Ice Climbing Ropes are a large topic to cover, I will narrow it down to the two types of ropes I prefer for ice climbs. If you can swing the cost, I recommend having two new sets of ropes for the ice season. This will include a single rope and a set of twin ropes. With this set up I’ll take a shot and say all of the routes in the northeast are in reach.
Lets narrow it down to a lead ice climbing rope for long single pitch and multi pitch routes. I use my single ropes at areas like Frankenstein, Mt Willard, and Huntington Ravine.
A winter lead rope should have a dry treatment, and the size can range all the way from 8.7 to 9.5. My personal favorite ropes are a 70 meter Mammut 8.7 Serenity and a 60 meter Mammut 9.2 Revelation. Any rope in these size ranges have benefits for the ice leader. First, the rope is lightweight, the 9.2 size rope will move smoothly through belay devices, also the rope is a single rated rope, meeting a high level of standards for falls and elongation. Dry treatments vary across the rope lines. Dry treated ice climbing ropes will help you perform best when used in icy, wet, snowy conditions. Take the plunge and spend the extra cash, you will find the rewards in high places.
A twin line, such as the Mammut 7.5 Twilight is the perfect choice for longer, more difficult routes on the ice. These twin ropes are my choice for Cannon, Lake Willoughby, and the Canadian Rockies type ice routes.
The twins are generally used as one rope. I clip both lines together into all the protection, and belay both lines at same time. Using as one rope keeps it simple for the leader and belayer. Twin ropes increase the overall security with a higher fall ratings, improved edge resistance, and less elongation. When on the ice, with sharp points and picks on our hands and feet, two ropes are certainly better than one.
Ice climbing is varied, you can be climbing on a beautiful menagerie of ice, then topping out on a wild mix of frozen rock and turf. This wild mixed medium deserves a thoughtful choice for ice climbing ropes, it is your life line.