Climbing

How to Clean and Store Climbing Rope

When performing any outdoor activity, safety should be your first priority. You must guarantee that your clothes and gear can meet all the safety requirements.

If you love going rock climbing or mountaineering, then your climbing rope might be the most vital item of all.

Apart from selecting durable climbing rope, you should also know how to preserve it so it can last longer. Read on to learn the best way to clean and store your climbing rope.

Climbing Rope Basics

In climbing, you can utilize two kinds of ropes: static and dynamic ropes.

Static ropes are used to resist excessive breaking strength and provide support against abrasion or cutting edges. Because of this, they do not stretch a lot, and climbers use it to descend an injured climber or to carry supplies up a mountain.

On the other hand, dynamic climbers are manufactured to absorb the impact if a person were to fall. Therefore, it has more stretching capabilities, making them ideal for sport climbing, trad climbing, and mountaineering.

cleaning a climbing rope

How to Clean a Climbing Rope?

Due to the amount of dirt and dust present in the woods or mountains, your clothes and equipment are bound to get dirty. Therefore, it is necessary to clean your climbing rope every now and then to reduce dirt buildup.

Keeping a rope clean maintains its stretchability and increases its lifespan.

The items needed to wash a climbing rope are simple: Lukewarm water, soap or rope-based detergent, and a container, which can be a bucket, tub, or bag.

You can clean your rope efficiency by performing the following steps:

  1. Fill and add enough water to the container so that you can soak up all the rope.
  2. Some people prefer only to sanitize their rope with water, but you can also incorporate soap or a specific detergent to the water. Avoid using coarse cleansers because they can damage the nylon strands.
  3. Place the rope in the bucket and let it soak up for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Churn the water for at least 15 minutes so the detergent can eliminate all the dirt embedded in the fibers.
  5. You can also brush the rope with your hands to improve its cleaning performance.
  6. Drain the murky water and fill it once again with water. Repeat this process until the water runs clear.
  7. Finally, to dry the rope, place it on a plastic sheet and wipe it with a towel. You can also let it air dry, but do not use direct sunlight.

cleaning climbing rope

How to Store Climbing Rope?

Proper storage also maintains your rope’s durability and increases its longevity.

Remember that ropes reduce their resistance when exposed to direct sunlight or kept wet. Therefore, you must place your climbing rope in a dry and cool location, where it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Also, you should avoid areas where chemicals can fall on it as well.

Most people store their ropes in a rope bag because it is a convenient way to prepare your rope so it can use when you decide to take it out. Also, it refrains it from accumulating dirt when placed in the garage or storage room.

If you do not have a rope bag, you can also place it in a normal bag or plastic container and flake it or coil it; either way, the most important aspect of storing a climbing rope is its location to reduce degradation.

How to Coil Climbing Rope?

Coiling up a climbing rope reduces the probability of creating untangled knots when carrying it on your bag or storing it in a rope bag.

There are many ways to coil a rope, but the following instructions are, by far, the simplest ones.

  1. Grab the middle of the rope in one hand and place both strands on your shoulder. Some ropes have a mark or color distinctions to define the middle point.
  2. Reach and hold your rope below your other hand.
  3. Stretch your hands across your body to create a space, so you place the rope over your shoulders.
  4. Continue to do this with your other hand in the opposite direction. This way, you can drape the rope until there are approximately three to four meters remaining.
  5. Place the rope over one hand in a way that you divide it into two portions.
  6. Twist the remaining rope around the top of the rope about four times and then push a loop on each end.
  7. Finally, pull it tightly so it can remain secure.

How Long Does Climbing Rope Last?

The majority of climbing ropes are manufactured using nylon, which is a synthetic fiber built to resist heavy breaking loads and reduce its deterioration over longer periods.

From a technical point of view, each rope is made out of single nylon strands that are coiled together to make a flaxen thread.

Later, they coat it in another cover of nylon strands to increase its durability and resistance.

Most manufacturing companies refer that their climbing ropes have a 10-year lifespan, and after this time period, it is best to purchase a new climbing rope.

However, there are certain aspects to take into consideration when discussing a climbing rope’s longevity. How much a rope is utilized can decrease its durability.

Remember that industries rate a 10-year lifespan for ropes that have never been used.

Thus, certain studies have depicted other time periods depending on how frequently you use your rope. If you handle twice a year, it can last up to seven years, while it is recommended to wield the same rope for five years when you utilize it once a month.

Additionally, climbing ropes that are used several times in a month should be retired after three years and if you used daily, it is best to replace them every year.

There are other factors that affect a rope’s durability, like dry treatment and proper storage.

Dry treatment refers that can decrease water absorption, which makes it more lightweight and manageable. Nonetheless, this feature implies an additional cost to the normal price of climbing ropes.

If you follow all the safety precautions to improve your rope’s longevity, it will boost and increase your equipment’s durability and performance. After all, your safety is the most important when partaking in any outdoor activity.

Nathan Barker

My wife and I are huge adventure seekers! We've traveled and explored over 40 countries and want to share what we have learned on our journey. We'll be talking about everything from hiking and camping, to guides, reviews and tips that we're sure will help any avid adventurer no matter what walk of life. So relax, grab a cup of coffee and we hope you enjoy the read!
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