rope warning fake climbing rope

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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby Extremeophile » Jun 20, 2011 3:35 pm

Extremeophile wrote:
caverdan wrote:Looks like loaner rope to me..... :big grin: :big grin: :big grin: :big grin: :big grin: :yikes:

All this talk about the fact that experienced cavers could never possibly mistake this as "real" rope is interesting. I certainly hope people don't seriously believe anyone that isn't experienced enough to know the difference deserves to be injured or killed. I know of at least one serious injury (broken back) that was the result of using a clothes line as a hand line.

Dan, was it not recently discovered that kernmantle "tow rope" had been rigged in Narrows cave? I understood that it looked like 11 mm climbing rope on the outside, but that the core was some sort of multi-colored filament. Apparently the core had failed and only the sheath was holding the thing together. When they replaced the rope it was discovered that it wasn't a proper rope. I believe I used it myself just a month ago and nothing appeared unusual.

To follow-up on my own post... I think there's also a risk out there when it comes to the use of "hand lines". Seems to me that there's a tendency to go with less than optimal materials or rigging when the intended use isn't full SRT. I think the materials and rigging should reflect the worst-case scenario in a failure, e.g. if someone is using a hand line to cross a ledge spanning a 80' pit, then the rigging should probably be full strength. I've seen a number of such traverses rigged with a single spit on each end... maybe not enough to support a 200 lb person shock-loading the anchor. Perhaps this should be another topic though.
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby NZcaver » Jun 20, 2011 4:08 pm

jsteve068 wrote:
Anonymous_Coward wrote:I for one thank Steve for bringing this to our attention. Hopefully it really will be a "non-issue" for all of us.

Thanks thats exactly what i wanted to get across

The majority of responses in this topic (from several different people) appreciate your bringing this to our attention.

Did you buy it from a local brick-and-mortar store, or online? Is there a reason why you haven't posted a link to the product and/or named the source? :question:
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby wyandottecaver » Jun 20, 2011 5:35 pm

Just to add (hopefully in a positive manner) to the discussion:

Like NZ I saw the thread on this a while back. The critical point (beside it not being life rated) is that unlike many earlier kernmantle ropes this carries the identical color/tracer patterns commonly seen in PMI and other caving ropes.

I consider myself a rope nerd. I have THOUSANDS of feet from virtually every major maker from PMI, New England, Highline, CMC, Bluewater, Mammut, Sterling.... and types like static, semi-static, polyester, kevlar, twill weave...you get the idea.

I have seen this rope and it's scary.

They sell this rope at my local Orschelins farm store. It looks EXACTLY like PMI. The outer sheath appears to be standard nylon with a normal kernmantle weave. I didn't do a direct handling comparison, but if I saw it in a cave I wouldn't think twice about rigging in. It does bear a lil blue tag saying "not for life support applications" That tag would last 10 minutes in a cave.

To illustrate the point others have made...1) once rigged, this stuff does not scream bad rope to anyone 2)*some* cavers are knowledgeable about ropes. I have watched an experianced vertical caver with hundreds of drops (who usually rappelled on other's ropes) come to me all excited about buying a new cave rope....a very soft, bouncy, abrasion-prone Petzl rope.........It had Petzl on the tag so it was OK for "dangle n drop" caving right?

FYI while examining this "farm store" rope, a couple walked up and proceeded to get some....then looked at me critically examining it (suspected rope nerd) and asked if I thought it would work for hanging a tire swing. I replied with a probably too long explantion of the clearly listed working load (around 200lb), bouncing stresses, UV light etc (confirmed rope nerd) and said as long as the tire was low to the ground and they had skinny kids it should be ok. They then bought a poly rope with a working load 1/3 LESS.........
Last edited by wyandottecaver on Jun 20, 2011 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby NZcaver » Jun 20, 2011 5:44 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:FYI while examining this "farm store" rope, a couple walked up and proceeded to get some....then looked at me critically examining it and asked if I thought it would work for hanging a tire swing. I replied with a probably too long explantion of the clearly listed working load (around 200lb), bouncing stresses, UV light etc and said as long as the tire was low to the ground and they had skinny kids it should be ok. They then bought a poly rope with a working load 1/3 LESS.........

