Testing the Rap Line Protect Rope
I admit it. I’m a weight-obsessed tech weenie. I think I probably speak for all of us when I imagine our best days touring in the backcountry share some similarities — blue skies, deep pow, an elegant uptrack, and good friends. Missing from that list is a backpack exploding at the seams with gear or worse, one with most of our kit strapped, lashed, and clipped to the outside.
In our communal quest to ski longer and farther, and do it happily, we’re usually chasing lighter weight, or lower mass, as a wise Colorado skier prefers to say. And nowhere does mass and bulk glare more obviously than ropes. Need to do a rappel or tie together on a glacier and suddenly the largest, messiest, bulkiest thing in our arsenal needs to come along. A rope!
I started this piece intending to review Edelrid’s new “Rap Line Protect,” which got me to thinking about skiers, ropes, why, how, and which one on which day. Before we dive into the Edelrid cord, let’s talk about ski ropes in general.
Ropes and skiing — a brief evolution
Some of us get through our whole ski career without ever using a rope. They’re big, heavy, and often tangly — you rope-less skiers might be on to something. Over the last couple decades, though, ski ropes have become skinnier and lighter and now we almost have too many options.
You see fewer and fewer skiers using dynamic climbing ropes these days — not that you can’t get away with using one. They’re simply heavier and thicker (let’s say 7.5mm and fatter) than most of us want when we have skis on our feet.
The latest generation of “super-skinny” cords, around 5.5 to 6mm, boast different strengths and shortcomings. Strengths include lighter weight and less bulk, while shortcomings are fiddly handling (when rappelling and hauling), far less cut-resistance, and no dynamic capacity like a climbing rope (which limits a team’s ability to lead a pitch of ice or rock on it).
Edelrid’s Rap Line Protect
Legendary Germany rope manufacturer Edelrid has taken a very specific approach to these niche, super-skinny ropes. Their “Rap Line” cords were originally used as “pull cords,” that is to pull down a rappel rope — usually in rock or alpine climbing. Climbers would tie a super-skinny cord to their fatter, heavier, dynamic climbing rope, thereby doubling the length of a rappel. The first pull cords like these weren’t dry-treated (or coated/treated to resist absorbing water), but some skiers took to using them anyway, favoring their light weight and compact size.
Over the past decade, Edelrid has gradually improved its Rap Line and its latest iteration, the “Rap Line Protect” (or RLP, as I’ll refer to it here; $240 for a 60m; 29g/m advertised, though my home scale measured it at 31g/m) is the company’s latest effort at making a versatile skinny cord which addresses three main shortcomings of these niche ropes — namely, water-resistance, cut resistance, and dynamic capacity.
First, the RLP uses the same dry treatment as Edelrid’s “Pro” ropes, and employs the braided construction of their traditional climbing ropes. This gives the RLP similar “feel” to Edelrid’s German-made climbing cords and equivalent water resistance.
To address the second shortcoming, cut resistance, Edelrid adds aramid (most of us know aramid by one of its brand names, Kevlar or Nomex are the most common) to the sheath of the 6mm RLP. Through years of R&D and testing, Edelrid developed a means to incorporate aramid to the sheath yarns in the RLP, which roughly doubles the cut-resistance of the rope.
I asked Edelrid’s Product Manager, Philippe Westenberger, 36, about this revolutionary innovation.
“In 2015, during a Swiss mountain-guide training,” he told me, “two candidates were lowered with an 8.7mm rope over an edge. The rope failed (Ed: cut) and luckily both candidates lived.”
After this accident, Westenberger and his Edelrid colleagues began researching rope failures. According to data from the German Alpine Club and the American Alpine Journal, an average of two climbers per year, worldwide, die of severed ropes.
“We researched these rope failures and this (lack of) cut resistance, this is the major reason for rope failures today,” says Westenberger.
