In climbing and repelling, the rope is your lifeline. Understanding rope characteristics will help you choose the right one.
has the ability to stretch when a load is applied allowing the rope to absorb
some of the force during a fall.
generally does not stretch when loaded; used for repelling, rescues and rope
How It's Made
Most modern climbing ropes have a kernmantle construction consisting of an interior core (kern) that is protected by a braided exterior sheath (mantle). This design optimizes strength, durability and flexibility.
protects the rope from cuts and abrasions.
supports the load, bearing the climber’s weight.
- Fibers are spun or bunched into yarns
- Yarns are twisted into strands
- Strands are twisted forming the core
- Sheath is woven around the core
ΔL = change in rope length
L 0 = initial rope length
ΔL = 0.2m
L 0 = 1.0m
This is the ratio of fall length to the rope length. It is used to estimate the severity of a fall.
FF = fall length/ rope length
FF = 4m/ 10m = 0.4m
Rope friction is created any time the rope is in contact with itself, the rock, or a piece of gear and prevents the rope from elongating over its entire length. Thus, only the effective rope length (solid line) will absorb the energy of the fall.
* Climbers choose a half-rope system to reduce the amount of rope friction on a
Water Knot: used to join two pieces of webbing.
Figure Eight Follow Through: a simple, reliable knot most commonly used to tie in to a climbing harness.
Double Fisherman’s Knot: used to join two ends of a line to form a loop or to join two climbing ropes.
Clove Hitch: a good binding knot when constant pressure is maintained.
Safety Knot: prevents the end of a rope from sliding through a piece of gear or another knot.