Friday, November 20, 2009

Rope Reincarnation

Operation climbing gear renewal has commenced! Step 1: admit that my climbing ropes (purchased 10 and 8 years ago) have become a danger to myself and my climbing partners, and therefore must be retired. I don't mind buying a new rope so much, but the thought of these two good-looking ropes sitting in a landfill really bugs me. They haven't been used heavily in those years, but honestly I can't remember how much they have been used, and everything I've read says that time matters as much as use anyway.

So, the ropes are not going to the landfill, but they will no longer be climbed on, and I will NOT keep things that will never be used sitting around in closets. The 8-year-old rope is now a doormat. This 9.8mm, 60m rope was purchased because my 50m rope simply wasn't long enough for El Potrero Chico. Needless to say, this rope has enjoyed some great adventures. Perhaps it would prefer a more glorious retirement than being a doormat, but this way, I'll get to see it everyday.

Find some excellent instructions here. If you can tie a figure-8 follow-through, then you can turn your rope into a fancy doormat. (It takes more time than a figure-8 follow-through, but really it's only a wee bit more complex).

Here's my test piece. Don't ask me why I thought crochet thread would be easier to work with than climbing rope, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

This is how the whole thing gets started:
And the (mostly) finished product. I still need to fix the bottom so it doesn't fall apart when picked up and cut the long end off.

As a foot note, this whole exercise was also excellent training for the puppy to learn proper rope etiquette. She quickly learned to keep her teeth and paws off the rope, all in an environment where there's no climbing to be distracted from.

Now for the other rope... I was hoping to make a hammock, but I can't find easy enough instructions. Any suggestions?

UPDATE: New and improved photos. I brushed the bottom-side of the mat with contact cement to help it hold it's shape. It worked great. Now that I'm able to pick it up and carry it outside, I have better photos.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Eureka is a 5-month-old puppy who joined our family last week. She's quite adventurous and is keeping Vixen busy. Supposedly she is a heeler/pointer cross.