How you care for your climbing rope affects its performance and longevity. Since your climbing rope safeguards your life while you rock climb, aim to maintain it as best you can, not only in storage and while climbing, but also in transportation. Choose a way to carry your climbing rope that reduces or eliminates exposure to dirt, sunlight, tangles and other harmful substances.
A climbing rope bag provides a convenient method for carrying a climbing rope. A rope bag protects the climbing rope from dirt and debris inside the climber's backpack and outside, as well as from sunlight. Rope bags come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. The more expensive rope bags often feature backpack straps and additional storage space. Rope bags with built-in tarps keep the climbing rope in a ready-to-climb state, with each end of the already stacked rope tied to a loop in the bag. When done climbing, simply retie each end of the stacked rope to each loop, then roll up the rope inside the bag's tarp. If the rope bag only fits an already coiled rope, bring a separate tarp to protect the rope from dirt on the ground.
The butterfly coil readies the climbing rope for transportation purposes. After coiling, put the climbing rope in your backpack, preferably inside a rope bag designed for carrying a coiled rope or wrapped in a tarp. You can also carry the coiled rope on the outside of the backpack, usually cinched between the top compartment and the main compartment.
Use the butterfly coil method to create a rope backpack for carrying your climbing rope without a backpack or rope bag. Leave several arm lengths of rope out when coiling. Place the coiled rope on your back. Bring one rope end over each shoulder from the back. Wrap the two ends in opposite directions around your waist and the rope. Tie the two ends in a snug knot in front, forming a backpack belt.
When moving a short distance from climb to climb, particularly at a sport climbing area, perform the first portion of the butterfly coiling method---draping arm-length loops of rope over your shoulders and around your neck---to transport your rope. This allows you to move the climbing rope easily over short distances without exposing it unnecessarily to dirt or tangling.
Article Written By Alli Rainey
A professional writer since 1997, Harvard graduate Alli Rainey has written several books, including "Wyoming: An Explorer's Guide." Her articles have appeared in "Climbing Magazine," "Rock & Ice," and "Men's Fitness," among many others.