Shrinkage of Ropes with use

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How much do ropes shrink as we use them?

There is no standard test for this, so it becomes very hard to say.  I think/guess/observe/no-really-it-is-a-guess about 5% in the first few trips, and not much past that. For my Imlay Canyon Gear ropes that are 100% polyester, sheath and core, thus perhaps more resistant to shrinkage than other ropes. But what is really true?  Could we actually collect some data and find out?

OK, let’s do that.

June 22, 2016 – pulled a brand new 120′ Canyon Fire off the shelf.  Actual length = 121 feet (1452 inches)

June 21, 2016 – Imlay Sneak route with 3 ropes used randomly. 5 people. 27 rappels or so total, so used on approximately 9 rappel, mostly single strand. Wet.

June 22, 2016 – Rope mostly dry. Measured length = 118 feet, 8 inches (1424 inches) ==> measured shrinkage = 1.93%

Unfortunately, this rope sustained a core shot 20 feet from one end, and is now  a 98 foot rope. (sigh)

Coreshot

Coreshot

 

Alas –  next time for sure…  I will work on it with a new rope, and probably track this shortened rope too.

Tom

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About tjones

Tom is the progenitor of Tom's Utah Canyoneering Guide, Utah's premier canyoneering information resource, and Imlay Canyon Gear, America's #1 maker of canyoneering-specific gear. If he's not canyoneering, he's probably snuggled up with a good book.
Posted on Jul 22nd, 2016 Uncategorized

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