Black Diamond Equipment!!!!
They have been a pretty big innovator and a golden standard in the climbing industry for many years. Something new to their awesome product line are ropes and here is some of my experience with their 9.9mm dynamic climbing rope.
So let’s dive right in!
The Black Diamond Equipment 9.9mm is a decent rope right off the bat. It comes in several different length options, but due to my use needs I own the 70m length. Out of the box you notice a few things. The rope is a sick bright blue color, it’s supple and the middle mark is very distinguishable. These are some awesome traits but let’s break them down a little.
Using the rope in a lot of different terrain and putting it through the abuse of guiding climbs, iv been able to get to know it’s strengths and weaknesses.
Here are some of its strengths:
1. Affordable cost.
Let’s be honest we all think about price points when it comes to gear. This rope is priced at a fair and affordable cost for its quality. This makes it already a good choice.
2. Supple construction.
Now this is a catch 22. The pliable construction of the rope makes it soft to the hands and makes it easier to handle/tie. Now this can cause a draw back and I’ll tell you why in the weakness section. But for cragging and moderate use, it’s a nice rope.
This is for those who enjoy some nerdy facts. (I sure do) The 9.9 is decent in the weight category. At 64g per meter or 2.3 oz, it is ok on the weight. So, I don’t know if this is truly a strength or not, but hey where going to give it to them! 🤙
4. Like anything else that comes from Black Diamond it’s made well. The quality of the material is high and I have not experienced anything such as sheath slippage or material breakdown.
5. Bright color.
This rope comes out of the box as an eye popping bright blue.That is the first thing you notice about it! This is a pretty good advantage when climbing outdoors, especially during those dawn patrol missions or into the wee hours of the evening!
Here are some weak points of this rope:
1. Supple construction.
As mentioned above this is a catch 22 for this rope. Where the rope excels in its soft and pliable construction it loses a little in its lack of durability. Now as mentioned earlier, it’s great for cragging and general, moderate use that most climbers will need it for. For more heavy abuse and use, it might not be for you. While guiding many single and multi pitch routes with this rope Iv noticed that it’s sheath can get abrasions easily. This isn’t a product quality problem as it is more so a con to it being nice and soft. (Don’t let this scare ya off)
2. The middle mark.
When just out of the box and after a few uses this middle mark seems forever permanent. With its bright blue rope color and a dark middle mark it also seems super obvious where it is. My experience though has been that the middle mark eventually fades away and it become very difficulty do distinguish the middle. This is obviously something that can be fixed with industry approved middle marking pens, markers or threads.
3. It’s not dry treated.
This is not a weakness for some but can be for other. Climbing a lot in the southeast it tend to get pretty soggy at times. This can be somewhat problematic for the climber as the rope will get damp or wet often. This can lead to some rope damage if your not taking care of the rope well. This can also be a problem for those who enjoy ice climbing where having a non dry treated rope is not a good option. But for those who are climbing in dry conditions and also those who take good care of their rope (ie use a rope tarp, ground cloth) this should not be a really problem.
That’s all in the weaknesses category. There aren’t many!
So.....if your looking for a good rope that is a general all around gem, then this is one you should for sure look into. Hope this helps you out on your rope searching needs and as always climb on!