How Long Does A Climbing Rope Last In Storage? (2022)

After hearing a lot of different viewpoints on the longevity of climbing ropes,

We were looking for an answer to the question of how long does a climbing rope last in storage.

Here’s what we discovered:

This article is for you if you’re a beginner or just climb once in a while and want to know when the optimum time is to replace your rope.

We’ll go over all you need to know about rope replacement in this article,

So you’ll never have to worry about using a broken rope again.

Continue reading for key red signs, information on frequency of usage, and more!

How Long Does A Climbing Rope Last In Storage?

So you have that rope stashed away in your garage.

You know, the one you bought four years ago when you were certain you’d become an experienced rock climber but never pulled out of the bag.

Now you’re ready to go. You’ve gone through the rock climbing manuals.

You’ve discussed the sport with your friends. You’ve got a great team behind you, and you’re ready to take on the world.

The only question is whether or not your rope will hold up.

Unused ropes, on the other hand, can last up to ten years if they are not damaged.

This means that your four-year-old rope, still in its bag, is probably just as eager to climb as you are.

How Many Falls Can A Climbing Rope Take?

How Long Does A Climbing Rope Last In Storage

A normal ISO-approved climbing rope can withstand a minimum of five falls.

But, in terms of the norm, what is a fall? There is a regulated procedure to test ropes for fall safety,

And I’ll go over that in more depth later in this piece.

After reading this article, you’ll not only know how many falls a climbing rope can withstand,

But you’ll also know why that figure can be deceiving. You’ll also learn how to prevent damaging your rope by falling.

When you fall when climbing, your rope absorbs the majority of the impact energy.

Climbing ropes stretch while they are under tension, and this stretch absorbs the force of your fall.

Any fall higher than 3 feet would very certainly result in terrible injuries to your spine and intestines if the rope didn’t stretch,

As your harness would stop you in fractions of a second, transferring the energy of the capture to your body.

What Causes Ropes to Wear Out?

So now you know (in general) how often to replace your rope and what to look for in a new rope, but what causes your rope to wear out?

Wear and tear? Age?

Knowing what elements wreak havoc on your rope’s health is a smart starting step toward providing it with the protection it requires to reach its full potential.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the elements that could affect your rope’s health.

1. Water

Rope damage is frequently caused by water (or moisture in general).

When your rope is exposed to water or other liquids, it stiffens and loses its effectiveness.

As a result, many companies provide “dry rope” choices that are less susceptible to water or moisture damage.

It’s crucial to remember, too, that these ropes aren’t impervious to water damage. As a result,

It’s ideal to store your rope, regardless of its type, away from water and liquids, preferably in an airtight container.

2. Dirt

As previously said, dirt can get through your rope and reduce its effectiveness.

As a result, it’s critical not to simply throw your rope on the ground or leave it outside.

When dirt (or any foreign particle) comes into touch with the core of your rope, it can cause deformities and make the climb more perilous.

4. Soaps

Unfortunately, cleaning dirt off your rope is not as simple as it appears.

Many soaps include harsh ingredients that can harm the nylon or core of your rope. As a result, it’s critical to choose carefully what you use to clean your rope.

To clean your climbing rope, the UIAA suggests pH neutral cleaning products (such as natural soap flakes)

Or product-specific cleaning materials. Following these guidelines can go a long way toward preserving the health of your rope,

Especially since some popular options like Woolite have been reported to reduce rope strength by nine to twelve percent.

If you’re unsure about what to use on your rope, try lukewarm water with no soap.

Many of the dirtied parts of your rope can be removed without causing damage with this method.

You can use a cleaning brush to achieve this, but be careful not to brush too hard, since this will wear down your rope.

4. Sunlight

Direct sunshine or severe UV radiation can wear out your rope’s outer coating and cause harm to the core.

As a result, it’s always a good idea to keep your rope out of direct sunlight and in an airtight container away from moisture.

Obviously, if you’re climbing outside, you won’t be able to dodge the sun entirely.

As a result, it’s even more critical to restrict your rope’s exposure to UV light in order to extend its life.

How Often Do Climbing Ropes Break?

The most crucial factor in evaluating whether or not your rope is safe to climb on is to inspect it.

Regardless of inspection, each manufacturer’s maximum lifespan recommendation is ten years.

What To Do With Old Climbing Rope

1 Rope Rug

A rope rug is a fun and easy way to incorporate climbing into your house.

This video will show you how to make a braided rope rug out of an old climbing rope, which is perfect for your bathroom or front door.

A large wooden board, some nails, your rope, and your pattern are all you’ll need.

