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CHOOSING THE RIGHT ROPE | A fundamental element for climbing and mountaineering

The choice of ropes to practice mountain activities, where it is required, is a very delicate aspect in preparing expeditions, whether they are simple beginners' climbing or alpine travels in Nepal under extreme conditions.

It is precisely the intended use that suggests what type of rope to choose, how much to carry and the relative details. Before going into the various categories, let's see what the different strings on the market are. First of all, it is essential that the rope we are going to use is certified at European level according to the EN 892 standard of directive 89/686 / EEC, which provides that the ropes respect specific parameters such as diameter, strength and elongation. Ropes that do not meet the standards of the regulations are therefore to be avoided in every situation. With this first distinction, we can identify three types of rope on the market:
  • Single ropes, with a diameter of 9.5-10.5 mm, ideal for climbing in the gym and for Falesia.
  • Half or twin strings, with a smaller diameter (8-8.5 mm), ideal for mountaineering, long routes and ice climbing.
The thicker rope is easier to block and allows greater durability over time, so it is more suitable for beginners who are starting their path in climbing; on the contrary, it is difficult to return, so a thinner string will be more manageable but also subject to the user's sensitivity, which must necessarily be more expert. The half-strings are lighter and more versatile, perfect for mountaineering and ice climbing, because they allow rappelling down after the climb; moreover, thanks to the specific water-repellent treatments that are applied on the ropes, they do not absorb water and do not swell, in fact guaranteeing maximum safety even in the most extreme conditions.

As for the length, for indoor climbing you will need about 60 meters of rope, to climb at a cliff about 70-80 meters, for the alpine routes instead the length will have to be chosen based on the shape of the route. Finally, for glacier excursions, the length of the rope, usually thinner (7.5 mm) to privilege lightweight, will depend on the number of people to be attached, thus in steps of 20, 30, 40 meters.


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