Climbing rope out in the sun

Mwelander

New Member
Location
Karlstad Sweden
So I injured my hand today and had to make a quick descent and head to the hospital.

Some of my gear is left in the tree, among other things my climbing line (imori). It's a private property so no risk of theft. Now I'm just worried about how the sunlight of the coming week will affect the climbing line.

How many hours of sun is the rope designed to withstand, will this week of constant exposure affect the lifespan at all?

How will I know when the line is due for replacement due to sun exposure?
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
So I injured my hand today and had to make a quick descent and head to the hospital.

Some of my gear is left in the tree, among other things my climbing line (imori). It's a private property so no risk of theft. Now I'm just worried about how the sunlight of the coming week will affect the climbing line.

How many hours of sun is the rope designed to withstand, will this week of constant exposure affect the lifespan at all?

How will I know when the line is due for replacement due to sun exposure?
I'm in FL where the sun is like a heat-lamp for most of the year so this had been a huge issue for me back when getting my 1st good ropes, turns out the answer is don't worry about it you won't need to down-grade it from a week being in the tree :)

Hope there's a good prognosis on your hand's recovery that sucks sorry man :/ (dominant hand?)
 

moss

Well-Known Member
UV damage causes rope fibers to stiffen and become brittle. It's a long process as @eyehearttrees trees indicated. On inspection of your rope in the future, if the "hand" is noticeably changed (much less supple) then you want to start thinking about whether or not the service life of the rope is over. It is typically several years of use before UV damage becomes noticeable. So many variables involved as to how quickly that will happen, as stated above, one week won't matter.
-AJ
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
[realized no-explanation isn't helping...]
I say "no problem" for 2 reasons:
1- nylon and poly are not especially sensitive to UV, temp or moisture in-context of weather/environment (poly isn't "high heat" like many aramids are but if it's just sunlight that's way in-bounds for poly&nylon and the nylon isn't even gonna see much/any sun which is cool because that nylon core is the stronger part of Imori :)
2- Richard Mumford does break-tests on his youtube channel, I could dig for the video if necessary but one of his contains a rope from like 15 or 20yrs left in-tree, it was a situation like yours only it wasn't re-claimed but was known to be stuck, anyway that rope was retrieved/made its way to Mumford/still cleared like 4-5k on the break machine!

FWIW, if you didn't know, a rope that's gotten real water/UV damage just feels different, it feels like the fibers are "stiff&crunchy"..hard to put in words which sucks as I have a rope right here that'd be a perfect example (don't know why I still have it, I've downgraded it below where I'd use it so should prolly just place it in the trash!) but, when feeling such a rope, it's as-if new ropes have a smooth coating on every individual fiber and they're now all gone, bending the rope in the slightest manner like literally the gentlest rolling between fingers gives a feeling that all the fibers are rough/crisp/stiff, and actively creating-friction among themselves when the rope if flexed/moved to any degree hell you can squeeze/pinch it and feel the fibers are bad if it's gone-enough!

Keep in-mind the chasm between a "minimum-safe-line" and your Imori, while it's "only" a 6k line it's a 2.4%-elasticity nylon-core rope so it would catch a dynamic-load (ie catching you if you slipped) far betterr than, say, my old climb-line of Blue Moon (6.5k lbs, but only 1.4% elasticity)

Imori can take a 10% hit on strength before going-below ANSI 5,400 minimum and a week(or month) in the tree isn't going to approach a 10% downgrade (I am not a scientist, and have no insurance to help you if you climb it and it fails, this is just how I understand things & how I'd be looking at it from your shoes. I wouldn't be retiring it, even though I would have before learning about #'s 1&2 above :)
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
My comment isn’t meant to be flippant or dismissive. It’s how I put things in perspective

In the whole scheme of fiber rope use/abuse arbos are down the scale from marine use. Look at how industrial ropes are put to work. Is there ever a clean area? Salt water and out in the sun

Then look at recreational use. Look around a marina or mooring area and see how ropes are used/abused.

The advice given about the ‘hand’ of a rope is so very valid
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
UV damage causes rope fibers to stiffen and become brittle. It's a long process as @eyehearttrees trees indicated. On inspection of your rope in the future, if the "hand" is noticeably changed (much less supple) then you want to start thinking about whether or not the service life of the rope is over.
-AJ
Gah "supple", can't believe I didn't use that damnit my vocabulary is diminishing!!

Well-put though, hell it helped me better-understand what people mean by "hand"! (still fucked-if-I-know what "fast" means for a rope though LOL!)
 
I echo the above about UV damage - I've had bull ropes in trees all summer and they were fine - just like on a dock or marine use. What I would be concerned about is critters - out here, anything left for more than five minutes seems to get the eye of resident tree rats (Sciurus carolinensis) and their teeth are like knives. Check your ropes for chomp marks . . .

PicnicTablePlansAvailable.jpeg
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
My comment isn’t meant to be flippant or dismissive. It’s how I put things in perspective

In the whole scheme of fiber rope use/abuse arbos are down the scale from marine use. Look at how industrial ropes are put to work. Is there ever a clean area? Salt water and out in the sun

Then look at recreational use. Look around a marina or mooring area and see how ropes are used/abused.

The advice given about the ‘hand’ of a rope is so very valid
I doubt anybody could've taken it in those negative ways Tom :)

BTW I've gotta thank you for a saying of yours, I heard it referenced yesterday in a Climbing Arborist podcast (#16, w/ guy from Fids&Fibers), to paraphrase his paraphrasing:
"Guy says 'Don't tell me my job I've been doing this 20yrs!'; No, you've been doing year-1 work for 20yrs in a row"(as-opposed-to 20yrs of improving oneself) So well-put, thanks for that :)
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Gah "supple", can't believe I didn't use that damnit my vocabulary is diminishing!!

Well-put though, hell it helped me better-understand what people mean by "hand"! (still fucked-if-I-know what "fast" means for a rope though LOL!)

There needs to be a little book called "The Secret Dictionary of Tree Climbing Terminology". Except it would never be finished because there would be so many unresolved arguments about terms ;-)
 

moss

Well-Known Member
I echo the above about UV damage - I've had bull ropes in trees all summer and they were fine - just like on a dock or marine use. What I would be concerned about is critters - out here, anything left for more than five minutes seems to get the eye of resident tree rats (Sciurus carolinensis) and their teeth are like knives. Check your ropes for chomp marks . . .

View attachment 67039

What? I doth protest! Those cute little buck-toothed tree monkeys known as squirrel are rats? No, can't be ;-) Squirrels are cool of course until they chew something up.
-AJ
 
Order: Rodentia . . . are still all Rodentia in my books (apologies to the trusty Canadian beaver though). Our deck is full of holes where the cuddlies have chewed clean thru pressure treated 2X6's and 2X8's to store their spruce cones for the winter. The devil's creatures I say . . .
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
The hand of something is how it feels...in your hand

Does it feel different now?
How different?
Compare it to another piece of the same rope
Compare it end to end
Does it feel different this time you coil or bagged it?
Sometimes it’s just a weird tactile thing
 

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