How to Clean a Rope

It was a particularly hot day at Jumonville. Tyler, for whatever reason, had decided to use one of her weeks off to help adventure staff. Nate put the two of us to work washing the ropes in the adventure center.

Rope-washing is a tedious task. The ropes run through pulleys that are about thirty feet above the floor. To get them down and back up again without having to climb up the wall, you attach a string to one end of the rope you want to wash, then pull your rope down, replacing the rope with the string so when you’re done, you can tie the string to the rope again and pull the string down and the rope up. At least in theory.

Sometimes the knot between the rope and the string gets stuck at the top and the rope and string part ways. Then you have to do an equipment rescue: climb all the way to the top of the wall to put the rope back where it belongs. And then you do it again, and again, and again – at least twenty-six times.

The real fun in rope-washing, though, is the washing. You feed the rope through a T-shaped rope-washing gizmo. The base of the T attaches to a water hose while the water’s running. That’s where it starts to get fun. I made sure I was the one who started washing the ropes… and then turned the hose on Tyler. She said to stop, and being male, I paid no attention whatever.

We came back to the Adventure center. Tyler was a bit wet. Nate told us we could go change into our swimming clothes if we wanted. We wanted. We scampered back to our respective cabins and changed, then returned to finish the job. I sprayed Tyler, she sprayed me… a little. Not much. I got the impression that she just wanted to finish the job and get it over with. So I did what I do best: I tormented her in an epic, almost-one-way water battle. She turned the hose on me a time or six, but I think I overdid it… this is only my perspective…

After hours of cleaning ropes and laying them down on the adventure center floor to dry, we finally finished and headed for dinner. After all the spraying, I was still mostly dry. I rubbed it in, and Tyler asked Nate for his Nalgene water bottle. Then she emptied most of it on me.

Good times.

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10 thoughts on “How to Clean a Rope

  1. I've had a similar experience at camp, but we were washing dishes. It just happened to be pouring out that day so we joined the campers playing in puddles and no one was the wiser.

  2. Actually…. last summer, when Brandon and I were working outside for cookout one day…it was pouring rain…so Brandon, Little Mike, Patti, and I played in the rain…it was SO much fun. We played slip 'n slide in the mud. lol.

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