What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

If you are a beginner climber and want to ask other climbers any questions - then this is the place to ask.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:28 pm
Real Name: Jaco Beukes

What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by JacoB86 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:43 pm

I'm slowly in the process of getting climbing gear together, one of the next things i need to purchase is a rope.
Im assuming that i should look at getting a 'single rope'. I'm planning on using the rope to lead climb at places like waterfall boven and other places close to centurion.
I think i need a rope like the BEAL Top Gun, but I'm not sure if this will be the best buy?
can anyone please give me some advice and insight so that I don't regret what i buy…

User avatar
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: JHB

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Mark » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:19 am

I Like beal ropes, they seem to last long and most importantly they don't become fluffy fast which is good for belaying. Traditionally people liked 10.5 mm as a lead rope. But I think a 10 would be better because even if it's a bit fluffy it still feeds nicely. I wouldn't go thinner than 9.5 because they are not as robust and some belay devices don't grip them nicely

User avatar
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:34 pm
Real Name: Everyday Troll

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Forket » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:29 pm

I recommend the mammut tusk if you want a 70 and the mammut vertex if you want a 60:)
Ebert Nel

Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:53 pm

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by BAbycoat » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:38 am

Hi Jaco,

- yes, for sports cragging and indoor climbing you'll need a rope rated as "SINGLE"
- generally the thicker the rope, the heavier it is and the longer it will last
- unless you're pushing the grades you won't really notice the difference between a 9.4mm rope and a 10.2
- If you want to get technical, research the rope specs: g/m, sheath%, bobbins, impact force, #2f falls, elongation (dynamic&static).
- I'd second (most of) Mark's advice: pick up something 9.7mm or thicker. Go for at least 60m (so that, after some good use, you can still chop the ends and have a 50m).

Ropes are a bit like cars: all most cars will get you from A to B, but the tradeoff between features and price is a personal choice. I don't like Beal: I find them WAY too stretchy, and loved my Mammut as a first rope.

Enjoy the shopping.

User avatar
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:03 am
Real Name: Cuan Lohrentz
Location: Cape Town

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Thermophage » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:27 am

Get a Roca 9.8....
Rope diameter for me has nothing to do with pushing grades. It's all about ease of use and feel of the rope in your hands.
I've had 10.2, used 10.5 and 10's and they just feel kak in my opinion.
So get something thinner but still durable...hence a 9.8 or so. Unless you can get your hands on an Edelrid Hawk 10mm...it feels thinner and handles suuuuuper smooth :)

User avatar
Posts: 246
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 9:06 am
Location: Cape Town

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Rastaman » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:31 am

Mammut. You won't regret it.

Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:09 pm

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by ant » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:12 pm

For a first rope agreed:

10mm or 10.5mm. Those diameters are the workhorses and will last longer.
Really skinny ropes don't last as long and because they slide through the belay so much easier, pose slightly more risk to especially beginner belayers. You will never regret buying say a 10.2.

Then if you progress to trad later, you can buy a pair of half-ropes, or if you become a send-monster you can treat yourself to a nice skinny 9.1 mm.
You will still find use for your 10.2, or will have worn it out by then.

All the reputable brands will be good. Mild variances on personal choice like 'handling characteristics'
Beal, Mamut, Roca, Edelrid, Bluewater... (In order of personal experience) I'm sure I'm forgetting some...

If you want to climb at Boven - think about length. Definitely a 60m. I recall that some of the longer routes at God-No for example require a 70m. Extra expense and weight and tangles - you can probably get away with only a 60m for your first rope.

Old Smelly
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Old Smelly » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:10 pm

Agree with most of what is said above but for 2 observations;

1. Don't listen to the guy who said go for a rope thinner than 10 - it will wear out rather quickly if you are a beginner.
2. Similarly do not go for the ROCA as these are not hard wearing but are generally cheaper but the ratio of cost to life can be drastic - arguably Beal ropes last about double the lifespan of other ropes...

These are both points I make from my own experience & having dealt with numerous ropes- everyone else is entitled to their opinion. Mammut ropes may last well as the ones I deal with have not been around long enough to prove otherwise. Personally ignore all the ranting that may follow & keep asking around - you will get the general idea.

I do echo what the guy said about the cars though - everyone thinks theirs is the best!
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

User avatar
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:49 pm
Location: Waterval Boven

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Gustav » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:35 pm

When Mammut ropes were available in SA in the early nineties, a friend of mine bought a 10mm Galaxy 60m. (Back then that was a long rope). Second weekend out and he picked up a bad nick around the middle - had to cut! Just unlucky... This is no doubt one of the best ropes on the market.

In 2000 we bought a 10mm Roca Fanatic that is now being used as tat and dog leashes. It was not easy to kill that rope. We tried hard.

We used 3 Tendon 10.2mm ropes for rentals that we simply retired because of time used, slightly thickened up over time - they would still pull any Land Rover out of dodge.

Currently we have Beal Edlingers for rentals etc - they still look brand new after 2 years and they get (ab)used a lot, plenty top-roping action. The Edlinger feels a lot skinnier than other ropes of similar diameter and handles really well.

My point? I normally say that the best rope is a cheap rope. Ropes don't break. Some last a bit longer. Some handle better. Some slip through devices with more ease.

Get a Beal Edlinger 10.2x60m, best value for money.
Roc 'n Rope Adventures
Waterval Boven
013 257 0363
climb @t rocrope dot com

Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:39 am
Real Name: Mike J

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by mikej » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Interesting to see such diversity of opinions.

Gustav, did you see Tony's Beal Joker 9.1 after four months? Watching his experience with that rope was enough to make me never buy a Beal rope. Also, not saying they are the authority, but Outdoor Gear Lab ranks the Beal Edlinger last in their ranking:

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Climbing- ... ws/ratings

Personally I like Sterling, although it seems impossible to get in SA.

User avatar
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:16 am

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by mountainmailorder » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:56 pm

Yes great buying advice from Chris MacNamara & Co on ropes, diameters, brands, etc. Too much info to repeat here.
http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Climbing- ... ing-Advice

A lot of information but make sure to click on all the tabs: Buying Advice, Overview, etc. etc.

- Robert

Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:19 am

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Ash88 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:25 pm

Definitely look at investing in mammut...

It's a great rope that will last you a fair amount of time..

Investigate on MOUNTAIN MAIL ORDER. :thumright

User avatar
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:03 am
Real Name: Cuan Lohrentz
Location: Cape Town

Re: What would be a good 'First' Rope to buy?

Post by Thermophage » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:36 pm

I have an Edlinger...as do two of my friends...We all hate them and mine has been sitting in the garage for almost 2 years now.
Ours have all handled terribly badly. Feel like a freaking cable they're so stiff.
Anyway, I've heard from other people that's not the case. But I will personally never buy a rope 10mm or larger ever. Belay devices nowadays easily deal with a 9.1, let alone a 9.8 (things like the ATC guide, Reverso and Gri-Gri 2)

Get something that feels nice to use. Something which is smooth through a belay device. Brand really is not a huge factor as they are all good ropes.
Durability...given the choice I'd rather sacrifice this somewhat to enjoy using my rope instead of cursing it each time I use it.
Remember guys, technology has progressed somewhat since sub-10mm ropes were not particularly durable. Agreed. though...a 9.1 is not going to be particularly durable.

Point is you're gonna be stuck with it for a while, so get something you like and not necessarily something that will save you a little bit of money over a relatively long period of time :)

Post Reply