How to Rappel Properly – Advanced Rock Climbing Techniques

how to rappel

Last Updated on September 6, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

Climbing is dangerous if you don’t know how to rappel. Since 1951, North American Mountaineering has hundreds of rappelling accidents and deaths from Canada and the USA. At the same time, the challenges connected with rappelling–and climbing to this thing cannot be erased. While most climbing accidents cause a climber injury and in many cases, they died. 

While all climbers wish to get to the surface of the pitch, becoming down is crucial. Lowering on belay is what the majority of people do if we commence off climbing. Rappelling is just another important skill, however, that you become a climber.

Lowering necessitates a belay partner, while at rappelling the climber self-lowers. Rappelling comes in handy such as:

  • You’ve got zero way route to get the bottom of one’s climb (such as over the sea cliff).
  • The wall has a lot of loss stones, and you also wish to clean out the route before you climb.
  • You’ve got a wounded climber plus also a rescue against the cover of the climb is warranted.
  • You want to lessen wear and tear within an anchor (such as a person that’s rappel rings), then you have cleaned the anchor and also need to get down.
  • Whatever scenario if climbing down, lowering and walking off is all not possible or preferable.  

What is Rappelling?

Rappelling climbing is the section of one’s climb where you need to descend the route that you climbed up. What’s rappelling climbing can be a simple question to answer if put next to how to complete rappelling climbing. You know rappelling is among the options to descend a climbing route. However, you should also know it may be dangerous.

Climbing might become an overwhelming task when you haven’t ever done it earlier. You must attempt to learn and exercise climbing. You’ll ride on your rappelling system device, your own carabineer’s, your climbing and rappelling principles and the rest of the equipment that you choose to handle your wall that is next.

You’ll need to trust that the gear you’re using and must use each apparatus for the intended function. It would help if you learned the mistakes that may be made rappelling because climbers get embarrassed because of mistakes. As an instance, for those who might have an inadequate anchor, your balance may be impacted by it.    

Real Related Article: How to Belay

Rappelling is Ability Based

Rappelling, though possibly one of the most dangerous practices found in climbing and the reason for many climbing accidents is skill-based. Just about all rappelling accidents occur due to climber fault instead of as an act of God. If you learn all of the essential expertise of rappelling, then simply you’ll be secure on all of your rappels. You screw up, though–Splat! You’re a dead piece of meat.


Tools You Need

For perfect rappelling, you must have the proper tools with you. Nor you will not be able to perform rappel perfectly and your life may danger.


The La Sportiva TaratuLace for both men along with women can be actually just really a superb shoe for almost just about any level. They are fantastic for beginners and the climbs that are aggressive. The rubber offers great traction and they are flexible and soft, keeping you comfortable as you are out daily climbing and rappelling.

La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing...
  • FAST LACING SYSTEM - Quick-pull lacing harness allows for precise regulation of inner volumes; Wrapping the foot snugly for excellent support, fit, and comfort
  • ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE - Designed to help intermediate climbers smear, hook, and edge like pros; The aggressive rubber heel rand, sticky FriXion RS rubber soles, and low-asymmetry RN45 build let climbers find purchase on edges with great sensitivity and without pain or cramping
  • CLIMB IN COMFORT - From the gym to the crags, the classic unlined leather upper is soft and comfortable; Lined tongue controls moisture and enhances breathability; Synthetic leather overlay adds just the right level of support
  • BUILT TO LAST - This indoor/outdoor climbing shoe is constructed from high quality materials; 1.8mm LaspoFlex at the midsole and 5mm FriXion RS at the sole make the TarantuLace as stable as it is durable
  • TIPS FOR BUYING - Rock climbing shoes are designed to fit differently than other footwear; Be sure to reference the La Sportiva size chart in the product images for more accurate sizing; The fit should be tight, but not painful, and without pressure points

Rappelling Device

Edelrid is well known for its outdoor products. Edelrid has been a standby for avid nature adventurists, and they certainly know a thing or two about climbing and rappelling gear.

EDELRID Ohm Assisted-Braking Resistor - Oasis
  • Assisted-braking resistor to increase rope friction when there is a large weight difference between belayer and lead climber. In the event of a fall, the OHM increases the amount of rope friction so that a lighter belayer can hold a heavier lead climber without difficulty.
  • Belayer requires significantly less hand braking force to arrest a fall Lowering a heavier climber is much easier to control OHM is attached at the first bolt in the safety chain
  • Should a lead climber fall at the first bolt, the OHM significantly reduces the risk of a possible ground fall Rope handling when belaying a lead climber not affected (no additional friction when paying out rope) Recommended weight difference (lead climber > belayer): 10 - 40 kg
  • Minimum weight belayer: 40 kg For single ropes from 8.9 - 11 mm
  • CE marking: CE 0123, Weight 470 g

Locking Carabiner

Locking carabiners are crucial if you want the biner doesn’t neglect or come reversed. Anchoring when belaying, or rigging systems, lockers are required. At times, they could incorporate a few reassurances.

