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35

It is of course possible, but definitely not something I would recommend. The most common method for repelling without gear is the Dülfersitz method (invented by climbing pioneer Hans Dülfer). It involves wrapping the rope around your body in such a way as to allow you to better control your descent. The rope first goes between your legs front to back, ...


21

If you drop a belay plate you can use a Munter Hitch to descend down the rope. Here's an animated example of how to tie this knot (1 to 6 only) It works like a belay plate (but in reverse) so if you hold your hand close to your leg it will release. Moving it forward locks the slip knot. You can use a munter with two ropes (or one rope in half) or a ...


20

This is called "Natural Abseiling". The method mentioned by Timothy is called "Classic Abseiling". There is another method sometimes called the South African method where the two ends of the rope a separated and cross over your chest or back. This offers more control, higher friction against the body and no tendency to rotate the body, unlike the classic ...


20

The simple answer is the weight of your rope. When you're at the top of a pitch, you will have the full weight of 60m of static line below you, braking on your device. As you move down the rope, there is less and less rope below you, ergo less weight and friction on the braking end of your device. To avoid this, as well as any possible rope entanglements ...


19

One method is to build a brake out of carabiners. The minimum equipment for this is three oval biners plus a locking biner, and the diagrams below show how to construct the system with only this many biners. However, this setup doesn't give much friction, especially with a thin rope, and normally people use at least one more oval, as described in the text ...


19

I was thinking about this question while rappelling over an overhang this evening with my little girl and payed attention to exactly what I do: Plant your feet on the edge of the overhang, keep your legs straight, and let the rope through your descender until your body has cleared the roof. Think of the wall as flat ground, you want your body as ...


14

Disclaimer - I should mention that my answer only applies in the context of the original question. I'm discussing my experience rappeling in a rock climbing context, using a dynamic single or half rope, a "stich-plate" or tubular belay device, and an autoblock backup (not a prussik). I can't speak to rappeling in caving (where the gear would be different) ...


13

This topic will be incomplete without mentioning the good old dulfersitz method used by our fathers when there were no belay plates and no carabiners. This method doesn't require any equipment other than the rope itself. And, well, sturdy clothes. The method is to pass the rope around your body in a special way shown in the picture 1 below. Picture 2 shows ...


12

It isn't that unusual to use 8mm rope in caving on vertical (at least in Europe) especially in deeper caves with more rope to carry down and of course, back out again. In the US cavers tend to rig pitches from a single anchor and take care that there are no sharp bits of rock the rope could come in contact with and use rope which is more abrasion-resistant. ...


12

Pulling down ropes after abseiling in caving is common here in the UK, where a cave has an upper and a lower entrance with one or more pitches in between. We use Static rope and caving descenders are usually designed to only use a single strand of rope. We double the rope and tie a knot with a small loop near the middle of the rope. Then feed one end of the ...


11

I've had to deal with this question a lot teaching anchor building. When people have asked in the past I normally suggest they use the anchor you are most comfortable setting up, as they will both definitely work. That said, if we want to dive deeper into the rabbit hole, it's important to identify some distinct differences between them. Equalette: Typical ...


11

First some general dangers not related to melting: Burning your hands braking on the rope (can also happen with semiautomatic descenders like a grigri due to reflex) Uncontrolled impact on the rock Without a backup knot (e.g. prusik) and with a passive descender (e.g. tuber, eight) you may let go of the rope due to the heat induced pain or when impacting ...


11

This is not a direct answer but more of an extended comment about safety when rappelling on overhanging terrain. When rappelling over an overhang or an overhanging wall, make sure that you are certain that you will be able to reach the ground. Ideally you know that both ends of your rope are touching the ground. If your rope doesn't reach the ground you ...


10

I know I am answering a slightly different, more general question, but I think it is quite crucial to learn how to unjam a rappel device without relying on anybody else's help before embarking on any kind of outdoor-rappelling adventures. I have gotten my ATC stuck more times than I'd like to admit. ATCs don't just like to eat poorly assembled autoblock ...


10

Freedom of the Hills has a chapter on rappelling that includes a detailed discussion of this topic. Tie it "uphill" from the belay device or "downhill"? Downhill. If the Prusik is downhill from the ATC, then the Prusik only ever has to supply enough force to brake you on the brake strand. This is much, much less than your body weight, which is what ...


