After the rope adventures in Majorca, it seemed a good idea to buy one of those more-expensive items required for climbing, one that in Australia would be considerably more expensive than here, and due to that has inflicted a long-term habit in me of not going to buy needed things because I expect them to be horrendously pocket-jabbing. So, a rope. The most necessary of equipment besides shoes (with which, you can do an awful lot of climbing and seldom need for more), and the single most costly. Sure, a rack of trad gear goes for eye-watering prices, but individually each piece is seldom over over a hundred, even for cams or a set of nuts, and considering the amount of drilling going on, who really isn’t climbing for want of a trad set?

As for the price, well if you bought cheap shoes, harness, ‘biners, and quickdraws, you could probably kit yourself out with everything for sport climbing for the cost of a rope. Which in Australia tended to be on on the high side of $350, so understandably I never shelled out for one. Here though, I have to remind myself that things are relatively affordable, even Shimano SPDs leave change from a hundred for a couple of books (yes, was in bike shop yesterday, bike needs servicing), so, rope it is. Still a sizeable chunk of €200 though (enough left over for enough chocolate to be sick on), but that’s for 70 metres of 9.2 mm Mammut Revelation. Not sure when I’ll be leading a 35 meter pitch, but not to worry, it’s very pretty (the pictures don’t do the colours justice, either).