On " 9mm" Rope

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On " 9mm" Rope

Postby chaz » Sep 7, 2005 12:22 am

I have always climbed on 11mm rope. Now I'm interested in trying out 9mm to lighten the load. I can see the obvious need to avoid abrasion with a smaller rope, but what other differences do I need to be aware of? Is it a faster rappel? Will there be more bounce on the ascent?
Any personal experience, warnings, or suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Chaz
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Postby Scott McCrea » Sep 7, 2005 8:10 am

Chaz,

Your rappels will be faster on smaller diameter rope. It is possible that your normal rappel device will not offer enough friction. For instance, if you normally rap on 11mm with a 6 bar rack with spacers, it's possible that this will not give you enough friction to control your rappel. Try it in a controlled situation first.

You will bounce more on smaller rope. There is slightly more stretch on smaller rope.

Your rigging needs to be immaculate. Using proper knots that are dressed properly. Using good rope pads in appropriate places. The smaller the rope, the less margin for error.

All that being said, 9mm is a great way to save space and weight. And it's cheaper. :wink:
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Postby Buford Pruitt » Sep 7, 2005 4:14 pm

I understand that European cavers regularly use 9mm (and also 8mm), with rebelays, of course.

I have a 10mm rope and barely notice the difference between it and my other, 11mm ropes.
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9mm Rope

Postby speleophysics » Sep 7, 2005 5:08 pm

9mm can give you a good savings on weight (20-30%), and actually often makes for smoother (though faster) rappells. I agree with Scott though that you do have to be more careful with rigging. Europeans (and expedition cavers) routinely use 9mm, but they rig with rebelays and redirects so that the rope never touches the rock.

A 9mm rope is plenty strong, but is more susceptible to damage by rubbing. I would use it mainly for situations where you can rig without rub, or with very well placed pads, or for short in-cave drops where the weight savings makes a big difference. I have also found that 9mm is great for pulldown trips. Most rub occurs during ascending so you don't have to worry about it much...and it's nice not to have to drag all that 11mm through those wet belly crawls!

P.S. How's Arkansas? I'm also an Arkansas caver, currently in exile in California.
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Postby chaz » Sep 7, 2005 11:00 pm

Thanks Guys!
I'll Start out on something short an sweet, and I'll definitely watch my rigging and pads. Thanks again! Chaz
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Postby filox1 » Sep 9, 2005 7:14 pm

Hey Chaz...
Two words, rebelays and redirects, if you are care full and avoid all friction you should be all right, also not for big drops IMHO.

Cheers.
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Re: 9mm Rope

Postby cob » Sep 10, 2005 10:20 am

mdcovin wrote:P.S. How's Arkansas? I'm also an Arkansas caver, currently in exile in California.


We're all missing you. Any chances any time soon to see you once again in our hills and hollers?
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Postby speleophysics » Sep 12, 2005 3:16 pm

We're all missing you. Any chances any time soon to see you once again in our hills and hollers?


I'll be back for a bit around Christmas...wanna go map and push Never Never Land? It's been too long since I've been in the Bowl.

Matt
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Postby cob » Sep 13, 2005 7:01 pm

[/quote]

I'll be back for a bit around Christmas...wanna go map and push Never Never Land? It's been too long since I've been in the Bowl.

Matt[/quote]

Hmmmmm.... Bowlin' at Christmas? I could be talked into that! But better not invite Tom L.... Last time he couldn't fit.(HA HA... His girl freind did!!!)
WAY too long for me.

tom
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