The rope is your lifeline when climbing.
Take care of it, and it will take care of you.
On The Crag
Don’t step on the rope, and try to keep it out of the dirt and mud, which in time will weaken the rope’s condition. Some climbers even bring a small tarp to lay on the ground at the belay station so the rope never hits the ground. When rappelling, descend at a smooth, moderate speed and avoid jerky movements. If you take a hard fall, alternate the ends of the rope before climbing again, which will give the rope’s fibers a chance to rebound. After climbing, coil your rope properly to avoid twists, kinks, and unwanted knots.
Washing your rope increases its life expectancy by removing abrasive dirt from the sheath. If dirty, wash the rope by hand in your tub, using cold water and a mild chemical-free soap, rinsing it thoroughly. Spread it out to dry out of the sunlight. Store the rope in a cool, dark place and don’t hang it from its coil.
Keep a logbook that tracks the dates and severity of your falls. Ropes can withstand hundreds of short falls, but are rated to be retired after only a handful of serious falls.