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Rope for Alpine Sierra

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Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby tedryan10 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:45 pm

Rope for Alpine Sierra.

Looking to purchase a useful rope for some of my summer checklist: Palisades, Clarence King, etc. Last summer I did a bunch of Class 3 and looking to get more technical. Until now I've only solo'd things. I rock climb infrequently so I know my ropes, just not sure what to buy for what I'll mostly be doing: summer mountaineering with one partner. Any Ideas? I'm inclined to get a 60m single. 9.8 or something I can use at the crag or should I get something short and thin?

Bonus question, what kind of rack do you guys use on Class 4 sierra if any?
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby DukeJH » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:01 pm

I'll weigh in. In my opinion it depends on how you approach the trip. For fast and light day trips (long mileage) I use a Petzl Nano 9.2mm x 30m. If I'm backpacking in, working from a base camp, or expect extended pithces, I use a Mammut Climax 9.6mm x 70m.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby cab » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:30 pm

I would suggest two 30m ropes to start. That way you can split up the rope weight between you and your partner (and make him buy one of the ropes), and if you only need the rope for a summit block or short pitch along the way, you can usually get away with just one 30m rope. Two ropes might be a little more versatile than one long, heavy 60m.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby Bob Burd » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:57 pm

If you're looking to reach the summit, just about every Sierra summit can be reached with a 30m rope. I almost exclusively have used a 8.5mm x 30m version. Very light and easy to pack and you don't feel bad if you don't use it. One person carries the rope, the other a small selection of gear (a few cams, chocks, slings and a handful of carabiners). Each carries helmet/harness. If you're doing more rock climbing and less scrambling, the above may be inadequate as would my ability to give more technical advice.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby tedryan10 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:33 pm

Thanks guys,
Going to go with a 30m and carry on using my rock climbing friends' 60's.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby pvnisher » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:46 am

I stand by my assertion that a set of 50m half ropes is the most versatile setup one can buy for alpine climbing.
A single one can be used for glaciers (and isn't too heavy or long).
Used together they are perfect for wandering alpine routes and when used as twin also are perfect for ice.
The weight can be easily shared, and making full 50m abseils is fantastic.
The only thing they don't excel at is sport route clip-ups in the USA, where a 60m single rope is preferred.

I own a 8x30m glacier (twin), a pair of 7.8x50m double/twins (dual-rated), and a 9.8x60m single.

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't bother with the 30m at all, and would just get the set of 7.8x50m
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby asmrz » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:13 pm

As Pvnisher said.

One thin 30 meter rope will address your needs today. But if you want to try a more technical climbing (5th class) soon, two 50m ropes, the thinnest you can find, will work for both situations. The difference in weight between 30m and 50m is not that much, so you can carry the single 50m on 4th class scrambles and have two of them for harder terrain. But if you are not ready for technical alpine climbing, the 30 meter thin rope suggestion is right on. Some people will say buy 60 meter ropes, but for ALPINE terrain, weight is of utmost importance. The 10m x 2 equals a lot of un-needed weight. The longer (60 or 70m) ropes are more appropriate for Yosemite (and such) or long sport routes.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby tedryan10 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:15 pm

Would 30m be suitable on the 2 pitches (climbing and rapping) on N. Pal for example?
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby asmrz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:01 pm

I think you would have to have two ropes, each 30m. I have done that route five times over the years and always had one 50m rope with me so the rap could be as long as 25m.

BTW You asked about rack for 4th class. I think it depends on your level of comfort with that kind of climbing, but if you are comfy and just need a small rack, here is what I take if I'm not familiar with the terrain or if someone tells me that there is some real 4th class climbing involved .

3-4 medium to large wired stoppers, 3x medium to larger hexes, 8-10 biners, 5 over the shoulder slings, 20 feet of 1 inch webbing and two descent rings, rap device, knife, harness. That's about it.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby tedryan10 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:47 pm

great advice, just what I was looking for. thanks again.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:54 pm

I would suggest Blue Water Ice floss
http://www.rei.com/product/831169/bluew ... -twin-rope

You can double it up and use it for 30M pitches as a twin and do full 30M rappells when you need to get off some peak. No shortcuts in safety and is very efficient. Also light. I feel like 30M suck big time for rappelling because you can only do 15M max.

For rack on 4th/low 5th I would suggest a set of nuts and about 4 cams. BD sizes .4 .5 .75 and 1. You could add #2 if you think the route will be very difficult for you and you want added safety. Metolious cams are lighter, so maybe better for alpine climbing, but I am not a big fan of them. Also about 7 alpine slings with 1-2 biners on each and your anchor set up. As Alois suggested some rap rings, webbing, knife are recommended.
There is no right or wrong here, depends on how long your pitches are, if you want to simul climb for a while or what. If I wanted to simul I would probably bring a few more slings.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby asmrz » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:44 pm

Vitalyi and all, what a deal on that rope...I just checked the web for 30m scrambling rope and the cheapest seems around $70. This Blue Water 60m is a much better deal for its utility.
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby tedryan10 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:44 pm

Interesting, and you can rap 30m on one twin?
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby tedryan10 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:30 am

Also, while climbing would the follower tie in with a butterfly?
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Re: Rope for Alpine Sierra

Postby asmrz » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:09 pm

Absolutely "yes" to the first question. Not to be used for heavy day after day rappelling, but we are talking about occasional (unexpected) and short rap in the mountains.

Depends on what terrain you are on, regarding the second question. Butterfly knot is the best knot when you expect the rope to get wet like in crevassed terrain and there are three people on the rope (for the middle person). The knot unties easily when it is wet and really, it is not a knot at all. I don't think it is something essential to do in alpine rock climbing. Tie figure 8 at the half end of the rope, clip into a locker and off you go. It will be harder to un-tie if you take a fall, but you are not falling on that terrain, are you? That's my opinion, maybe others have differing ones...
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