Winter Alpine Meet 10/17 March ’18

Col Freshfield with La Tour Rond (3792m) behind

We currently have around 15 members and guests coming on the Winter Alpine Meet.  If you intend joining us and are not on the list please let me know so I can coordinate activities etc.   I was asked a question by Steve relating to the WAM’18 and ski touring in general:

Steve’s question: “I’ve been looking at replacing my rope for glacier travel on skis, mainly to save weight. 8mm 30metres seems to be the recommendation. Opinions seem to vary regarding dynamic (less likely to break or cause injury in event of falling into a crevasse) or static (easier to prussik up).
I could order a Beal Rando 8mm from Snow Leader in Chamonix for UK delivery for £42 which would save having to go shopping when we arrive. I’ve read that this is dynamic though it’s not specified on the shop’s website.  Any thoughts?”

I answered: “I’ve been looking at ropes with the same idea – weight saving. The latest ropes are 6mm like the Petzl Rad Line which is static. There is a good explanation of this on the Petzel site: https://www.petzl.com/GB/en/Sport/Ropes/RAD-SYSTEM including the static vs. dynamic argument.

The upside is weight -only 660g/30m.
The down sides are:
i) It is a system designed to work with other Petzl product so how well it would work with prussic loops or other manufactures equipment – I’m not too sure.
ii) It’s expensive at around EUR 156.00 for 30m (rope only).
iii) I was discussing this with a guide friend and he said that it was more difficult to handle 6mm and strongly recommended practicing with a thin rope system to get used to the difference. He also said that he was now carrying a 6mm rope when touring with clients.

Edelrid do a cheaper 6mm rope which is UIAA rated (2 falls as twin rope) so it’s obviously a dynamic climbing rope but they call it an accessory chord: https://www.edelrid.de/en/sports/accessory-cords/rap-line-ii-6-mm.html but it’s still nearly 3 times the price of the cheapest 8mm touring ropes.
It is heavier at 930g/30m. I have just weighed my current 30m 8mm touring rope and its 1,332g so there is a 30% weight saving. These ropes seem to be selling for about EUR 110.00 on line. They are probably in stock somewhere in Chamonix – Snell may be.

Price wise:
Technique Extreme in Chamonix usually have 20m and 30m touring ropes at keen prices – their website shows EUR43.00 for 30m/7.9mm – this will be at the budget end of the market so will probably be heavier – 1,000g+/30m (the weight on the website this morning was wrong). Veux a Campeur at Sallanches have a good range including the 6mm Petzl Rad Line and their prices are usually competitive with the on-line store when you add in postage.”

I thought this was an interesting subject with the WAM’18 coming up so lets throw it open to general discussion.  Please join in the discussion with your thoughts/experiences.

The upper Valley Blanche – Italian variation. Popular route with members on the Winter Alpine Meet.

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