70 meter ropes MANDATORY???? WTF???


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Sport climber
Port Townsend WA
Dec 12, 2012 - 05:43pm PT
One person mentions sport climbing and this becomes a total bitch fest.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
Dec 12, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
I'm with Donini and Riley on this one. F*#k the 70's.


Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Dec 12, 2012 - 06:02pm PT
I climbed the Polish route on the hulk in 3 pitches with no drag thanks to my 80M rope. 80 meters brings you exactly to perfect belay ledges each time. It was effing awesome.

I say bring on the nano-engineered dental floss- 300M of feather weight line that self-untangles, tells you how much rope is left in a sexy voice, and advises you when to runner a piece. I'm going to set all sorts of routes with it, and all of you are going to get panty-twisted all over again.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
Dec 12, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
300m superlightweight? I'm totally into the 250m superlight though, now I have to buy a new 300m?

Captain...or Skully

Dec 12, 2012 - 06:04pm PT

Sport climbing is lame, anyway. Non issue.

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 12, 2012 - 06:04pm PT

I have 50's, 60's and 70's and use each when the situation calls for it...

Claiming one is better than the other seems dumb to me...

Dave Kos

Trad climber
Dec 12, 2012 - 06:33pm PT
I don't think any length can be declared better/worse or optimal. The issue is that there is now a proliferation of climbs and rappels configured for various rope sizes.

When I first started climbing in the early 90's, there was really only one size: 50m. One didn't need to "know" what size rope they needed or were using. The uniformity made things a little simpler.

Rope length is now another parameter that must be known/communicated in guidebooks etc. At a minimum this "problem" will be an occasional inconvenience to most of us, on rare occasions it could be a contributing factor in accidents.

But the genie is out of the bottle. There will never be a "standard" length again, if there ever really was one.

Just pay attention when rapping and lowering, like we all should do anyway.


Dec 12, 2012 - 07:12pm PT
Conspiracy, perhaps?

Mandatory retirement age for judges in PA = 70!

Mandatory IRA distributions = age 70!

Mandatory 70 mpg movements!

And, now, climbing rope length...just sayin.
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Dec 12, 2012 - 08:05pm PT
But for CHP and many other state workers in CA, the retirement age has gone down over time.

Do they use shorter ropes also?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 12, 2012 - 08:12pm PT
My first rope was a 40m Goldline.

When I bought a 90m 9mm Edelrid bicolor in 1974 I felt like Superman.

portland, Oregon
Dec 12, 2012 - 09:25pm PT
Seems to me it all depends. Most of time I have been really happy to climb on a 70. Smith has all these really fun multi-pitch sport routes that you can climb with a rack of draws and a 70 then rap off after after 4-7 pitches of fun. At most of the traditional places I climb ,I like the extra rope to extend a pitch to a nice ledge, link pitches, use the rope for setting up all the anchors or set up a top rope on nearby stuff just to put in some miles. (Guy remember doing all the routes around the great circle on a 70?) On routes that require full length raps to get off, doubles are the tool of choice, although I find them a pain in the rear. For alpine or long routes with plenty of ledges a 60 is great, hell even a 40 would work. Lots of those old routes were put up with a 120 ft goldlines.
Come on up Guy and we can pull out the good stuff.
Credit: Nick

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Dec 12, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
Kris, had you used them on any of the routes in PC that you enjoyed, that would have been the biggest clusterfk and shet wrapped up in the small pinions and other bushes after each pull that, welll ...


I did not suggest using the doubles there. I said "multipitch trad."

McHale and I did use them on 3 Hour Arete (it's what we had,) if you go back and find my post upthread you'll see that we did have a rappel hang up.

Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Dec 12, 2012 - 11:19pm PT
I haven't been climbing so long, but I remember hearing people complaining when ropes norms changed to 50 meters. A lot of people were unhappy when routes that used 60 meters ropes became the norm, but now, just about everyone owns a 60meter. In some places, buying a 50meter rope is almost impossible.

Changes changes changes.


Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2012 - 12:29am PT
Wow... good to see ya Nick and Kris... and everyone else.