You can try to educate, but as the saying goes sometimes you just can't fix stupid...
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Jun 20, 2011 6:21 pm

Marduke wrote:
As for this rope, anyone who is so full of themselves that they feel they don't need to learn what real climbing rope is, they deserve their fate. Natural selection always wins...


It is this type of statement that I find smug and elitist. I'm not quite as willing to dish out death and judgement. I just found your replies to Steve to be a bit terse that's all, try not to get too worked up about it. Just funnin', you know. :tonguecheek:

As far as where my attitude comes from? Well, I was born with that. There's no fixin' it, kind of like stupid. :shrug:
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby Chads93GT » Jun 20, 2011 7:38 pm

jsteve068 wrote:bought a couple of pcs of rope at at hardware / wholesale place . looks just like static rope
until you push the sheath back then you see the core is loose fibers ( one looks like blue paper towel twisted together.
they have this rope in many sizes and all popular climbing rope colors and marking . put it side by side your good rope it looks identical.

Image Image Image


Ever since I first saw these photos I thought that the rope didnt look right. If they are trying to imitate PMI EZ bend they didn't do a very good job. The pattern is all wrong. I am a novice and I caught that. These ropes really feel identical to EZ bend ropes when you flop them around and what not?
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby wyandottecaver » Jun 20, 2011 8:39 pm

I found the post I and NZ remembered: (Links aren't current)

Rope and other kinds of rope
by Ernie Coffman » Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:01 pm

This was just posted for the WR and Diablo Grotto, so...maybe this is what you purchased:Atwood Rope Mfg. Co. is a company that I have known about for about 15
years. I first saw their booth display in a Las Vegas in (circa)1990. The
display caught my eye since it appeared as if they were retailers of every
rope that we commonly use. i.e. PMI, Bluewater, New England, Columbia,
Sterling, etc. etc. 7/16" rope sold for 3 Cents a foot. It caught my eye.
Talking to the owner, I discovered the rope was only made to look like the
major brands. The owner told me how he made the sheath to look like many of
the real brands, but the core was only stuff with carpet yarns and polyester
stuffing which had little to no strength integrity.

I thought they had gone away until a few weeks ago while in Pigeon Forge,
low and behold I spy a huge display of Atwood rope. 100 feet for $9.95
(3/8"). They had on display an attempt at PMI's "Old Glory" and 100's of
other appearing to look like kernmantle knock offs.

I had a sample at TAG and a few folks got a chance to look and feel at this
pretend rope. There is a sticker on it that states it is utility rope and
not meant for life support. ...That it can only support 120 lbs safely... Of
course, after the tag gets torn off, who would know.

I spoke with Steve Hudson (PMI's President) and he shared with me that this
guy has done nothing legally wrong by copying the rope sheath pattern.

So all that we can do is be warned. It is out there. Pretend Rope. Be
careful, Always know the history and all there is to know about the ropes
you are hanging from.

Here is a Web site that has their rope for sale.
http://www.northernmountain.com/detail/PA10047 for the rope and this one
http://www.northernmountain.com/detail/PA10046 for the 'sports pack' look at
this link.. it is Atwood's site. http://www.atwoodrope.com/ definitely look
at the photo, scroll down for it all!!!

Be careful and cave with your own rope.

