I just got back from a climbing trip to the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains where I spent most of my days climbing at Lover’s Leap, Lake Tahoe.
The rock climbing at The Leap is characterized by long cracks up vertical, smooth, granite walls, intersected with a plethora of horizontal dikes. Together the cracks and dikes make the coolest climbing features.
Luckily for me I had 2 brand new, 60 m, Sterling Nano IX ropes along for the ride.
Deep purple. Bright orange.
Strong and light. The Nano IX is the best, skinny (9.0mm), lead climbing rope!
On long pitches, the weight of a climbing rope gets more noticeable. The higher you go, the more the rope pulls against you. This weight gets increasingly unwieldy and cumbersome making it harder to pull up and balance.
Pitches at The Leap often exceed 150 feet!
Yet, with the Nano IX, I didn’t spend a single moment worrying about the rope. In fact, I barely felt the rope at all. This super charged the climbing fun factor for me. Not feeling the rope, I balanced and pulled myself up tenuous moves, confidently pushing myself on higher grades.
It also helps that the Nano IX has a tight sheath. Friction between a running rope and gear causes “rope drag.” The Nano IX’s tight sheath allows it to run extra smoothly thru intermediate protection.
Lastly, I find most skinny ropes feel too slippery and don’t handle well for belaying. Not the Nano IX! It’s subtle hand has just the right balance between a tight, smooth sheath and a secure grip.
Thank you Sterling!
Important Tips for Climbing with Skinny Ropes:
Take extra care on sharp edges and/or protruding features. The small rope diameter increases the force concentration at points of contact. Manage this by extending protection with shoulder-length slings and placing gear in places that strategically directs the rope to run where desired.
Also, it’s important to take good care of your rope.
Lightweight ropes are a bit less durable than their thicker counterparts due to a reduction in material. Keep your rope away from mud and dirt. Use a rope bag at the base of climbs. Store ropes in a cool, dry place out of the sun, and avoid placing them near chemicals.
Most of all, though, enjoy the feeling!
There’s nothing better than having a strong, yet barely noticeable rope, when you’re going for it!