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Climbing Ropes

Maxim Chalkline 10.8

Maxim Chalkline 10.8 climbing rope is reviewed by Rock and Ice, the climbing magazine.

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Maxim Chalkline 10.8mm | $210 for 60m dry | | 4 Stars

Developed as a gym rope, the Chalkline features a 33 percent thicker sheath and a secondary core between the sheath and main core that acts like a Chinese fingercuff on the main core, adding heft and eliminating sheath slippage. The innovation, says Maxim, significantly extends the rope’s life, and after a few months of hard use at a local granite crag, I can vouch for the claim. This cord wears like iron.

The Chalkline has a stiffer hand than most ropes. When I first uncoiled the cord it felt so dense and burly that I checked with Maxim to confirm that it was indeed a dynamic rather than a static rope. Interestingly—and counter intuitively—the Chalkline is one of the best handling ropes I’ve used. In contrast to skinnier, more flexible ropes, which can tangle like strands of beef guts in a Sunday menudo, the stiff hand and larger diameter minimizes kinking, lets the rope feed easily through belay devices and is easier to grip.

The Chalkline is at the upper end (9.7 kN) for impact force compared to most single ropes, though still within CE standards. The Chalkline comes in 10.2 and 10.8mm. I tested the 10.8. After a few seasons of carrying ultra-skinny (down to 8.9mm) cords I was immediately struck by the rope’s hefty 77.8 grams per meter—I’d pick a lighter cord for backcountry cragging, or for rope-stretching pitches where weight is a factor. As a super burly, durable “everyman’s” rope, though, the Chalkline is hard to beat, literally.

  • Str8 Jacket core.
  • 33 percent thicker sheath results in more weight, but greater durability.
  • 10.8 mm (also available in 10.2).
  • 60 meters.
  • 77.8 grams per meter.
  • Impact Force 9.7 kN.
  • Dry treated.
  • Very durable

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