Ropes should be inspected before and after each use, especially when working around loose rock or sharp edges.

a. Although the core of the kernmantle rope cannot be seen, it is possible to damage the core without damaging the sheath. Check a kernmantle rope by carefully inspecting the sheath before and after use while the rope is being coiled. When coiling, be aware of how the rope feels as it runs through the hands. Immediately note and tie off any lumps or depressions felt.

b. Damage to the core of a kernmantle rope usually consists of filaments or yarn breakage that results in a slight retraction. If enough strands rupture, a localized reduction in the diameter of the rope results in a depression that can be felt or even seen.

c. Check any other suspected areas further by putting them under tension (the weight of one person standing on a Prusik tensioning system is about maximum). This procedure will emphasize the lump or depression by separating the broken strands and enlarging the dip. If a noticeable difference in diameter is obvious, retire the rope immediately.

d. Many dynamic kernmantle ropes are quite soft. They may retain an indention occasionally after an impact or under normal use without any trauma to the core. When damage is suspected, patiently inspect the sheath for abnormalities. Damage to the sheath does not always mean damage to the core. Inspect carefully.

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