RopeLab aims to promote a better understanding of the fundamental principles underpinning the craft of the rope technician. 


In 2012, Richard bought a set of testing equipment and began to test his theories and ideas around the physics of roping systems.  Seeking to share ideas and stimulate conversation, he began the Rope Test Lab Facebook Group.  This grew quickly and currently supports around 7,500 members.

From this basis, RopeLab was established to build a greater understanding of the physics of roped systems.   Seeing value in ideas being shared across industries, Richard looks at the physics of roped systems and equipment that may be used in a range of situations and industries.  Climbers, rope access technicians, riggers, slackliners, arborists and rescue operators all will find useful information here.

A subscription based membership system further supports Richard to conduct tests and generate data that apply to real working situations.  His reports detail the methodology and results of each test conducted and he encourages critical assessment.  The website provides the platform through which this information is shared, reviewed and discussed.

Richard also delivers regular workshops which aim to facilitate learning in a social and practical environment.  These workshops encourage critical thinking based in an understanding of fundamental principles rather than rote learning.  Experience across a range of industries gives Richard the capacity to tailor workshops to specific environments.

Feel free to explore the RopeLab website.  You may register for an account to complete purchases from our site and you can purchase an Annual RopeLab Membership here.  There is freely accessible information available, however, buying an annual RopeLab membership will increase our capacity to explore and will give you:

  • access to detailed reports on tests.
  • access to carefully considered physics explanations.
  • the ability to comment on all published articles.
  • the ability to ask questions and suggest tests via a members’ contact form.
  • a 10% discount on RopeLab Workshops.
  • membership and support of an online community of rope technicians with a real commitment to professional development.

About Richard

Understanding and teaching the Physics of Rigging is a core passion of Richard’s, one based on his experience, and his prior professional life as a qualified engineer.

Richard-Physics(photo credit: A. Rosli)

Richard Delaney has worked professionally with ropes since 1992. Initially, this was as a multi-pitch rock-climbing instructor, but this moved quickly into specialised rescue instruction and rope access work.  Richard’s formal qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)
  • Master of Environmental Management
  • Diploma of Outdoor Recreation
  • Level 3 Rope Access Technician (Australian Rope Access Association)
  • Licensed Dogger & Rigger
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Richard-Birdsville

Richard is also:
  • an accredited Vertical Rescue Instructor/Assessor
  • a Technical Director of the Australian Rope Access Association
  • a volunteer with the NSW State Emergency Service
  • the founder of the Rope Test Lab group on Facebook