How to rappel? Most extreme sports are known to be life-threatening, but technically, any kind of sport - be it simple or extreme - may be receptive to danger if we disregard the safety measures and precautions. This is why it’s critically important to be knowledgable about these information so you can enjoy the sport to the fullest.
- 1 What is to rappel?
- 2 Why is rappelling considered dangerous?
- 3 Which mistakes should you avoid when rappelling?
- 4 Have you considered what happens when all hell breaks loose?
- 5 Which equipment is needed for rappelling and why are they important?
- 6 Rappelling basics
- 7 Where did rappelling originate from?
- 8 Conclusion
What is to rappel?
You might have seen people hanging dangerously from a mountain and sliding down the slopes with the aid of long ropes. It’s not as dangerous as it seems. The descent is controlled and done in a calculated manner.
Rappelling is the art of sliding down a mountain using ropes. It is performed by mountain climbers, ice skaters, and rock climbers, just to mention a few. The art must be learned and, if possible, should not be undertaken by a beginner without any supervision.
Why is rappelling considered dangerous?
Before I discuss its danger factor, you should know that rappelling is an art that’s not exclusive to professional climbers alone. Anyone can benefit from this life survival skill. This is not to scare you, but hundreds of people have foolishly died because of carelessness. Don’t be one of those people. Believe me, this skill can also come in handy when escaping from the fire in a ten-story buidling.
Things to remember when you rappel: In rappelling, you are completely dependent on your gear and on your skills. Climbers must prepare beforehand. Be mindful of the necessary precautions. Most accidents occur when a climber is not fully prepared. They only begin to realize that they have subjected themselves to danger when it’s too late.
Which mistakes should you avoid when rappelling?
Common rappelling mistakes are relatively easy to avoid. These mistakes will be briefly discussed in this section so pay attention. Take note of the reminders that you need to stay safe as a climber.
Firstly, it must be considered that there are four options to choose when going down a mountain and one of them is rappelling. These four options are namely down climbing, lowering, walking off, and rappelling.
And secondly, nothing is more important to climbers than being able to get back down the base camp safely and soundly. One of the easiest options with low fatality rate is rappelling. No wonder why it’s mostly preferred by climbers.
Have you considered what happens when all hell breaks loose?
It’s possible for you to get down the mountain faster when you do it correctly. Remember that your body will take the brunt of your fall if anything goes wrong. It might even cause you death in worst case scenarios.
Some of the dangers that you can encounter when using faulty apparatus can be very fatal. Why risk your life when these mistakes can be avoidable? Practice the skills and ensure that you are well-equipped.
Which equipment is needed for rappelling and why are they important?
Choosing the proper equipment is necessary if you want to enjoy your sport. You should not ignore even the simplest advice given on this subject because it will take you a long way.
The rappelling rope is a must-have. To be on the safe side, choose a 200-feet rope to be sure. Climbers normally use the same rope when climbing up. It’s great to recall that despite having the best equipment in the world, you still need to ensure that everything is in place before making your next move.
I have been finding it difficult to choose the best rope to recommend to the large number of readers. I’ve settled with this particular rope after much research.
Every climber needs a rope that they can identify as sturdy. It should be strong enough to withstand the effects of the weather and light enough to carry around with them. No mountain climber wants a rope that will weigh them down. Thicker ropes provide better grip and they rarely slip off the surface easily.
For those who do not know, knots are an easy back-up measure. A knot will give you something to hold onto, thus prevents you from sliding down. One of the knots that you need to consider greatly is the autoblock or French Prusik Knot.
I want to give you two important secrets with knots. Firstly, ensure that you only use a knot you are comfortable and familiar with. Never use a knot that you find unfamiliar. Remember, your life depends on this equipment. This isn’t the time to experiment with new things. Secondly, the speed you might need to tie and untie a knot can save your life.
There are many advantages that an autoblock can allow you to enjoy:
It will save you a great deal of time learning how to make knots.
One way of practicing safety by ensuring that you do not slide to the end.
It allows you to use your other hand if you need to use it for other purposes, i.e. holding another rope.
In the case of falling debris, you will be able to swing and avoid them easily with the help of an autoblock.
In case of danger, just leave the grip and let it auto-block itself. Don’t die holding onto it.
This knot is usually used at the top and bottom of every rope. It is one way of ensuring that both ends are secured. No more slipped ends! Climbers are able to descend safely because of this.
Flat overhand knot
This is used to join two ropes which might be of different sizes or diameters. It is one of the most important knots that you need to know and practice using.
As a newbie, you should never ever start rappelling on large rocks. Start by mastering the basics. If possible, attend a rappelling school that will teach you the importance of safety, and the proper handling of ropes. Remember that there are right and left-handed climbers. A professional might be able to help you assess your dominant hand in climbing.
It is a must to be fully prepared before engaging in any kind of sports including how to rappel.
Recheck and cross-check all of your equipment before use and test the strength of your ropes and belay devices from time to time for optimum safety.
Here’s a video that I recommend you to watch.
Where did rappelling originate from?
It is of great importance that you and I know the history behind all this. It dates back to the 1800s when Jean Charlet-Straton, a French mountain guide got stuck in the Alps. He improvised a way to slide down the mountain, thereby the start of rappelling. Over time, he perfected the art and eventually introduced rappelling to the world of climbing.
Are there any dangers that come with rappelling?
Yes, there are. These are the following:
1. Sometimes, hair or clothes might untangle and get stuck in your device.
2. The ends might slip or a rope might fray.
3. Anchors have been known to fail rappels along the way.
Finally, you should not be scared of rappelling. It has been a way of life for climbers for over a century and it continues to be enjoyed by a large number of other non-professional climbers. Many schools and learning institutions specialize in this, so there’s no reason to be scared or fearful.
A simple miscalculated step might prove to be fatal on your part. Strict adherence to the guidelines of rappelling remaining vigilant to its imminent dangers has saved many lives. It can save yours, too. By mastering your equipment in advance, you will be kept out of harm’s way.
Whatever happens, never leave out a rappelling harness. It helps you gain control and ensures that you do not slip unnecessarily. Gloves are preferred but not required. As you plan on your next move, an anchor tether is another important equipment.
The list is long but with practice, you are sure to achieve your climbing dreams. Aim high, but don’t fall hard. With rappelling, you can get down safely on the ground.