Climbing Ropes are used in a variety of climbing, such as sport, rock, ice and mountaineering. They come in a variety of lengths and diameters, which affect the weight accordingly.
Dynamic vs Static Rope
In general, there are two types of ropes, Dynamic and Static ropes. Dynamic ropes are used for climbing while Static ropes are suitable for abseiling, rappelling where lowering a load is the objective, in situations such as rescue operations or caving.
A Dynamic rope is named as such due to its elasticity and this stretch allows the rope to absorb a portion of the impact in the case of a fall, for instance, reducing the shock load on the climber and the belayer. Static ropes are not designed to stretch and if mistakenly used as a climbing rope to stop a fall quickly, can create a heavy impact to the climber, leading to injury.
Usage of climbing ropes in Singapore
In Singapore, most gyms provide climbing ropes for gym users. Should you decide to purchase your own, for indoor and outdoor climbing, the most commonly used ropes are single ropes, with diameters ranging from 8.5-11mm, and with varying lengths, 40m being the most common length for indoor gyms and 70m being the recommended length for outdoor climbs. Thinner ropes are generally favoured for multi-pitch climbs for its reduced weight, though thinner ropes also mean less strength tolerance to sustain hard falls and provide less friction through the belay device.
It is important not to use the wrong types of ropes, understand the characteristics of the rope as well as rope dimension and length to avoid causing harm. Rope care should be exercised — avoid exposing your ropes to the elements of the weather or harsh chemicals or other contamination and clean ropes after use to prevent grit or dust from getting in, to preserve the lifespan of your ropes. Inspect your ropes for cuts, abrasion, tears, deformations etc, and retire old ropes when necessary.