Published on January 10th, 2011 | by Rita0
Dominate the Crag with BlueWater and Omega Pacific
Itʻs a brand new year, and many gyms across the country, and across the world, will be crammed full of people who have resolved to lose that extra holiday weight. We devised our own resolution for the year, or at least for this month, which is to avoid all of those other people filling up the gyms. Many of us here at Truly Industries indulge at our local rock gyms and outdoor crags, and since the gyms are full, the climbing choices were clear. We loaded up gear, and headed out to the crag, in order to better inform you, dear reader, about some of the coolest gear around. It was a completely selfless act on our part, we assure you. No fun was had here, none at all. Not even when we were using our carabiners to crack open the brews after we were done. (Note: Climbing is a dangerous sport. We do not condone or advocate drinking alcohol before climbing, or while climbing.)
There are several things that are necessary to have in order to climb outdoors. First you need a rope. That seems like a simple thing, but the reality is that ropes can be complicated and slightly confusing. There are single ropes, double ropes, half ropes, dynamic, static, and dry, and thatʻs just for starters. When choosing your rope youʻll want to consider things like your own personal skill level, where youʻll be taking it to climb, and what kind of gear youʻll be using it with (belay devices, quickdraws, etc.)
We tested out the BlueWater Dominator at a couple of different crags here in Hawaii. This 9.4mm rope is one of the lightest weight single dynamic ropes you can get anywhere. It weighs in at 55g per meter, and is rated for 7UIAA falls. Our rope is the 60m standard, and it also comes in dry and double-dry bi-color. (Bi-color means that the rope pattern changes at the halfway mark.) If youʻre used to using a thicker rope you might not trust this rope right off the bat. Itʻs extremely lightweight and quite thin. It only takes a few times up and down on this rope to realize itʻs every bit as durable as a 10.5mm or heavier rope. If you are used to using a grigri itʻs worth mentioning that this ropeʻs diameter is too small for that device.
Versatility is the name of the game with the Dominator. Not only is it a fantastic single dynamic rope, itʻs also certified as a Half rope, and itʻs rated for 16 falls when used in this manor. If you are in the market for ultra-light and ultra-strong rope, this is absolutely the rope you should turn to. The Dominator is available on Amazon for $207-242. Regarding ropes, never continue to use a rope past the recommended time or number of falls, your life and safety are much more valuable than the money it takes to get a new rope.
Part of the fun of sport climbing is leading a climb. Thereʻs nothing quite like the rush you get when youʻre out on the wall, above your last bolt. When leading, the kind of quickdraws you use can make a world of difference in how smoothly the climb goes. Ideally you want to have a quickdraw that is extremely strong, and has a durable dogbone that wonʻt fray with repeated use.
We tried out the Five-O Quickdraws from Omega Pacific, and came to several conclusions. They are a bit heavier than some of our other draws, but have a nice wide mouth, which makes them very easy to clip with. We have a preference for the bent gate/wire gate combination. If youʻre unfamiliar with wire gates you should definitely give them a try, they donʻt have the same flutter that a solid gate has. These draws also have a unique feel to them, itʻs almost as if they “click” into an open position. They certainly donʻt hold themselves open, but once you have the gate open it doesnʻt take a lot of force to keep it there, and when you release pressure it quickly snaps shut again. We found that itʻs a very nice feature, whether itʻs intentional or not. (It also makes them fun to click open and shut when you have nothing better to do with your hands.)
The weight load for these draws is 22kN, which basically means youʻre going to have to try extremely hard to surpass each individual drawʻs weight limit. The Five-Oʻs come individually from Omega Pacific for around $21 apiece, or you can purchase a pack of six from Amazon for just under $100.
Climb on, and have a great time!