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Guide: 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 10mm 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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For ice or mixed climbing, look for a rope with a dry-coating. This will stop the rope from from absorbing water and freezing, which can make the rope extremely heavy and unsafe to use.

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How to Choose a Climbing Rope: Beta from Steph Davis