I bought my first climbing rope together with a friend back in the days of socialism. It was a red Lanex with extraordinary properties. After a few rappels it hardened so that it could be leaned against the wall like a pole. A lighter climber might have been able to climb up it. If someone had told me then that in some time Czech and Slovak ropes would be among the best ropes produced in the world, I probably would have just laughed. Today, our two small republics can be considered unique in the world in the production of climbing ropes. This is absolutely true because we use our own basic material, polyamide. Our ropes are world-leading and the whole world climbs with them. I am writing this in bold because not every climber knows it. It would be great if we could remain among the world's top. Each of us can help to achieve this by choosing something from our "home workshops" when buying a rope. The bard among Czech and Slovak rope brands is undoubtedly Tendon.
Its portfolio today ranges from the lightest and thinnest rope in the world to a "single" with a parameter of 20 normopads. Tendon also offers a change of the braiding pattern in the middle, or increased resistance when falling over a sharp edge. But the Bolatick developers are not resting on their laurels and are inventing various other "fiddles". One of the latest results of their work is the Master Pro 7,6 climbing rope, certified in both half and twin mode. Its fall parameters in particular are exceptional, so I was curious to see how it would climb. The rope has nice handling and knotability as well. The orange-green combination with the color lights from the opposite half is easily recognizable even in bad light. In real life, the orange in particular is prettier than in the manufacturer's web photos. The SBS technology gives the braid compactness and indicates a longer lifetime. The impressive drop characteristics are helped by the higher static and dynamic preload. This concept is more characteristic of the French manufacturer, but it does not have such good fall parameters for a similar rope weight. The Master Pro 7,6 has a greater length reserve when rappelling and a low impact force due to its elasticity.
But all of this increases the demands for caution at the risk of ground fault. Any rope soaked in water can lose up to 30% of its strength. The new 60m Master Pro 7.6 had a weight of 2360g on my scale. That's 39.3 grams per metre. After a day of ice climbing, in temperatures around zero, it only gained 55 grams in weight. So the Complete Shield impregnation works perfectly. It only remains to be judged for how long. The thinness of the rope in combination with the SBS braid could be a risk factor for less experienced climbers, but I didn't feel that way. The braking forces seemed to me to be sufficient even when using a belay aid of standard diameter (Giga Jul, Reverzo...). This was true in rappel mode, lowering, and even catching dynamic collapses. In my experience, the biggest limitation when using the Master Pro 7,6 is the climber's head. The thin rope springs considerably when rappelling and lowering. On rock edges such a move requires experience and sometimes a bit of determination. Also the "arrow" technique (first on two strands and two second climbers on one strand) can be nerve-wracking for second climbers. It's the toll of the light weight that is welcome not only when carrying the rope in a pack, but especially when climbing alone. Therefore, when buying a rope, it is important not to forget about how I will use it. Overall, the Tendon Master Pro 7,6 made a great impression on me.
I will see how the wear and tear will affect the rope's properties and after a year I will write a few more lines about it.
Text and photo: Martin Murár
Published in Montana magazine