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Beal Joker 9.1 mm

photo: Beal Joker 9.1 mm dynamic rope

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.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $169

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Specs

Price Current Retail: $188.99-$289.95
Historic Range: $120.22-$329.99
Reviewers Paid: $169.00
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