44

It is of course possible, but definitely not something I would recommend. The most common method for repelling without gear is the Dülfersitz method (invented by climbing pioneer Hans Dülfer). It involves wrapping the rope around your body in such a way as to allow you to better control your descent. The rope first goes between your legs front to back, then ...


27

This is called "Natural Abseiling". The method mentioned by Timothy is called "Classic Abseiling". There is another method sometimes called the South African method where the two ends of the rope a separated and cross over your chest or back. This offers more control, higher friction against the body and no tendency to rotate the body, unlike the classic ...


21

One method is to build a brake out of carabiners. The minimum equipment for this is three oval biners plus a locking biner, and the diagrams below show how to construct the system with only this many biners. However, this setup doesn't give much friction, especially with a thin rope, and normally people use at least one more oval, as described in the text ...


21

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 legs straight, and let the rope through your descender until your body has cleared the roof. Think of the wall as flat ground, you want your body as ...


20

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, there is less and less rope below you, ergo less weight and friction on the braking end of your device. To avoid this, as well as any possible rope entanglements ...


17

This topic will be incomplete without mentioning the good old dulfersitz method used by our fathers when there were no belay plates and no carabiners. This method doesn't require any equipment other than the rope itself. And, well, sturdy clothes. The method is to pass the rope around your body in a special way shown in the picture 1 below. Picture 2 shows ...


16

Disclaimer - I should mention that my answer only applies in the context of the original question. I'm discussing my experience rappeling in a rock climbing context, using a dynamic single or half rope, a "stich-plate" or tubular belay device, and an autoblock backup (not a prussik). I can't speak to rappeling in caving (where the gear would be different) ...


15

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 Without a backup knot (e.g. prusik) and with a passive descender (e.g. tuber, eight) you may let go of the rope due to the heat induced pain or when impacting on ...


14

Freedom of the Hills has a chapter on rappelling that includes a detailed discussion of this topic. Tie it "uphill" from the belay device or "downhill"? Downhill. If the Prusik is downhill from the ATC, then the Prusik only ever has to supply enough force to brake you on the brake strand. This is much, much less than your body weight, which is what you'...


14

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 pitches from a single anchor and take care that there are no sharp bits of rock the rope could come in contact with and use rope which is more abrasion-resistant. ...


13

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 a carabiner in order to facilitate recovery of ropes. SMC issues the following for care, maintenance and retirement schedule needs of their descender rings: ...


13

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 usually designed to only use a single strand of rope. We double the rope and tie a knot with a small loop near the middle of the rope. Then feed one end of the ...


13

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, but when my command found out about my "incident" they were not happy.... This is for good reason because: The guard rail on your balcony is not designed for ...


12

I know I am answering a slightly different, more general question, but I think it is quite crucial to learn how to unjam a rappel device without relying on anybody else's help before embarking on any kind of outdoor-rappelling adventures. I have gotten my ATC stuck more times than I'd like to admit. ATCs don't just like to eat poorly assembled autoblock ...


12

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 definitely work. That said, if we want to dive deeper into the rabbit hole, it's important to identify some distinct differences between them. Equalette: Typical ...


12

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 impact than rappelling off of a tree or branch. Pulling you rope off of a tree will saw into the trunk and leave permanent scars, it could even possibly lead ...


12

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 does not comply with leave not trace ethics, and can badly scar the tree. It's also no good for your rope, dragging your rope through dirt and sap can ...


12

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 and belayed with munter-hitches on numeral occasions. A double stranded munter-hitch rappel provides a significant amount of friction and unless you want to ...


11

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 carabiner wrap. It really is as simple as it seems you just wrap the rope around the spine of a carabiner until you get the friction you need/want. This will ...


11

One option is to attach a Prusik above the descender but below your guide hand then clipped to your harness. Your guide hand pushes the Prusik down as you descend.The disadvantages of this method are: it can be difficult to release after it was been weighted in the event of a slip the natural instinct is to grab the rope and so continue to push the Prusik ...


11

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 certain that you will be able to reach the ground. Ideally you know that both ends of your rope are touching the ground. If your rope doesn't reach the ground you ...


11

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 amount of organisms you're going to pick up on your nylon rope, it should be sufficient to clean your ropes thoroughly in a bath with Dawn soap. The soap will kill ...


11

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 (is tying knots and loading rope into brakes/rapell devices) and handling the brake during the actual rapell. On a summer camp, I assume that the kids wouldn'...


10

Disclaimer: I have never rappelled in the rain. Basic requirement As with any rappel problem a basic requirement is to have enough friction in the system, and preferably a way to go hands-free. As always this should be tested and not simply assumed. I don't think that anyone can tell you exactly what will produce the proper amount of friction without ...


10

I know that on the east coast, a couple of the park services have been pushing the climbing community to install bolt anchors as a replacement for nests of old slings around trees. This is in part because slinging anchors around trees can damage the bark, and sometimes eventually kill the tree. This shift from webbing anchors around trees to bolted rappel ...


10

This is an example of a general topic called self-rescue. There are textbooks on the subject: Reference request: books on self-rescue while climbing . The simplest situation would be where the arm was injured before you started the rappel (as opposed to getting hurt while doing the rappel), and the person with the injury doesn't feel confident about being ...


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