In the climbing world, ropes are everything. Learning how to use ropes properly, and knowing what ropes to use in what situations, is one of the first skills you pick up when discovering this thrilling activity. In this post, we will talk about a piece of climbing equipment that doesn’t get as much attention as some of the other common pieces of gear – the accessory cord.
While you are here, take a moment to review our extensive list of high-quality ropes. No matter what you need for your upcoming climbing adventures, it’s a safe bet that SEACO will have something available to serve you. Contact us today if you have any questions and a member of our team will be glad to assist.
Let’s start with a clear definition so you understand what we mean when using the term “accessory cord”. For a climber, this is a type of cord that plays a supplemental role in a set of ropes. In other words, it may perform tasks you don’t often think about but are essential for performance and safety.
From a technical standpoint, this is a relatively thin rope, usually just a few millimeters thick. It will have a traditional style of construction that climbers are used to – an inner core surrounded by a protective jacket. Depending on the specific type of rope you purchase, accessory cords can have impressive strength, although they are not meant for use as your primary climbing rope.
The strongest argument for having accessory cords included in your kit is the versatility it will bring to your climbing experience. For starters, this can be a useful type of rope when you need to perform rappelling operations. It can also be used as a step-loop, it can be put to work in pulleys, or it might just be used around camp for various tasks to set up equipment, hang items to dry, etc. Given its relatively lightweight and small diameter, accessory cords won’t take up a lot of room within your bags. So, with many benefits and minimal demands on packing space, accessory cord is an easy pick.
While accessory cord is great, it’s not useful for everything in the climbing world. Specifically, you won’t use it in applications where it will experience a dynamic load or shock load. Due to the design of the cord, it is meant for static loading and will perform well when allowed to work in that environment.
Of course, in the climbing world, dynamic loads typically mean arresting a fall for your safety. As such, accessory cord is not the right type of rope to have in place for that duty. There are many other types of quality climbing ropes – available here at SEACO – that are capable of taking on that job.
By this point, you should be fairly convinced of the importance of accessory cords as part of your climbing equipment. But how do you know how many to pack? It would be easy to say that you can never have enough, but you don’t want to carry unneeded gear and cause your pack to overflow. Unfortunately, there is no one right number of these cords for every climber, because each situation is unique.
As a starting point, think about carrying a couple of cords in the 15-foot range, as those will give you plenty of options for various uses. Also, another cord of shorter length could be easy to tuck into your bag and might come in handy for a job you don’t expect. Once you get used to having accessory cords as part of your climbing kit, you’ll see how you wind up using them and can adjust how much of this type of line to take with you on each trip, see some options for accessory cords here.
It’s always a good idea to buy quality ropes for any application, but that’s particularly important when you are climbing, check out our catalog to see your options. The ropes you use can be a matter of life and death, so shop with a dealer that is worthy of your trust. At SEACO, we only carry products that meet our high standards for performance and durability, and our friendly staff will help you find exactly the right product for your requirements. Thank you for visiting!