Video: Abrasion damage to ropes

Posted by Dan Middleton on 14/01/2009
Abrasion damaged rope sheath

Ropes very rarely break, but they can be very badly damaged by abrasion over an edge. This video recreates an incident where the sheath on a rope was severed after lowering off a climber from a gritstone route.

This video shows the effect of lowering a climber off over a rough edge of rock. The rope sheath becomes badly abraded, and eventually fails.



With the advent of thinner ropes, the modern climber needs to take even greater care to try and avoid running a loaded rope over a rough edge. Thicker ropes are generally more durable and damage tolerant than thinner ones. Abrasion damage can be much more severe if the rope is wet, as the nylon becomes much softer. Good planning and ropework can help avoid these problems, and ensure that your rope remains in fine fettle for many more routes.

NB:  This is an OLD video: the approach to safety (and wearing of big boots on grit) is somewhat cavalier by todays standards. Do not try this at home!



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