Use two different coloured old ropes, like this, for added style points:

This round variation of a rope rug is also a good choice. Because the design is more easy in the circular shape, you have greater size options.

The circular pattern of numerous climbing ropes, with its multi-colored design, lends a lovely touch to living rooms or bedrooms.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you could make your own climbing rope rug like this one.

There are a plethora of patterns to choose from, so this is an excellent opportunity to try new things!

2 Clothesline

Use an old climbing rope as a clothesline if you’re feeling less inventive.

This is a quick and easy way to give your rope a new lease on life.

Simply lay your garments over the rope to dry in your yard, garage, or balcony.

If you wish to use clothespins, you may need to remove the core of the rope and only use the sheath.

You might also look for some gigantic plastic clips that will fit around your old climbing rope.

3 Rope Basket

With this cute rope basket pattern, you may store your new climbing rope in your old climbing rope.

Your old climbing rope, a rope cutter, a hot glue gun, and a cylinder the size you want your basket to be are all required materials.

To make the basket’s foundation, coil the rope like you did with the rug.

Wrap the rope around your cylinder, hot glueing as you go. To personalise it, you can add several styles of handles or tops.

4 Rope Coaster or Pot Holder

Make yourself a set of rope coasters or pot holders for even more indoor climbing feelings.

How to make your new coasters, but you’re basically creating the base of a climbing rope basket  (or a tiny rope rug).

You can also stitch the mats together or fuse the rope together with a lighter if you don’t have a glue gun.

5 Dog Leash

The nicest part about a rope dog leash is that it can withstand indefinite abuse.

Your old climbing rope may not be strong enough to grab your 20-foot whipper, but it will hold your 70-pound German shepherd.

This dog leash is simple to create and incorporates a repurposed carabiner.

To begin, cut your existing climbing rope two feet longer than the length of your desired leash.

Then tie a figure-eight on one end and an overhand on the other with a bite.

Simply attach your carabiner to the figure-eight loop and you’re done! You now have a leash for your dog.

You may also use this method, which weaves together two sections of climbing rope,

For an even more sturdy dog leash or if you have a thinner rope.

6 Dog Toy

The beauty of climbing rope for dogs, as with the dog leash, is that even small puppy teeth will have difficulty chewing through it.

You may build a variety of dog toys out of your rope, ranging from simple to complex patterns.

A monkey fist knot is a popular option. Because the monkey fist requires little climbing rope,

You can create a bunch of them for your dog. Make another monkey fist, figure eight, or overhand on a bite with the tail from the knot as a handle.

You may also build a monkey fist with braided ends for dogs who are really rough with their toys, such as this one.

If your dog enjoys tennis balls, include one in your design, such as these Chews On Belay Dog Toys.

Check out the poochie person play toy for a guide on how to make an indestructible chew toy out of a tennis ball.

7 Beer Koozie

Make a beer koozie out of an old climbing rope.

This wonderful how-to video from Sierra Trading Post shows you how to make your own rope drink holder.

This craft only requires a rope and a lighter (or something to heat up the rope).

8 Rope Furniture

Making furniture out of discarded climbing rope can be done in a variety of ways.

A small stool with a rope top and an ottoman built out of a vehicle tyre and rope are two examples.

If you have a bunch of old ropes stacked in a corner and some free time, this could be a fun project to do.

Check out Mark Heffley’s rope designs for functional sculptures for more ideas.

9 Rope Bag

Climbing rope creates great bag straps, as seen on this bag created from old jeans and rope.

You may also stitch the sheaths together to produce a decorative and useful shoulder bag by removing the rope’s core.

A macramé rope bag is another entertaining option for groceries or carrying heavier stuff.

You can try keeping the core in, but removing it may make it simpler to tie tight knots.

10 Rope Chalk Bag

You probably already have a chalk bag, but if you want to make a custom one, you can utilise your old ropes to make one.

You’ll need a sewing machine for this project, which you may either own or borrow.

To make your chalk bag, cut the core out of the ropes and sew portions of the sheath together to make a cloth piece.

Then, like this one, you can use a chalk bag pattern for ordinary fabric.

You could also try coiling the rope like in the basket instruction, but we couldn’t find one, so you’d have to get creative.

How Long Does Nylon Rope Last?

While there is no commonly accepted shelf life for unused nylon and polyester ropes, we recommend a maximum of 10 years for properly stored ropes.

Heat, humidity, UV light, exposure to higher or lower temperatures, and chemicals can shorten the rope’s shelf life.

How Long Do Climbing Carabiners Last?

Carabiners are quite durable. When properly maintained, they can easily last 10, 15, 20, or even a lifetime.

