26 votes
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Can you Rappel with an Old Climbing Rope?

You probably should not use it any more. Old ropes seem to be surprisingly strong. A German mountaineering magazine made tests with old ropes. Of 14 tested ropes, 10 would still have been strong ...
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  • 6,435
21 votes
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Rapelling an overhang

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 ...
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20 votes
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Why does abseiling become easier gradually?

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, ...
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15 votes
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What are the dangers of descending/rappeling very quickly?

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 ...
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14 votes
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Minimum safe rappel rope diameters?

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 ...
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13 votes
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Is it ok to use rolled aluminum descending rings in permanent anchors?

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 ...
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13 votes
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Abseiling on one rope: should I attach the prusik to the other one?

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 ...
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13 votes

Backing up a abseil anchor with a human

Once when I was in the Marine Corps I did rappel for fun off of a guard rail in the central staircase of my three story barracks building. I did not have any problem with the guard rail as an anchor, ...
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  • 9,628
12 votes

Rappelling from tree

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 ...
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12 votes
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What happens to rappel anchors?

Yes, it does get left behind. Descending rings 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 ...
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12 votes
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How should I choose between setting up a Cordelette or an Equalette climbing anchor?

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 ...
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12 votes
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How to use a Munter hitch to belay and rappel?

To answer your question as to the ideal break position when using the munter: It depends. It depends on your comfort and experience with the knot, its application and the situation. I have rappeled ...
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  • 7,471
11 votes

What do I do if I lose my belay plate?

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 ...
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  • 9,628
11 votes

Rapelling an overhang

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 ...
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11 votes
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How to rappel with a dog?

Your dog needs a climbing harness: I have a friend who goes everywhere with their dog, and they have a pro-rated harness for them. You need to get your dog a harness, and tandem rappel with them just ...
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11 votes

Can I use SteriGENE broad spectrum disinfectant on abseil rope?

I visit a lot of caves in the Canadian Rockies, and there are similar concerns with transporting microorganisms from cave to cave, as well as diseases such as white nose syndrome in bats. For the ...
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11 votes
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Rappelling with only one arm

Yes If we assume that this is a summer camp setup where experienced (ish) instructors set up and oversee the rapell, sure. A one-armed person would face two major difficulties. Setting up the rapell ...
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  • 1,887
11 votes

Can you Rappel with an Old Climbing Rope?

No, it’s not worth the risk. Ropes aren’t that expensive and if it breaks you could hurt yourself.
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10 votes

How to use a Munter hitch to belay and rappel?

A Munter hitch can brake regardless of the orientation of the brake strand. It provides the greatest braking force in the "closed" position (the brake strand running alongside the load strand), and a ...
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  • 8,368
10 votes
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In canyoning, [why] do people skip a backup prusik?

Canyoneering presents different risks than rock climbing because water is involved This comment on another post shows why water is an important factor (emphasis mine): Canyoneering with an ...
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  • 9,628
10 votes

In canyoning, [why] do people skip a backup prusik?

Canyoneering has one major danger that is not (normally) one in mountaineering: water. If you get stuck abseiling along/in a waterfall and end up hanging in the waterfall, you can drown. An "engaged" ...
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10 votes
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Lowering other members of a party on belay after rappelling

Here is what I don't like about your plan, the less experienced people will be tying themselves in without you present and the last person won't have a second pair of eyeballs to double check that ...
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9 votes

Abseiling on one rope: should I attach the prusik to the other one?

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 ...
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9 votes

What do I do if I lose my belay plate?

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
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9 votes
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How to avoid tangling up the rope when throwing it before rappelling?

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
9 votes

What do you do when you're rappelling a halfed rope and you run out of rope on one side?

One thing you can do if there isn't too much friction in your rope, is lock off the short side of the rope, and continue to descend on the long side. With the short end locked off, you can lower ...
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