26 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Manziel's user avatar
  • 7,255
21 votes
Accepted

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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

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, ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
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, ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,668
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 ...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
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 ...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
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 ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,668
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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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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 ...
Guran's user avatar
  • 1,972
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.
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
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" ...
imsodin's user avatar
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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 ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,668
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 ...
requiem's user avatar
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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 ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
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
ShemSeger's user avatar
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9 votes
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How to stop in the middle of a rappel without an autoblock?

The simple solution is to take the rope (both strands if rappelling on a doubled rope) below the device and wrap the several times around your upper leg and hold your upper leg perpendicular to the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
9 votes
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Protect hand skin while belaying

Making the Grigri's cam absorb most of the friction by finding the sweet spot of its lever, if this device is employed. You should always be doing this anyway. Never depend on friction of the brake ...
endolith's user avatar
  • 928
8 votes

Lowering other members of a party on belay after rappelling

Extending everyone's rappels and tying everyone into the rope before the first person descends is the proper, safest way to do things, unless you wanted all the followers to tie an autoblock as well. ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
8 votes

Knots when abseiling with single rope

Safety disclaimer first I have a rope of 10 m which supports 3 kN (300 kg) strength. I will abseil with it as a single rope. Edit addressing the new info about the rope: Please don't use this rope ...
imsodin's user avatar
  • 21.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Transition from ascending to descending a rope

Ascending a fixed rope using an ATC guide in lead mode is totally valid, but it is not the "quickest" method (IMHO). Usually what is taught in basic climbing and self rescue courses is to ascend with ...
QuantumBrick's user avatar
  • 3,379
7 votes

Rapelling an overhang

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,...
flawr's user avatar
  • 1,747
7 votes

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

First of all, don't coil your rope in the "usual" U-shape, like climbers do! (example picture) Or in ASCII art ___ ------- //// o \\\\ |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| \\// \\// ...
anatolyg's user avatar
  • 4,528
6 votes

What is the correct way to attach an autoblock to your harness for rappelling?

The issue with the French Prusik being attached to the leg loop is less that the leg loop fails but more that of the distance between the prusik and the ATC. Obviously if they meet the French will be "...
Aoraki's user avatar
  • 81
6 votes

The dangers of simul-rappelling

I think it isn't fair to simu-abseiling to pull out horrific accident reports and use them to say it isn't safe, because there are just as horrific accidents with "traditional" abseiling. The only ...
imsodin's user avatar
  • 21.8k

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