EDELRID HMS Strike Locking Carabiner - Slider Slate
  • Locking slide-gate mechanism minimizes risk of accidental gate opening
  • Easy-operation slide-gate mechanism for fast clipping
  • H-profile construction ensures best possible use of material and minimal weight
  • Keylock closure mechanism for optimum handling when clipping and unclipping. Carabiner can move freely in all (belay/anchor) situations
  • Fmax. Vertical [Kn]: 23, Fmax. Open [Kn]: 7, Fmax. minor axis [Kn]: 8


A well-built climbing harness is designed to minimize the risks you are taking when venturing out in the hinterland. It anchors you to one steady point and doesn’t let you fall or slip.


Slings are very important component for rappelling.

Mammut Contact 8.0 Sling
  • bestes Handling auch im Nahtbereich
  • Reisskraft 22 kN


Gloves are (in my own opinion) an underrated portion of a climber’s gear arsenal. They protect the skin on rappels and belays and therefore are especially useful for objectives involving jumaring or assist scaling.

Black Diamond Stone Climbing Gloves
  • Goat leather
  • Reinforced leather palm and knuckle patches with Kevlar stitching
  • Hook-and-loop cuff closure


A perfectly designed climbing rope should act as your bulletproof vest – always be ready to take the hit. This piece of equipment simply the most important element.

BlueWater Ropes 9.1mm Icon Double Dry Dynamic Single...
  • Grams per Meter: 55
  • Impact Force: 8.8 kN
  • UIAA Falls Held: 5
  • Static Elongation: 7.2%
  • Dynamic Elongation: 32.7%

How Dangerous is Rappelling?

Now you know what’s is rappelling climbing, but is it that dangerous? Stats are somewhat hard to come by how dangerous rappelling is; however, there’ve been over 300 people die while attempting to ascend Mt. Everest. If you’re climbing, afterward, you’re inclined to become attached with a couple of anchor points for security such as cams, bolts, pistons, and much more. Nevertheless, regarding rappelling, it isn’t the situation.

Your confidence is likely to soon be on the rappelling anchor system that’s attached with an own body, and you’re going to be expecting that the system. The system needs to be both more safe and sound if you’d like to become safe. Regrettably, there have been a few rappelling accidents, injuries, and deaths because of climbers, perhaps not being willing to descend, which means that you have to be sure that the septic system works.

For that reason, we cannot express that rappelling climbing is not as dangerous or safe as climbing because you will find the stats to demonstrate. Yes, it might be dangerous when you’ve not ever done it earlier. You are not by having a seasoned climber, however, if you’re intending to go wealthier climbing, you’ve got to know what’s rappelling climbing and how you can deal with the warrior properly.

To minimize the risks, you have to exercise and learn until you decide to take to rappelling climbing. Climbers can avert dangerous situations such as accidents should they consider things this one ought to avoid.

How to rappel?

I will explain the proper most convenient way of how to rappel in the following step in detail. Look at this carefully

Walk Away 

If it’s possible to walk away by the surface of a climb safely, then walk away. It may take more and require greater energy; however, hiking will be a good deal less hazardous than putting rope and rappel systems to the clinic while still tired. Limiting the total quantity of time rappelling is a means to restrict the quantity of vulnerability.

Close the System

Triple barrel knot. Photo: Elliott Natz

Always close this system. Linking knots from the ends of their ropes would be the simplest & most straightforward, and also, the triple barrel knot is a knot that will not slide through any belay device. This is an easy process that is often overlooked, but closing the system needs to become described as considered a default option strategy. People consider tying knots at the ends of this rope in pitch terrain. However, that is where most people rappel off an end. Knots from the rope can keep any such thing from being anything other.

If you are frightened, your rope will probably get stuck once you throw it maybe as a result of broken or vegetation, blocky terrain, or even when there are different ends below–consider linking the ends of the rope away and attaching them to some gear loop, then subsequently rappelling with Saddle Bags. At a rappel setting, this reduces the odds of ropes becoming stuck and the security of a closed system.

Set it Up Properly 

One of the most frequent mistakes is that the inability to catch both strands of a double-rope rappel from the rappel device. Whenever you thread the strands of this rope, equal force is put on each strand, and that prevents the rope from slipping through the backbone. If you catch one strand and try to rappel, the rope will probably slide through the backbone, and you may likely fall into the bottom. Double-check and assess your system, in addition to having your partner check your installation.


