How To Select The Right Climbing Rope

When it comes to climbing ropes for arborists, the range in which to choose from is vast and can at times be confusing.

How do you wade through all of the options and select the rope that is best for you? First, you need to ask a few simple questions to narrow down the options. Moving rope system (MRS) or Stationary rope System (SRT), this is the first big question you need to ask.

If climbing MRS, do you prefer a spliced, sewn or knot termination? The Edelrid Woodpecker, performs best in MRS but climbs very well in SRT too. It’s easily splicable due to its construction and is also available with the WebLink sewn termination for those who don’t have the time to splice themselves. This makes for a great allrounder rope. Its 11.7mm diameter makes it great for both friction hitches as well as mechanical devices.

If you are using more tradition techniques and prefer a thicker rope to more easily grasp with your hands, the Edelrid Direction Up with its 13mm diameter makes for a great choice – keep in mind though that the larger diameter ropes often struggle with mechanical friction devices.

If you prefer the efficacies and benefits of SRT, you have a few options here, again depending on your preferred working system. If using SRT for accessing the canopy before transitioning to MRS, a tradition access line like the Edelrid Low Stretch with a static elongation of only 1.8 per cent gives the highest levels of efficacy while ascending. However, due to this low stretch, you will need a separate rope for moving around the canopy. Its lower diameter of 11mm means you will likely need some more dedicated hardware like the Edelrid Hand Cruiser for the ascent.

If you prefer to save time and ascend and work on the same rope without the need to readjust once in the canopy, the new Edelrid Bucco 11.8mm – the first rope designed specifically for SRT systems – will give the best performance while ascending and working, especially with mechanical friction devices.

Finally, what equipment you use to ascend and work on the rope can eliminate some diameters right off the bat. If using mechanical friction devices, read the specified rope compatibility carefully. It’s always best to keep from the noted limits and find a rope that sits closer to the middle of the range. For example, for a device with a 11.5-13mm range, it’s best to select a rope in the 11.7-12.7mm range for optimal performance.

For more info and to find your local stockist, contact Expedition Equipment on (02) 9417 5755 or send an email to

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