Bruce Bruce@onrope1.com
(posted on TAG-Net)

Thanks Bruce for sharing what you found. I've been looking at some of this stuff at Wally World, Fred Meyers, and other a sundry places...and thought better of it, naturally, but...it does look good. Even some of the sports stores are carrying some of this junk. It says it's a utility rope and that it is, but...it looks so nice. Ernie Coffman
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby pub » Jun 20, 2011 9:19 pm

Thanks for finding that wyandottecaver. This could be the same Atwood company: http://www.atwoodrope.net/
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby caverdan » Jun 21, 2011 8:49 am

Extremeophile wrote:Dan, was it not recently discovered that kernmantle "tow rope" had been rigged in Narrows cave? I understood that it looked like 11 mm climbing rope on the outside, but that the core was some sort of multi-colored filament. Apparently the core had failed and only the sheath was holding the thing together. When they replaced the rope it was discovered that it wasn't a proper rope. I believe I used it myself just a month ago and nothing appeared unusual.


Talk to Marty since she replaced it.....but I believe it was reported wrong and this was not the case. :off topic:
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jun 22, 2011 4:28 pm

Marduke wrote:Since when does knowledge and experience mean smug and elite? This is the same anti-science and anti-education sentiment you see in the general public.

No, it isn't. You're missing the point. Andy isn't saying you're smug and elite because you're smart. He's saying it because you were inflammatory language deleted extremely rude to the OP. These are very different things, and you are obviously smart enough to know the difference.

I, too, have found myself using, in a life-support situation, a permanently-rigged rope that I didn't trust. After completing a traverse across a 155 foot pit, and finding some sketchy knots on the other side, I examined the core of the rope where it had been cut... and I was no longer certain that I'd trusted my life to a "real" kernmantel rope. Even worse was the fact that I would have to use that rope again to exit the cave. I don't know who put it there, but SOMEONE did, and that someone bought their rope SOMEWHERE, and for all I know it was a hardware store, and for all I know they didn't realize this isn't OK. Based on the knots that were tied at the far end of the traverse, the rope wasn't placed by a knowledgeable rigger. Since the rigging looked fine on the near end, and the carrier in the rope sheath was a standard color, I had no reason to suspect it.

So, no, it's most certainly not a "non-issue," unless you like to imagine that everyone who enters caves is well-trained, knows exactly what they're doing, and has ponied up the cash to buy The Good Stuff.
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby rlboyce » Jun 23, 2011 11:23 am

So what's the general recommendation then? Is there a way to avoid getting on inadequate rope? What checks need to occur before you know it's safe to use? What do you do if you are unable to perform one of these unnecessary checks? Don't chance it, turn around and go home?
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby cavedoc » Jun 23, 2011 12:17 pm

rlboyce wrote:So what's the general recommendation then?


Buy from a reputable dealer? If a deal is too good to be true, it's probably not? Look to see who the manufacturer is (allegedly). In this case the rope is dressed as reputable rope but at least it's not labeled as such.

In the cave...boy, that's harder. Easy to say you should get the beta on what ropes are fixed and who put them in but that's not always realistic. And who's to say that someone hasn't changed them out. Some paranoia about ropes you find in caves is justified.

PMI ropes (maybe others too, I don't know) have a tracer inside them with year of manufacturer. If you can cut off a few inches you can see who really made somehting. If you find paper or wool yarn in the process then you already have your answer.
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby wyandottecaver » Jun 23, 2011 4:39 pm

it is common among rescue folks but almost unheard of among recreational cavers, but I use plastic heat shrink tubing and clear whip end dip to mark all my ropes. A 1 X 3 inch label wrapped around the rope near the end.

I list the maker, length, year purchased, and any unusual data such as if it has a polyester core or sheath. Not only is it handy for me when sorting through bins full of rope, but for permanent in-cave ropes the basic data is there for anyone to see.
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby Marduke » Jun 23, 2011 5:44 pm

I guess it's the rescue mentality, if you didn't put it there or know who did, you don't use it!
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Re: rope warning fake climbing rope

Postby Scott McCrea » Jun 23, 2011 6:16 pm

Marduke wrote:...if you didn't put it there or know who did, you don't use it!

:exactly:
Depending on the situation.
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