if its not too much more ... now you know why ... the dirty little secret is that many of these "higher end" brands dont last any longer than my 85-100$ tendon ropes, or other such ...

just keep on using the rope till it dies ... and dont worry about it ... thats climbing ...

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