Is this a good deal?

6:35 p.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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I've always been interested in rappelling and I was wondering if this is a good purchase.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280445283030&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

7:13 p.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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Aside from the fact that the bidding is closed, the gear was used. It is generally a very bad idea to buy used climbing gear, especially fabric gear (like the harness, slings, rope, etc). Some clues to the fact that the seller didn't really know what he/she was doing is the reference to the rope as "1/2 inch". Climbing ropes (especially the major manufacturers like Bluewater) give the rope diameters in metric. Years ago when rope sizes were given in English units, the standard was 7/16, which is smaller than 1/2 inch. The equivalent metric size was 11 mm. If the rope were of recent manufacture (less than the 4 year UIAA recommended maximum life when in controlled climate storage), the sizes were anything from a 10.4 down to 9.8 mm, and even smaller for single ropes ("single rope" is a designation of ropes tested to a certain standard to be used as a single rope, as opposed to those to be used as "double ropes" or "half ropes" - you need to get a bit of training to understand the nuances of these definitions, since they apply to different methods of using the rope). It is possible that the rope is a static line, in which case it probably would be 11 mm, which was commonly used for dedicated rappel lines. You would not want to use a static line for climbing, only as a rappel line or as a haul line. But you can't tell from the description.

The metal hardware and gloves might be ok, but the bid price was more than the new price of all the metal combined.

And, of course, you only have the word of the seller, with no chance to have someone very experienced to inspect it beforehand - a seller who appears to have no idea how to judge the condition of the gear.

7:56 p.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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Pay attention to what Bill says. He has many years of experience at this. Just as a sidenote, in 2006, Todd Skinner, a world famous climber, was killed in Yosemite when the old harness he was wearing came apart. I'm not just saying this to scare you, but I hope it does. Old gear can kill even the best climbers.

Do yourself (and your friends and loved ones) a big favor. Save your pennies, look for sales and start with new gear. Take some lessons too. Even new gear won't save you if you don't know how to safely use it.

8:10 p.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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Can you guys tell me what to two smaller ropes in the 5th picture would be used for?

9:55 p.m. on January 7, 2010 (EST)
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Those are cordelettes. They are used for, among other things, setting anchors. You need to get some formal instruction before you even begin to attempt doing that.

Looking again at the photos, I believe the Bluewater rope is one of their static lines, possibly an 11mm, but more likely a 10 mm, and used for dedicated use as a rappel line or haul line. It should not be used for a climbing rope.

1:17 a.m. on January 8, 2010 (EST)
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Maybe if you have a good life insurance policy. Bill said it all. I would never purchase used gear that holds my life in its hands.

September 20, 2014
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