9 December 2012

Rope innovation: Mammut Sensor, Edelrid Snipe, Beal Unicore

There several interesting developments coming over the next year. The Mammut Sensor has middle and end markings which you can feel with your grip as well as see. According to this article at the Gear Caster, Mammut uses thicker yarn on these identifier sections.

The Edelrid Snipe has a larger 10mm diameter near its ends (7m on each end) so that you can feel when the ends are approaching. It also means that the ends should be a bit more hard wearing - which is clever because that's the bit which usually wears out first.

Beals Unicore ropes basically have the sheath glued to the core. They say this prevents slippage when the sheath is cut or abraded, reduces shrinkage due to water submersion, and allows the rope to be cut to length without a heated knife. Preventing sheath slippage is particularly useful when ascending - normally if a sheath is damaged on a fixed line it can make it difficult or impossible to ascend, Unicore aims to reduce this. There's more info on the Beal website.

There's also a interesting idea coming from Beal - related to the Unicore technology; that if rope is more slick and supple, it affects the ease of use and handling more than simply reducing weight and diameter. The BMC suggests this may mean we'll see a change in the trend towards thinner and thinner ropes.