So my toddler just barely fits the smallest child's harness on the market, which of course means she's big enough to go climbing and rappelling with daddy ;)

I've been playing around with different techniques of tandem rappelling with her (both walking and free rappel) and I'm wondering what established techniques people use for different ages/sizes of children?

What are some good techniques for tandem rappelling with a small child?

1 Answer 1


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
      ^   |
     /    | <- tail of rope
  attach child to adult as well as rope for safety

So you extend the belay away from yourself, and attch both parties to the belay, also attach the child to your harness as a backup (don't drop the baby). You then belay as normal (keeping the rope away from the child).

Add a prusik backup (don't drop the baby!!)

I actually found a photo of a similar set up:

enter image description here

The black rope going east from the adult's harness tie-in is also tied to a second karabiner on the child's harness and then up (behind the pink sling) to the safety belayer.

  • 4
    We can just assume that Mommy is hold a fireman at the bottom as a backup.
    – ShemSeger
    Mar 18, 2015 at 14:24
  • 1
    +1 for don't drop the baby twice :). Practice close to the ground (even a moderately steep hill will do) the first time.
    – Felix
    Mar 19, 2015 at 19:10
  • 3 times actually @Felix... :)
    – user2766
    Mar 20, 2015 at 10:24
  • 3
    Looking at the picture... I want to know under what circumstances a court jester would be saving a princess from a tower.
    – ShemSeger
    Apr 29, 2015 at 20:17
  • 3
    @ShemSeger it was a fancy dress charity abseil in Swansea, Wales for SOS Africa. It was done at Christmas time so it was a festive theme. I was an Elf (Jester?) and my daughter (four at the time) was Elsa from Frozen. It was her second charity abseil, the first was when she was two years old abseiling down the keep at Pembroke castle in Wales.
    – John
    Jun 17, 2016 at 15:28

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