The third major improvement Edelrid has achieved with the RLP is dynamic capacity. The RLP’s aramid-reinforced sheath acts static until it’s severely loaded (think: climbing fall). At that point the static aramid material fails, leaving the 6mm nylon/polyamide rope to stretch and dissipate energy, as a traditional climbing rope does. For a short section of belayed climbing, you can fold the RLP in half, tie into the middle, and lead on it as a “twin” rope, clipping both strands through each protection point. The RLP is the only super-skinny with this capability.
When might you use this?
Imagine an objective like Rocky Mountain National Park’s “Flying Dutchman.” It’s an ambitious ski, with a beautiful, steep, snaking couloir at nearly 13,000 feet. It’s an all-day mission, hiking and skinning almost 7 miles to the couloir, then snow climbing several hundred feet, with only 40 or 50 feet of steep, belayed climbing near the top. Why lug a full climbing rope all this way for just a few feet of climbing? With the RLP, you can safely lead on it as a twin, then rappel over this same section on the down — and avoid carrying a heavier, regular climbing rope during the day. Free fitness!
The RLP vs. the Competition
So that’s a bunch of techy details on the RLP. It’s a skinny cord, right, how different can it be?
I’d say overall, what sets the RLP apart is its versatility and cut-resistance. Unlike its competition, you can use the RLP as a glacier travel and rescue rope, for rappelling or lowering, and even leading short sections of steep terrain. Short of buying a rope for each specific application, a versatile cord like the RLP makes a lot of sense for most of us. And of course, the cut resistance seems absolutely revolutionary in terms of rope technology and safety, especially when using it in a shallower snowpack/rockier environment like Colorado of the Alps.
I own another super-skinny, Mammut’s “Glacier Cord” (6mm, $250 for a 60m version; 27g/m home verified, slightly heavier than its advertised 25g/m) and if all I’m doing is carrying it in case of a crevasse fall, I love it. That’d be mid-winter, deeper snow, non-techy objective on the day. Beyond that, it’s a fairly limited tool — that’s not a negative; it was designed as just this, a niche tool.
Petzl’s RAD Line (6mm, $450 for a 60m version; 22g/m claimed weight) is another fantastic choice for a rescue/rap rope, but carries the same limitations as the Mammut, and an additional $200 price penalty for some reason. Ouch! Sterling offers its superlight VT-X (5.4mm, $168 for a 50m version; 21g/m), as well, but it has no dry treatment and a polyester sheath over a Dyneema core. While Dyneema resists water pretty well, polyester is a wicking material and will absorb a bit. And now you’re using an even thinner cord, without the cut resistance of the RLP. Fine on some days, spooky on others. Neither the Mammut, nor the Petzl skinny offers the cut resistance of the RLP, either.
Skiing with the RLP
Unfortunately, lockdown 2.0 here in France didn’t allow quite as much skiing as I had hoped (ack!), but I did get out several days with my older Rap Line II, as well as my newer, RLP. The RLP exhibited the same water repellency as a Mammut or Edelrid alpine rope, no problems at all.
I also left the rope out on a pile of snow on a warm day, letting it sit it in near-slush. After six hours of this it felt damp to the touch, but a half-hour indoors it had dried and it was obvious the moisture was superficial and hadn’t penetrated the sheath.
When traveling on a glacier, roping up with a 6mm rope reduces drag in the snow, compared to a fatter rope. It’s noticeable, too, so during a long traverse, you don’t have the sense of hauling a fuzzy, waterlogged climbing cord. Phew.
One consideration with a super-skinny is braking knots. A team of two usually ties knots, starting a couple meters away from them, into the rope, to arrest a crevasse fall. These little knots are surprisingly effective in softer snow, but a 6mm rope doesn’t offer much mass to wedge in the snow. Most practitioners tie a larger knot (a rethreaded overhand-on-a-bight works) if using a thinner cord.
Rappelling with the RLP
Aggressive skimo fanatics need a reliable rap cord that’s light and packable, but below 7mm controlling a steep rappel becomes an issue. I tested a variety of rappel devices with the RLP, including a Black Diamond ATC-Guide; ATC-Alpine Guide; Edelrid’s MegaJul, MicroJul, and Mago 8; and an older Petzl Reverso. (Grivel makes an interesting device, “The Scream,” which is specifically designed for smaller-diameter ropes, but I couldn’t obtain one by press time.)
