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Wet climbing rope - compromised?

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Wet climbing rope - compromised?

Postby zachary_dc » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:53 am

I have a fairly unused Maxim dynamic, 9.9, 60m, 2xdry rope that I brought to ZIon last week to use for canyoneering. I understand that static ropes are better for situations when strictly rappelling, however I only own one rope and I am a recent college grad with limited funds. So we used what was available and it worked just fine for navigating some pretty awesome canyons.

The rope spent a fairly significant amount of time (we used it in two canyons, a couple hours each) in the water.
My question is: Should I be worried about using it again for climbing? I have let it dry out properly and completely, out of the sun. But I just want to make sure the water isnt going to make it a rope i can no longer use. Especially before I do use it again.

Thanks!
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Re: Wet climbing rope - compromised?

Postby brenta » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:35 am

Wet nylon is much weaker than dry nylon, but the adverse effect of water are reversible. In fact, dirty ropes are often washed.
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Re: Wet climbing rope - compromised?

Postby The Chief » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:52 am

Flake it out in the bedroom for a couple of days and allow it to air dry flat as you mentioned. The rope is fine.

My winter ice ropes get soggy frequently while sitting loosely coiled in puddles of flowing ice water at the belay and are fine in the morning after I long flake them out on the floor in front of the pellet stove over night. I wash my summer ropes at least four to five times each per summer season and then air dry them in the same manner as above. As Brenta mentioned above, they are only nylon and water will not damage them.

No worries. Just let it long flake dry out and you'll be good to go.

Mammut has a great little hand out info booklet guide that comes with their ropes. From Pg. 21:

"Washing – even in the machine!
Dirt reduces performance and worsens the
rope’s handling characteristics. If a rope becomes
dirty, you can wash it either in hand
warm water in the bathtub or in a normal
household washing machine. Occasional
washing maintains good handling and increases
the life span of the rope. A mild synthetic
detergent is the most suitable for this.
For machine wash, the same instructions for
wool should be used to take best care of the
rope. Never tumble-dry! To dry it – lay it out
in a cool, dark place, rather than hang it up."
Last edited by The Chief on Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wet climbing rope - compromised?

Postby JJBrunner » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:12 am

The Chief wrote:
Mammut has a great little hand out info booklet guide that comes with their ropes. From Pg. 21:

To dry it – lay it out
in a cool, dark place, rather than hang it up."

Anyone know why this is? I always hang mine...
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Re: Wet climbing rope - compromised?

Postby The Chief » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:34 am

JJBrunner wrote:
The Chief wrote:
Mammut has a great little hand out info booklet guide that comes with their ropes. From Pg. 21:

To dry it – lay it out
in a cool, dark place, rather than hang it up."

Anyone know why this is? I always hang mine...

Flat Spots can and are created as well as some potential stretching when hung while/during drying. Both are alleviated when flaked out flat on the floor.
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Re: Wet climbing rope - compromised?

Postby LoneRanger » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:40 pm

The Chief wrote:Flake it out in the bedroom for a couple of days and allow it to air dry flat as you mentioned. The rope is fine.

My winter ice ropes get soggy frequently while sitting loosely coiled in puddles of flowing ice water at the belay and are fine in the morning after I long flake them out on the floor in front of the pellet stove over night. I wash my summer ropes at least four to five times each per summer season and then air dry them in the same manner as above. As Brenta mentioned above, they are only nylon and water will not damage them.

No worries. Just let it long flake dry out and you'll be good to go.



Just to clarify, does that apply to "dry-treated" ropes as well? Such as Mammut phoenix? My logic is a dry treatment prevents water from getting really inside the rope, so washing in a machine should be fine, but I am just guessing.
Thanks,
LR
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Re: Wet climbing rope - compromised?

Postby Autoxfil » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:01 pm

Dry-treating just adds some water repellency. You can still soak one through rather easily.

Mammut recommends washing all their ropes in the washing machine. Doing this on occasion gets out abrasive dirt and extends rope life, plus restores some elasticity. It will slowly eliminate the dry treatment, but there are products to restore it if you care.

Ropes have bunched-up fibers in the core that provide the soft catch of a dynamic rope. When soaked and hung, the heavy (wet) rope stretches these fibers out, and they dry somewhat extended, making the rope catch harder (more static). To keep the rope soft and impact force low, flake it out to dry. Hanging the rope also makes flat, hard spots that are hard to tell from damage when handling the rope.

Rope companies recommend dark, cool drying because people can overdo it. Leaving nylon in the sun will slowly degrade it, and too much heat can damage it too. So, the safest thing is cool and no sun. I tend to throw mine in the spare bedroom, on the bed. The sheets allow air flow all around the rope, and it dries fast enough that way.
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