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The rope trick spell states (emphasis mine):

You touch a length of rope that is up to 60 feet long. One end of the rope then rises into the air until the whole rope hangs perpendicular to the ground. At the upper end of the rope, an invisible entrance opens to an extradimensional space that lasts until the spell ends.

The extradimensional space can be reached by climbing to the top of the rope. [...]

If you cast rope trick near a cliff face, then the rope could use the "ground" as the cliff face and be perpendicular to that, thereby potentially using it as means to cross a chasm. Could this work?

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No, the rope rises

To stress another important part of the spell description:

You touch a length of rope that is up to 60 feet long. One end of the rope then rises into the air until the whole rope hangs perpendicular to the ground.

The rope only rises into the air. It does not float in a trajectory perpendicular to the ground.

RAW I think this would make the spell impossible to cast successfully with a cliff face as the "ground", as the rope could not end up perpendicular to the ground if it were to rise up into the air.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Hangs" also implies that the end of the rope that did not rise is extending in the direction of gravity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 2 at 16:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's picky, but I would argue that if you're willing to interpret "the ground" as referring to a (vertical) cliff face, and one end of the rope is attached to the cliff face, then the end of the rope could rise until the rope is perpendicular to the cliff face, i.e. horizontal. The ruling seems to depend on the interpretation of "ground" rather than of the act of "rising". Linked answer from other comments claims ground == "[a] surface that could conceivably harbor some object on it" ... \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Bolker
    Feb 4 at 19:55

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