General > Climbing Gear Q & A

New half ropes are different lengths...

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Bilbo:
So I just bought a new pair of half ropes and used them for the first time at Cathedral the other day.  Every belay transition it seemed like when I flaked the ropes across my tie-in prior to bringing up the second, I finished with the orange rope and still had several meters of the blue rope left to flake.  This screwed up my efforts at a neat orderly flake, and when my partner then led out, at some point that extra blue rope was reached in the flake and from there on the rope was not coming out simultaneously from the same flake Ė the orange was always pulling from a flake or two under the blue.

When I got home, I measured both ropes (rather primitively, as I didnít have a long tape, but trying to be as accurate as possible) and found the orange rope to be 60.3m and the blue rope 63.5m!  More than a 10 foot difference!  Yeah, itís nice to get a longer rope than you expect, but when two ropes are meant to be used together it causes problems.

My first thought was OK, Iíll pull and flake 3m of blue first, then flake both together and it should end up even.  However, that creates a similar potential problem when Iím pulling the extra rope up as Iím now pulling from different layers down at my second, although at least its not complicating the leader belay.

Iím surprised at how different the two ropes are!  While I did get the 60m I paid for with each rope, I guess I expected that ropes sold to be used as a pair would at least be pretty close in length.   

Is it worth a call to the manufacturer? Or should I just trim the blue rope to match the orange and avoid the hassle? 

Admin Al:
while I don't see that it would be any problem to trim the ropes to be exactly the same, you may want to give the manufacturer a holler. wouldn't hurt. you are sure that they both are half ropes, right?

strandman:
Who's the MFG ?? I would have them either cut at factory or give you new set, matched  for the price of ropes, they should be PERFECT

Bilbo:
They're Sterling ropes.  I called them today, basically they suggested that if I had access to a hot knife I trim them myself...  The rep did say that he was surprised that a rope that long made it thru quality control.

DLottmann:
Donít trim them, a 10 foot diference is negligible. Have you ever owned/used half ropes before?  It really doesnít matter if they are slightly off... pulling rope a loop or two ahead in a stack should not even be notice-able.... stop being OCD.

EDIT: know which one is longer for setting up raps, better to thread longer rope if it is a stretcher of a rap....

And be glad they are both longer than advertised, as ropes lose length over time (nylon degrades and ropes shorten naturally), so starting off a little longer is a plus...

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