A few months back, we hooked up with Nic of Rope Recycle Project and started sending our her our used gym ropes.  With these ropes, she weaves beautiful rugs that she either trades or sells.  Any profit she makes is donated straight to the Access Fund.  Pretty cool!  We asked Nic to tell us a little bit about how she got started.


The Rope Recycle Project started very organically about a year or two ago when it came time to retire my first rope. I was faced with the conundrum of throwing something totally non-biodegradable in a landfill or carting the thing around forever in the limited space of my economy car out of which I was living. Both options seemed lame. And lets face it; I was mildly emotionally attached to the line that had held my first real whipper. “What can I DO with old rope?” was the question haunting my practical mind. I was reminded of the scrap rugs some of my elder family members had made, and I ran with it! The technique came to me easily having been raised in the homey Wisconsin traditions of 4H, basket weaving, and yarn crafts. Before long friends started giving me their lines to weave up for them and my weaving was traded for homemade knits, produce, a clarinet, massages, couch-crashing, music, and even a Las Vegas oil-change.

Skip ahead to this May while I was out rope-soloing some moderate desert towers in Utah and two traveling Canadian dudes offer me cash for a rug (they had traveled super light and had nothing to trade). It just didn’t seem right, but they insisted on forking over some soul-less US greenbacks. As I uncomfortably looked around the Castleton Tower free camping area that had been a glorious home base for a week or so, I noticed the Utah Open Lands donation box and promptly inserted the freshly acquired cash under the phony last name of ‘Gerenuk’. The Canadians and I breathed a collective sigh of relief, cracked some government liquor store brews (German Spatens I think) and threw up a loud ‘cheers’ to what is now officially called Rope Recycle Project. The project suits me. I am able to give back to some eco-friendly climber-loving organizations without taking a hit to my hemp/zebra duct tape wallet. Not sure where this project will go from here, but you might as well join me!

Read more about Nic or follow her travels on her blog.