$290 (60m); edelridna.com
Slated for a fall 2013 U.S. debut, these ropes sold out so fast in Europe that Edelrid couldn’t meet demands for both the U.S. and all of Europe—and that should tell you something. The Snipe is a 9.8mm rope that increases to 10mm for six meters at each end and in the middle using Edelrid’s EnduroTech technology. That means you get a thicker, more durable rope on the ends, where your cord sees the most abrasion from falls and hangdogging. (It’s the same spot you would typically chop off to extend its life.) The fattened diameter is also tangible when rappelling; not only is it stiffer in your hand, but the changeover can be felt through the belay device. This will make climbers more aware of the middle mark and when nearing the end while rappelling. Although we haven’t tested this rope extensively yet, we have high hopes.