Your rope – as a climber, it’s the one piece of gear that you don’t back up, so it better be a good one, right? I’ve climbed on many different ropes over the
years, but my favorites above all are the New England Glider series – and specifically their 70m 9.9mm bipatterned rope. Here’s what makes this rope stand out above the rest…
- Twill-Pattern-Technology – What makes all of the Gliders so smooth is the 1 over 1 sheath design – not only does it feel great in your hand
but it also has noticeably less rope drag than other ropes. The first time I climbed on it I literally double-checked at least 3 or 4 times mid-route to make sure I was still tied in, because it was so light I could hardly feel it.
- EnduraDry – You can rest easy and climb on no matter what the forecast, because this rope is “double dry treated” – both the sheath and the core are treated, giving double the protection (which has come in handy for us quite a bit during those afternoon thunderstorms the Southeast is known for).
- A lightweight combination – It seems as though 70m is the new 60 these days…I’ve never been sorry to have the extra length – its enabled me to link pitches together without fear of running out of rope, which sometimes means the difference between sending and bailing. And because it’s only a 9.9, it doesn’t feel any heavier in my pack than a 10.2mm, 60m.
- Bi-patterned No more desperate searching for the middle of your rope in those last fleeting moments of sunlight! The bi-pattern makes setting up your end of day rappels a breeze.
- Feeds Smoothly – In our experience we had great success using this rope with a wide variety of belay devices – we found that even though 9.9mm was not recommended for use with the original grigri, this particular rope still had plenty of bite to auto-lock (just our experience – your mileage may vary!), which means it works equally well for projecting sport routes as itdoes long days of plugging gear. As a side note, the new grigri 2 now includes 9.9mm ropes in their recommended range of diameters.
- Only 5% Static Elongation – This is what sold my hubby on this rope. As a bigger dude, he is not a fan of super-stretchy ropes that force him to redo crux sequences over and over while working routes. Less static elongation means less ground is lost on second/toproping falls, but a Standard Dynamic Elongation still provides for a nice soft catch for leader falls.
- Long–lasting Durability – You’d think that such a thin rope wouldn’t last as long as its thicker, 10mm counterpart, but ours was used for almost 2.5 years before the sheath showed ANY signs of wear and tear.
My only complaint is hardly worth mentioning, but I figured that a balanced review would have at least one con. I wish that the 9.9 bi-patterned version came in brighter colors – the dark, muted colors make it blend in a little too well with the rock to the point that it can at times be harder to see. The other versions of the rope do come in brighter colors, and I wish those same options were available for the 9.9 bi-patterned.
All in all, these ropes are fantastic, and I would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone! If you’re in the market for a new cord (or even if you’re not – every climber worth their chalk knows you can never have too much gear!), check out the New England Glider series ropes – you won’t be disappointed, and they are worth every penny!