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What To Know About Canyoneering Ropes

While there are different pieces of equipment that make canyoneering possible, ropes are some of the most important ones. Without a suitable rope it would be impossible to get those fantastic rappels and descents to get up close to canyons.

However, ropes are not all equal and you can’t just pick up any rope at the store and proceed to use it in canyoneering. Remember you’re going to stake your life on this rope holding your weight so it’s advisable to simply spring for one that’s been specifically designed for canyoneering.

Selecting a suitable canyoneering rope

  • Look for a static rope.

Static rope is the best for canyons because it reduces “rappel bounce”. This bounce is not only unpleasant for canyoneers, but also causes rubbing and abrasion which eventually chews through your rope.

  • Get a rope that doesn’t absorb water.

A rope that absorbs little to no water is easier to use and carry and is also more durable. For instance, nylon loosely bonds water molecules to itself and becomes weaker, heavier and less tough in the process therefore it’s not a great material for a canyoneering rope.

  • Get ropes in a variety of diameters.

To get the most out of your canyoneering, select ropes in different diameters to cater for both long and short rappels. Even better, get different colors for each rope so you can easily grab the right one when needed.

Caring for your rope

  1. Avoid exposure to UV rays. – Solar degradation happens when canyoneering ropes are left out in the sun. To avoid this, always store your rope in a suitable rope bag.
  2. Keep it clean. – Dirt, mud and grit can make their way to the core of your rope leading to internal abrasion. To extend your rope’s life, wash it occasionally using cold water and a small amount of very mild soap. Ensure you thoroughly rinse it with cold water then dry it in shade away from direct sunlight.
  3. Protect it from chemical contamination. - Any contact with contaminants such as alkalis, acids, bleaching products etc. can seriously degrade the quality of your rope. So make sure it’s stored well away from chemical contaminants.
  4. Avoid high temperatures. – Most quality canyoneering ropes are made from polyester which melts at 500F. Still, it’s a good idea to keep your rope away from flame and high temperatures in order to prevent melting and rope failure.
  5. Use proper belaying and rappelling techniques. – It’s important to learn proper belaying and rappelling techniques if you want your canyoneering ropes to last. Improper techniques can put extra weight on the rope or result in rope abrasion and degradation, shortening its shelf life.

Visit Rocner.com to shop for the best selection of canyoneering equipment to use along with your canyoneering rope. We stock a wide variety of premium canyoneering gear at affordable prices.