Need to know how to rappel with ATC? The ATC, or Air Traffic Controller, is a very simple and reliable piece of equipment. As it has no moving parts, an ATC can be easily put on a sack and need no special care. Also, it is lightweight and relatively inexpensive.
To rappel with an ATC, you need:
- An anchor at a high point
- A rappel ring or a couple of locking carabiners for the anchor
- An ATC
- A locking carabiner
- A rope, at least 8 millimeters thick
- A harness
- A helmet
- One climber is enough to rappel with an ATC
The steps to rappel with an ATC are:
- Clip the rappel ring or the pair of carabiners (with their gates in opposite directions).
- Make the rope go through the ring or the carabiners at the anchor, and equalize it to have the same length of rope on each side.
Avoiding excessive twists, let the rope fall down the cliff. Look for bushes or rocks that can make the rope get stuck. The line down has to look straight.
- Clip the ATC to the locking carabiner and both to your harness´s rappel loop. Read the harness manufacturer´s instructions carefully.
- Take a bite of each of the sides of the rope and make it go through each of the ATC´s gates and clip them to the locking carabiner in your harness.
Lock your carabiner.
Tighten both ropes equally, and walk towards the anchor.
- Sit on your harness, trying the anchor´s ressistance and aspect. Any twists must be avoided, as may cause problems later.
Walk backwards towards the cliff, keeping both ropes tight.
- As you get to the vertical section, stay with both feet to the wall, your strong hand pulling the ropes to your back, making an acute angle, and your weak hand staying with the anchor side ropes to have better balance.
- Keep the downwards rope tight to your back to form an acute angle as the rope goes trough the ATC, keeping in mind that the narrower the rope´s angle, the more friction thus more brake. If you want to take some speed, just raise your strong hand holding the downward rope, widening the rope´s angle thru the ATC.
Play safe, have fun!