Of these, the only device (apart from the Scream) actually rated for use with a 6mm rope is Edelrid’s “Mago 8” (38g; home verified) a smaller, newer redesign of those original “figure 8” you might have learned to climb with — if you’re old and broken down, like me!
The Mago 8 features a compact 8 design, but with little braking horns on the corners to add friction if you so choose. This worked fine when rappelling (or lowering a climber), but I greatly preferred the two channels on the back of the device (see photo) for rappelling. Figure 8’s, like an Italian/Munter hitch, tend to twist the rope and the Mago’s back channels offered smooth, high-friction rappelling.
The next best device was the MicroJul, Edelrid’s assisted-braking device designed for twin/half ropes down to 6.9mm. Rappelling with the Micro, in both its assisted and unassisted modes, was smooth, controllable, and easy, though a bit less friction than the Mago 8.
“We originally developed the Mago 8 for ski-mountaineering,” explains Westenberger. “When you have to lower someone, it is nice because to use an HMS*, it abraids the rope much faster and it can get twists.”
(*Ed: An HMS — or halbmastwurfsicherung in German — carabiner is a locking carabiner large enough to use with a “Munter” or “Italian” hitch.)
When I told him I’d used the MicroJul for rappelling and lowering, despite not being rated down to 6mm, he said, “That is OK, we recommend people to use two HMS carabiners.” This adds significant friction, so if rappelling with a pack, or if you’re more than 175 lbs. or so, keep this solution in mind.
Larger devices like an ATC-Guide and Reverso aren’t rated for use with cords this skinny and it was obvious why — very little friction. Adding an HMS carabiner helps, but if you’re dorked-out enough to buy an RLP, or any of these specialized ropes, just buy a MicroJul — way more predictable and safer than a full-sized device. The Micro weighs 62g and is made of stainless steel — I have a MegaJul that’s 8 years old and doesn’t have a lick of wear on it. Worth it!
If you do, however, find yourself rappelling with a larger device like an ATC-Guide, a trick: feed both strands of the rappel rope through one of the channels on the ATC, rather than both. Is this recommended or approved? No, but plenty of people do it. I’ve rappelled several pitches like this and found it predictable. Proceed with caution.
And one last thought when rapp’ing with a super-skinny: if tying a 6mm rope to a larger, dynamic climbing rope, a flat overhand is fine. Edelrid, among many others, have tested it and it works. Long tails, clean knot, tighten each strand individually, 18-inch tails – perfect!
Hauling with the RLP
If using any of these skinny cords for hauling, practice ahead of time with a variety of devices. The RLP has been tested with Edelrid’s Spoc device and works just fine. Experiment with your preferred hauling/rescue kit to make sure you can effect a rescue or haul a pack, before it’s dark, wet, and you’re under the gun!
Climbing with the RLP
Leading on the Rap Line Protect is actually pretty cool. Because it is so skinny and light, even doubled as a twin rope, there is almost no friction and you feel like you’re soloing. I used an earlier version of the RLP to lead a pitch in Las Vegas, when my climbing rope was stuck on a rappel. Worked great but boy, it looks like a couple of shoelaces once you’re 20 feet above your last piece! I also led an easy pitch of rock this fall with my new RLP — great handling, super light, kinda spoils you for going back to a fatter, dynamic climbing rope!
The Mago 8 guide-style belays the RLP through the back channels I mentioned above. Probably not going to get much use out of it that way, but it’s a nice feature. High friction and reliable, as far as my limited experience shows.
Again, the RLP is not first and foremost a climbing rope, but it is the only super-skinny that offers the performance of a dynamic rope, if you need it.
