Climbing ropes are interesting things. Not only is a climbing rope a piece of safety gear, but it is also considered a piece of performance gear. As climbers, we demand that our climbing rope be durable and shock absorbing to better save us in case we fall, as well as desire that the rope be supple, light, and skinny so it will assist us with our onsite or redpoint. The dual nature of climbing ropes makes it so that there are countless different ropes made for all types of climbing: indoor, outdoor, sport, trad, ice, alpine, etc on single, half, or twin ropes that can be static or dynamic. All of the combinations can be mind boggling!
As a climber, your friends will always ask you, “What is the best rope that I should buy?” In fact, you even wonder that yourself. With all the different brands and models of ropes, the “simple” action of buying a climbing rope does become mind-boggling. Won’t just any rope get the job done? Aren’t all the fancy features that make one rope different to another just personal preference?
When you look at a climbing rope as a piece of performance gear, then yes, most of the distinguishing features found on today’s ropes cater to the endless line of personal preferences. However, when you look at a climbing rope as a piece of safety gear, there are some standard features that every climber’s rope should possess. Some of these features would include low impact force, high strength and durability, and no sheath slippage.