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Old 11-09-2015   #11
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Randaddy- I think you mean Polypropylene. Most standard throw bags are polypro because it floats. Polyester doesn't float, and is comparable to nylon in strength and melting point. Polyester doesn't stretch as much as nylon, typically (depends somewhat on the weave). Polypropylene has a much lower strength and melting point (~250F) than either nylon or polyester (each ~500F). Dyneema and Spectra have a greater tensile strength:weight ratio than even steel, but have a fairly low melting point (~300F, with critical strength loss at ~150F). The ropes I linked to above have a Dyneema core, with a Technora or Technora/Polyester blended sheath. Technora is incredibly heat resistant compared even to nylon (nylon melts at ~500 deg F, Technora doesn't melt, but chars at at over 900.)

Anyway, it's a mouthful. Needless to say, it's important to know what tool you're using for any job. A rope is not a rope is not a rope.

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Old 11-09-2015   #12
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Yep, I meant polypro.... I don't even use this crap for a throw bag. Dyneema or spectra is so much stronger.

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Old 11-09-2015   #13
pocatello, Idaho
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Yeah, avid climber and boater here. The ropes are plenty strong....but still not the right tool.
Throw bag rope varies a lot. The cheaper polypro rope I see commonly doesn't feel that abrasion resistant enough to set up a video shot and hang on. After using one to haul 4 boats up a cliff on an unexpected portage it was really hammered. I had to retire it after fairly light use. The sheath also tend to be a fairly loose weave prone to snagging and bunching. Spectra and dyneema melt way too easily for my comfort. If you lose control for a second and descend rapidly you could melt through your rope.

Get a real rope- static is actually best for your application.

AND get some training. It isn't as simple as tying it to a tree and jumping over the edge- most of the time. Know your knots, understand force vectors and figure out equalized multi point anchor systems.
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Old 11-09-2015   #14
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I would like to thank everyone for contributing to this topic.

I would also like to be the first to admit, I do not know much about rope.

I have been practicing my knots and learning to work with rope more. I find myself using my throw rope more for wood and boats and after the fact moments more than need safety in a rapid or live bait etc...

I have learned great deals about what makes a rope a rope now. I have some thinking to do.

I always use a spectra rope in a throwbag, It is my minimum. I had not considered all the above mentioned points that were made, and i need to think more about the intended applications.

And a question.

What are the dangers of ascending a throw rope? with ascenders and foot loops?

thank you all again, i have learned heaps!!!
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Old 11-09-2015   #15
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
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My 3/8 nrs throw bag has retrieved 2 deer and an elk hooked up to my warn winch. FWIW. In a bind I'd use it but not unless I had to. Use the proper equipment for the job when you have that option. I like the foreskin description.
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Old 11-09-2015   #16
Canon City, Colorado
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As said above, different qualities of a material determine its suitability for a task. While Spectra/Dyneema has good abrasion properties in itself, the weave also contributes. The weave of a throw rope may be different enough to make it less abrasion resistant than your typical climbing rope. That's my experience. Anybody else? I think the main issues are similar to your rappelling question: can you do it? probably yes. Should you use it to ascend on? probably not if you planned on it from the outset. However, if you had to pay special attention to edges the rope may be running over- not just sharp edges either. I've seen climbing rope all grated apart from jugging over a large round bulge. When you're jugging, most people bounce up and down quite a bit. Every cycle is another rub your rope makes across the sandpaper. Be safe, work on using good technique for selecting location of, formulating, and building anchors. This book by John Long could be pretty helpful to you (if it's the book I'm thinking of).
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Old 11-10-2015   #17
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Using a 3/8" throw rope for rappelling and portages

I have climbed a lot of rope. You definitely want static line, because not only is the bounce of a dynamic rope nauseating- but the stretching of the rope over sharp edges and through the teeth of the ascender creates severe wear. You will also want to pay attention to rope diameter compared to ascender sizing when you select a set up, too thin a rope and many ascenders won't work properly. Of course, the light way to ascend is prusiks which also require attention to rope diameter vs. prusik cord diameter.

Beware of overhanging ledges, they can be a bitch (to virtually impossible) to climb back over without proper planning.

Another book suggestion is On Rope, which is a caving book, but has virtually every kind of rope work one can imagine in it. Circus rigging, window cleaning, and some boating stuff. It is in an e format here:


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Old 11-10-2015   #18
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Fraser, Colorado
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Climbdenali, i agree, the typical looser weave of a throw rope would be less abrasion resistant, one reason i can think of is that more sand and grit is let into the rope, which is just like tiny knives cutting it apart from the inside each time it moves, and even getting to the kearn, where most strength comes from.

Some great info being contributed on this thread, i have learned a lot to!
"Like a bunch of monkey's, trying to fuck a football."
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Old 11-10-2015   #19
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Ultimately I think its too much to ask a river throw rope to serve as a rappel and ascending line. They just are designed to be a primary "lifeline" for vertical technical rope work.

Many throw ropes are "kermantle" in design but that is really a generic catch all for any rope with a sheath and core in this case. When doing vertical rope work like you describe the sheath is of upmost importance and its a weaker spot for throw ropes. Most of these ropes are designed to be strong enough (core-wise) for emergency procedures like live-bait rescues, tossing to swimmers, etc but not thoroughly vetted for mechanical advantages for wraps, etc that expose rope to huge forces. To be honest I am not even sure what testing and governing agencies exist for river ropes as I haven't seen them listed anywhere.

On the other hand, static rope tested and certified is well vetted and designed for the forces and abuses of vertical work. As others have pointed out, the sheath is critical in many of these applications; the material and weave being the principal features of concern. Canyoneers and cavers seem to be the best overlap in application to your questions as traditional climbing ropes are more balanced towards the dynamic side.

Ultimately I would encourage you NOT to risk using a throw rope for the applications you have expressed. When it comes to protecting your life a specifically designed tool is the way to go. I would highly recommend visiting a brick and mortar shop to educate yourself on technical ropes before using them in the backcountry. Knowing their design and limitations is critical to proper use.

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Old 11-11-2015   #20
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Durango, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
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As others have suggested, you would want to use a dedicated static caving, canyoneering line if you are doing full on raps and ascending. I have used throw ropes lots for lowering raising boats and assisting decents ascents. I wouldn't want to trust a throw rope with my life except in an emergency and all other options are exhausted.

But don't believe me, my throw rope is small dia spectra and I would count on a munter (which I absolutely can tie) with a bener for raps and belaying since I don't carry a rap device. I have never tried it to see how much heat is generated. Probably Sketch.

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