As a judo athlete, I performed countless rope climbs. Rope climbing can be quite taxing and sometimes it is better to work with lighter weights. To mimic rope climbing I use pulley systems to basically pull up a 30-80 lbs kettlebell. The drawback with this system is the height of the pulley it can be placed at. Plus it can be a little dangerous too if this kettlebell falls during the exercise due to fatigue, gym accident, etc. Many gyms don't have the ceiling space to place pulley and this picture below is a layout that uses a sled and a pull up ball to mimic rope climbing in a similar fashion. This is a pretty cool layout and with a few modifications, this can easily be turned in to a endless tricep pull down or bicep curl set up.
This picture is by "SwingThis Kettlebell and Fundamental Strength"