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WARNING! Frayed rope.

PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2021 8:31 am
by puredingo
G’day all,

Did a day romp up the Castle and back on Saturday for particularly heartbreaking reasons and noticed one of the ropes is extremely worn and potentially dangerous. The outer bindings are completely unravelled with about 4 to 5 strands hanging on. It’s the line that gets you up the chimney/slot before you take the final pull of the last two ropes to the summit.

I guess if any rope has to give way on you this is the one you want, the worst you can do is fall a couple of meters onto your bum.
Still, you wouldn’t like it to happen so be mindful. Once again, no rope is “essential” to climb the castle so I’d just keep them as a precautionary guide.


Re: WARNING! Frayed rope.

PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2021 9:13 am
by ribuck
Thanks for the advice, puredingo. I once saw a statement made that a Canberra club renews those ropes now and then, but I have no way to know if that's true.

If anyone wants to replace the rope, I'm happy to reimburse them the cost of the rope by PayPal. In my youth I ascended many times without any ropes, but I'm old now and appreciate having the ropes there.

Alternatively, can the next person who visits take down the rope? It is better to have no rope than to have a rope whose sheath is severed.

Re: WARNING! Frayed rope.

PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2021 9:28 am
by FatCanyoner
If people are leaving fixed ropes (personally, I'm not a fan for a variety of reasons) can they make sure they use good quality rope.

All too often I find fixed lines that are complete rubbish. Poor rope choice not only means they wear out quicker, but can also make them unsafe. Even a small drop can be deadly if you land the wrong way. If you choose to leave a fixed rope for others to use, you have a moral duty to ensure it is fit for purpose.

A good quality, polyester static rope will last much, much longer (due to superior UV / abrasion resistance) than some random crap from Bunnings. By using a proper kernmantle rope, where the core provides the strength and the sheath provides protection for it, you'll not only have a longer lifespan, but it can be retired once the sheath is damaged, yet still has most of its strength.

Personally, I think the better outcome is for each group to carry their own handline (I prefer tape, but good quality cord or rope works too) and have a more competent person go up and set it for the rest of the group. That way you know the quality of what you're hanging on, and what it is anchored to. Blindly trusting some random rubbish installed by someone who may have no idea what they are doing is a far worse outcome from a safety perspective.

Re: WARNING! Frayed rope.

PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2021 3:36 pm
by ribuck
To be fair to whoever left the ropes, when I have visited The Castle the ropes I encountered were usually good quality 10mm or 11mm static ropes. Not to detract from any of your points though.

Re: WARNING! Frayed rope.

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2021 10:08 am
by Lophophaps
When exposed to the weather, ropes perish. Also, the quality of the anchor is uncertain. Due to this a fixed abandoned or other rope cannot be trusted and should not be used. The first person up could be someone with climbing skills, trailing a rope to give security to those with less experience. There may be a case for fixing abseil points, but I do not see the need. There's one slightly technical section with a big drop if a person slips. This is where I insisted on belaying everyone up and down. Nobody slipped or needed the rope. For The Castle I take 20 metres of 7 mm kernmantle, a few krabs and one sling.