Beal Joker 9.1 mm

Reviews

5

Light is right. A very versatile rope. Recently I…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $169

Summary

Light is right. A very versatile rope.

Pros

  • Certified as single, double or twin
  • Thin
  • Light
  • Dry treated sheath

Cons

  • Core not dry treated
  • Lots of stretch
  • Might not work in some devices

Recently I lost 30 or so pounds, so you may ask, “Why do you care what your rope weighs? Now you can carry more stuff easier.”

The answer is, “Because I can.” Would Mallory have worn hobnailed boots and wool if he had been able to wear fleece and nylon? Of course not, light is right.

My main workhorse climbing rope is a 10.2mm monster that is fantastic till I need to carry it. I saw that Beal was making a thin rope that works in single, half or twin configurations and is only 9.1 mm and happened to be on sale so what is a man to do? 


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Can you locate the middle mark? 

9.1 is pretty thin and I was worried that it may not work in my belay device, but no worries, I use an ATC (I have all three styles) so I am good down to 8.0mm or so.  In guide mode the ATC Guide still locks up tight. I am told that some devices may not be compatible with this thinner rope.  Caveat emptor!

The Joker is smooth and has the right amount of flex for me and slides like a greased eel through gear while I am climbing, making things feel even lighter than they are. The bright color shows up well on the snow and the middle mark is visible from a mile away. Of course it shows dirt faster but this is mainly, for me, an alpine rope and I am not working projects with it in the dirt. 


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After this day the rope was dry by the time I got home from laying out in the back seat of my car. The guide I was with was eying it with envy and said it had a good "hand."

The rope as a lot of elongation compared to the 10.2 I usually climb on so care must be taken (the leader must not fall?) when climbing near the deck. Like I said, I am using this rope mainly for the mountains rather than the local sport crag. 

I had to go to thinner cordage to get a prussic to grab well so the smooth sheath must be considered and a Bachman knot is out of the question so it does have its issues but I understand and manage them. 

I hear that older Beal ropes are kink and knot monsters capable of creating a perfect Turk’s Head while hanging in a stiff breeze, but I see no such vices in the Joker.   

A good rope for those who:

Want one rope to serve all three configurations (single, double, twin). One rope to rule them all!

Like yellow.

Want a lighter rope so they can carry more food (or booze, let’s be honest).

Can’t afford a $250 rope.

Climb mountains but have a double dry rope for extended wet trips.

Need all the help they can get to reach that next climbing grade.

Jake W

169!? Did you swindle an old man to get that price. Didn't your mother teach you about stealing from the elderly? Great price, where'd ya get it?


11 months ago
FromSagetoSnow

Jake, I can't divulge my secret negotiating strategies, out of respect for the victims ;) Mountaingear.com had them on clearance last year. I think the bright color made it a slow seller. I get a lot of ugly gear on clearance come to think of it.


11 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

I've never rappelled a 9mm rope. I think I would be terrified of losing control (but I am probably the wimpiest rope user you'll ever meet).


11 months ago
Jake W

Man, people care about the colour of their rope now? Guess you can laugh your way to the bank with the money they just saved ya. Is it a 60m?


11 months ago
Jake W

Goose-I agree that for anything with exposed rock, I'd be more confident with a 10.2mm, but for the uses Jeff desribes, this is hard to beat (although Id love to see a dry coated sheath for wet ice climbing pursuits).


11 months ago
FromSagetoSnow

Jake, its a 60m. Goose, no worries about rappelling, its a 9.1 mm not a 9.0mm, WAY bigger ;)


11 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

Sorry, I forgot how much difference 0.1mm makes when your life is on the line. :P


11 months ago