If the quality of a rope is inversely related to the tangle you create undoing the factory coil (what is it about factory coils?), then the Anniversary Rope is a great rope because I created the Mother of All Clusterfucks uncoiling it for the first time.
The Anniversary Rope is a 9.7mm dry-treated, bi-colour dynamic rope that was created by Edelrid to celebrate its 150th anniversary of manufacturing climbing gear. Given that it represents so many years of rope-making experience – for instance, Edelrid invented the kernmantle rope – I was very curious to try it out.
The first thing I noticed about the Anniversary Rope – as I spent half an hour untangling it – is that it has a really nice ‘hand’, that term climbers use for the feel of a rope. This initial feeling proved to be accurate. Many ropes, particularly the first couple of times you use them, can often get annoyingly kinky, but the Anniversary Rope has run smoothly from the beginning, only really giving me problems when I have lowered climbers off badly set up anchors (like the clip-and-goes on Redex Irlont Sudano at Werribee Gorge) and that is hardly the fault of the rope. It also hasn’t stiffened up with use as some ropes tend to do.
I like the 9.7mm diameter, it’s a good compromise between weight and durability, particularly if you like using a 60m or 70m rope (which seems to be the trend these days), as larger diameter ropes start to get pretty heavy at these lengths and makes coiling an epic feat of strength. Of course, as soon as you start using ropes at the skinnier end of nine millimetres then they wear out quite quickly, particularly if you are sport climber who spends lots of time dogging – and who can afford to buy new ropes all the time?
It’s always very subjective commenting on how a rope wears, because often it depends on how you treat them. Having said that, the Anniversary Rope has worn well thus far (I have had it for around four months, during which I have been climbing quite a bit [for a man who has a child]). It hasn’t had an easy life, I’ve used it in ways I wouldn’t have done with my own rope, including repeatedly lowering off anchors set back from the clifftop. Despite this punishment the rope is still looking good.
I am also a big fan of bi-colour ropes, although I must admit that I didn’t realise this rope was bi-colour until someone else pointed it out to me – it has a very subtle dark fleck that appears in one half and not the other. Despite being subtle, once you know it exists (what’s that about reading the instructions?) then it makes it easy to note the midpoint.
As a bonus, the Anniversary Rope also comes with a limited-edition Caddy rope bag, which is basically a lightweight version of the standard Caddy rope bag. It’s an excellent rope bag, it has a bucket-like centre to stash the rope in and a decent-sized tarp surrounding it. It all stows away easily and neatly, and it has light shoulder strap if you want to carry it anywhere. It’s actually one of the better rope bags I have used.
If the Anniversary Rope was designed to celebrate 150 years of rope-making experience then Edelrid has succeeded admirably, because I have found it to be an excellent rope. It offers a nice blend of durability and light weight along with excellent handling, and is easily up there with the best ropes I have used.