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Climbing Ropes, Slings & Cord

Mountain Climbing Gear & Roping

Don’t hit the slopes yet without essential mountain climbing gear from EMS. Check out our great selection of ropes and webbing for all your ascending and descending needs. MOREMORE

Slings & Daisy Chains

Hold fast to those rocks with quality-tested slings and daisy chains from EMS. Our great selection of performance mountain climbing gear includes these essential products and much more. MOREMORE

Etriers & Mountain Climbing Gear

Scale that big wall one step at a time with performance etriers from EMS. Our selection of mountain climbing gear and etriers will make your next mountaineering adventure fun and hassle-free. BACKBACK

 
 

How to Choose Climbing Ropes

When you start climbing, you may surprised by the large selection of rope. We carry rope for rock, ice, caves, rescue, and more. To help you buy climbing rope, here is expert advice from Charlie Townsend, manager of the EMS Climbing School.

Dynamic Climbing Ropes vs. Static Climbing Ropes?

If you're going climbing, always choose dynamic rope. You'll need the built-in stretch to soften your landing if you fall off. (Static ropes are for hauling loads, doing rescue work, pulling cars from ditches, etc. They stretch as little as possible; if you used one for climbing and then fell, you could snap like a twig.)

One Climbing Rope or Two?

Dynamic ropes are available in three types: single, half, and twin. If you're starting out, you'll want a "single" rope: that means you will be tying one rope between the climber and the belayer, not two. Half ropes and twin ropes have very specialized uses, and are often inappropriate for standard climbing and toproping.

Climbing Rope Diameter

Ok, so you're looking at the dynamic single ropes...what diameter should you choose? The skinnier the rope, the less durable and forgiving it is likely to be. Therefore, your first rope for toproping and early leads should be pretty beefy;say, something in the 10.4mm to 11mm range. It will put up with a lot of abuse, resist cutting over an edge, and probably last longer overall.

Climbing Rope Length

Ask around at your local crag will 50 meters do the trick? More often, you'll want 60 meters, as that has become the standard in most areas. Also, you can cut a worn bit off the end of a 60 meter rope and still have a decent length for most routes. Seventy meters is more rope than most of us need.

Climbing Rope Weight

Rope weight is given in "grams/meter." Since this is primarily a function of the rope's diameter, there is little reason to agonize over it. When toproping, you're not dragging the rope behind you anyway, so who cares if it weighs a bit more? And even leading, it's probably not the weight of the rope that's keeping you from cruising through the crux. It's something else.

UIAA Specifications

The UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme) serves as the industry watchdog to ensure that ropes given their seal have satisfied the technical criteria determined as appropriate. That means that the elongation percentages, the sheath slippage, and the impact force are all in line with the UIAA's requirements. You should read up on all that stuff, but in the meantime, look for the UIAA label.

Fall Rating

The UIAA Fall Rating is a good gauge for comparing similar ropes. In their testing, the UIAA simulates a sort of "worst-case scenario" by tying an 80kg weight to the sample rope and dropping it repeatedly over a carabiner-sized bar until the rope fails. The falls they simulate are unlike the falls you might experience, but the number is still useful for comparison: the higher the "falls held" number, the more durable the rope is likely to be.

Dry vs. Standard Climbing Rope

Most rope manufacturers offer some sort of "dry" treatment for their ropes. It is applied during or after the weaving process to discourage the rope from absorbing water like a sponge. If you get caught in the rain, a dry-treated rope will weigh less than a standard one. In the winter, that's a big deal, since a wet rope becomes a frozen rope pretty fast. Also, the dry treatment adds a bit of longevity to the rope, as well as allowing it to snake through carabiners with a bit less drag.

Climbing Rope Color

Rope color is a consideration for a few reasons. You don't want a rope that's the same color as your partner's, "No, I meant the OTHER green rope!" If you take photos, think about what will look good against the rock, or which colors are just plain ugly. Also, consider ropes that change color or pattern halfway through; you can find the middle faster for rappels, and keep from getting the ends mixed up.

Climbing Rope Price

It's pretty hard to find a real lousy rope, as the UIAA wouldn't approve it, and we wouldn't sell it. So, once you are comfortable with the various choices outlined above, go with whichever rope offers you the right specs for a reasonable price. With experience, you might develop preferences related to subjective concerns like "feel" and "handling," but in the meantime, choose the right rope for the job, take good care of it, and learn about when to retire it.


