ice climbing rope

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CAROL CLAYTON

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Jan 17, 2022, 10:49:35 AMJan 17
to PatcMountaineering Club
What does one need, and what do the longtime ice climbers among you recommend? Is a dry rope a necessity?

Vincent Penoso

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Jan 17, 2022, 10:53:30 AMJan 17
to CAROL CLAYTON, PatcMountaineering Club
Depends. a dry rope is nice to have. Anymore, the utility of a 70m cannot be overstated. For Ouray, a 70m is nice since there is sometimes open water.
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On Mon, Jan 17, 2022 at 10:49 AM CAROL CLAYTON <carolc...@gmail.com> wrote:
What does one need, and what do the longtime ice climbers among you recommend? Is a dry rope a necessity?

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Mike Dannhardt

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Jan 17, 2022, 12:10:14 PMJan 17
to Vincent Penoso, CAROL CLAYTON, PatcMountaineering Club
I really like my 60m dry doubles. It means you can rap nearly 60m and it means someone else can carry half the rope :-) !!

Mike
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Vincent Penoso

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Jan 17, 2022, 1:28:25 PMJan 17
to Mike Dannhardt, PatcMountaineering Club
I think i have 60 or 70 m doubles for ice which makes getting down a much simpler affair...on the flip, the mother of all bird nest rope snarls can be born at the worst possible time if you are asleep at the wheel on route.

Ye, what marty said. The 70s on some climbs at Ouray keep you away from the danger zone.
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On Mon, Jan 17, 2022 at 1:18 PM Marty Comiskey <martyc...@yahoo.com> wrote:
Carol,

The answer to your question, like most things in climbing (and life), is “it depends.”

I know you are going to Ouray Ice Park later this month, so I am assuming your question is more about Ouray than ice climbing in general. I don’t think you need to go out and buy a new rope for this trip. If you are bringing a rope, you can probably get by with your current top rope.

Dry ropes are nice, but not a requirement - you will be top roping almost exclusively; you will not be doing any roped up approaches where your rope will be dragged through the snow/ice. You will also be staying in a hotel room at night, where you can allow your ropes to dry out, unlike back country/tent camping where it is always cold.

Having said that, a dry rope is certainly better than a non-dry rope. However, all “dry rope” treatments are not permanent; their “dry” ability is diminished with age (i.e. older ropes are less “dry” than newer ropes). Those of us with “dry” ropes that are several years old, probably have little dry treatment left in/on our ropes.

I have climbed in Ouray for about 10 years and my 60m rope has always been long enough. Unlike rock top roping where the belayer usually stands close to the cliff, the ice climbing belayer will usually stand far back from the climb to avoid being hit with falling ice that the climber knocks off with their ice ax. Because there is a creek running through the bottom of the gorge at Ouray, belayers stand on the other side of the creek, maybe 20-30 feet away from the cliff. This of course means you need a longer rope to safely belay/lower the climber. Even if the route is 100 ft (~ 1/2 the length of a 60m rope), the additional length needed when belaying back 30 ft. from the cliff means the rope needs to only be ~5 feet longer than a 60m rope; we often tie into the far side of the gorge with a sling extension if needed).

A 70 m rope makes things easier, but my 60m rope has always been long enough (I am sure there are a few routes in Ouray where it might be too short).

Very few climbers will top rope with doubles at Ouray. They have their place while leading and allow longer rappels, but there is not a real need to do long rappels in the Ouray Ice Park. Back country ice climbing is a different case, and doubles can be a better choice there.

See you in Ouray (I arrive on Jan. 25).
Marty
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