4 Steps to Safe Rappelling

noun. 1. (in mountaineering) the act or method of moving down a steep incline or past an overhang by means of a double rope secured above and placed around the body, usually under the left thigh and over the right shoulder, and paid out gradually in the descent. verb (used without object), rappelled,rappellingRappel | Define Rappel at Dictionary.comSafe Rappelling

4 Steps to Safe Rappelling

Practicing safe rappelling is important! Rappelling is one of the most dangerous aspects of rock climbing and easily remedied by using proper technique.

Once you have your rope anchored into the top of a climb or cliff with a strong multi point anchor you can begin to set up a protected rappel. Depending on the whether you are rappelling off a single length or double length rope, make sure that the end of the rope(s) is on solid ground. If not, a stopper knot can be tied at the end of the rope(s). It never hurts to do this since there have been a number of deaths associated by rappelling off the end of the rope  

Step One: Thread your friction device through the rope(s) and attach to your belay loop on your harness with a locking carabiner. For easier access you can extend the belay by attaching a cow’s tail. Click here for directions The Mountaineers’ Extended Rappel Belay.

prusik for rappel back upStep Two: Attach a back-up prusik on the ropes below your friction device. You’ll need a sling tied from 5mm- 7mm cord either sewn by the manufacturer or tied with double fisherman’s knot.  See how to tie a prusik on NetKnots.com. The prusik is attached to your leg loop on the same side as your brake hand with a carabiner.

Step Three: Double Check harness, all lockers, anchor system, and rappel device one last time.  Then
lower yourself to a good rappel position. 

Note: You can attach a second prusik on your belay loop with a locking carabiner above the anchor to get in position and release it once you are in the rappel position.

IMG_0617Step Four: Rappel On! Your brake hand moves the back-up prusik as you move down the length of the rope.



Feel Free to contact Apex with any questions info@apexadventurealliance.com

Adventure Rock Opening in June

20160525_104409 (1)You’ve probably heard by now that Adventure Rock is opening their second climbing gym in the heart of Milwaukee. We’ve got some insider details about the long-awaited space.

Measuring in at 43 feet at its tallest the space features ample climbing with uniquely featured walls that are a work of
art. The all-inclusive pro-shop offers everything down to a micro-nut. They will have a workout area for off-the-wall training and also a separate party space for birthdays and special events. Of course, they have all of the upgraded amenities such as large locker rooms and showers. Best of all, the space is amazingly bright, well thought out, and of course, has that friendly AdRock feel.  Craig Burzynski, General Manager states “150 routes, 210 boulder problems, 4 cracks, and 1 really good time!”IMG_0458

Adventure Rock JuneJoin them in celebrating and get excited. Here are some of the features and events surrounding the opening.IMG_0459
June 13-17 Soft Opening for Members Only
June 18th Grand Opening for All

Win awesome prizes (like the gift certificates we are giving away for outdoor climbing) and have some fun.

They are currently offering a pre-opening membership sale. They have all of the details here.  Also a perk is that their membership will work at both locations for no additional charge.

Adventure Rock always does a spectacular job in everything indoor climbing related and the new gym is nothing different.


Adventure Rock June

Adventure Rock Bouldering Wall

Adventure Rock, Opening June 2016!

Purchase The Gift of Adventure

Looking for something unique this holiday season to give is a gift?Happy Holidays

Apex offers the gift of adventure through gift certificates.  Climbers can choose their own adventure during a time that pleases them.

Share an Adventure with us this holiday season by calling 608-434-3360.

Happy Holidays from Lynn and Jill and the rest of the Apex Crew!


Reflections of a Guide

Camping and climbing at Devil’s Lake State Park is awesome. Getting to share that with others is also great. Know what is even better? Pantry Rock Climbing

Getting to share it with others for FOUR days. Last week I got the privilege of working with a youth group from near my home town.  We camped, we climbed, we swam, we explored a river, we jumped into the water, and best of all, we all learned about each other and the world around us. Taking this time to reflect and build relationships is truly what being a guide is all about.

I have worked at other camps and regardless of location, getting to work with kids and adults alike, you see a changes in them after spending time in the wilderness.  Without some of the stimulations we see in every day life, people are different.  I see calm, relaxed, open, excited, and more.  I not only see it in others, but I see it in myself too.

When we take away those stimulations, we also create space for relationships to thrive in ways that those stimulations can push away.  Not once throughout the whole four days was someone busy on their phone instead of giving someone their full attention. With our attention turned to each other and ourselves, we start to listen better, we start to interact better, and we make room for more. More of whatever it is that we need.

So as I reflect on my time in the wilderness and each day I am allowed to spend time outside, I start to see myself more fully. I am better at achieving results when challenged. I have better, deeper, more solid relationships. And best of all, I am more of the best parts of me.

If you have time, check out what the world around us does to you.

– Jill Griffis

Reflections of a Guide



Top 5 Natural Attractions at Devil’s Lake

There are many amazing sites to see at Devil’s Lake.  Lynn and I have done extensive exploring and for the past five seasons, I have very much enjoyed much of “The Lake.” Here is my top 5 list of my favorite natural attractions at Devil’s Lake State Park.

5. A fish out of water.

Grab your license (for purchase at most gas stations in Wisconsin), a tackle box, and your pole.  Fishing is a great relaxing way to enjoy the lake.  If you are lucky, you will land a big one and have a nice catch for dinner.

path4. The south beach on a week day.

Stop at the lake for less crowds and a beautiful serene beach on a week day.  Evenings are also prime time to enjoy the quietness the lake has to offer.  Of course, any time is the right time to swim, so jump in and splash around. Note that this activity is especially awesome after a day of climbing during the Summer!

3. Balanced Rock Trail meets East Bluff Trail.

Take the Balanced Rock Trail up the bluffs.  Check out Balanced Rock on your way up, a naturally occurring rock formation.  Keep hiking until you reach Devil’s Doorway, also a natural rock formation.  Both have great views and are iconic to Devil’s Lake.

2. A 360 degree view from the middle of the lake.

Take to a boat or raft to gain access to the middle of Devil’s Lake.  This spot will not disappoint one bit.  You can get a more full view of the extravagance of Devil’s Lake State Park.  Can you name the different climbing areas?

1. The view from the top!  View From the Top

Of course, this list can’t be complete without noting that when you reach the top of a climb, there are wonderful, unique views.  No matter where you climb at Devil’s Lake, when you reach the top, look behind you.  Don’t miss seeing Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River from the CCC and Baraboo from the middle of the West Bluff.

Enjoy all these wonders of nature close to home.  And you thought you needed to head westward… let me prove you wrong : )

– Jill