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Tendon Rope 9.7mm x 60m Master

Review by planetFear
Wednesday 13th June 2007

After a long, dark winter of bouldering I was reluctant to emerge from under steep, damp rocks around the country and tie on. But, I knew, with light creeping into the evenings and the rain abating slightly it was happening, the route climbing season was approaching.

I thought I’d beat the crowds by getting some sneaky training sessions in early. I have to admit that my first few visits to the wall were to show off my shiny new rope. The Tendon Master is only 9.7mm in diameter, making it smooth, sleek and light. Even better, mine is bright green! I was a bit dubious at using such a smooth, thin rope but found it works well with both auto locking and conventional belay devices. However, to start off with it was a bit slick in conventional belaying devices, this I found out to my cost as I whipped the entire length of the indoor wall… Like most new ropes it was a bit ‘kinky’ to start with and twisted up like a telephone cable for the first few belays. However, after I’d used it a couple of times it ran smoothly every time and didn’t kink.

Tendon ropes are a new addition to the UK rope market, made by a Czech rope making company called Lanex. The strands of this rope have been weaved individually, instead of in pairs which is how ropes are normally constructed. It sounds a bit far fetched but this rope has a notably smooth finish compared to other ropes.

I went on week’s holiday sports climbing to Spain. Brilliant! A week away from the miserable wet British weather, a perfect chance to blow away the cobwebs, kick start the sport climbing season and test the new rope. I thought.

At 60m in length I found this rope nicely versatile. Due to its low diameter it doesn’t feel too heavy or bulky to bring it to the wall. However, it copes well with sports routes in a variety of areas, tried and tested from the Peak’s Raven Tor to the supposedly sunny cliffs of Siurana in Spain.

The sports climbing holiday was a disaster. I was desperately unfit from a winter of bouldering, it poured rain all week and the crags were packed. I came home totally disillusioned and vowed never to go sports climbing again.

So, I went trad climbing. I used the rope for abseiling, fell on it, pulled it over a few sharp edges, dropped it in the sea and left it out in the rain. I was impressed with this rope’s durability. Despite my best attempts it did not become ‘fuzzy’ or even slightly frayed looking at all.

The manufacturers claim that it has an “SBS sheath construction for improved resistance to abrasion”. I don’t know about that but I did think the close weave of the strands helps it to slide over edges. It handles well, is easy to contain in hanging belays and doesn’t twist up when abseiling.

I was pretty impressed with this rope. It is easy to handle and durable. It’s a handy length and, at 9.7mm feels nice and slim! If only I hadn’t left it in the back of someone else’s car!


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