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Literally your life-line when climbing - rope is at the core of your safety system linking everything and everyone together for safe ascension, decent and other movement on steep mountain terrain.  There is an increasing number of considerations when contemplating a new rope but these ultimately all come down to what your going to use it for. 
Single Rope   
As the name suggests, a rope that is designed to be used by itself.  Available a variety of diameters between 9 and 11.5mm making it suitable for a wide range of climbing disciplines. 

The best choice for sport climbing, single pitch trad routes that take a direct line, top roping and indoor climbing.  Using a single rope has the advantage of easier handling and rope management but rope drag can be a problem and your abseils are limited half the length of the rope.

Half Rope
Climbers use a pair of ropes that may be clipped alternately into runners, ideally clipping one on the left the other on the right.  Rope diameters usually range between 8mm and 9mm. 

Best choice for traditional and multi-pitch routes, winter climbs and harder alpine routes.  This double rope technique reduces rope drag, allows for full rope length abseils and offers better protection for the leader while clipping protection.  Until experience is gained, belaying is trickier with half ropes and of course the extra weight of a second rope has to be carried by someone... 

Static Rope
Ropes in which there is very little or no rope stretch under load are known as semi-static or low stretch ropes, they are designed to be used fixed in situations such as abseiling, ascending top roping or when hauling gear.  These ropes are often used by industrial users where durability and wear resistance is required to counter heavy use.  NOT to be used for lead climbing!

Rope Length
Dynamic rope for climbing comes in a variety of lengths from 30m to 80m though for climbing outside in the UK, 50 or 60m ropes will cover most if not all eventualities.  For most indoor climbing a 30-40m rope would be adequate but some (Ratho EICA for example) you will need a 50-60m rope for lead climbing.