Alpinhack: self-made rope holder for multi-rope lengths

Simple rope handling at the belay station with a self-made rope holder ring - the handicraft instructions in 5 steps, that's how it works!

An article by Simon Messner – published for the first time in the specialist journal mountaineering

First of all, it should be noted that every alpinist will and may turn up their noses at the sight of this rope handling aid. On the other hand, the multi-rope climber can and will save a few rope confusions at the belay with these simple construction instructions for a rope ring reinforced with wire for easier rope handling at the belay.

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How it works

  • Hang the rope holder in the stand
  • Pull the rope/belay your partner and put the rope loop by loop through the open ring from above 
  • Securing your partner in the lead: pull the rope continuously out of the rope holder in loops 

1. Material needed for the rope bracket

  • Wire (not too thin and not too thick; optionally, a thin wire can also be used twice or three times; simply twist the wire into a cable)
  • Old pieces of rope
  • Pliers
  • lighter or tape 
  • Hacksaw (optional for very thick wire) 

Simple rope handling at the belay station with one, better two, self-made rope holding rings - based on the "Ring'o" model from Beal.

You will need this for your homemade rope retaining rings. Image: Simon Messner | mountaineering
You will need this for your homemade rope retaining rings. Picture: Simon Messner | mountaineering

2. Removing the rope core from the rope sheath

With thin wire it is enough to remove one or two rope core strands.

Use the pliers to remove a few rope core strands from the rope sheath. Image: Simon Messner | mountaineering
Use the pliers to remove a few rope core strands from the rope sheath. Picture: Simon Messner | mountaineering

3. Shapes of the wire

  • Shape and dimensions are a matter of taste. In general: your own imagination knows no bounds!
  • Shape and dimensions are a matter of taste. In general: your own imagination knows no bounds!

4. Closing the rope ends

The best way to do this is to seal the rope ends with a lighter. Climbing tape or shrink tubing from the electronics store are also suitable as an option. 

Seal the ends with a lighter, heat shrink tubing, or climbing tape. Image: Simon Messner | mountaineering
Seal the ends with a lighter, heat shrink tubing, or climbing tape. Picture: Simon Messner | mountaineering
rope mount

5. Finished

Depending on your preference, the rope ring, which is reinforced with wire, can be attached to the belay using an express sling or a fixed carabiner. The first roper can thus take the rope in loops in the rope ring when belaying the second roper, which ensures comfortable and, above all, clear rope handling without rope tangles at the belay station.

Cable holder when used in the wall. Image: Simon Messner | mountaineering
Cable holder when used in the wall. Picture: Simon Messner | mountaineering

About the magazine bergundstieg

Mountaineering March

Bergundstieg is an international magazine for safety and risk in mountain sports and illuminates the topics of equipment, mountain rescue, rope technology, accident and avalanche knowledge. Bergundstieg is published by the Alpine Associations of Austria (PES), Germany (DAV), South Tyrol (AVS) and Switzerland (Customer Service).


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Credits: Cover picture Simon Messner | mountaineering

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