If you’re going to buy one skinny cord for year-round use on rock, snow, and in the alpine, the RLP is the most versatile one out there. If, like skis, backpacks, boots, and so many other things you’re going to build a quiver, then you might own an even lighter and smaller option and the RLP. Yes, your children’s inheritance takes another hit and your non-skiing significant other will find this absurd. Throw me under the bus; happy to take the hit for you.
Edelrid still makes all of its ropes in Germany and they’re all bluesign rated, meaning they’re produced using less energy and fewer raw materials when possible. Nice detail to know when considering options. I’ve been using Edelrid cords for nearly a decade and found them to be exacting, precisely made, and durable. The RLP is a recommended buy, if you’re looking for a super-skinny ski rope.
Rob Coppolillo lives, guides, and writes from his home base in Chamonix, France. His latest book, The Ski Guide Manual, is available for purchase here.
Rob Coppolillo is a mountain guide and writer, based on Vashon Island, in Puget Sound. He’s the author of The Ski Guide Manual.
Great article Rob! Another great dry rope option if you don’t plan on using your rope for lead climbing and are on a tight budget is the Beal Rando. It’s a twin rope that comes in 20 & 30 meter lengths and its incredibly cheap ($90 CAD). In its single form it works well for glacier travel (parties of 2) and rappelling short sections up to 15 m. It also packs down quite small so it’s easy to throw in the bottom of your bag if you see some crevasses & bergschrunds in your immediate future.
I don’t think I’ve seen this one! Diameter? Dry treated?! Tell all!
Here’s a link: https://sport.beal-planet.com/en/mountain-line/1429-5211-rando-8mm-gd.html#/24-color-pink/65-length-20m
It’s larger than the ropes you looked at here (8 mm vs 6-7 mm), but it does have Beal’s Golden Dry treatment. Obviously at this price point you just get a polyamide sheath compared to the cut resistant aramid one, but for glacier travel and rappelling it checks all the boxes (as long as you take care around ski edges & crampons).
Ah, cool—I think I have an Edelweiss 8 mil, 30m rope, similar to this one—nice option: cheap, durable, easy with prussiks/rope clamps….thanks for the heads up!
Pretty interesting comparison of all these rope options. One thing I’d like to know: for crevasse rescue with any of these, do you need specialized equipment (like microtraxion or tibloc) to rig a 3:1, or will prusiks bite? I know a traditional crevasse rescue system doesn’t work with the RAD line, what about the rest? Thanks
Hi Kam—I had very good luck with a three-wrap prussik on the RLP–but the rope was dry—not sure how it would perform when frozen/wet/a mess…
That said, the Edelrid Spoc is similar to the Petzl Micro Trac, but 20g lighter, so I’m carrying that and a Tibloc….my thinking is a) a frozen rope might be really tough with prussiks and b) i’ll be able to rig those more easily with cold fingers/mittens/gloves etc….Edelrid performed tests with the RLP and their Spoc and it pulled to 4kN without sheath damage, which is one of the criteria for UIAA cert as static rope, i believe….
A buddy of mine carries a RAD line in Canada and does not carry a toothed device like a Micro Trac—and he’s a former technical director for the Assoc. Canadian Mt. Guides…so he’s dialed!
Thanks for the detailed response. It seems like prusiks can be used with these skinny lines. I’ve got a microtrax in my kit but I often ski on our Cascade volcanos with people using more traditional setups. I guess the solution, if skiing with those partners, would be for me to buy a bunch of extra 5 or 5.5 mm prusik cord and have extra loops I can use to outfit them. And talk about the quirks of rescue with the skinnies beforehand.
As a fellow tech weenie, this is a very intriguing product. I’m curious as to it’s fate once it catches a dynamic fall and, as mentioned, “ At that point the static aramid material fails.” Does this render the rope garbage, or just a dynamic rope only at that point? Also, would a fall compromise the cut resistance, as the aramid is the key to that aspect?
Hi Conor—Yeah, if you took a dynamic/lead fall on it, it would be a “regular” 6mm rope at that point. I didn’t ask Edelrid about cut-resistance after a lead fall–good question! I’ll will share this thread with Philippe at Edelrid and perhaps he can chime in……thanks man!
