How to choose the right climbing rope (part 2)

International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) has a regulation on safety standards, which applies to all types of climbing vines. It is the responsibility of independent laboratories to carry out these tests.

The packaging of the climbing belts clearly lists test results according to UIAA safety standards including drop index, hardness, stretchability and maximum pull force. Take these stats into consideration, along with the type of climbing you will enter to choose the most suitable rope.

Indicator when falling

UIAA will check how many drops the wire can withstand before it fails completely. The fall force in the laboratory is usually higher than most of the force of the fall under real world circumstances, so this drop reading is quite a good result.

Single rope is tested by dropping 80 kg weight hanging on rope, twin rope will drop 55 kg weight with each rope, and dual wire will drop 80 kg weight hanging on both wires. Single and double wires will have to withstand at least 5 drops. Dual wire must withstand at least 12 times. All falls must comply with UIAA standards.

Ropes that meet UIAA’s fall rating will be safe enough to climb. A rope with a high drop rating can last longer than a low rated string. However, remember to always check the cord thoroughly after a few drops, considering replacing the cord if any damage occurs.


Hardness, or load capacity, is the amount of wire that expands when an 80 kg object is hung on the wire. The hardness of single rope and double rope should not exceed 10% of original length of wire. The double rope type is not allowed to stretch more than 12%. Hardness is an important consideration when climbing with anchors on top and loading things high and climbing on a fixed route with a grip device. The higher the stiffness index means the less efficient the rope is, as grip is dissipated as the string is stretched more.


Elongation is the length of the string elongated after the first drop according to UIAA standards. High stretch means you will fall further away, so generally the lower the better the better, as less ropes reduce the likelihood of falling off a cliff or ground. However, less stretching of the rope increases the shock force on the climber, supporter, and attachment. The UIAA allows a wire to stretch no more than 40% of its original length.


The shock force is the force in kilonewtons that the weight of the UIAA drop test is subjected. The lower the number, the less shock force the person is dropped, the support or the part is subjected to. The larger the stretch, the smaller the recoil. The small pull will help you to brake more gently when you fall. However, it is often associated with a large stretch, which can be laborious when climbing with top anchors.