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Light simulclimb short rope

Looking for recommendation for safety on class 3-4 hikes. Backpacking in for summit day, so I don't want weight of my 11 mm. Thinking either 7.7-8mm used single or possible 9mm. Either way, will likely cut to 30m, but still bemoaning the weight. Heaviest "climber" will be about 180 w gear. Any suggestions?

It is unclear how you intend to use this rope to arrest slips and falls.  If you are not constructing belay stations, the rope may actually increase risk, as the “catcher” will be pulled off his stance by the force of the climber falling.  And we assume you are using harnesses…

Other than icy slopes I don't think I have ever used a rope to scamper up a summit.  But if you need you need such protection, the 11mm is the way to go, as most smaller ropes are designed to arrest slips on slopes, not true falls such as what one may sustain from a bolder or greater distance.  You also don't state how many are sharing the rope.  A 30m rope will force you to move slowly or execute running belays.  I am guessing members of the party involved do not have rope experience, in which case the short rope may impose additional challenges.


Harnesses?? -- we don't need no stickin' harnesses. We'll just run the rope tail through our belt loops and tie with a granny -- saving even more weight  :))

Seriously though: Yes, we'll bring the harnesses. I've got some light alpine ones that don't add much to the weight.

There will be three in the party and two have climbing experience. The rope is mainly for my teen son who has "issues" with exposure. I was thinking about the shorter rope mainly because it seems that when we're on Class 4 stretches, the climbing path ends up being so circuitous and there are so many protrusions (which is why it's easy to climb) that the rope easily gets caught and the rope drag becomes an issue.

But I have to agree with you: that one time we really need the rope and a fall happens, I'll probably be much happier having schlepped an 11mm to 12K-feet, rather than watching an 8mm stretch to the thickness of paracord.

Thanks for the feedback.

You can find 30m ropes online for cheap.  I'd stick to 8mm and bigger just b/c its easier to grab and pull on.

Ed makes a good point about directly belaying a following climber.  Some cheap nylon slings might be good to toss over a rock so you dont get jerked off your perch if your 2nd falls.  Better to belay off an anchor. 

I bet though that, after a few creep-outs from exposure, you will quit belaying 3rd-4th class stuff altogether and just go slow and take your time.  The expoure-panic should subside pretty soon and you'll just climb through it. 

My 2 cents. 

I agree with Ed. A good that can catch a real fall is a must. There is a single rope under 9mm out there, I think sterling makes it. As for the leader being pulled off by the fall off a second there are ways to minimize some of that. If you want to know send me a personal message, it's not something Id post online for everyone to get. You'll have to use some good judgement. Have a good one and be safe.

October 30, 2020
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