Kim Jacobs and her husband own an international adventure travel company called Mountain Spirits that takes people trekking, skiing and climbing all over the world including Asia, Europe and South America. When Kim is not working, she is climbing rocks somewhere on this planet, normally close to where she just finished guiding be it Utah, Idaho, Thailand, Spain, Italy, or Argentina. Kim chatted with us about her passion: helping others enjoy the outdoors.
Last summer after dragging my heavy, half ropes up various multi-pitches in the Sawtooths, I began shopping around for something lighter and came across the Beal Gully 7.3 (the thinnest, lightest half rope on the market). My stars aligned! The Beal Gully ropes come in bright orange and green and 50, 60 or 70 meter lengths. I went for the 70 meter length since these ropes are so light and 70 meters of rope gives you so many options on long routes. I used the Beal Air Force 3 Belay Device with the ropes, as it’s one of the few belay devices rated for this size rope.
Before taking my ropes climbing, I uncoiled them and drug them full length around the yard to get initial kinks out. I then took them to the Tumwater Canyon in Washington to do the fun Canary Route.
As I mentioned before, these ropes come in bright (almost neon) orange and green. The difference between the green and orange make them easy to identify when calling for “slack on green” or “up-rope on orange!” They show up well on both granite and sandstone which is a bonus for photos.
The ropes did not seem stiff out of the bag and moved smooth through my hands on belays and leading/clipping both ropes into the same piece of gear. They did not misbehave or tangle on the first outing which is always a good sign.
The Canary route features a walk off descent. At the top I coiled the ropes, threw them on my back and forgot they were there. The weight (or lack of) is a HUGE bonus, especially when you are heading into the mountains with a rack and your camping gear for a week.
The Beal Air Force 2 worked super smooth with these ropes. They ropes ran smoothly through this belay device and did not catch or lock up. I also received a couple of the new Grivel Twin Gate locking carabiners and these worked great with the Air Force 2. As the fall moved on, I headed south for a season of desert sandstone routes.
The Beal ‘Unicore‘ construction (bonding of sheath to core) is what gives me confidence in the strength and durability of these 7.3 mm ropes in the mountains. As climbers we have to keep open minds, explore new technology and evolve with it. Remember when we all climbed on 11 mm ropes and 10 mm seemed skinny and scary?!
After many pitches of climbing, the ropes showed little wear. The Dry Cover treatment works! In the late fall, I took them out on a sandstone route that was partially covered in snow and ice. After being exposed to wet sand and melting snow, these ropes were still clean and dry at the end of the day.
Overall, I am digging these ropes and can’t wait to get them out next season for some long summer days on the rock!