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Low-cost Rappels on Ice
Long rappel descents, whether planned or as a matter of sudden necessity when the weather goes bad or an injury occurs, can quickly turn into expensive ordeals when you have to leave a few pieces of gear at every rappel. Plus, you might need that gear later on. Fortunatel...
Blake Herrington at Climbing Magazine
How to Belay a Heavier Leader
People whose partners outweigh them by 25 pounds or more routinely get yanked off the ground when catching sport-climbing leader falls. Although this phenomenon is disconcerting at first, it can be perfectly safe with a few simple precautions—and it provides a nice, soft ...
Dave Sheldon at Climbing Magazine
How to Simul-Rappel
As Ed Viesturs famously said, “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” And sometimes getting down safely means doing it quickly. Simultaneously rappelling, or simul-rapping, is an advanced skill where two climbers descend one rope at the same time (or ...
Liz Drummond at Climbing Magazine
Safely Rappel with a Too-short Rope
Do you always know the exact length of every rappel? At some point in your climbing career, you will probably encounter a rappel that is unknown but looks too long for your measly single line. Instead of tossing the rope, crossing your fingers, and getting to the ends of ...
Jeff Ward at Climbing Magazine
A Safer Way to Set Up Rappels: Pre-rigging
Are you a climber who thinks double-checking your partner’s harness and knot is a good idea prior to launching up a route? Me too. That’s why I’m always mystified to see so many climbers ignoring such safety checks when coming back down. Imagine you’re at the top of a mu...
Dale Remsberg at Climbing Magazine
Preferred Knots for Rappelling
As a mountain guide, two questions I’m often asked are: 1) What knot do you use to join two ropes for rappels? and 2) Which knot do you use to tie the end of the ropes for a backup? Preferred rapelling knots by Chris Philpot 1. Joining Ropes The k...
Rob Hess at Climbing Magazine
Rappel Without a Belay Device
You’re lying if you say you’ve never dropped your belay device and watched it go “tink, tink, tink” all the way down to the base of a route. That’s where you want to get, and you just let go of the one piece of gear that will get you there most conveniently. It can happen...
Ian Nicholson at Climbing Magazine
Use a Friction-Hitch When Rappelling
A friction-hitch is popular among climbers who desire maximum control and safety while rappelling. The most common back-up is to link a harness leg loop to the rope with a prusik hitch. Your brake hand holds the friction hitch to keep it from locking while you rap, but i...
Eli Helmuth at Climbing Magazine
Learn the Basics of Rappelling
Getting to the top of any route is a success, but it also means one thing: You’re only halfway there. To descend single- and multi-pitch routes, rappelling is an excellent option that gets you down quickly and puts minimal wear on fixed anchors. The process of rappelling ...
Julie Ellison at Climbing Magazine
Clean a Top Rope and Make a Rappel Backup
Step by step demonstration of how to clean a top rope and set up a hands-free rappel backup.
Climbing Tech Tips
How to Back Up a Rappel
Choose your favorite method to back up a rappel.
Climbing Tech Tips
Make a V-Thread Anchor in Ice
How to make a strong V-thread rappel anchor.
Climbing Tech Tips
How to Build a V-Thread Anchor
Rappelling on ice, when there are no manmade anchors, requires a bit of ingenuity. You can use ice screws or nuts/cams if there’s rock, but then you are forced to leave your gear behind. Not only does this take a toll on your wallet and junk up the wilderness, but after e...
Cory Akin at Backcountry