How to Choose the Right Ropes for Rock Climbing

Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Choose the Right Ropes for Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is an epic outdoor adventure that everyone from beginners to advanced climbers can enjoy. The sport requires safety equipment such as harnesses, carabineers, and climbing ropes to prevent climbers from injuring themselves. Novice climbers can find themselves overwhelmed by the many different rope choices available. Choosing the right ropes for rock climbing involves assessing the intending climbing purposes and looking for the rope specifications that meet those needs.


Types of ropes

Climbers have a wide range of rope types and styles to choose from. Different ropes offer a range of advantages for specific climbing situations, so it is likely that an experienced climber has a large collection of them. When choosing rope types, climbers should keep in mind the type of terrain they are climbing. In some cases, climbers may even find that they need different types of ropes in order to meet different circumstances during a particular excursion.


The diametre of single ropes range from 8.9 mm to 11 mm, and come in skinny single, all-around single, and workhorse single varieties. Skinny single ropes range from 8.9 mm to 9.4 mm in size, and work well when a climber is navigating long routes and having to hold up rope for an extended period of time. All-around single ropes range from 9.5 mm to 10.0 mm in size, and are the most common of the three single rope styles. They work well in a variety of climbing situations, including rock, ice, and snow. Workhorse single ropes range between 10.1 mm and 11 mm in size, and work well when climbing on rough rock.


Twin ropes consist of two separate ropes used together as a set. They both fit through the climber's harness and belay so the climber can rappel safely. Twin ropes are thin, ranging between 7 mm and 8 mm in diametre. Individual twin ropes are thinner than skinny single ropes, but climbers should not use them individually. Twin ropes are popular to use in ice or rock climbs where repelling is included in the adventure.


Half ropes use a double strand of ropes, but unlike twin ropes they do not run through the harness and belay together. Instead, each rope attaches to a separate piece of climbing equipment for safety purposes. Half ropes range in diametre from 8.0 mm to 9.0 mm, and are common in mountaineering climbs or other routes that a climber would benefit from having two ropes to rappel with.

Static and dynamic

An important feature to consider when choosing a rope for rock climbing is the amount of stretch it provides. Ropes with more stretch, called dynamic ropes, are most often used since they help to absorb weight while climbing. Static ropes offer little stretch, and are better suited for hauling equipment. Ropes have elongation ratings that let climbers know how much stretch a given climbing rope has to it.


Fall rating

The Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme, or UIAA, governs the rating and testing of climbing ropes and equipment. The AUIAA provides a fall rating system for climbing ropes, which measures the maximum number of falls that a rope should take before it is replaced. The higher the fall rating, the longer a rope can remain part of a climber's arsenal.


Rope length

Long, thick ropes are heavier than short, thin ropes, which should be a considering factor when choosing a rope for climbing purposes. Ropes need to be long enough to perform well in a specific type of climb. Longer ropes are generally recommended for sports climbing, while shorter ropes are more likely to find use as safety ropes.


Rope construction

Climbing ropes have an inner core and an outer sheath. The core is the skeleton of the rope, which gives it strength and stability. The sheath is often brightly coloured, and it protects the inner core of the rope. Thicker sheaths often have waterproof properties and help to keep the rope from abrading against sharp rock faces. For safe climbing, there should be no slippage between the core and the sheath of the rope, which can cause damage and weaken the rope.


How to buy ropes for rock climbing on eBay

Once you know what sort of climb you are planning, it is simple to choose the right type of rope. To begin your search, locate the search bar found on every eBay page. Enter your preferred keyword terms, such as "workhorse single rope" or "dynamic rope" to find the product you are looking for. Narrow down the selections by using the provided filters. For longer trips, you could need more than one type of rope, so double check the terrain before heading out.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides