How to Make a Repelling Harness From Rope

How to Make a Repelling Harness From Rope
Imagine this: You're on the second pitch of a climb, 100 feet off the ground, and you realize your harness is frayed and unsafe to use. If this happened to you would you know what to do? Would you be able to improvise and make a temporary harness to get to safety? Being able to make a harness is useful for emergency situations, and it's a skill every climber should know. Below are simple steps that will guide you through making a rappelling harness from rope.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • A 20-inch piece of climbing-grade rope and a locking carabiner.
  • A 20-inch piece of climbing-grade rope and a locking carabiner.
Step 1
Place a 20-inch piece of rope around your back, making sure both ends are equal distance, and twist them over each other, creating a double-overhand knot.
Step 2
Place the loose ends under your legs and pull them to your buttocks, and then to your lower back. This creates two loops at your groin.
Step 3
Pull the ends up your back and over your shoulders. Hold the ends and squat down on the ground, pulling the ends taught. This prevents the finished harness from being loose or ill-fitting.
Step 4
Bring the ends off your shoulders and down to your lower back again. Pull the ends forward, through the two loops near your groin.
Step 5
Pull the ends apart from each other and around your waist, and then tie a square knot in the ends. Tie two overhand knots in the ends to fail-safe the square knot.
Step 6
Clip a locking carabiner into all bands of rope around your waist and lock the carabiner. Double-check the knots and carabiner.

Tips & Warnings

Practice these steps a few times before heading to the cliff so you can act fast in an emergency.
Use climbing-grade rope purchased from an outdoor retailer and a locking carabiner.

Article Written By Rob Holzman

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Rob Holzman has been writing outdoor articles since 1997. He recently published the first comprehensive rock climbing guidebook for Pennsylvania and has fiction work published in the "Pacific Northwest Inlander". Holzman has also appeared on FOX television and has been an outdoor consultant for the Discovery Channel.

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