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Fix damaged climbing rope?

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Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby mek4life » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:01 pm

Hi all, this is my first post here,

So recently I decided to invest in a double rope for alpine climbing and I decided to get the Mammut 8.5 Genesis. I've been saving for almost 4 months to buy these ropes. Then, this New Year I spent about a week climbing in North Conway, NH area and I think Pinnacle (Huntington Ravine) is the roughest route I went to.

When I got back and inspect my rope, to my dismay the nylon on this part has been damaged. My question is, is there any way to repair this damage? My partner thinks that it should be cut but I just shelled out ~$400 dollars on this double rope and it breaks my heart to retire it right away. However, obviously safety is still the most important issue for me and I just want an additional opinion from this forum

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Re: Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:27 pm

Do you know the situation in which this happened? Also, where is the fray located? If it's close enough to the end you could always cut off the end section with a hotknife and at least have some type of usable rope left.
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Re: Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby mek4life » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:42 pm

Hi thanks for the reply,

I don't have any idea how this happened, I think I did everything by the textbook. Fortunately, the damage part occurred only about ~15 feet from the end, so yeah I can definitely cut the rope.

I personally wouldn't call it a fray, only the outer part of the nylon threads become "fluffy" and the rope is still solid when I pinch it. I know it is really hard to judge the damage just from the pictures but I don't live anywhere close to any professional climbing community/stores who can provide me with good assessment. The local EMS store here is basically a civilian store that sells North Face jackets to urbanites
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Re: Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby Scott » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:21 pm

If only the sheath is damaged, the strength of the rope should not be lost and the rope should still be usable. Although a rope with only sheath damage is still usable, you should still monitor it carefully. If the rope is core shot, the strength of the rope is compromised. If it is core shot, then yes, you have to cut the rope. (We can’t tell from the photograph you posted what kind of damage the rope has. From the photograph, it looks to be only to be minor sheath damage, but I'd hesitate to say that with confidence by only looking at that photograph. It shouldn't be hard to figure out by inspecting and handling your rope).

As far as repairing the rope, no, there is no way to practically do that.
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Re: Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby MoapaPk » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:13 pm

Did you rap off that rope? It's very easy to have a rap rope, over a sharp edge, get an abraded sheath. Also, have you looked at the biners that you clipped to the rope? Do any have rough edges?
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Re: Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby Liba Kopeckova » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:28 am

Scott is right, if only the sheath is damaged it should be ok. It just sounds that it happened to quickly, I get to this point after a couple of years using the rope.
Can you contact mammut or the store where you bought it? I think they may give you a new one (one advantage of buying stuff at REI - you complain and return without problems). Good luck and stay safe.
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Re: Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby mfox79 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:05 am

I agree with Scott and Liba. Most the ropes I own are so fuzzed up you cant tell the pattern anymore. as lond as you don't see the core sticking out you should be fine.
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Re: Fix damaged climbing rope?

Postby mek4life » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:19 am

Hi all, again thanks for the replies,

@MoapaPk: Yes, we bailed out of Pinnacle Gully due to standard Mt. Washington weather turning on us, I rapped down from a tubular webbing around a V thread so this rope has seen nylon-nylon action once.

I think now I'm quite confident that its only a sheath damage, my rope passed this test, even though this is my first experience dealing with damaged rope (my 2 years old 10.5mm dry toprope is still as bomber as ever):


The bight on the "damaged" part is still as solid as the bight from any other part of the rope. However, I'm gonna still mark the spot and be extra careful with it, I'm probably not gonna use the rope to the full extent if its unnecessary and make sure that I don't rap off that part as the main contact point with the anchor I made.

Big thanks for everyone!
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