In the interest of honing our skills and testing some new outdoor gear, Jeff Randall, Patrick Rollins and Shane Adams spent the day bouncing a 185′ cliff known as “Weaver” in Little River Canyon (Northeast Alabama). We wanted to test out a new 8mm Grand rope from Atwood that features a Dyneema core encased in a Polyester sheath to see how it would work out for our SAR team.
I’ve found Polyester sheaths to be a little faster on stainless steel rack bars (compared to aluminum rack bars) when it comes to the coefficient of friction, and the Atwood rope proved to be no different. The 8mm size makes it a little less manageable in the brake hand than larger ropes, so be prepared to add extra friction to make up for it. Since I was using a micro rack, I simply took a wrap over the hyper bar and that was plenty to assure a comfortable, smooth ride to the bottom. Shane and Patrick each used a Sterling ATS descender and wrapped an extra horn to make it less stressful on their brake hand.
With a 24kN rating, .93% @ 300 lbs. elongation, and a weight of 2.6 Lbs. per 100 feet, I can see this rope getting a lot of future use in caves, canyons and pits.
Due to a lack of edge protection on the sharp-edged lip, we decided to not climb the Atwood rope on this trip (more tests coming with some upcoming pit bounces). Instead, we ascended the first line we had rigged: an Imlay 8.3mm Canyon Fire rope that we had well-protected on the knife edge. With that said, I have no doubt the Atwood rope with it’s low elongation will make a great climbing rope.
Here are a few pics: