UIAA WATER REPELLENT
The international standard UIAA WATER REPELLENT is the first standard to specify the values of water absorbency in the issue of rope safety.
It is a globally recognized standard that regulates the rules for the safety of wet climbing ropes. If a rope is soaked in water it becomes heavy, difficult to handle when belaying and rappelling and can freeze and become unusable in winter but mainly, it's losing its strength
The UIAA WATER REPELLENT standard specifies the amount of water a rope can soak up. The standard is a great opportunity to provide users with good information, it was developed to ensure that water absorption in ropes does not lead to safety issues.
The rope must pass an independent laboratory test where it is subject to light abrasion over its entire surface, equivalent to a few day’s of climbing The rope is then soaked for 15 minutes following a precise procedure. A rope with a surface treatment only cannot pass this test. Because to pass this test, the rope must absorb less than 5% of its weight in a certified laboratory. If we look at a comparison with conventional ropes, a non-treated rope absorbs approximately 50% of water in this test. Ropes referred to as "Dry Ropes" without appropriate treatment soak up 20 - 40%.
The UIAA Safety Commission approved this standard after almost 10 years of research and testing. Purchase of climbing equipment that bears the UIAA Safety Label supports the UIAA in its mission to promote and sustain mountaineering and climbing.