The fourth part in our 'Ready for Rock' series. This time looking at how to inspect and establish the age of your slings and ropes. It is recommended that you check your equipment every time before going out climbing and especially after it hasn't been used for a while. Check the user instructions (links below) for correct storage details.
- Establish year of manufacture by examining the label at the end of the rope. For rope lifespan see individual manufacturer's user instructions.
- Methodically examine all of the rope by running the entire length through your hands. Check for flat spots/bulges/irregularities. The whole length should form a uniform curve as in the video.
- If you see any exposed core, abrasion or excessive wear, heat damage/glazing then remove from use.
- Use of a rope tarp (even at an indoor wall) will help keep your rope clean and free from dirt/grit.
- Wash rope if needed (see user instructions—link below).
- Establish age by looking at sewn-in label. You should see YYDDD XXXX where YY = year of manufacture, DDD is number of day of that year and XXXX is individual identifier.
- Sling lifespan is considered as 10 years maximum (subject to use and appropriate storage).
- Methodically examine length of sling looking at all four sides. Inspect the safety critical stitching (sewn part of sling in contrasting colour).
- If you see any broken stitches, cuts and nicks, wear and abrasion, chemical contamination (such as from marker pen/tape) or heat damage/glazing then remove from use.