Feeling restless while in Covid-19 lock-down? Inspect Your Rope!
Are you looking for something to do while staying home? Take this time to inspect your climbing rope! Now is the perfect time to go through your equipment inch by inch to make sure that when the quarantine lifts, you are ready to send. This is a short blurb on a very involved subject of when to retire your climbing rope. There are several good resources on gear inspection through the UIAA and many of the major climbing gear manufacturers.
Some minor fuzziness and or dirt are not grounds to retire a rope, but are something to keep an eye on. Dirt can work its way into the core of the rope and decrease the strength of the rope significantly over time. Washing your rope in lukewarm water with or without some mild pH neutral soap, or manufacturer recommended rope wash is a great way to clean a rope and extend its life.
Slowly flake the rope out through your hands into a neat pile. I like to run the rope through my fingers almost like I am holding a pencil. This allows me to feel all around the rope as I flake it out. You are feeling and looking for any:
- Soft spots
- Stiff Spots
- Exposed Core
If your rope has any of the bullet pointed issues it is time to retire your rope. My general rule is, if I am on the fence on if a fray is too big, or the rope is getting too stiff, it is time to retire the rope, or if the damage is close to the end of the rope and wont diminish its length significantly, cut it out. Just remember, if you do this any middle marks you have will no longer indicate where the center of the rope is.
Better to err on the side of caution with something that literally saves your life every time you use it. If you do end up retiring your rope why not give it a second life by sending it off to us here at CragDog. Your retired rope will get turned into some sweet canine equipment, and raise money for climbing organizations around the country! Learn more here.