Backing up the full rappel installation could prevent the ground fall when the climber unintentionally loses hands or let’s go of the brake strands while still moving down, even if she has knocked unconscious out of rockfall or a different reason. Adding a friction hitch to the rope below the rappel device could be your backup. Be aware that the rappel device needs to be installed properly for your system to become more reliable.

how to rappel
Autoblock hitch. Photo: Elliott Natz

The two options are the autoblock hitch below the device (previously) or putting a prusik hitch on the strands above the rappel device (below). The disadvantage with both is that it takes time for you and energy to put them. Rappelling with a friction hitch over the device has gone a little out of fashion; however, there are applications. One advantage is that it’s not difficult to modify a rappel system to some rope climbing system. The prusik is mounted on the belay loop of the climber. Therefore all she’s got to do is put another friction hitch on her behalf feet below the friction hitch. Most climbers rappel using an autoblock hitch below the device, clipped having a carabineer. This lets you’re of your hands to put up the rope below the device, providing redundancy from the rappel.

how to rappel
Prusik hitch. Photo: Elliott Natz
Keep in mind

A friction hitch is going to be disengaged when it has stuck contrary to the rappel device, which may certainly occur when the hitch is overly much time, and also the climber spins a specific way. 

When the climber should go to tangled ropes or other things while dangling out of the device and a hitch, then she needs to tie a horn knot below the hitch. This will guarantee that if something happens, the climber won’t fall into the bottom.

Additionally, be wary of automatically doubled-back buckles that are ordinary on elastic leg loops of climbing pitches. The issue with them is a carabineer clipped to an autoblock rappel copy can get trapped up within a buckle and also then discharge it. Some harnesses have a keeper loop to your carabineer trimmed to an autoblock rappel backup. One can also clip the autoblock carabineer into the leg loop interior, the climber’s thigh (in the place towards the cover of the gut where the buckle is).

Expand the Rappel

how to rappel
Photo: Elliot Natz

Lots of climbers and most guides decide to rappel within an expansion, meaning that the rappel device is stretched from the tap using a twist or cable. There certainly are a range of advantages to the system. Numerous people can set their rappels simultaneously, which reduces over all-time on the uterus; it permits visitors to test on one another before rappelling; also additionally it is feasible to place the friction hitch backup entirely on the belay loop, so increasing security and diminishing the chance the friction hitch may get to the rappel device and disengage.

Instructions for Being Protected

Mountaineering accidents can abandon climbers hurt, but rappelling accidents are usually deadly. A bunch of mistakes can happen while rappelling, so it’s important to acquire every measure attainable to minimize the chance. One short form that will help with your safe practices checks is certainly B.R.A.K.E.S.

B – Buckles: Check that the buckles on your harness happen to be double-backed.

R – Rappel Device and Ropes: Be sure the rope is certainly threaded through two anchor factors. Ensure that both rope strands happen to be through your gadget and clipped into the carabiner. Your carabiner also needs to be locked in your belay loop.

A – Anchor: Be sure you have a secure anchor. Bolts? Get them too solid within the rock. Webbing? Make certain it isn’t torn, donned, chewed or weathered. Tree? Make certain it really is alive and large good enough. Boulder? Make certain there’s no method it could maneuver.

K – Knots: Check all knots in one’s body especially if you’re using two ropes to rappel.

E – Ends: Connect knots into both comes to an end of one’s rope.

S – Safe practices and Sharps: Backup your device having an auto-block like a prusik. Make certain the rope is definitely running on the clean face, steering clear of sharp edges.

Fundamentals to Keep in Mind

For those simply starting with any kind of rock climbing, consisting of rappelling, remember the following basics:

  • Practice normally as possible and find more expert mentors to provide guidance and set goals.
  • Control power in the shoulders and lower central to keep increasing in climbing expertise. Many climbers suggest getting into yoga exercises to help create that strength.
  • Warm-up with light-weight cardio and strong stretching prior to starting a climb to avoid injury.
  • When mid-climb, be sure you breathe and target. In climbing, the psychological is simply as important because of the physical. Keep an obvious mind.

Final Words

At Easy Trip Guides, we hope you stay safe out there. Get training your rappelling hiring an expert. Keep systems fresh and easy. Use communication.

But remember protection is your responsibility. No post or video can provide correct training and experience–this write-up is intended only as supplemental facts. Make sure to practice proper approaches and follow security requirements prior to deciding to climb.

For all time use a backup. Have a great time!

Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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