Frozen rope

Discuss vertical caving, equipment, & techniques. Also visit the NSS Vertical Section.

Moderator: Tim White

Re: Frozen rope

Postby PatB » Jan 27, 2014 6:21 pm

Thanks for the MSDS research. Interesting that it produces hydrogen gas when exposed to metal. One more thing that I remember is my ropewalker chest harness (yes, I still used it after all this) 1" tube webbing straps that go over my shoulder started to tear with relatively little tension when trying to cinch the strap up tight.

I guess this is more of just a big shout out to everyone that may be storing their equipment "out in the paint room". Be ultra careful of the environment where you store nylon. My old rope looks perfect, but it can't be trusted anymore.
Infrequent Poster
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 27, 2013 9:45 pm
NSS #: 45###RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Western Maryland Grotto

Re: Frozen rope

Postby b4caving2day » Feb 22, 2014 6:48 pm

I've had rope so iced that Gibbs wouldn't grip and prusik slings got the job done.
That was Lava Beds National Monument where the worry was a thin pad at lip
protecting my Goldline. I didn't have sheathed rope with hard crystals within all
working against core strength. It wasn't then discussed in Advanced Rockcraft by
Royal Robbins. John Long in his Rock Climb wrote that silicone and various fluoro-
chemicals give modern climbing rope 33% increased abrasion resistance in addition
to waterproofing. But if you're doubtful, replace it, that's the bottom line.
Infrequent Poster
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 22, 2014 3:40 pm

Re: Frozen rope

Postby gulley.jason » Feb 23, 2014 7:39 am

I do research in glacier caves and our ropes are freezing up all of the time. Often we have to "shave" the ice with an ascender just to be able to climb them. If I had to replace my ropes every time they froze, I would be very, very poor.
Infrequent Poster
Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 7, 2007 8:58 am

Re: Frozen rope

Postby Tim White » Feb 24, 2014 12:24 pm

Mountaineers have their fixed ropes freeze all of the time. Sometimes left in place for years. Often nylon static ropes. No issues.
Be safe,
Tim White 26949 RL FE

Southeastern Region Coordinator - NCRC
Editor, Nylon Highway
Senior Technical Manager - Over the Edge, Inc.
User avatar
Tim White
Global Moderator
Posts: 848
Joined: Sep 8, 2005 11:57 am
Location: Suwanee, GA

Re: Frozen rope

Postby glen » May 19, 2014 9:00 am

I wouldn't think that frozen rope would be any more compromised than wet rope because of the way water slips in between the hydrogen bonds of the nylon and the way water molecules organize when they freeze. Below are images of nylon 6,6 and water molecules. When the water goes solid it orients H in one molecule to O in the next in a hydrogen bond. Since the water molecules in between the nylon molecules are already occupied in this way, I don't think they would be involved in any phase change taking place in the unbound water. In fact, maybe at below-freezing temps they return a bit of strength to the rope because of their reduced mobility.

Image Image
Infrequent Poster
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 7, 2014 4:58 pm


Return to On Rope!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot]