How To Rappel With A Carabiner

Knowing how to rappel with a carabiner is important in military careers, rock climbing and spelunking. Rappelling is neither difficult nor dangerous, despite the low margin for error.  Although it's best to use a rated belay device while rappelling, this is a good improvised method. Remember to wear safety gear at all times. Wear a climbing harness, climbing helmet and safety gloves while rappelling.

To Rappel With A Carabiner:

  1. Stand far away from the drop-off point while preparing to belay. Many rappelling injuries take place before the climber is roped in.
  2. Anchor your rope to a stationary point like a tree, pole or climbing anchor.
  3. Place two carabiners next to each other on your belay loop. Set them with their gates facing opposite directions, so you can never have two carabiners open simultaneously.
  4. Fold one loose end of rope over itself into a "bight". Slip that bight through the hole in the center of your two carabiners. 
  5. Clip a third carabiner through the bight of your rope, set so that it can't pass through the two carabiners already in place.
  6. Clip a fourth carabiner in place with its gate opposite that of the carabiner you clipped in during step six.
  7. Pay out your rope through the carabiners until the rope between you and the anchor is no longer slack.
  8. Grip the rope between yourself and the anchor with your weak hand. Use your strong hand to grip the rope on the loose end, about six to twelve inches from the carabiners. As you rappel, your strong hand is called the "brake hand".
  9. Pay out the rope to give you slack by walking backwards away from the anchor as the rope passes through your carabiners. Note that as you move your brake hand towards the other rope, it becomes easier to walk backwards.
  10. Throw excess rope off the edge of your jumping off point. Call out "Rope!" as you do so to warn people on the ground below. Do not continue the rappel if your rope doesn't reach the ground.
  11. Pull your brake hand away from your off hand until it's at a ninety degree angle. Lean backwards and let the rope and harness take your weight.
  12. Begin your belay by placing one foot on the face of the surface you plan to descend. Pay out rope by allowing it to pass through your gloved brake hand. Your body weight should be sufficient to keep the rope moving.
  13. Hold on to the rope at all times. Rappel faster by moving your brake hand closer to your off hand. Brake by moving your brake hand farther from your off hand.


show comments

What Others Are Reading Right Now.