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These notes are intended to assist the climber who has already gained some knowledge of rock climbing and is fully aware of its risks but still wishes to progress further up the grades, and indeed the mountains. They are brief and not designed to be comprehensive in any way. Ultimately climbing is a dangerous sport and claims many casualties each year. One of the guiding principals of British climbing and mountaineering is that it is the individual climber is responsible for his or her own safety. If you cannot accept this then this site and probably climbing in general is unlikely to suit you. May we refer you to this very interesting site instead!
It is possible to do any sports routes with the traditional British pair of 9mm x 50m ropes, but if the pitches are longer than 25m which they usually are, this will involve complex ropework on the part of the leader in untying and threading a rope through the chain. A 60m, or better a 70m, single rope is not essential but does make life a lot easier as many pitches are 30m or even 35m long and being able to lower back down without having to retie/rethread is a much simpler and safer. What diameter to go for is a matter of choice dependant on what other uses you might have for the rope. If purely for sports climbing then a 10.5mm is ideal being highly abrasion resistant, easy to handle and to stop falls with. However such a rope is heavy for high mountain use so the all-round climber might consider a 10mm (or even slimmer) single rope as a compromise between weight, wear and tear, and safety. There is no real need for the rope to be dry treated unless it is also intended to use it for alpine or winter climbing.
It is vital that the second ties in to the rope prior to belaying, or at least ties a knot in the spare end of the rope, to prevent the leader being dropped if the rope turns out to be too short for lowering off to the ground.
Fifteen should do for just about anything. There is no need for anything particularly special though to cut down on rope drag it is worth having an assortment of lengths to choose from. It is important to always clip the bolt with the straight gate and the rope into the curved gate as bolts can create nicks in karabiners which can later damage the rope if the quickdraw is used the wrong way round.
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