Expert rock climbers climb for the thrill of conquering some of the world’s toughest natural obstacles. These climbs can be exhausting, taking all of the energy and effort you have to crest the cliff or mountain. Once you get there and soak in the beautiful view, you will need to get down at some point. You can’t take the same route down as you did on the way up. Thankfully, once you reach the top, you can safely rappel down. Rappelling takes practice, so before you try it, take Empower Adventures’ tips for how to rappel.
Get the Right Gear
Rappelling doesn’t take a lot of equipment; however, the quality of your equipment is very important. The six pieces of climbing equipment that are critical for a safe rappel are:
- Locking Carabiners
- Rappel Device
Without these six pieces of equipment, you are putting your safety at risk. There is even more gear that is recommended for climbs and rappels for additional protection. Make sure to check all of these items off your list as you pack for your next rappel.
Securing the Route
Once you get to the top of the climb, you will need to identify the best place to start your rappel down. This route is one of the most important decisions you will make in your climb, so plan your route before the climb begins. A rope needs to be anchored at the top of the cliff or climbing surface, and this should be a factor when choosing your route down.
Setting up the Rappel
Setting up the rappel properly takes time and precision since it will be your single lifeline on the trip down the cliff. The anchor at the top of the climb needs to be secured and trusted to support much more than just your body weight. Your rope will need to be through the anchor, securing it with carabiners both to your harness and the anchor points. One of the most important factors is having enough slack in your rope to get you to the bottom of the cliff. You should have a belayer (person helping with the rappel) at the bottom to ensure your rope reaches the ground.
Through a system of specialty knots and hitches, your rope will be secured to both you and the route down. Knots will be extremely useful for identifying how much rappelling you have left, keeping slack rope away from you, and more. Before rappelling, confirm all knots and anchor points.
Double-check the knots, ropes, and slack before you step off of the edge and begin your rappel. Keep your brake hand on the rope for the entirety of the process. This will help have a better feeling of the weight and slack on the rope. You want to keep your legs perpendicular to the wall, leaning backward as you slowly walk down. Always keep your head on a swivel for obstacles you didn’t notice in your climb up! The rappelling process should be taken slowly, considering your safety for each step.
Learn How to Rappel at Empower Adventures Tampa Bay
Rappelling and climbing gear can be expensive, and if you have never climbed before, we do not recommend you try it by yourself at first. Empower Adventures Tampa Bay offers an intricate aerial adventure park that is full of suspension bridges, free-hanging obstacles, and more. These will help you get accustomed to trusting the ropes and harnesses, preparing you to rappel down the Empower Adventures wall! For more information, contact us today or check out the adventures we offer.