Just in time for the holiday season, new rope colors have magically appeared from Imlay Canyon Gear. The immensely popular 8.3mm Canyon Fire now comes in the forboding “Red with Yellow” AND the cautionary “Yellow with Red,” in addition to the old balanced “Red and Yellow.” Not impressed? Okay, well take a look at the new 9mm Canyonero colors, where jungle-vine “Green with Blue” and regal “Purple with Yellow” join the aquatic blue-green weave in the line up. Combing a Canyon Fire with the three Canyonero! lines, and you have serious contrast in your rope bags.
So who really cares about rope color, anyways? Is this just for canyon aestheticists and rope dorks? Though I am occasionally sheepish to admit it, I DO care about rope colors… here’s why:
1. Colors provide intuitive indicators of rope length. Though a given rope will change length over its lifetime as it wears and gets chopped, using ropes of different colors on any given trip makes it easy to tell the 80′ from the 120′ from the 200′. Instead of “give me the 200-footer,” we say, “give me the red one.” Much easier.
2. When using any two (or more) ropes together, it can really help to use lines of different colors. For example, when untwisting ropes before pulling them after a 170′ rap, it really helps you see which way the ropes are twisted when they are different colors.
3. Having UNIQUE colors is always a bonus when a group is using gear of mixed ownership. LOTS of people have bright orange ropes… but I might have the only pink one with a bit or green woven in. Not only wil nobody mistake my rope for theirs, but my hideous colors will make nobody covet it.
4. Bright, contrasting colors add to canyoneering photographs. Too often, dark or dirty ropes blend into the background in canyoneering photos. When the rope shows up, though, it visual line of interest from the rappeller to wherever the rope leads to. Since the rope usually connects points of action/relevance in canyon images, bright colors help add the viewers eyes move through the scene.
5. Colorful ropes simply add to the beauty of a great day in the canyon. Let’s face it, most of us are out here for great views… why not bring visual interest to our rope bags?
If you have another reason you LOVE colorful ropes, or perhaps a strong antagonism towards color, drop me a note and tell me what you think. Until next time!