I'm thinking of going for a 50m Beal Opera or Joker primarily for the Unicore feature.
My suggestion: Don't
Also, why a lightweight single?
> My suggestion: Don't ------- grand but why?
> Also, why a lightweight single? ------ easier to carry
I have a number of Beal Jokers currently in use (all 60's). Nice and light, supple, easy to handle, and just really nice to use. They are wearing reasonably well given the abuse they get. Would definitely buy the same again.
I've had an Edelweiss Performance in the past, and replaced it last summer with a Mammut Serenity. They're both good ropes if that's what you're looking for. The Edelweiss rope lasted about four years and I retired it after finding a suspicious flat bit that made me uneasy, but it was regularly used everywhere from the gritstone to sport trips abroad. No idea how the damage was sustained, but the rest of the rope seemed to be in good condition other than some fluffy bits. Very soft to handle though. Also Unicore, I believe.
The Mammut rope is much stiffer, and that's about all I can say about it for now. Now I have a surplus of ropes it rarely gets used except when needed. It's certainly doing the job, and though it's worryingly skinny, catching falls on it with normal belay devices hasn't been a problem, neither with my Reverso 3 or my partners' various equivalents.
I now have two pairs of Mammut Serenity, 40s and 60s.
I probably use them slightly more singly for mountaineering than as pairs when climbing as a three, but either way I've found them superb.
Hadn't considered Edelweiss thanks
Mammut fan but don't think they have a core/sheath bond, which I'm particularly looking for
'Surplus ropes' - I'm pretty sure that's not actually a thing
Thanks Mark very helpful
Really like Mammut ropes, just got 2X50m Twilight's today from Needlesport (superb value)
I want the Unicore feature or similar and I don't think Mammut ropes have that, if they did it would be an easy decision.
We really like the Beal Joker, it handles well and is very light.
It is quite slick though, so you may find you need a belay device with more braking.
Thin ropes are harder to handle, more expensive and wear out much quicker and finally (some people might disagree) have less margin for error if you pull of a rock that hits them on the way down/rag them over a sharp edge/otherwise accutely damage them while in use.
If we were talking about half ropes or twins or an emergency abseil line then I might be thinking "alpine" or "big mountain of some kind" but if it's a single, I'm thinking "sport crag" (correct me if I'm wrong), so the easy of carrying it doesn't seem to be a relevant reason really.
Again, if I misread your intentions then you can ignore me, otherwise I think too many people fall into the trap of thinking that lightweight is always an advantage and not thinking enough about the price they pay (not £s, more tradeoffs) for this feature.
Edit: Harder to handle in my post is meant to mean in terms of safely belaying and catching falls.
Thanks for clarifying
All good points
I'm walking up hill with it so weight is the issue, I have a few different versions of skinny double ropes for more serious routes, this is for easy trad in mountains.
Guess I'm looking for safest skinny single.
We've used Jokers for a number of years now. The last 4 we've bought have all been 80M ones for sport, where the weight difference is quite noticeable. They definitely don't last as long as beefier ropes, but they do handle very well while they last. I prefer using a Click-Up rather than a Grigri with them when new. We've had the slight advantage of getting them cheap when on French trips - The Blue Light in Sisteron (highly recommended, and they claim to sell the cheapest ropes in Europe!) sells an 80M Joker for €130!
As a lightweight single for mountain use, I think they would be quite susceptible to abrasion. We've got a 60M Mammut Revelation for that, and although not Unicore, I think it's a bit more hardwearing.
> I'm walking up hill with it so weight is the issue.
Definitely makes a difference. Had a positively joyous approach to Gimmer two Summer's ago just taking my 40m single
> this is for easy trad in mountains.
Also works for not so easy trad when you're feeling super positive.
> Guess I'm looking for safest skinny single.
I think the Unicore makes most sense for Alpine, Big Wall or Expedition use where you're absolutely committed to continuing after some rope damage, especially when juggling and abseiling are essential. For UK trad I'm not sure the advantages are as compelling, although probably still nice to have.
I have a Petzl Volta guide 9mm, which I use for mountain routes because it’s so light. Having returned to the sport about 18 months ago after a 20 year absence, I have to say I am pleased with its performance.
But I can’t really compare with any other modern ropes, I’m afraid. Maybe another option for you to consider.
9 years ago I wrote this https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/climbing/ropes/the_ultimate_in_versatility_triple_rated_ropes-3765 you might be interested to know the middle 40 mtrs of the Beal Joker is now my standard grit cragging rope, and gets used most weeks still for that. For a long time it was the Mammut Serenity that served that sort of role - it got chopped down from wear a bit earlier because I used it more for rock climbing and less for ice than the Joker - the Serenity's dry treatment was always poorer than the Joker's.
The Swift got used a fair amount too although it was rougher and less pleasant to handle than the other too. I left in Finland with my mate when I moved back to the UK from Finland - the idea being I'd have a rope to use when I was back in Finland! But Dave, not unfairly as I left in his cellar, gave it to his daughter when she started climbing when starting uni in the UK, so I think it actually followed me back to England and may well be seeing some use still up in Northumberland!
I have a second Joker which is even a bit older - that got used mostly for ice climbing, but is still in good nick and comes out mainly with a 8.5 Mammut half rope if I need to provide 2 half ropes for a days climbing.
Another vote for Petzl Joker - light, handle really nicely and reasonable durability for a skinny single rope
My anecdotal and totally unscientific view of skinny singles, having used and worn out quite a lot of them from a variety of different brands in recent years is: ropes with a sheath content of 40% last substantial longer than ropes with a lower sheath content.
The two ropes I have that have lasted longest are a Petzl Volta (not Volta Guide) and a Stirling 9.2mm, which I forget the name of.
Stirling ropes are pricey, but they are well made and last well.
I also have a dry treated decathlon 8.9mm which is holding up well. It was £90 for a 50m, which is a total steal.
In use it seems as good/bad as any other rope.
Beal Jokers go soft, quick in my experience.
First used a Joker in the Alps a couple of years ago. Very impressed, so bought my own. I have a pair of Beal half ropes for standard climbing but when I want a single I go with the Joker every time, rather than the other singles I have.
I had a Stirling nano photon?, great rope tough as old boots.
Will check decathalon
You're going against consensus on the Joker, but secretly Beal ropes always feel a bit soft, is that a % sheath issue?
Anyone tried the Beal Opera????
I've replaced my joker with a pair of operas at the back end of last year, had to send one back as it had sheath slippage, but got a replacement (took nearly 4 months, but it did go back to Germany, then France, then replacement sent from France to Germany and then to UK mostly during lockdown).
Aside from the aforementioned issue, they are really nice and will be used as halves as much as singles.
I use sub 9mm single ropes on a regular basis for sport and alpine on both bolts and trad.
The last two years I've had an Edelrid Canary 8.6 (50m), recently bought a Mammut Serenity 8.7 60m for longer pitches and more abbing possibilities when not carrying a tagline.
Both are excellent. The Canary is bombproof but the Mammut is more supple. I'd struggle to find a bad side to either, but I can say with certainty that the Canary is very robust so that's what I'd recommend. I've used it in the Frankenjura for redpointing multiple times and it has handled it with ease.
Anyone who thinks skinny ropes can't handle a beating is behind the times.
Probably teaching you to 'suck eggs' by posting this.
Look at a video of 'Unicore' compared to standard constructed ropes. As said in a previous thread, it quickly made my mind up for me. I think most manufacturers make 'Unicore' ropes now.
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