How to Rappel

Last Updated on September 6, 2020

After reaching the peak of a hill or mountain, it is essential to know all possible ways to get back down. If the cliff is steep, it can be dangerous to walk down without any safety. Rappelling refers to getting down from such kinds of hills safely by using Climbing ropes. So it can be a lifesaver for you. But it is so risky too because a little mistake can cost your life. Here we are describing some essential tricks to rappel efficiently.

How to Rappel


If you are a beginner, you should not depend on only one or two elements. Here is the complete list of equipment and accessories, needed for rappelling.

Rope: A long, stable rope is mandatory to carry your weight.

Rappelling anchor: It connects the rope to the climbing surface.

Harness: Harness helps to attach the body of the climber with other equipment.

Carabiner: Carabiner can carry more equipment inside of it. These are used to connect different gears such as belay device.

Rappel and belay device: They join the rope and the carabiner together and provides stability.

Helmet: A climbing helmet Prevents all kinds of injuries caused by falling stones or confliction.

Gloves: Makes grips stable on the rope and prevents scratches.

Boots or climbing shoes: Helps to balance against the uneven surface of the rock.

Rope Preparation

You can set up a rappel using one or two strands of rope. Two stranded ropes are best suitable for beginners. Tie two tight knots at each of the corners of the rope such that they have long tails.

Through them to the ground and make sure that they reach to the ground. If the height is short and the rope is way too long, by using the anchor, you can make two strands of rope.

Establishing a Rappel

Set your rope at the top of the hill using the anchor. Join the harness with the rappel and belay device by the help of a durable carabiner. Take a small portion of the rope, create a loop, and insert it in any slot of the device. Then clip the rope loop and the device loop together using the carabiner.

If you are using two strands of rope, create two loops and insert them into both slots of the device and follow the previous locking system. Now you are ready to rappel.

Backing up

Backing up strategies helps to save you if any unwanted situation occurs while going down. One method is the friction hitch. Take a short rope and double it. Or you can use the round rope. Make a knot with a loop encircling the main rope. Now keep twisting it until a small loop remains. Then join both loops with the carabiner.

Start Rappelling

This is the most critical part. If you are using a friction hitch, use one hand to pull it down while you are descending. Keep your brake hand on the lower side of the rope. Bend your knees and start going down. Keep your legs perpendicular to the rock. Always maintain a smooth and controlled movement. Avoid going through

Untieing the Rope

Release of the two knots which you made before starting to rappel. Pull the other part down and free your rope.

Rappelling with a damaged rope:

It is not a good idea to put your whole weight on a damaged rope. But if you don’t have any option rather than using it, use this method. Make a twisted knot with a loop above the damaged section. Join the loop and the safe portion together by the carabiner. In this way, your weight won’t rely on the damaged part.

Rappelling without a rappel device:

If you don’t have any belay or rappel device, use munter hitch for safety purpose. Create two loops on both sides of a small portion of the rope. Combine them and clip with carabiner. Its main advantage is controlling the rope from both sides.

Fireman’s Belay:

Fireman’s Belay is a technique where a skilled person maintains the rope of the rappeller from the ground. Its purpose is to protect the climber from falling or any other injury. It provides more friction to the repeller to balance his body while climbing down.

The friend on the ground can control the rope, pull it anytime, and gives extra support to the repeller. As a result, if the reappear lose grip on the rope, he can still stand against the rock.

Safety tips:

  • Check whether both strands reach the ground or not.
  • Always check your equipment before climbing down.
  • Make sure that the carabiner is well locked.
  • Try to use more than one anchor
  • Before start rappelling, don’t get disconnected from the anchor
  • If you are using a backup hitch, be sure of not getting locked with the rappelling device.
  • Be careful of not damaging the rope by the sharp edge of the rock.
  • While using a fireman’s Belay, communicate with your partner accurately, and give a signal before descending.

Final Words

Professional climbers use these techniques to adopt rappelling. If you want to be a good mountain climbers, you must acquire this skill and practice it again and again before heading to the mountain. We hope our guide will help you to learn this conveniently.


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