Connor, exactly what I was wondering… the sheath would fail it sounds like, unless this is a sheath sheath. Sounds like a 1-fall rope. Rob, any update?
Massive falls would expose the aramid; while likely wearing gloves, I’d still be interested in dermal and respiratory studies on ripping this rope through devices.
re. the Beal Rando ropes: Pretty standard and cheap, but short and not very light (37g/m) which is the kindof the point of going to a skinny/light rope.
re. climbing the rope: As Kam asked – it is the climbing of the rope that has always been a bit of a catch with the skinny cords. Do tiblocs work on all? Hollowblock prussiks? What diameter of normal prussik would work? It is an issue as everyone on the team needs ascending devices that work with the ropes…
I ascended this thing several times with 5.5 tech cord–great bite. I also rappelled 6-8 pitches with it, using that same tech cord as a third-hand back-up—–no drama. I have not tried prussiks on a wet RLP, though. I also ascended with an Edelrid Spoc (their lighter version of a Micro Trac) and a Tibloc…..as long as you make darn sure the teeth are grabbing on the Tibloc–no drama there.
I’d say at this point in the Alps, at least, most guides are carrying some version of a super-skinny: Petzl, Mammut, or this one. Guides in the US are psyched on that Sterling VT-X (5.4mm, cheap compared to the competition!)…so compatibility here is less of an issue…but indeed, if someone in your crew buys a super-skinny, best make sure everybody knows it and is ready to deal with it!
Is the sheath woven together with the core? That is what makes Petzl’s line so special…
Hi David—I know the Beal “Unicore” ropes have a bonded core/sheath, but I hadn’t heard that about the Petzl RAD Line—are you sure that’s the case? You’re probably right! I don’t own a RAD line, almost no experience with it.
I emailed Philippe from Edelrid, but unfortunately for us (happily for him), he is out of the office until early January—we’ll have to wait on super-techy questions like these!
My hunch, having spoken to him, and having owned several Edelrid cords, is no, the core is not bonded to the sheath—but let’s wait to hear from the “horse’s mouth”.
In the meantime—have super holidays!
While practicing crevasse rescue with my rad line last spring in moist corn conditions I realized that a self belay on one hollow block klemheist was not gripping strong enough. I had a second longer hollow block and rigged as a tandem (like used in more industrial rope rescue situation) and the pair grabbed much better.
When I bought the rad line last winter I almost went with the edelrid rap line (though the new dry treated one was not out yet). In retrospect wish I had, in part to get the 70m and chop to 2×35. I’ve found a few situations where I wish I had that 5m extra (the odd belayed pitch while scrambling with my 30m 8.2mm and running a bit short by the time you tie in and anchor, or tying brake knots). However, my 30m rad and 30m 8.2 combined weigh a touch less than the pair of rap lines. Ah well one could endlessly optimize!
“Endlessly optimize,” ooh, I like this term—makes it sound much more presentable to my partner, who sees yet another rope come in the house and (rightly) thinks I’m a gear junky and a kook.
I’m not a fan of the Hollow Block–I prefer round cord, rather than the flat weave of the HB—I think 5.5 tech cord is more predictable and progressive in its “bite”….but plenty of people swear by the HB–find your working system and stick with it!
Hit me down the road and I’ll let you know how the RLP fares after a long winter…..
Best holidays, stay right-side up and keep slaying!
what about belayed ski cuts? I’ve been using a 7.5mm dynamic 40m rope last winter and so far this winter and have always wondered how these skinny static 6mm cords would do with catching a skier who suddenly loaded the rope via a ski cut induced slide.
My first thought is—we should avoid ski cutting if there’s a real probability of getting involved. Ideally we’re off the slope/start zone by the time anything could get moving.
