Edelrid Swift 8.9mm


A single rope, which complies to the twin and double rope standards. At just 8.9 mm the Swift is one of the thinnest single ropes on the market, making it the best choice for avid sport climbers looking for minimal weight and diameter as well as mountain guides and mountaineers looking for a rope that can master all climbing disciplines on rock and ice. EDELRID Pro Shield treatment protects the core and sheath against grim and wet while the Thermo Shield ensures perfect handling and flexibility. Attention: this rope is not suitable for working routes or top roping. 

Technical Specification

Diameter (mm): 8.9
Rope Type: 1, 1/2, Twin
Weight (g/m): 52
Sheath proportion (%): 34
Number of falls: 5
Impact force (KN): 8.8
Dynamic elongation (%): 31
Static elongation (%): 9.0

More details on the Edelrid site here.  Note: Rated as Single, half and twin.  








What's the Edelrid Swift like in use?

The Edelrid Swift is one example of a new breed of "triple rated" ropes that fulfill all the tests for single, half and twin ropes.  This of course sounds relatively straight forward, but it requires some careful engineering to meet all of these specifications, as the requirements of one is sometimes at odds with the others.  It would be easy to think that one rope does all but think again, these ropes are pretty specialist and might not suit everybody.  For mountaineers, Mountain Guides and Instructors they are definately worth a look.

Again I have been using the Edelrid Swift since the spring and have so far put it through it's paces rock climbing in North Wales, France, Italy and in Switzerland as well on alpine routes and the approach to glaciated summits.

Out of the packet the Edelrid Swift uncoiled well, and just required running through a few times.  It's worth following the instructions and taking care at this point with any rope, or you could find yourself dealing with lots of kinks for the initial part of the ropes life.  Anyway, our first outing was to Gogarth's Castell Helen where I was climbing with Dave and Jaimella.  The first thing that I noticed was that the ropes were very nice to handle, knotting and flaking easily despite the 'Pro Shield' treatment.  Climbing was a dream with a nice light feel of lightweight half ropes - now it's fair to say that I am not a fan of really thin ropes for rock climbing, preferring the burly protection of half ropes of 9mm+.  At 8.9mm the Swift handled well and also being rated as a single rope certainly made me more at ease, particularly with two seconds following on one rope each.  This is a big consideration for Mountain Guides and Mountaineering Instructors who can't afford, and indeed shouldn't go too light.

Not long afterwards it was out to Chamonix and I grabbed the Swift's again for an ascent of the Cheré Couloir on Mont Blanc du Tacul.  This pleasant icy couloir or goulotte line is frequently descended by abseil, and keen to have this as an option I took two ropes with the intention of using them as "twins".  This isn't anywhere near as common in the UK but necessitates clipping both ropes as one into the protection.  Straight away if the rope is of a greater diameter then you get loads of drag, but I'm pleased to say that the 8.9mm Swift again coped well.

Finally, I have also used this rope on the ascent of many snowy peaks in the alps this summer. The Edelrid Swift is a good choice for glacier travel due to it's relatively light weight and 'Pro Shield' dry treatment.  Inevitably, as a Mountain Guide I have also done a lot of 'short-roping' with this rope and was initially concerned about how the dry treatment might feel while holding the rope in the hand.  In reality this made little difference and the rope has actually improved with just a little use.


Plus Points:

  • Triple rated lightweight rope.
  • Handles well as a single, half or twin.

Negative Points:

  • A bit more specialist and most suited to mountaineers, guides or instructors.
  • Not suited to top roping, gritstone cragging or working sport routes (as a one time light weight redpoint rope maybe).
  • Half mark is difficult to spot on the black rope - but Edelrid are changing the colour for 2012/2013!