STERLING Evolution Kosmos 10.2 mm x 60 m Standard Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Evolution Kosmos 10.2 mm x 60 m Standard Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $154.95
STERLING Evolution Velocity 9.8 mm x 60 m Standard Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Evolution Velocity 9.8 mm x 60 m Standard Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $199.95
MAMMUT Eternity Classic 9.8 mm x 60 m Standard Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT Eternity Classic 9.8 mm x 60 m Standard Climbing Rope
PRICE: $149.95
MAMMUT Tusk 9.8 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT Tusk 9.8 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Rope
PRICE: $249.95
STERLING Accessory Cord, 8 mm - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Accessory Cord, 8 mm
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PRICE: $0.60
STERLING Superstatic 2 Rope, 7/16 in. x 200 ft. - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Superstatic 2 Rope, 7/16 in. x 200 ft.
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PRICE: $199.95
EDELWEISS Speleo 11 mm X 600 ft. Caving Rope, Black - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Speleo 11 mm X 600 ft. Caving Rope, Black
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PRICE: $559.95
BLACK DIAMOND Easy Rider Via Ferrata Set - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Easy Rider Via Ferrata Set
PRICE: $109.95
BEAL Tiger 10 mm X 70 m UNICORE Dry Cover Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
BEAL Tiger 10 mm X 70 m UNICORE Dry Cover Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $249.95
STERLING Fusion Photon 7.8 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Ropes - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Fusion Photon 7.8 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Ropes
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PRICE: $399.95
MAMMUT Genesis Half 8.5 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Rope, Red - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT Genesis Half 8.5 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Rope, Red
PRICE: $199.95
EDELWEISS Canyon 10 mm X 200 ft. Static Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Canyon 10 mm X 200 ft. Static Rope
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PRICE: $169.95
EDELWEISS Flashlight II 10 mm X 60 m Dry Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Flashlight II 10 mm X 60 m Dry Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $159.95
MAMMUT Contact Sling 8.0, 60 cm - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT Contact Sling 8.0, 60 cm
PRICE: $9.95
STERLING SuperStatic2 Static Line, 3/8 in. - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING SuperStatic2 Static Line, 3/8 in.
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PRICE: $0.90
PETZL Arial 9.5 mm x 70 m Dry Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Arial 9.5 mm x 70 m Dry Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $260.00
EDELWEISS Canyon 10 mm X 300 ft. Static Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Canyon 10 mm X 300 ft. Static Rope
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PRICE: $259.95
BEAL Flyer II 10.2 mm X 60 m Golden Dry Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
BEAL Flyer II 10.2 mm X 60 m Golden Dry Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $249.95
PETZL Volta 9.2 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Volta 9.2 mm x 60 m Dry Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $245.00
BEAL Cobra II 8.6 mm X 70 m UNICORE Golden Dry Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
BEAL Cobra II 8.6 mm X 70 m UNICORE Golden Dry Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $239.95
PETZL Bolsa Rope Bag - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Bolsa Rope Bag
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PRICE: $39.95
EDELWEISS Axis II ARC 10.2 mm X 60 m Dry Climbing Rope  - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Axis II ARC 10.2 mm X 60 m Dry Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $229.95
EDELWEISS Curve 9.8 mm X 70 m Standard Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Curve 9.8 mm X 70 m Standard Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $209.95
STERLING Fusion Photon 7.8 mm x 70 m Dry Climbing Rope, Purple - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Fusion Photon 7.8 mm x 70 m Dry Climbing Rope, Purple
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PRICE: $200.00
MAMMUT Genesis Half Dry Climbing Rope, 8.5 mm x 60 m, Blue - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT Genesis Half Dry Climbing Rope, 8.5 mm x 60 m, Blue
PRICE: $199.95
PETZL Mambo 10.1 mm x 60 m Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Mambo 10.1 mm x 60 m Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $199.00
BEAL Aviator 10.2 mm x 70 m Dry Cover Climbing Rope - Eastern Mountain Sports
BEAL Aviator 10.2 mm x 70 m Dry Cover Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $189.95
EDELWEISS Axis II 10.2 mm X 50 m Dry Climbing Rope  - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Axis II 10.2 mm X 50 m Dry Climbing Rope
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PRICE: $179.95
EDELWEISS Speleo 10 mm X 200 ft. Caving Rope, Black - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Speleo 10 mm X 200 ft. Caving Rope, Black
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PRICE: $159.95
METOLIUS Ropemaster HC Rope Bag - Eastern Mountain Sports
METOLIUS Ropemaster HC Rope Bag
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PRICE: $39.95
METOLIUS Personal Anchor System - Eastern Mountain Sports
METOLIUS Personal Anchor System
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PRICE: $32.95
STERLING Accessory Cord, 7 mm - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Accessory Cord, 7 mm
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PRICE: $0.45
PETZL GradiStep Etrier - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL GradiStep Etrier
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PRICE: $49.95
BLACK DIAMOND 18 mm x 60 cm Nylon Sling - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND 18 mm x 60 cm Nylon Sling
PRICE: $4.95
STERLING ROPE 1 in. Tubular Webbing  - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING ROPE 1 in. Tubular Webbing
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PRICE: $0.40
STERLING Static Line, 7/16 in. - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Static Line, 7/16 in.
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PRICE: $0.95
METOLIUS Vortex Rope Bag - Eastern Mountain Sports
METOLIUS Vortex Rope Bag
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PRICE: $49.95
STERLING Accessory Cord, 4 mm - Eastern Mountain Sports
STERLING Accessory Cord, 4 mm
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PRICE: $0.30
PETZL EXPRESSS Quickdraw Sling, 17 cm - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL EXPRESSS Quickdraw Sling, 17 cm
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PRICE: $5.95
BLACK DIAMOND 6-Step Etrier - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND 6-Step Etrier
PRICE: $38.95

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