Today there are more different types of climbing rope than ever before. Selecting a new rope can be a daunting task. The secret is to be clear about what you want your rope for. Make sure you know which category of climber you fall in to. Ambitious climbers will probably need a number of ropes for different activities. Once you know what you want your climbing rope for, other criteria such as length, diameter, weight, dry treatment, etc. also have to be considered. Each style of climbing has its own, particular requirements. Being clear about what you want it for should help you to determine the most suitable type of rope.

 

PAULA - SPORT CLIMBING

Paula has been climbing for years and is an ambitious climber. She's travelled to sport climbing areas all over the world. What motivates her? "You only really start to get better when you push your limits." She's not afraid of taking falls and has learned how important it is to remain relaxed when climbing above the last bolt. Paula trains on a regular basis, which means that her equipment is subjected to a lot of wear. For this reason, she has a robust single rope that can take plenty of falls. She swears by EDELRID Sports Line double-braid sheath construction ropes.
Paula recently acquired an additional rope for red pointing. It's an extremely thin, 80-meter single rope. The skinny diameter makes it ideal for when she's going for it on longer sport routes.

 

JOSEPH - ICE AND MIXED CLIMBING

Joseph is not particularly interested in conventional winter sports, such as downhill or cross-country skiing. He prefers to climb twelve months of the year. In the winter, he's often at the icefalls. His motto is "the steeper the better." Mixed routes on north faces do not put him off. Joseph says that ice climbing fascinates him. "It's like rock climbing, only completely different, all at the same time. I like the fact that the ice places great demands on my equipment and me. Constantly evaluating whether the ice will hold and dealing with the wet and the cold are all extra challenges." He is well aware that the type of rope he uses plays a major role in whether he is successful or not. In order to cope with the specific demands of the different types of climbing he's involved in, and to deal with the often wet and difficult conditions, Josef uses lightweight and impregnated single, half and twin ropes.

 

 

MARK - BIG WALLS AND HAULING

Mark is a mountain guide and climbs at a high standard. He's drawn to big walls all over the world. As a self-confessed big-wall fanatic, the idea of spending days up in the wall is something that appeals to him. Mark has already climbed on El Capitan and in the Val di Mello. "Standing at the foot of one of these big walls and looking up is enough to send a cold shiver down your spine." As with most big-wall climbers, he uses single ropes. This applies to both climbing and hauling, although Mark uses a static rope for his haul bag. In order to have maximum safety reserves, he chooses very robust ropes. He is well aware of how dangerous abrasion and sharp edges can be. When selecting his equipment, Mark looks for ropes with a higher sheath proportion that are capable of withstanding a large numbers of falls.

 

THOMAS - INDOOR AND TOP-ROPING

Thomas is hooked. Laura, his girlfriend, introduced him to climbing three months ago and now he's completely addicted. He climbs once or twice a week at the wall. He doesn't yet feel that confident on harder routes and prefers to top-rope them. Nevertheless, he's noticed that climbing regularly has helped him to improve significantly. Laura has a thin single rope, which looks pretty worn from being used at the wall so often. Thomas seizes the opportunity to go and buy his first ever rope.

 

Given the type of climbing he is mainly involved in, a sales assistant advises him to purchase a more robust rope that will last longer. Minimal weight and a dry treatment are not really that relevant for him. However, he does carefully consider the number of falls when selecting his new rope. The climbing wall that Laura and he go to is not more than 20 meters high, so a 50-metre rope is fine.

LIZ - ALPINE CLIMBING

Liz is a confident and experienced climber. She discovered a passion for alpine climbing three years ago. Since then, she has climbed numerous multipitch routes and enjoyed alpine adventures all over Europe. She started with bolted and has now also moved on to trad routes. Her preferred destinations are the Wetterstein Massif and the Dolomites. "That feeling of huge exposure, just you, the rock and your gear – it's really intense."

Liz has a lot of experience and is aware how quickly conditions can change in alpine terrain. Sudden changes in the weather or running out of daylight often mean that a quick retreat is required. She's also seen her fair share of stonefall and potentially sharp edges. In addition, the routes that she chooses to climb often involve a long walk in. As a heavy pack can drain you, she looks to save weight wherever she can. Lightweight half and twin ropes are her preferred option.

HARRY - MOUNTAINEERING AND HIGH-ALPINE

Harry looks to get up in the mountains as much as he can – the whole year round. He's an experienced mountaineer who's climbed big routes in the Western Alps in his day. Sport routes don't really interest him; he prefers to climb in mountain boots not rock shoes. Scrambling on (easier) alpine ridges with sections of climbing – that's what he's after.

Harry is often off on of high-alpine trips and has a thing about glaciers. To make sure that he doesn't end his days stuck in a crevasse somewhere, or in a spectacular fall from a summit ridge, he and his partners are always roped up. He prefers his ropes to be water resistant and as light as possible. He prefers thin single ropes, sometimes in short lengths or occasionally a pair of robust half ropes.