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What's a good size mountaineering rope.
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By Jeffrey Addison
From Anaheim, CA
May 25, 2013
Topped out at Kern Slabs. Just being a poser in th...
What size rope is typical for 2-3 man glacier travel, like on Rainier/Denali, non-technical or non-mixed climbing. To simplify, what's the smallest diameter rope? I was thinking 9.1 30m. I don't want to use my 10.2 60m. To much extra weight. Thanks!

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By kenr
May 25, 2013
Well the impact on the rope is not supposed to be very large in a crevasse fall. And usually there's not many exposed edges in the terrain that might cut the rope. So thinner is supposed to be OK.

But you also need to make sure that whatever prusiks or self-locking pulleys or ascenders you might use in a rescue will actually work with a thinner rope.

Length of rope depends on how far apart you'll be traveling
... and ...
what method you're going to use for the transition from arresting the fall to initiating rescue procedure.
(some transition methods require that the end climbers are not tied into the exact end of the rope)

Note that the transition for a 2-person team can be way more tricky than for a larger party -- so it's not obvious that a 2-person team ought to use a shorter rope than a 3-person team.

The 2-person crevasse rescue thing is usually thought to be difficult, so most authorities advise against 2-person glacier travel for this reason. Then many climbers (because of the difficulty of assembling a compatible 3- or 4-person team) often ignore this advice.

I'd suggest taking a course in crevasse rescue, and getting some realistic practice on procedures specific for the 2-person case (after first getting serious practice for the 3-4 person party).

Carrying an appropriate-diameter rope is the least of it.

Ken

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By Jeffrey Addison
From Anaheim, CA
May 25, 2013
Topped out at Kern Slabs. Just being a poser in th...
Great answer. Thanks Ken. Ill definitely consider a crevasse rescue course.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
May 28, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
I use a 30m half rope... speciaifcally the sterling duetto 8.4

its perfectly ok to use a halfrope as a single line for crevasse travel.

though you should definitely consider a crevasse rescue course.

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By Mitzim440
Aug 1, 2013
correcting an equipment
I prefer to keep a rope at 4 people or less, so it is the 60m rope I have been using these days. I personally wouldn't use a 70m for a glacier travel and I guess it could be a good choice for guiding. I have attended a glacier travel course in a mountaineering school, Canmore an it was 70m they used.

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By Mark Pilate
Aug 5, 2013
My 2 cents....depends on what the specific route is like after the glacier travel and many ways to skin the cat, but for a team of 3 I have cut a 50m 8.5 into 20m and 30m sections. Easy to distribute the weight and adds a certain redundancy.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Aug 6, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
why would you ever use a 60 or 70m for glacial travel? thats overkill and a lot of unneccessary weight.

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By Mark Pilate
Aug 7, 2013
Superkick - one reason could be for something like say Liberty Ridge where a team may pitch it out after the glacier travel. Depends on what and how you intend to climb after the glacier approach.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Aug 12, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
pitching out liberty ridge is a bad idea. If you need to pitch out lib ridge its above your abilities.

If youre doing soemthing highly technical sure, bring doubles, and pitch it out.(still would never use a 70m in the mountains) Lib ridge is not a climb that needs pitching out.

plus judging by the question where he stated "non-technical" very doubtful hes lookign to climb liberty.

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