If I'm out on the rock and I come across a pair of hangers, how can I tell the difference between rap hangers (the kind you can directly thread rope through to rappel) and regular hangers (the kind that you must clip a carabiner or quick link into)? I would be specifically looking for the rap hangers since without identification they could both be used like regular hangers.

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    The one pictured is not suitable rap anchor. – user5330 Dec 1 '15 at 1:15
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    @mattnz I pulled it from a metolius rap hanger product page – Chris Mendez Dec 1 '15 at 1:24
  • Sorry - in the image it does not look suitable as it appears to have a sharp edge, but the blurb says its radiused and suitable for rap/belay. – user5330 Dec 1 '15 at 2:40
  • I think there is a huge difference between active abseiling, were the rope is not running through the anchor during the abseiling process, and a passive descending of the climber by the belayer. In the latter case, I would be careful with a so-called rap hanger as you pictured it. – tomglabst Dec 1 '15 at 11:00

You shouldn't rappel directly off a hanger if any of these is true:

  • The rope does not easily fit through the hole (with room to spare)
  • The hole's edges are not smoothly rounded
  • The material that forms the hole is much thinner than a carabiner

Because all of these increase the change the rope will get stuck or damaged.

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    you should also check the hanger for wear. Many rap hangers become badly worn and can cut a rope or break when weighted – user2766 Nov 30 '15 at 16:19

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