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Author Topic: Rope question  (Read 692 times)

icenbike

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Rope question
« on: October 26, 2006, 08:58:58 AM »

Hello,

I am a new ice climber of about 3 years. I was in EMS the other day and they had this rope on sale.

http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_detail_square.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442107901&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302875256&bmUID=1161867012251

I told them that I was only using it for ice climbing and if it would be a good rope for what I was doing. They told me it was perfect for ice climbing and when I got home and checked the web site it says sport and rock climbing. Any info from any of you would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time,
Scott
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Dave

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 10:07:40 AM »

Icenbike, IMHO not a good choice for Ice only because it is not a dry rope. I would try and return it. My oppinion, the extra cost of dry ropes is not worth it for rock but they are a good choice for ice. Beware when asking advice at REI or EMS because most of thier employees have no clue what they are talking about unless you are dealing with the EMS in N. Conway. I live near the REI in Reading mass and have been shocked at some of the advice I have heard being given to customers in thier climbing dept. It's was obvious that the sales person didn't even climb!!!  Dave R

IME, Raged Mtn. or the EMS in Conway will give good advice if you need it.
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Stickyfingerz

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 10:33:58 AM »

Icenbike,

Sorry dude, you got hosed. Up until a week and a half ago I worked for EMS, and that's probably the worst ice climbing rope that the company currently sells. Heavy, no middle mark, no dry coating, and a high impact force. When I was working, I'd sell that rope exclusively as a toprope/sport climbing work rope. It's cheap and you can beat it up, but it just barely meets UIAA standards. If I were you, I'd march back in there, receipt in hand, express your dissatisfaction, demand your money back, and take your business elsewhere.

It's sad to say, but this appears to be the direction that EMS is heading in. I returned from a vacation in Yosemite, to find out I was fired after 5+ years of full-time employment, by a new manager who had worked with me for 3 weeks, because I was too, "old EMS." Apparently, he decided that I was not, "passionate enough about the American Eagle direction that the company is headed in," and saw fit to show me the door with no specific explanation or offer of severance.

Suffice to say, I won't be giving them any more of my dollars, and for the first time in my life, I'm encougaging others to make their outdoor purchases elsewhere.

Icenbike, good luck with your rope search. If I were you, I'd look for a drycoated, skinny single or a pair of doubles.

Todd T.
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icenbike

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 11:19:45 AM »

Thanks for the info.
Stickyfingerz, When you say skinny single what size would be a good one to look into? I have been really thinking of going with doubles and think maybe I should just go that way. Also what size would be good for doubles?

Thanks again,
Scott
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Dave

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 11:57:06 AM »

I like the Sterling 8.8's for doubles and the 10.2 for a single. Good luck! Dave
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Stickyfingerz

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 12:19:56 PM »

I bought a Bluewater Lightning Pro for use as an ice and trad lead line. It's a 9.7, but what I really liked about it was the 7.8kN impact force rating. I figure that the stretchier the rope, the better chance that crappy screw and screamer might actually stay in the ice. It's NOT good for toproping however, since you need to get up 15-20ft before you escape the rope-stretch ground fall zone.  :o

I'd suggest you figure out your priorities (ie. impact force vs weight vs durability, etc.) and then check out the various ropes' stats to see what fits your criteriea.
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redpoint73

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 02:31:34 PM »

IMHO, dry ropes are a must for ice.  Without it, it will take no time for your rope to get soaked, then freeze up into an unusable cable when the temps drop.  Especially an issue in New England, where you are often faced with wet conditions at lunchtime, and dropping temps in the afternoon.

Take it back to EMS and tell them you bought it solely on bad advice from their employee.  They screwed you and they should fix it.  Worst case, sell it on eBay, Craigs List, or you local gym.  You shouldn't have a problem getting rid of it.

I use the Beal Ice Lines.  They are super skinny at 8.1mm, with a ridiculous low impact force of 4.9 kN.   Impact force is absolutely a factor with ice screws, and Beal designed the Ice Lines with this specifically in mind.

I use the Beal Flyer for sport and TR ice.  Its 10.2mm which is a good "working rope" diameter.  Beal has a "Golden Dry" finish (both sheath AND core are dry treated) as an option on the Flyer, and standard on the Ice Lines.  A couple other rope manufacturers offer this as well, and I would consider it for ice.
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DLottmann

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2006, 05:55:06 PM »

I bought a Bluewater Lightning Pro for use as an ice and trad lead line.

I love this rope as well.  Great handling and size for ice and trad.  Doubles are a bit specalized, and require good rope management.

As for the comments made about EMS I'ld like to throw my two cents in.  I started working for the company in 94', and after a few years I saw it going the direction of LL Bean and "American Eagle".  Too many "Mountain Flannels" and not enough tech gear.  I left, and came back in 2001.  I worked in the Salem and Newington stores, before moving up to North Conway.  I work for the Climbing School and Customer Service now, so I feel I've got a good idea of the direction the company is going, and it is not toward AE.  We carry more tech clothes now than ever, I can actually out-fit my rack with the pro I want without going across the street, though I still like that place alot.  Most people don't know EMS bought it self out from its parent company "American Retail Group" a few years ago, specifically because the higher ups did not like the direction we were being forced to go in.  Our new CEO is moto towards getting the company back to its roots and I think it has shown.  Things take time though.  Not every one of our 74 stores is going to have a climber wiz working at it, but we are staffing our Customer Service line with AMGA Certified Climbing Guides.  If you have a technical question you can call anytime and ask to speak to someone who spends close to 200 days a year trashing our gear.

As for your rope package Scott, you are welcome to return it.  Though for $108 for a Mammut rope and rope bag at the 20% off sale, that is a bargain on a new rock rope.  If you have no need for a new rock rope bring it back and leave with the Lighting Pro, it's a great single rope for ice.

