Just a Monday rant here. So I was in a nice little climbing area yesterday called the Kampenwand. It has lots of short climbs, up to 5 pitches in length, where a pitch over 30 meters is an exception. Many of the routes are very old, with plenty of history and polish to them. The routes all seem to have bolted belays, but refreshingly, require nuts and cams in between, except where a bolt or piton was the only opportunity to protect. Anyway, I don't mean to get off subject describing the climbing area too much but it's some background context.
To me, this area screams for a shorter rope. We brought our (semi-obligatory) double ropes, somewhat outdated for being 50 meters, but then left one rope at a pack to run the classic traverse route of the massif with a doubled 50 meter rope, limiting us to 25 meter pitches when we needed to belay. We screamed through the ridge, despite my several attempts to get us off route (long story), having a blast on the polished but beautiful holds. Pitched out it's something like 15 pitches. We belayed 6 ~20 meter pitches and simul-climbed the rest. We were constantly passing parties where a belayer was standing in a tangled mess of twin 60 meter ropes. I was confirmed in my feeling that small-scale routes like this benefit from an old-school approach to ropes: just bring what is adequate and no more! We didn't really climb any faster than these other parties, but by avoiding the constant coiling and paying out of vast unused acreage of rope, we went much faster.
Despite this nugget of wisdom, we got some funny looks and questions. Now not being a total rube, I know all kinds of great reasons for longer ropes. I just think it's worth thinking about where you are going and what the plan is when you leave the house. I'd love to hear some stories from others who felt this way sometimes, or on the opposite side, tell me about the knuckleheads who ended up stranded on a godforsaken perch because of a smug adoption of a short-rope strategy.