For those of you who read my recent article on what to look for when buying a canyoning rope (https://fatcanyoners.org/2018/11/17/canyoning-rope/), you will have seen that I highlighted the 8mm Bluewater Canyon Extreme as the absolute, top-of-the line canyoning rope currently on the market. But I also mentioned a pretty major downside: no one in Australia stocks it and it is very expensive to ship from the US.
After a great deal of effort it looks like I have been able to arrange a bulk import of this rope that will not only make it available for the first time, but will also make it 30 to 40 per cent cheaper than buying individual ropes from the US.
Canyon Extreme (https://www.bluewaterropes.com/product/ ... n-extreme/) uses two high-end fibres to produce a rope that is not only stronger, but also more abrasion and cut resistant than most thicker canyoning ropes available. The sheath is made of Technora, which is an exceptionally cut resistant fibre. It is also capable of handling extremely hot temperatures. The core is 100 per cent Dyneema, which is a fibre that has the strength of a steel cable of the same diametre. Not only is the sheath made from a fibre that is substantially more abrasion and cut resistant than the polyester and nylon traditionally used for canyoning ropes, but this part of the rope that deals with wear and tear of canyons is thicker than most canyoning ropes so further extends its lifespan (the sheath makes up 58 per cent of the rope).
This rope is also a true static, with about 1 per cent stretch when loaded with an average abseiler (which is about a quarter of the elongation you get with a lot of canyoning ropes on the market). This further reduces abrasive wear. Despite being just 8mm in diametre it retains a tensile strength of 24.5kN. It is also extremely light, at just 42 grams per metre. The use of specialist fibres that are naturally hydrophobic, so don't absorb water, also means the weight difference is even greater when comparing wet ropes. That makes the weight benefits even more substantial on the walk out from a canyon.
I will point out that this rope is very flexible and runs quite fast through descenders, so I don't recommend it for beginners. It is best suited to more advanced users who are doing trips that involve lots of large abseils (think Kanangra) or more remote trips, where reducing weight and bulk are more important. It is also best suited for use with descenders that allow friction to be varied both before weighting the rope, and during the abseil.
I'm also going to order some VT Prusiks (https://www.bluewaterropes.com/product/7mm-vt-prusik/) at the same time. If you haven't seen or used these, they're an amazing tool that can be used for ascending, self-belay while rappelling, or a range of rescue / hauling situations. Have a look at this video that outlines just some of their many uses:
The VT Prusik also utilises the strength, heat and cut resistance of Techora to produce an incredibly strong, safe, yet light-weight piece of equipment.
I will be placing the order in a couple weeks time. I won't have an exact price until that takes place (it depends on how much rope we order, the exchange rate, and shipping costs), but I estimate the costs will be no more than the following (and if it's a reasonable sized order, less than this):
- 8mm Canyon Extreme: $7 per metre
- VT Prusik: $35 each
- postage: $15 (or pick-up in lower Blue Mountains)
If you're interested in being part of this bulk order, please fill out your details on this Google spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
Please note, because you can't melt Technora, I will cut the rope into specific lengths and heat shrinking the ends, as per the manufacturers instructions. If you want to end up with more than one rope, please list the length in metres of each rope you want.
Buy, swap, and sell canyoning-specific gear.
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