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How to Buy a Climbing Rope



Whenever you're climbing on lead, you need a dynamic single rope that will stretch to help absorb the impact of a fall. Typically, a rope diameter between 10mm and 11mm will offer more durability and is ideal for regular use. A skinny rope between 9mm and 1 mm is best employed on difficult ascents where every ounce counts. A 60 meter length is considered the standard for most single pitch sport and trad routes.

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Although similar in appearance, half and twin rope systems are each designed for specific applications. Half ropes are independently rated and can be clipped into alternating pieces of protection. Half ropes help reduce weight and drag on wandering trad and alpine routes. Twin rope systems require both ropes to be clipped into every piece of pro and provide extra security where sharp terrain could damage or cut a rope.

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Static ropes are highly durable and do not stretch. They are typically used for rappelling, ascending fixed lines, and utility applications like pulling up a haul bag on a multi-pitch route.

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When to Replace Your Climbing Rope


For cold and wet weather, look for winter handwear with a waterproof coating (DWR) or waterproof shell fabric like Gore-Tex and plenty of insulation. Often, a waterproof breathable shell fabric will help to protect your hands from the warmth-robbing effects of wind.

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