We ask –does having a Bluesign standard mean lower performance?
The new Apus combines outstanding strength, safety and handling with a slight diameter. The go-to rope for alpine adventures.
A half rope has many uses, you can use them doubled when you are just clipping blots up a multi pitch slab, use them separately when you transfer to trad and you need to straighten the climb out and anyone who has suffered the nightmare of tangles when abbing using a tagline will tell you that two similar diameter ropes are much easier to handle.
The Edelrid Pro Dry Apus 7.9mm ropes fit nicely into the Alpine double rope category, it’s small diameter means that it is light (42g/m), it handles nicely and the only thing you are really sacrificing is durability. There is always compromise in climbing, if you are just outcrop climbing and not hiking far then you may as well use a triple rated rope as it will last much longer. If, however, you are having to carry the single most heavy item in your pack for long distances then weight is paramount and you are willing to accept the rope might not last as long.
We accepted the Apus to review because the rope has the coveted Bluesign certification, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Bluesign it has become the industry standard for environmentally and ethically produced textiles. Ropes are a woven product made from fibre so fall within the textile category. Products can only be certified Bluesign if they meet stringent standards on environmental, consumer protection and occupational safety standards. As you would imagine, in an environmentally sensitive industry like outdoor adventure, many companies are now working towards adopting the Bluesign certification in their products and rightly so.
I did a quick check of the main European players on rope manufacture and could only find Edelrid ropes displaying the Bluesign logo. But enough of that – how does the Apus perform as a rope? Very well as it happens, Kev reviewed the original Apus a while back and concluded that it was a great all round half rope suitable for a wide variety of mountain adventures. Both Rich and I have tested the Bluesign versions in all sorts of climbing situations – Gritsone trad, mountain trad and Scottish winter (surely one the most harshest test environments known to mankind). It has performed perfectly in all environments.
This review has been put together by both Rich and myself and Rich’s comments are below:
My old Apus has served me well, handles great and remained ‘freeze free’ throughout two seasons in Scotland (and now its third). The Bluesign Apus’s first outing involved it being literally taken out the packet and recoiled on a Thursday night prior to the Friday night trog up to Scotland on the promise of a weekend freezing conditions and blue skies. New ropes are notorious for misbehaving on first outings, tending to kink and tangle until they’ve been run out and recoiled a couple of times. The Apus however behaved immaculately, no ‘snakes wedding’ at the bottom of Gemini as Kev led up the first pitch and no issues all weekend. Since then I’ve found the performance to be indistinguishable from the original Apus and if the durability of the dry treatment and rope in general are comparable then Edelrid have another winner and one that helps to minimise our impact on the environments where we spend so much of our recreational time.
One of the Bluesign standards is that the textile surface is 90% Bluesign certified – so the Dry treatment must be chemically sustainable as well as efficient in energy and water use (you would be horrified if you learned how much water was used in the manufacture of the clothes you wear) so it’s good to know that the chemicals used the Edelrid Pro Dry Apus 7.9mm ropes are sourced and used in a sustainable way.
So in conclusion we feel the performance of the Bluesign standard Edelrid Pro Dry Apus is just as good as the previous version and more manufacturers should take note and up their game!
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