Beal Joker 9.1 mm
Current Retail: $199.99-$299.95
Historic Range: $120.22-$329.99
Reviewers Paid: $169.00
Light is right. A very versatile rope.
- Certified as single, double or twin
- Dry treated sheath
- 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?
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.
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!
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.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $169