Due to the range of effects on use and the specifics of use, an exact figure is not possible, only an approximation in the form of time data .
Depending on the frequency and intensity of use, external influences such as abrasion, contamination, mechanical loading (static), rope work (lowering or rappelling), fall loads (dynamic), intense UV exposure, aggressive climatic conditions, etc. cause the safety margin of a dynamic rope to decrease .
- During rappelling and lowering, the dynamic performance is reduced and the rope safety margin is reduced.
- Abrasion gradual weakens the braid’s cohesiveness. The stronger the abrasion, the more pronounced the "hairiness" of the braid - the less the load capacity of the braid and the associated protective effect for the rope core.
- Particles of dirt and rocks entering the rope, especially in conjunction with high rope performance, lead to the fine fibres of the core and rope braid being abraded. The particles act as abrasive sand and lead to a reduction in the load-bearing cross-section of the fibres, especially during frequent rappelling/lowering .
- Dynamic loading causes a loss of rope performance - the ability to capture dynamic (impact) energy is reduced. This depends greatly on the hardness of the fall (the hardness - of the fall is determined by the method of restraint and the fall factor, and according to the general state of the art, falls with a fall factor of > 1 are referred to as hard falls).
Safety studies conducted by climbing associations have shown that as long as the rope braid shows no significant damage or signs of severe abrasion, fall loads with a fall factor of <0.5 and proper dynamic belay pose no safety risk, unless the rope is resting on sharp edges.
If all general guidelines for the safe handling of dynamic ropes are followed, the following data on the service life of dynamic ropes can be non-bindingly recommended:
- intensive - daily use (sport climbers, mountain guides, climbing walls) less than 1 year,
- regular - weekend use (year-round) 1 year to 2 years,
- regular - weekend use (seasonal) 2 to 3 years,
- occasional use - (recreational use once a month) 3 to 5 years,
- sporadic use - 5 to 7 years,
- unused rope - 5 to 10 years.