10

No It is not ok to use that type of descending ring for fixed anchors. SMC Descending Rings are a one-piece aluminum ring which are intended to be placed at the top of a pull down rappel in place of a carabiner in order to facilitate recovery of ropes. SMC issues the following for care, maintenance and retirement schedule needs of their descender rings: ...


9

Climbing Magazine has an article about this situation. The basic game plan is to build an improvised tube device with four carabiners. The picture from the article is pretty clear: You can also do a carabiner wrap. It really is as simple as it seems you just wrap the rope around the spine of a carabiner until you get the friction you need/want. This will ...


9

Disclaimer: I have never rappelled in the rain. Basic requirement As with any rappel problem a basic requirement is to have enough friction in the system, and preferably a way to go hands-free. As always this should be tested and not simply assumed. I don't think that anyone can tell you exactly what will produce the proper amount of friction without ...


9

I'd probably use the same technique I'd use if I was tandem abseilling with anyone, i.e. extend the abseil and attach both parties to it: | | @<- belay plate / \\ / \\ <- rope to adult child--adult ^ | / | <- tail of rope / attach child to adult as well as rope for safety So you extend the belay away ...


9

Leaving a sling behind is not as wasteful as you might think - a sling that has been rappelled off (without a 'biner or ring) must be retired anyway. In the scheme of the cost of recreational activity a few slings and rings add up to a minimal cost. Within reason, waste is not a reason to avoid leaving gear behind. There's a couple of things you can do to ...


9

I believe the "commando rappel" was invented by the military (special forces) though I can find no history of this. My understanding of the idea is that it allows you to rappel fast, gives you a free hand (to hold a weapon, handgun, etc) and allows you to see where you're going. So it's basically designed for rappelling into military situations. Unless ...


9

Was it safe? Yes, you were not in any danger here (unless your tree was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree). Was it the best thing to do? No, for a couple of reasons, the most important being that it does not comply with leave not trace ethics, and can badly scar the tree. It's also no good for your rope, dragging your rope through dirt and sap can ...


8

One option is to attach a Prusik above the descender but below your guide hand then clipped to your harness. Your guide hand pushes the Prusik down as you descend.The disadvantages of this method are: it can be difficult to release after it was been weighted in the event of a slip the natural instinct is to grab the rope and so continue to push the Prusik ...


8

To answer your first question, it doesn't matter very much whether you put the prussik on the same strand as your dcd or on the free strand. One reason it might be considered safer is that putting the prussik on the other strand would allow the other rope to prussik to catch you if the line you were repelling on somehow failed. As this event is extremely ...


8

Carabiner Braking Device You can make a braking device using only carabiners, which is how things were done before tubular devices, or braking plates: Source: Freedom of the Hills


8

Yes, it does get left behind. Descending ring are meant to be used to facilitate the recovery of ropes, they save your rope from getting horribly dirty, damaged, or stuck, and leave much less of an impact than rappelling off of a tree or branch. Pulling you rope off of a tree will saw into the trunk and leave permanent scars, it could even possibly lead ...


8

Toss the middle first. Throwing your rope isn't always the best solution. High winds, trees, and rocky slopes can make it easy for you to get your rope hung up. Throwing your rope is only really advisable if you're on a steep vertical cliff and there's little or no risk of getting your rope hung up on anything. When you do throw your rope though, it's ...


7

This is an example of a general topic called self-rescue. There are textbooks on the subject: Reference request: books on self-rescue while climbing . The simplest situation would be where the arm was injured before you started the rappel (as opposed to getting hurt while doing the rappel), and the person with the injury doesn't feel confident about being ...


7

I'm from the UK and have (therefore) rappelled in the rain lots ;-) The actual mechanics aren't that different. Being sprayed in the face with the wet grit that your device is squeegeeing out of your rope is one of the hazards - very unpleasant but not actually dangerous. Rather more serious might be that your wet rope - unlike your dry rope - is now a ...


7

I'm not aware of any special technique, as it mostly does depend on the actual situation. If you already rappelled quite a length, then the force pulling you to the rock might not be to great anymore, and if you feel confident you can certainly just take a big leap to cross the overhang. Otherwise I'd go slow. When rappelling you usually lean back and push ...



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