I found this article by petzl here. I have trouble following the comparion of the rappel setups with the pull cord. I dont understand how the second one gains this stated advantage:

The next rappel can be set up without threading the rope through the ring.

Would be nice if someone could explain why we gain this advantage. And other techniques that make pull cord rappelling on long rappels efficient.

  • I think it's potentially a typo, since they later say "The techniques presented above are not suitable for the rapid execution of a long series of rappels, as they require threading the entire rope through the rappel ring after it has been retrieved, or retying knots." I can't think of a way to do a 2nd repel without either threading the rope or retying the knot. But at least it's fewer knots to retie.
    – noah
    Nov 9 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


As noah pointed out, this is very likely an error as the rope has always to be threaded through the ring to end up at the situation displayed. (Assuming you cannot rappel on the pull cord, which is typically the case. Even if the pull cord is strong enough, the diameter difference makes it impossible to service both the rope and the pull cord with the same device) Please note that, with a single strand, friction is a lot lower than on a two-strand rappel and always back up your system.

If you have to rappel a lot, there is no way around double ropes. Twin ropes (always clipping both strands) had their niche for that, but given how thin and light half ropes have become, they are preferable due to the added flexibility of clipping only a single strand to reduce rope drag on the climb up.

I would not recommend the technique suggested by Benedikt Bauer. While this can be used, it has a high risk of dropping the rope or the pull cord. You need to secure both to mitigate the risk

to go into further details on the sense and nonsense of single rope rapelling... the lightest single rope from Petzl is the 9mm Volta at 54g/m. They sell the PUR as a pull cord at 20g/m, giving you a total of 74g/m. The Paso 7.7mm half-rope weighs 40g/m, giving you a total of 80g/m or a difference of 360g for the total package at 60m. Unless you are projecting some sport multi-pitch at your very limit, the easier use during rappel, lower rope-drag during climbing and higher safety against rockfall, etc. of using half-ropes will outweigh the higher weight.

  • I actually own a pair of 7.7 pasos but recently also bought a 53 g/m edelrid triple rated rope which I quite enjoy climb on on harder stuff. And I was thinking of buying a Tagline petzl pure line since it is so praised in this article colinhaley.com/nugget-1-the-petzl-purline/?amp=1. But since it is so expensive I want to figure what's best techniques are that's can be used with it. Nov 10 at 8:07
  • 1
    You buy gear if it presents a solution for a problem you actually have. You do not buy gear because someone praises it and then search for a problem to apply your solution to. Also, context matters. From the way he describes certain other ropes (e.g. sheath slippage during rappels), I seriously doubt he is using it the same way as in the manual as a pure pull cord. I rather suspect he is simply tieing both ropes together and rappelling on both strands. [...]
    – Manziel
    Nov 10 at 12:53
  • You can get a hint of that by the rappel pictures which show both strands going into the device and the Cerro Torre picture where the tech cord is already threaded through the next station. One would not do this with a pure pull cord. Of course, this kind of use is pretty much guaranteed to be outside the recommendations of the manual
    – Manziel
    Nov 10 at 12:54
  • from what i have seen it is common practice to also put the pull cord that you don't rappel on int the tube in order not to loose it. From the pictures I can't see that the rope is pre threaded... But I am very mutch interested in what people use the pur line for in practice and not just what the manual says. Also I am wandering why they made it so strong if it should only be used for pulling and hauling of lighter stuff. Couldn't they make it less strong and even lighter? Or is it just so stong by accident because a 6mm rope has better handling? Nov 10 at 14:53
  • The thing is...you can make a rope very thin and still strong using materials like Dyneema. However, rope handling requires a certain diameter, both for devices and a reasonable grip by hand. 6mm is definitely on the lower end for that, unless you carry specialized devices.
    – Manziel
    Nov 11 at 21:01

With the second technique, since you don't join the rope and the retrieve cord via a joining knot but just tie a sling knot into the end of the rope and the retrieve cord and clip both into a carabiner. The whole setup can therefore easily be disassembled by unclipping the rope and opening the knot in the rope. Hence, you can after every pitch, when you have retrieved your rope, untie the stop knot, pull the rope's end through the ring, make a new stop knot and clip everything together into the carabiner.

However, as mentioned in the comments: this method will leave you with an unsecured rope while rebuilding your setup. Therefore it should be advised to secure the rope otherwise while opening the knot and pulling the rope end through the next ring.

The first setup with the join knot on the other hand is quite surely too cumbersome to untie and rebuild after every pitch so you will have to pull the whole rope length through the ring at every stand.

  • If that is what they are taking about I would be quite concerned about rope loss when doing this. Nov 10 at 8:10
  • @jonathan-dev fair point. I have added some advice to secure the rope somehow while doing the reassembly. Nov 26 at 20:58

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