Dave

edited for grammer/spelling
« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 06:00:15 PM by DMan »
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icenbike

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2006, 11:03:48 AM »

Well first off I want to thank all of you for the information you gave. You are always there when a question arises.

I also want to thank DMan. With me EMS has always did the right thing if a problem occurs. I shop there a lot and just about every time I do get to talk to someone who knows the products and area. So again thank you NEClimbs and thank you EMS.

Scott
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Admin Al

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2006, 11:38:12 AM »

Scott,

thanks, that's exactly why the site is here.

-al
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2006, 11:44:47 AM »

EMS has allways been a good store to me. Killer sales!! I know when i go through the door of my local store that I know much more about the climbing gear than the staff does but so what?  I have been climbing longer than many of these kids have been alive but they need a job too. Do your reaserch, read books. know for instance that you need a dry rope for Ice climbing before you walk through the door. It is not the job of a store clerk to teach you how to climb.
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Stickyfingerz

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2006, 02:06:39 PM »

As for the comments made about EMS I'ld like to throw my two cents in.  I started working for the company in 94', and after a few years I saw it going the direction of LL Bean and "American Eagle".  Too many "Mountain Flannels" and not enough tech gear.  I left, and came back in 2001.  I worked in the Salem and Newington stores, before moving up to North Conway.  I work for the Climbing School and Customer Service now, so I feel I've got a good idea of the direction the company is going, and it is not toward AE.  We carry more tech clothes now than ever, I can actually out-fit my rack with the pro I want without going across the street, though I still like that place alot.  Most people don't know EMS bought it self out from its parent company "American Retail Group" a few years ago, specifically because the higher ups did not like the direction we were being forced to go in.  Our new CEO is moto towards getting the company back to its roots and I think it has shown.  Things take time though.  Not every one of our 74 stores is going to have a climber wiz working at it, but we are staffing our Customer Service line with AMGA Certified Climbing Guides.  If you have a technical question you can call anytime and ask to speak to someone who spends close to 200 days a year trashing our gear.

I don't want to totally hijack this thread and turn it into an EMS bashing/defending argument a la the bolting discussions. I'll just say my piece and be done with it, if you want more details feel free to PM me.

Firstly, I won't argue with anything that DMan has said about the company. Indeed I think that of the major retailers, EMS has the best selection of climbing gear available. This year specifically has been the best I've seen in the past 5yrs I worked for the company. You can often enough find what you're looking for, get decent info, and their pricing is always competetive.

[rant on]
That said, I won't support a company that fires longtime, dedicated employees without cause. After devoting years of my life and generating thousands of dollars in sales for EMS, I was terminated without any discussion or written review. There was no warning, no offer of transfer to another location, no 2-week severance, just a, "please turn in your keys, here's your vacation time paid out." I'm sorry, but after acting as manager for three months while the corporate folks found an external candidate to hire, only to be fired by him for no specific reason, within less than a month of his entering our store, just rubs me the wrong way.

I can't really speak to the AE comment, that was just a direct quote of some of the vague BS that he gave for firing me. There are many sources of outdoor gear including big retailers, specialty shops, and websites. Personally, I feel that a company's values, including how it treats its employees, is as important a factor as price and selection when I choose who to buy from.

Certainly, there are lot's of good people who currently work for EMS. Many of them are my friends. I just feel like people need to know what values they're supporting when they choose to support any given corporation.   
[/rant off]

As I said before, please feel free to PM me if you have further questions.

Best wishes for fun, happy, and safe climbing everyone.

Todd Townsend
Somerville, MA
former Assistant Manager, EMS Comm Ave, Boston

(edited for spelling)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 12:38:57 PM by Stickyfingerz »
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Pete.

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2006, 11:48:15 AM »

Dear Icenbike,

I would also like to offer a suggestion. I got this thread from Dman and I also work for EMS in North Conway. I would like to say that you should go back to the store you got that from and ask to see the Manager on Duty and explain the situation. I don't want to see the associate get into any trouble, but the key moto for EMS is Customer Satisfaction. As an assistant, I would like to know of this problem so that I could address it to the employee and make sure his/her product knowledge was sufficient to sell the correct rope the first time. I do believe that in the climbing world, it would be in the climber's best interest to do research, but sometimes you do so much,  you miss the obvious questions that are more important, IE: Dry rope for ice climbing.

Pete
North Conway.
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icenbike

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2006, 07:06:24 PM »

Hey Pete,

Thanks for the info. I understand I should go back to that EMS but I am much closer to the one in Peterbrough. I also understand that I as a climber should do resarch which I did and I know I should have a dry rope for ice climbing. I do know that this was some of my fault beacuse I should have looked at the specs and features on this rope but when the guy told me it was great for ice climbing I assumed that it was a dry rope. My bad for assuming.

My leason from this is even if you are told by someone that something is good for what you want to do, double check for your self. Look at the black and white to make sure.

Thanks again,
Scott
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bluesnpolitics

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Re: Rope question
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2006, 02:54:11 AM »

I currently work at the Comm ave store (for now). Yes we are the biggest climbing store in Boston and have the largest selection of gear, but that doesn't mean the associates know what they are talking about. I consistently get asked what a "quick-draw" is by people that I work with. There are a couple of people that are serious and know their stuff, but it should be a general rule NEVER to trust a salesperson (EMS or any store) for life or death info.
If you want info about gear call up to the EMS climbing school. They, unlike the majority of salespersons, have a ton of first hand knowledge. The guides in Conway are second to none and are usually happy to talk. I have happily bought many items on their advice.
DrewD
PS— maybe it's just our store, but I second Todd. Maybe not AE, but definitely ski market at best. I'll leave it at that since this is about advice in general and not ems is specific.
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