That said, pilot error is the name of the game, so we have to plan ahead—the rope! An experienced belayer should know how to give a dynamic belay and should probably expect to if trying to belay a skier….the skier will be moving fast and so the belay should be low-to-no friction while the skier’s moving, but be rigged to provide progressive stopping power (rather than an abrupt “catch”). This practice and experimentation—a hip belay, or rigging a plaquette on an anchor (heads up on this one; many ski anchors are probably better for the gradual pull of hauling, rather than the violent “catch” of a climber or avy involvement!)….a Munter probably has too much friction while you’re paying out rope….
Let me know what you think. The RLP is cut-resistant, which gives me the warm-fuzzies thinking of it around ski edges….whether or not that’s fanciful thinking, no clue. Best not find out, so rig your skier appropriately and keep the rope up and out of ski tips! You know this!
We could do an entire article on ski-cutting….good topic and often debated on the social medias of obsessed ski types.
Have a super holiday week and hope you’re skiing—-
Congratulations on you new book. I have actually just bought the Mountain Guide Manual.
So although this is the article is focussed on skiing I would like to ask this question:
I am using a Mammut 9.5 Infinity Dry 70 m single rope for ice climbing. I have always read about the additional safety of using twin ropes but
was reticent to spend the money to switch to two skinny ropes (it is also getting harder to sneak this equipment into home).
I thought that using the 9.5 mm with this Edelrid 6 mm RLP would be a good pairing as it would provide a backup, less overall weight and a useful rap line for other activities.
Hi Derek! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you….I was up in Switzerland…ice climbing! Pro tip: turns out that going almost two years without swinging tools does NOT improve one’s ice climbing. Oops!
Great rope, Mammut Infinity…interesting you’re considering something I’ve thought of, too—pairing a single with a Rap Line. I imagine if something happened to your 9.5 rope, a single 6mm cord wouldn’t fare very well either. And remember, the RLP isn’t rated as a full twin rope—it will merely hold a twin fall WHEN DOUBLED. So….relying on it as a back-up? I’m sure there is some extra safety from it, but not much. This is one of those “well, it *might* work” questions in climbing/skiing….
For pure ice climbing, I’d say a single 9.5 is fine—though some Euros will look sideways at you! I’d say wait until you see a super-skinny half/twin rope on sale (Edelrid Skimmer is a 7.1; Beal makes a sexy 7.7, etc) and grab it!
Derek, the rap line was certainly originally made to accompany a single rope as tag and rap line with the dynamic quality as a backup for re-leading a pitch if the mainline snagged when pulling. You would not want to use it with the 9.5 as a hybrid twin, but as rap line perfect. The other disadvantage for ski use is having it in full length vs cut in half. Having two 30 to 40m ropes spread amongst partners when skiing unroped is pretty key for weight and redundancy. The mew version with dry treatment and substantive cost savings is garnering mirw attention now as a ski rope, as well as ultralight long ‘scramble’ rope for occasional belayed pitches for advanced users willing to push the boundaries of its rated use. Of course I’ll defer to folks like Rob who are actually qualified to opine!
Oh, Aaron, deferring to me….now THAT is sketchy! Ha!
I think you’re dead on in the way you describe it. The “hybrid twin” scenario is appealing, but I think you’re right—-it doesn’t actually buy you much in terms of safety.
I also agree with you—having two 30s on a glacier is smarter than a single 60, for the obvious reason that if our buddy with the 60 in her pack goes in a hole, we’re going to look pretty dumb standing up there saying, “Wait, she had the rope?!” It is nice, though, having a 60 super-skinny so you can rappel without a knot in the system….for places like Red Rock in Vegas or the Dolomites (where the rock is featured), it’s nice to have a knot-less rap cord.
My buddy at Edelrid read this piece and largely agreed with everything in it, but wanted to emphasize that the RLP is NOT rated as a twin rope—it is a tag line and will hold a fall when used as a twin (meaning, two strands, not one!)….great back-up capacity, but not a twin rope….
If my Edelrid contact wants to comment here, I’ll let him, otherwise I’ll summarize his thoughts and share—-and we can all defer to him!
Have a super New Year, everybody!
