How To Tactical Rappel

Do you want to know how to tactical rappel? Basically, tactical rappel differs from regular mountaineering rappel in the fact that someone facing external threats other than gravity´s must keep a hand free for carrying a gun. So the technique is quite different, so is the equipment required to do it.

What you need to tactical rappel is:

  • A double loop harness. The regular harness only has one loop in front. A harness for tactical rappel must have one in the back also, allowing for an inverted rappel.
  • A pair of gloves. Due to the high speed and friction involved in the maneuver it´s important to wear gloves.
  • A rope attached to a safe anchor at the top of the wall.
  • A rappel device, such as a plate, an ATC or similar.
  • A locking carabiner.


  1. Clip the rappel device to the carabiner and both to the back loop of your harness.
  2. Make the rope go through the rappel device and the carabiner.
  3. Test the anchor by loading on the rope.
  4. Stand with the rope on your free hand side.
  5. Hold the downward rope with your free hand.
  6. Walk towards the wall and stand with both feet on the vertical, slowly releasing rope.
  7. With the rope in your free hand, notice that the further back you pull the rope, the wider the angle it describes at the rappel device, thus the faster it will run.
  8. Make short jumps as you release rope to descend. The speed of the descent can be regulated by pulling the rope to your front. A loop of the rope around your arm can slow the rope, but make sure you don´t get your hand stuck, making the takeoff slow.
  9. Once on the ground, unclip and leave the rappel device attached to your harness. Leaving the device on the rope can make the rope difficult to use by others.

Rappel is a dangerous activity that should only be performed using the proper safety equipment and by proficient users.

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