It's a big call indeed to state categorically which climbing line is best suited to either climbing style; DbRT (doubled rope) or SRT (specifically single line work positioning)… so we'll resort to the sales volume through Treetools as the barometer for popularity.
Currently, the two biggest selling climbing lines are Samson Vortex for DbRT and Donaghys Cougar Blue for single line (using the Rope Wrench). The most common friction cord combination is 10mm Armor-Prus on Vortex and 8mm Armor-Prus on Cougar Blue.
When Samson Vortex launched late last year there was more than a small question mark regarding market acceptance for the product.
As a true half inch (12.7mm) line, Samson Vortex is at the very upper diameter limit for climbing lines stocked by Treetools - see previous blog post here for more details.
Contemporary industry pundits figured Vortex would be far too thick in girth for today's advanced tree climbing systems. As such the new line would not get off the ground (excuse the pun) in terms of sales.
But… within a relatively short space of time, Samson Vortex became a firm favorite for DbRT climbers; rope diameter - comfort on the hand - and low elongation being major contributing factors to its success.
Donaghys Cougar Blue is yet another enigma.
Developed by Australian aerial arborist Grant Cody and kiwi Scott Forrest Legends Foundation Cougar Blue was based on the construction of Cougar, an existing climbing line in Donaghys portfolio.
According to tree climbing legend, Grant and Scott worked with the Donaghys rope technicians in perfecting the final weave pattern to produce Cougar Blue. The team's objective was to transform the lackluster performance of Donaghys Cougar into something quite extraordinary.
As it happens, the result of Grant and Scott's input produced an 11.7mm climbing line for Donaghys with characteristics ideally suited to Single Line Work Positioning (using the Rope Wrench combined with 8mm Armor-Prus) although Cougar Blue works equally well in DbRT.
It is highly unlikely this SRT result was in the original plan since neither Grant nor Scott are recognized as great supporters of the Single Line Work Positioning movement - and one could conservatively wager Donaghys have never heard of the tree climbing acronyms SRT and SLWP - but that's serendipity in action for you!
So there you have it, the votes are in: Samson Vortex (Hot and Cool) for DbRT and Donaghys Cougar Blue for SRT.