Climbing Ropes - Types
There are many methods on how to categorize Climbing Ropes. This section covers the different types of ropes which indicate the type of test performed. In a single rope test, an 80kg weight is attached to a 2.5 meter rope, and the weight will be dropped 4.8 meters. On the other hand, a half-rope test is made by attaching a 55kg weight to a 2.5 meter rope, and the weight is dropped 4.8 meters.
Know more about the different types of ropes in our Climbing Techniques - Single, Double, and Twin Rope Systems
Single ropes are the most common type of ropes used and can be used for most conditions. The main advantage of using this type is the simple rope handling. However, it can only be used on routes up to a half rope length high, with subsequent Lowering
Twin ropes must only be used in pairs and are clipped together into each piece of protection, as with single rope technique. The two ropes offer redundancy and thus, increased safety in the case of shock loading over a sharp edge. They are especially suited for alpine climbing or in routes where retreat may be necessary. They offer the highest safety margin and allow full length rappels.
Half (double) Ropes
As far as strength and weight are concerned, Half Ropes lie between Single and Twin Ropes. They only offer standard safety when they are used as a pair. In Half Ropes, you have the choice between twin rope technique, where both ropes run parallel through the protection, and half rope technique, where the "left" and "right" ropes run separately through different protection points. This technique allows friction to be reduced in the case where protection points are widely spread and reduces impact force. This is of benefit when climbing traditionally protected routes. A belay method which enables the independent control of each rope must be used.
Each type of Climbing Rope has its own features, advantages, and uses. Assess your climbing needs and make sure that your Climbing Rope is designed for the type of climbing that you are interested in.