Toss a Climbing Rope for a Rappel

Toss a Climbing Rope for a Rappel
Rappelling may not seem difficult, but it can get complicated. Setting up correctly is a matter of safety and tossing the rope is the first step in a safe and fun rappel. Having an anchor and block and using the correct side of the rope are all you need to ensure your rappel is off to a good start.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Begin by threading your rope through the anchor. If you are rappelling in a well-established location you should not have to create your own anchor.
Step 2
Tie a knot on the right side of the rope that is large enough to keep from pulling through the rapid link or ring. A figure 8 knot on a bight works well, but other knots will do.
Step 3
For extra safety you can clip the knot to the anchor as well, just in case someone grabs the wrong end of the rope to rappel.
Step 4
Rappel using the left side of the rope, with the knot blocking on the right side.
Step 5
Attach the rope to your belay device.
Step 6
Shout "Rope" when tossing the rope down for the safety of other climbers.

Tips & Warnings

When tying your block knot make sure that the knot is tight, but also large enough to actually block the rope from slipping through. If the knot can fit into the rapid link or ring but not through it, it may still be too small and get stuck, so test out the knot by trying to tug it through before you start rappelling.
On a windy day, your ropes may become tangled or twisted when you toss them. Take care to unravel multiple ropes before beginning to rappel so that you do not end up choosing the wrong rope.

Article Written By Lesley Graybeal

Lesley Graybeal is a life-long nature and travel lover who spends her free time hiking and climbing in the Appalachians and the Rockies, and has also enjoyed mountain hikes in New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, South Korea, and Tibet.

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