Because metals do not naturally deteriorate, manufacturers do not provide a retirement age or recommended lifespan for their carabiners,

Unlike slings and ropes, which have a 10-year retirement recommendation.

How Long Do Quickdraws Last?

Quickdraws will typically last 3 to 5 years with moderate use. If the carabiners are in good shape,

Replacing the dogbone/sling will increase the quickdraw’s lifespan.

When Quickdraws are damaged, worn out, or have dogbones that are more than 10 years old, they are not safe to use.

How Long Does Arborist Rope Last?

Here’s what we discovered: The most crucial factor in evaluating whether or not your rope is safe to climb on is to inspect it.

Regardless of inspection, each manufacturer’s maximum lifespan recommendation is ten years.
How to Repurpose an Old Climbing Rope


A climbing rope should never be washed in a washing machine or exposed to harsh cleaners.

Use a bathtub or a huge bucket instead. To clean the rope, fill the container with soapy water and pass it through your hands.

This is also an excellent time to inspect the rope visually and mechanically.

When you’re done, rinse it many times until it’s clean.

Once a rope has been cleaned and dried, it can be stored according to the BMC’s shelf-life recommendations.

So, even after 8 or 9 years on the shelf, if it has never been used in a climb and has only gotten soiled in shipment, it should be fine to use.

At the same time, it goes without saying that a rope that has been used every day for six months would not magically recover after ten years on the shelf.

Even if it passes a visual inspection, you should be hesitant to bring it back into service after all that time.

This is due to the fact that even resting on a shelf for that amount of time provides time to work on the nylon.

Another factor to think about when it comes to the longevity of your climbing rope is the policies of any authority that sets the rules for you.

If you’re a guide, for example, and your insurance provider has more stringent criteria than the rope’s maker,

You should always follow their guidelines to ensure that you’re protected.

When To Retire A Climbing Rope

How Long Should A Gym Climbing Rope Be?

A decent climbing rope can last up to or beyond 10 years if properly stored and used infrequently.

In reality, an average climber can obtain 5 years of off-and-on climbing, or a guiding agency can get months to a year of off-and-on climbing.

What Does The Number Of Falls Mean On A Climbing Rope?

Ropes for lead climbing are designed with a precise amount of stretch to catch the climber’s fall softly enough to prevent harm.

However, when the rope stiffens with each fall, it catches the fall harder, increasing the risk of injury to the climber.

And there’s the danger of tearing the anchors loose from the cliff.

Ropes can be manufactured to be “safe” for a variety of fall numbers.

A soft catch is no longer assured once that number is achieved.

Can You Rappel With An Old Climbing Rope?

Of course, you can. The real question is whether or not you should. (Alternatively, how much do you value your life?)

In the winter, I personally use old climbing ropes to rescue cars that have fallen off the road.

When I drove a little Subaru station waggon, I used to pull a number of SUVs out of ditches by attaching a 100-foot length of old rope to them and sprinting 30 or 40 feet.

Before bringing the Subaru to a halt, the rope would stretch about 120 or 130 feet.

I then slammed on the brakes, either sling-shotting the Subaru back towards the SUV or (typically) causing the SUV to burst out of the ditch.

Non-stretchable tow lines would have been significantly less effective and difficult on the vehicles. (Plus, it was entertaining!)

CONCLUSION : How Long Does A Climbing Rope Last In Storage

It’s not difficult to get a ten-year lifespan out of your stored climbing ropes.

If you’ve recently acquired new ropes and want to store them,

It’s as simple as putting them inside a suitable cover and placing them somewhere cool and dry.

If you’ve used the ropes before, even if it was only once, inspecting,

Cleaning, and properly storing them before putting them away will ensure that they’re ready to use when you pull them out.

FAQ’S On: How Long Does A Climbing Rope Last In Storage

How do you store a climbing rope?

Can I use old climbing rope?

Use an old climbing rope as a clothesline if you’re feeling less inventive.

This is a quick and easy way to give your rope a new lease on life.

Simply lay your garments over the rope to dry in your yard, garage, or balcony.

Does rock climbing rope expire?

When Should Climbing Slings, Webbing, and Cord Be Retired?

Slings, webbing, and cable should be decommissioned after 10 years, according to most manufacturers,

Even if they are never used. The lifespan could be closer to two to five years with moderate use and no significant accidents.

How long can you store a climbing rope?

ten years

The most crucial factor in evaluating whether or not your rope is safe to climb on is to inspect it.

Regardless of inspection, each manufacturer’s maximum lifespan recommendation is ten years.

And that lifespan is 10 years from the date of production, regardless of how much or how little the rope is used.

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