Hello super-senders—thought I’d summarize comments I received from Philippe Westenberger, the product manager at Edelrid. He read the piece and sent me a note, but he’s on holiday for several more days….
1. There’s often a reason our weight measurements at home don’t match the manufacturers’ advertised weights: First, official (UIAA) g/m is tested with the rope pre-tensioned in the lab, whereas we measure unweighted on a scale. If I’m understanding him correctly, this means the rope is stretched, so effectively a rope stretched to 60m is less material than 60m of the same rope untensioned. Second, Edelrid (and other brands) deliver their ropes longer than the advertised length, so we’re measuring a rope that’s longer than 60m. Who knew?!
2. Philippe and Edelrid amassed data from the DAV and AAJ to indicate there are two-to-three rope FAILURES every year, not necessarily fatalities. So, 2-3 ropes get cut every year, but he didn’t compile the fatalities associated with those failures. We were just ice climbing in Sertig, CH, over the weekend and they had an accident last year where icefall severed a guide’s rope–two badly injured people, but no fatalities. Phew. Just an example.
3. Philippe wanted to point out that nylon/polyamide are the same material. Nylon is a brand name; polyamide is the generic family of materials. I included to try an indicate they’re interchangeable materials, but it seems maybe it confused the issue?
4. He also wanted to state definitively Edelrid does not recommend leading on the RLP–it does not pass the UIAA test for a twin rope. The UIAA test requires passing 12 falls, while the RLP will hold at least one, which allows Edelrid to truthfully advertise/present it as having dynamic capacity. His exact message was, “…I personally would use it exactly like you described, but Edelrid does not say you can lead climb with it.”
So—like so many of the products we use, there is the “official” stance … and then the way we actually use the product in the field. Half ropes are like this, using non-approved belay devices on certain ropes, etc.
Wanted to share his thoughts and clarify! Super New Year, everybody! RC
Thanks for writing this article – it’s content really not found elsewhere on the internet. It seems like this thread is wrapping up but I can’t help but think back to the Edelrid Flycatcher 6.9 (35g/m) first released about 2015 but discontinued since then. Many of the scenarios discussed here can be easily handled by this rope (Flying Dutchman mission, most Chamonix missions, and Derek’s comment above) meeting all the parameters of the manufacturers recommendations if clipped as a twin. Of course it would be classified as a “skinny” on your scale, so heavier and without cut-resistance of the RLP.
Not sure why the Flycatcher was discontinued but it seems like the Skimmer 7.1 has replaced it. I have a brand new Flycatcher which I will probably cut into two 35m cords, then I will look to the Skimmer when those wear out. Seems like a lot of the commenters here could benefit by just going Skimmer.
Hi Dave—Yes, the Flycatcher! Short-lived little shoelace, that thing was.
Indeed, a Flycatcher or Skimmer could easily stand in for an RLP. Downsides: stretchy if you’re hauling, using as a pull-cord, or lugging your buddy’s carcass out of a crevasse. Also quite a bit heavier than 29g/m RLP. Upsides: fully dynamic and rated twin (Flycatcher) and half (Skimmer) rope….totally reasonable solutions, though.
The MicroJul was developed for that Flycatcher—great little tool. Since writing this I’ve received a Grivel “Scream” which belays, rappels and lowers on cords down to 5mm—I’ve only messed with it indoors so far, but it looks like a modified, smaller Kong GiGi—seems positive with the RLP in it, locks off when guide-style belaying, and I ascended with a few meters in “guide mode,” — seems like a great little tool.
Indeed, the Skimmer (7.1mm, rated half and twin rope, 36g/m) is appealing. I own Edelrid’s “Apus” (7.9mm, half/twin rated) and love the handling—awesome ropes! I’m testing their Starling 8.2mm, with the Protect technology, right now—great rope, but I’d prefer the Protect technology on the Skimmer or Apus, honestly.
OK, stay in touch, everybody—happy to correspond, too, down the road if you’re still tweaking with ropes/etc. Here or thru my website or even Facecramp…..
Stay safe, everybody! RC
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