Gleistein GeoStatic NE 9mm rope – 18 months use

It’s now March 2014, about a year and a half after I bought my first length of the Gleistein Geostatic 9mm rope.
The 31m length I bought was soaked at home and measured to 32m, no doubt down to Shaun at Hitch N Hike’s generous measuring style! Maybe also I need a Prime Roofing to make me feel better at home.
I labelled it up as a 30m and went about using it.
I re-measured it today and it came in just over 29m, a shrink of 3m since initial cutting, approx. 9%. So it seems, just like any other rope, once it’s cut you still need to factor in about 10% for shrinkage over the life of the rope. I’m still happy because there was no noticeable shrinkage after cutting and soaking when first purchased in Sept 2012.

I have a 21m length bought about a year ago that has just re-measured to 19m. This length has had a hard life already, it is my traveling rope on cave leading work and has been dragged through numerous Italian hitches whist being covered in grit and the particularly abrasive mud in Peak Cavern’s trade routes. It has done a good job at sawing through my alloy krabs but the rope itself is still in excellent condition. There is some light fluffing on the sheath comparable with some of my far less used ropes and the colour, like the 29m length, has faded into a more pastel orange. It still handles extremely well, clearly not as supple as when new but a massive improvement over the 2-3 yr old Mammut 9mm I have, which is more akin to wire cable now.

My cleaning regime for all my semi-static ropes is simple and it gets done after every trip. For clean trips it is just a spray with the hose or a dunk in clean water to remove particles from the surface. More often than not it gets a low power jet wash (controversial I know!). Never force dried, only hung in a spare room or over the bath.

I’ve got 3 lengths now, each bought about 6 months apart and will continue to purchase this rope as my current ones approach retirement.
In another year and a half, when this rope is no longer in service I’ll do a final post mortem report. I’d also like to send a few samples to be tested by the BCA and Bob Mehew to see what toll the hard life has taken on it.

Gleistein is still available at Hitch N Hike as cut lengths or entire reels: http://www.hitchnhike.co.uk/acatalog/gleistein-9mm-geostatic-ne.html

The initial blog post is here: http://www.peakinstruction.com/blog/first-look-at-gleistein-geostatic-ne-9mm-semi-static-rope/

First Look at Gleistein GeoStatic NE 9mm semi-static rope

Here is a quick set of initial observations on Gleistein GeoStatic NE semi-static rope. A full write up will follow in the future.

So, a few weeks ago I was chatting to a caving friend of mine who has turned outdoor gear importer/supplier and was told about a new type of semi-static rope available in the U.K. The reason this particular rope caught my attention was down to it’s specs, the sheet described a 9mm rope with full Type A certification and a strength exceeding that of Beal 10mm Antipodese, I had to get some!
The rope in question has just landed at Hitch n Hike in the Peak District and I ran down there today after work to collect a length for testing. What I’ve got here is just a few initial observations for the interested caver.

Length:
I was aiming for a 30 metre length after shrinkage so was expecting to be buying around 34m today. An examination of the GeoStatic data sheet showed a shrinkage of only 0.7%, thats 70cm in 100m! The rope must be pre-shrunk before being placed on reels to get a figure that low. I opted for 32m to be on the safe side.

Edit – It’s now March 2014, a year and a half after buying. I’ve just re-measured this rope and it is just over 29m, a shrink of 3m since purchase. This is a shrink of about 9% in longer term use. For comparison I also re-measured a length of Beal Spelenium Gold which had shrunk from 32m to 27m over its 3 year life so far, 15.6% shrinkage from the cut length.

Handling & appearance:
You are in no doubt that it is a 9mm rope, a coil of 31m looks like it could fit in a handbag, a significant size reduction on the Mammut Performance semi-static I generally use. It handles like a supple dynamic half rope, bending almost flat as you make a teardrop in your hand and not feeling at all stiff as you turn it to form knots.
The rope is apparently manuractured in a number of different main colours, all with a common single white line woven spirally. The colour currently available from Hitch n Hike is orange, so would not look out of place underground alongside the current Mammut orange rope (+double black fleck). Other colours like blue may result in people asking if you are using dynamic rope!
The single white band corresponds with the generally accepted method of identifying 9mm ropes with a single line of flecks – Beal use a single line of red and black and Mammut a single black line.

Preparation for use:
As with all new ropes, the first thing I do is soak them in a bucket of water. This serves a duel purpose, allowing the rope to shrink and washing any residue of the manufacturing process off (that slippy white liquid). The shrinkage I will measure and report back on. The rope appears to have been pre washed and shrunk because after one hour there has been no discolouration to the water. The rope’s colour changes to a nice dark shade of orange once wetted, a small point but you’d easily be able to tell if it was dry.

Next step:
I will leave the rope to soak over night and hang to dry tomorrow. I will measure the length to the nearest half metre and mark it up with gear tape.
I’ll be using the rope as much as possible in the coming weeks to get a real feel for it. After a dozen or so uses I’ll remeasure it and report on any further shrinkage.

I’ll put up a more in depth reveiw of the rope after I’ve used it a bit more, but for now the manufacturer’s site is here and the Hitch n Hike site is here.

Specs:
Gleistein GeoStatic NE 9mm
4% stretch
0.7% shrinkage
39/61 sheath to core ratio
27kN breaking strength (epic)
54g per metre