So, yes this topic started out as a little bitch of mine. When Kris told me he returned from Pine Creak and had done these fab climbs, but you need to have a 70m ... I started thinking cause its time to purchase a new cord because nobody will use mine! Ropes cost a lot, but I don't mine paying but I don't wish to buy 3 different set ups.

Lots of you have advocated 70 because you can do long pitches, and this is true.... to a point of nonsense.(3,100 ft cord for the Nose)

It was pointed out that a x.x 70m is light.... I agree, how can you argue?

Also, the fact that at Multi-pitch sport areas 70 is standard.

What has not been pointed out is this: Longer pitches means fewer Belays that take up valuable time to set up, break down.

The "cons" seem to be that a 70 will not allow one to do the raps needed.

This is my major issue

So after reading every post I reckon I have learned this:

Not one rope length, or diameter is best, rather different ones will do a better job given the situation.

So that being said, I hope that the folks doing FA's will be kind enuf to inform the public about what length cord they used.

Because it will suck when I try to get off something when I have my 2 70m cords and the FA's used 2x 100m ropes to get down.

Oh yea This is my vote for the best reply to this topic.

the point being missed:
the whole rope this or that is a marketing decoy to get you to buy more and more expensive ropes. You can get an excellent 9.8 60m rope for just under $100. I spent $85 on my last one a month ago. It will be sturdy and wear well. You can get a bicolor double dry 9.8 70m for $250-$290, you will get much less time on it before it wears. I've stopped buying them.

Edit: +1 for doubles


Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Dec 13, 2012 - 01:09am PT
Not a clusterf*#k, a brief delay but less than optimal none the less.

When you rap 3 Hour with a 70, do you rap from the top of the route to the top of P2 in one go? If so the same thing could happen with a 70 as happened to us. One end fell across into the gulley on the far side of the arete and got caught on something there. We never saw what it stuck on because Dan pulled it free with some effort.

We got off in two raps, the top of P2 to the ground pulled easily with a bit of care to avoid the bushes up there.

They are very fun routes and the best way to do them, as designed, is with a 70.

Oh, I'll take a tit over a tat any day..;-)

Social climber
Dec 13, 2012 - 01:13am PT
86 is the new 70.

Yer slackin' with the rope-wah.
Greg Barnes

Dec 13, 2012 - 01:30am PT
Thought this would be about some new runout multipitch slab routes put up with 220' pitches...then it would be "MANDATORY" not just inconvenient...
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 13, 2012 - 01:47am PT
Echoing the right tool for the job riff once again, I remember using my gym rope for a day spent blasting through a couple of different shortie crags on the North shore of Tahoe. It felt awesome to have just the right amount of cord, no more and no less. It was just right for the tallest climbs of around 50 feet high without pulling any cord through for the TR follow. Coiling the rope was cake.

Then again, leading a 70m pitch feels just as awesome as you get lost in the rhythm of climbing.

I went to El Potrero Chico in 2009 and it seemed the majority of climbs were set up to be rapped with a 70m, and linking pitches is pretty much standard.

Other areas pitch out perfectly with a 50m or 60m, especially terraced climbing with scrambling in between.

It just is what is, fellas. It's like complaining about a hammer not being a screwdriver. It depends on whether or not you have nails to pound.

Personally, I'd rather roll with 60m doubles, it solves so many problems. But we Americans have never really adopted that practice, and I'd have to break in too many of my partners to their use. We like our Lone Ranger ropes, our psyche being too much the rugged individualist. Only we can't agree to what size we want that handsome buckaroo to be. Tall drink of water? Short and stout dynamo? Yeah, this length and girth trip we've been exploring here gets... pretty brokeback, wouldn't you say?

Thought this would be about some new runout multipitch slab routes put up with 220' pitches...then it would be "MANDATORY" not just inconvenient...

Good call. That would have moved this bitchy gripe into genuine debate territory ;).

Trad climber
Dec 13, 2012 - 07:34am PT
My 8.1 ropes, 9.2 rope and 10.2 rope are all 70m more wall to cover

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 13, 2012 - 09:29am PT
Use the appropriate length for the climb you're on. More interesting to me have been the advances that have led to smaller diameter ropes. I now use an 8.9 single for sport and a 9.2 for trad multi pitch. Length is all about preference, diameter changes are a function of improved technology.
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