Mammut makes its Crag We Care rope from yarn it diverts from the trash can.
Waste reduction is excellent, and in this case, the resulting product is even better. We’ve been testing the Crag We Care for over a year, and it has proved to be a versatile workhorse — after 200-plus days at the crag, it’s still going strong.
Climbing Rope Manufacturing: The Basics
Modern climbing ropes have two primary components: a strong inner core and a protective outer sheath. The number of different colors of sheath yarn depends on the rope, though most dynamic single cords include at least two.
Because ropes are made in long runs that are then cut to size, leftover yarn often remains on the spools after the run is over. Typically, this yarn — perfectly good but inconveniently short — gets thrown away. For most manufacturers, this is the most financially efficient practice.
The Crag We Care Rope differs. Instead of chucking out leftover yarn, Mammut saves these odds and ends and weaves them into new sheaths. Because every Crag We Care Rope contains a unique combination of whatever scraps are on hand, each completed product is multicolored and pattern-free. To be clear, Mammut makes the Crag We Care Rope from 100% brand-new raw material — it just redirects the yarns from the dumpster.
The climbing industry has plenty of room for growth in sustainable manufacturing, and we’re glad to see Mammut follow other industry leaders like Edelrid and Patagonia on the path to responsible gear production. With that said, we also recommend this rope purely based on its actual climbing performance. The Crag We Care is a first-rate piece of kit.
Field Testing the ‘Crag We Care’ Rope
I’ve been tying into the 80m Crag We Care rope since May 2021. Over 18 months, I’ve used the rope during two trips to Yosemite (including a lap on El Capitan), a month-long stay in El Potrero Chico, and countless cragging days in between. To this day, the upcycled sheath shows minimal wear. Most ropes would have been retired by now, but the Crag We Care still passes a safety inspection with flying colors. It’s the most durable rope I’ve ever owned.
The Crag We Care Classic Rope is not dry-treated, which means it performs best in dry weather conditions. At 9.5 mm, its diameter falls into the mid-range of contemporary climbing ropes. It certainly isn’t an ultrathin sport climbing noodle, but it isn’t a cumbersome girth monster either. The sheath weave is tight and consistent, and the feel while belaying is pliant and smooth. Because of its mid-range girth and affordable price, the Crag We Care makes a great quiver of one for a beginner climber.
Other Sustainable Features
The individual rope I’ve been testing has a pale pinkish hue, and close inspection reveals red, orange, and green threads. In addition to repurposed yarn, this rope also boasts a few other pro-sustainability characteristics. As a Bluesign-certified product, Mammut makes the Crag We Care with 90% Bluesign-approved materials and 30% Bluesign-approved accessories.
Switzerland-based Bluesign is an independent sustainability standard for textile materials that examines the entire supply chain of a product, evaluating everything from processing steps to raw materials.
Mammut also makes the Crag We Care rope without PFCs — chemicals that bioaccumulate and cause harm to human and environmental health. The outdoor gear industry relies heavily on waterproof coatings containing PFCs, so we’re glad to see brands like Mammut seeking other solutions.
It isn’t easy to safely test the actual durability of a climbing rope. Even the best cords sustain abrasion damage if dragged repeatedly over a sharp sandstone arete. We did not perform any scientific strength or durability tests on the Crag We Care rope. Instead, we simply climbed and fell on it over many months of regular use. It did everything we needed without incident along the way, which is all you can ask from a piece of life-preserving gear.
Our rope held up, but a softgood’s life span ultimately depends on how it’s used and treated. If you constantly throw your rope directly on the direct, climb on sharp quickdraws, etc., it won’t last, regardless of brand.
We’d love to see Mammut offer some thinner performance-oriented ropes with the same (or better) sustainability standards it applies to the Crag We Care. We also wish the middle marker lasted for the entire lifespan of the rope — it wore off after just a few weeks.
- Weight: 59 g/m
- Diameter: 9.5 mm
- Sheath proportion: 40%
- UIAA falls: 6-7