Friday, May 29, 2009

Sterling Ion 9.5mm Rope

Carpenters have their hammer, Surgeons their scalpel, and Mountain Guides have their rope. I can’t think of too many other pieces of gear that I use on such a regular basis. Sometimes I’m in mountain boots (read my review of La Sportiva's Trango Extreme Evo Light), sometimes in rock shoes, some days I place ice screws for protection, some days nuts and cams, but almost always I have a rope with me.

Recently I had the opportunity to test the new Sterling Ion 9.5 mm rope. I put over 40 days of hard use on it. Over 50 pitches of ice, 25 pitches of rock and even several gym session mega-whippers. I would be lying if I said the rope looked brand new, but compared to some other ropes with similar use, the Ion is still standing and ready for many more deployments into harms way.

Pros: Very durable, easy to coil and uncoil, feeds for lead belays very smoothly, overall weight for such a durable rope is quite good. This will be one of my go-to ropes when I only need one for cragging or shorter multipitch days.

Cons: No factory middle mark (the middle mark is a great tool), when belaying two ropes at once from a top belay (auto blocking device being used) the Ion did not feed/pull as well as some other ropes in its class. For guiding multiple clients this makes my work a little harder and puts more strain on my elbows.

If you are looking for a durable rope in this size range I would put the Ion high on your list, as this rope will be at your side even after heavy use.

For more info, visit

Dale Remsberg
IFMGA/AMGA certified guide
Head Guide Colorado Mountain School


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This rope is very safe, very recommendable for beginners!

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