Rope Care


Every rope wears out during use. However, wear differs depending upon type of use. The rope wears least, if it isn’t highly loaded, as with a classic ascent and descent without a fall. In this case only the sheath is chafed by friction on rock or ice, which after some time will become worn out. Heavy loading, due to awkward routing, jerky descents or hauling over edges, increases abrasion and causes wear. The lifespan of a rope is therefore difficult to define. It depends on the type and length of use, on shock loading and other influences that weaken the rope.

Independent of frequency of use, a rope should be disposed of if:

  • The sheath is damaged and the core is visible
  • The sheath is extremely worn, or particularly fuzzy
  • The sheath has slipped noticeably
  • Strong deformations are present (stiffness, kinks, lumps sponginess)
  • The rope was subjected to extreme loads (e.g heavy falls)
  • The rope is extremely dirty (grease, oil, tar)
  • Heat, abrasion, or friction burns have caused damage
  • The rope came in contact with chemicals to which the rope material is not resistant