Thursday, 16 October 2014

Southern Sandstone Rope Protector

For while now we have been experimenting with different ideas and solutions to the age old problem of protecting both the long static rope at the top of the crag, as well as the rock of which it lies upon when setting up a top-rope.

The idea was to eliminate the ropes movement across the rock when body weight is placed on the rope and puts strain on the anchor.

Stretch in the rope can be reduced by a number of things, using twin ropes heading back to the anchor is one way.

Obviously slings are a good choice when setting up an anchor point that are close enough to the edge to allow the karabiner to hang over the edge. Unfortunately at venues such as High Rocks the anchors are too far back for a sling to be used.
Canvas rope protectors, bicycle inner tubes, garden hosepipes and carpets have all been tried but they either bunch up exposing the rope, the rope wears through the rope protector or the rope moves off the carpet that is in place.

Luckily we believe we may have found the answer. The Plastic 19mm  3/4" Clear Braided Flexible PVC reinforced tubing pipe allows the rope to move freely through the pipe helping keep the pipe in place and prevent any bunch up of material which used to expose the rope to the rock underneath. It's simple, cheap and easy to transport.
We would hope that in future this will become a standard piece of sandstone equipment as it certainly does work and it's now standard in ours and others kit too. 

It could well alleviate and perhaps eliminate the age old concern of working lines which with exposed ropes moving across the rock will unfortunately creates grooves.

When testing this simple pipe, one of our main concerns was to see if there was any potential for rubbing at the end of the pipe that could dig into rope and wear it away. We have found no evidence of this as of yet, as the end of the pipe if cut correctly is actually quite smooth.

We recommend a two metre length of pipe to reach over the edge which in most set-ups gives ample protection. You can also use other rope protectors on parts of the rope that may be in contact with the rock which are closer towards the anchor.

The pipe can easily be bought from www.amazon.co.uk from Clear & Braided PVC Pipe Solutions.

Just search for "19mm  3/4" Clear Braided Flexible PVC" or click on the link to the right.
 




Essential Gear for Southern Sandstone Climbing