True story: The Monkey is my second Roca rope in two years—the first one, a 9.6mm, has been nearly “unkillable” and is still in rotation even after endless pitches, whippers, and bolt work. And so it’s been great to test the latest from the Spanish company, their smooth-handling Monkey Endurance, which felt reassuringly “fat” for a 9.0 and has been just as hard-wearing as my original Roca cord. This dry-treated, multi-use cord has an ample middle mark great for lowering and rapping; at 58 g/m it’s notably light, weighing just under 9lbs for a full 70m, a difference I noted when redpointing a 1980s Flatirons sport climb with runout clips—and that was half-soaked the day I did it, and so necessitated speedy clipping. Which brings me to what I’ve liked best about Roca ropes, the Monkey included: their extremely friendly hand, a perfect blend of glide and friction on the sheathe that is great for climber and belayer alike.
See more of our top climbing gear picks in the Gear Guide 2019: Editors' Choice Awards, and for an interview with Black Diamond's climbing category director Kolin Powick.