UIAA Certifications

Sterling R&D Feb 7th 2017
Women climbing rock face

The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) promotes the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide by advancing safe and ethical mountain practices through the development of safety standards for equipment. The iconic UIAA symbol on a piece of climbing equipment attests it to be of the highest international standards for safety.

In order to receive CE certification a rope is tested to the EN 892 standard. In order to receive UIAA certification a rope is also tested to EN 892 standard but may have additional or slightly different performance requirements. Simply put, EN 892 is a test method and CE and UIAA are the certifying bodies. UIAA 101 and EN 892 are the standards to which all dynamic ropes are tested. There are five areas of testing; Construction, Sheath Slippage, Static Elongation, Impact Force on first fall, and Number of falls held. The standards break up dynamic ropes into three categories; Single Ropes, Twin Ropes and Half Ropes. These categories are designated by the following symbols:

All of Sterling’s dynamic ropes are UIAA Certified as Single, Twin, and/or Half Ropes and are designated as such by using the following symbols:

Single Ropes

Single ropes are to be used as the sole rope you use while you climb; clipping all gear to the one rope. This system is normally used for sport, trad and some alpine climbing. Diameters can range from 9-11 mm.

Ideal for: trad climbing, sport climbing, big-wall climbing and top roping.

Half Ropes

Half ropes are a set of 2 ropes that a climber is tied into and belayed on, but these ropes are clipped into separate pieces of gear. So 1 strand of rope is clipped into each piece of protection. This practice is used to reduce the amount of force applied to each piece of protection, which can be an important factor when you are using ice screws or other marginal protection. The diameters for half ropes can range from 8-9 mm.

Ideal for: trad climbing on wandering multi-pitch rock routes, mountaineering and ice climbing.

Twin Ropes

Twin ropes are similar to half ropes as they are a set of 2 ropes that a climber is tied into and belayed on, but both ropes are clipped into all the same pieces of gear. This practice is more common in alpine climbing where weight is a factor and longer rappels occur. Weight of carrying ropes can be split between two people and the ropes can be tied together for a longer rappel.

Ideal for: Trad climbing on non-wandering multi-pitch rock routes, mountaineering and ice climbing.

The UIAA 101 document on Safety Standards is the source document for information on climbing rope standards. For additional standards and further explanation of the relationship between UIAA and CE, view the explanation at the UIAA website.