Wet ropes are more than unpleasant to handle and heavy to carry. They can freeze and become difficult to manage. Equally important, studies show that ropes hold fewer falls and have about 30 percent less strength when they are wet.
Rope manufacturers treat some of their ropes to make them more water repellent and therefore stronger in wet conditions. The sheaths and cores of these "dry" ropes are treated with either a sili-cone-based or Teflon-based coating. The treatment improves the abrasion resistance of some ropes and also reduces friction of the rope as it runs through carabiners. The dry ropes cost about 15 percent more than untreated ropes.
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