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Push your depths.
Expect excellent handling and a phenomenal weight-to-strength ratio when you go canyoneering or caving with Petzl's Push Rope. With a diameter of 9mm, the Push is surprisingly strong for how little it weighs. Petzl's EverFlex tretament improves the rope's overall flexibility and grip. This semi-static rope's superb flexibility also provides compact storage in haul bags for big walls.
- EverFlex treatment
- Item #PTZ003T
- Q & A
Mainly for dry canyons and soft rock
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I contacted Petzl since there's little information on what this rope is made of. They responded that the Push 9mm "is constructed of the principal materials nylon and polyester." They confirmed the sheath is made of polyester, so we can reasonably assume the core is made of nylon. This is in line with the budget pricing of this rope, as nylon is one of the cheapest cores.
For those unfamiliar with rope materials and their functional characteristics, nylon is good for its low cost and supple hand, or feel. However, it has some key disadvantages for canyoneering. First it's very stretchy compared to other materials, causing the rope to bounce more when rappelling. This substantially increases the risk of abrasion or even core shots as it stretches back and forth over a rocky edge. Second is that while nylon is extremely light when dry, it becomes extremely heavy when wet, absorbing up to 150% of its weight in water. That makes this rope a very poor choice for wet canyons, where it will get very heavy. Some studies show wet nylon may be also weaker than dry nylon.
In summary, this is a good, economical rope for dry, sandstone canyons. The bouncy nylon means you'll need to be very careful rappelling over edges or around sharper, harder rock. The nylon core also rules out this rope as a good choice for wet canyons, where it will get very heavy.
If you want less bounce and/or a core that doesn't absorb water, look for a rope that has a polyester, polypropylene, or Dyneema core. At the budget end of the spectrum, Imlay Canyon ropes have a core and sheath both made of polyester. These ropes are a great value, with very little stretch, good abrasion resistance, and minimal water absorbency. Another popular choice is the Sterling C-IV 9mm rope, which is slightly more bouncy than the Imlay ropes, though still far less bouncy than the nylon ones. It has a top-class water resistant polypropylene core (it almost floats) and a rugged Technora sheath that has excellent heat properties. Experienced canyoneers who can safely rappel on thinner ropes should look at the 8mm Canyonwerks Zion Pro, which is a Dymeena core and polyester sheath. Lastly, some of the highest-end ropes made by Bluewater feature cores of Dyneema and sheaths of polyester or poly/technora blends (e.g. Bluewater Canyon Pro DS, Canyon DS, and Canyon Extreme).
When selecting a rope for canyoneering, make sure to look at the materials and ensure their properties align with your intended purposes. Hope that helps!