Best Rope for a Month in the Desert
Hi Steph, my name is Dan, and I’m a big fan of your climbing and writing. I’m currently planning a trip from my home state of Michigan to Utah for about a month starting in May. I’ll be all around the state, but I’m thinking I’ll spend the bulk of my time around Moab as I’d like to climb a few towers Castle Valley. I was wondering if you had any recommendations as to what sort of rope would serve me the best for a month in the desert. I like the idea of something thinner and lighter but I’m not sure how something like that would hold up. I’m not even sure if a month is a long enough time for rope choice to even matter. Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer! My few trips to Moab have been some of the greatest times of my life, and I can’t wait to explore the area some more.
My all time favorite rope for desert climbing is a 9.5 70 meter, the Mammut Infinity Protect. For me it’s the right balance between weight and durability. You may not use the full 70 meter length on every tower pitch, but here and there you’ll be glad you had it, especially on rappels, and it allows you to get away without a tagline on some of the longer single pitch routes. It also allows you to chop off the ends and still have a 60 meter, as time goes by. I think if you are only asking the rope to last for a month, you’ll have no durability problems at all with the 9.5–I usually get at least a year out of mine.
(If you do use a tagline, I really love this one–it handles very well and lasts forever.)
A second option, if you don’t like thinner ropes on the more blocky, adventure style climbing on towers which I sometimes don’t, is the 9.8 Eternity Protect, which also has the advantage of being available in duodess. It’s a little heavier, so there’s a tradeoff when carrying it, but it is really confidence inspiring when running it over edges and things like that.
I hope you have a great time!