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.



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