Simultaneous rappelling

This is the rappelling of two people at the same time along a double rope, where each person rappels separately along one strand of the rope. A certain advantage of this method is the possible saving of time during descent, but there the benefits of this method cease. After this only negative complications dominate: 1) climbers must have the ability to communicate well and to see each other, e.g. in the mountains during a storm this style of rappelling is impossible; 2) the first climber to the ground must not release the rope below the rappel device while the other climber is still rappelling (much less completely unclip from the rappel device), because otherwise the other climber will fall; 3) the rappelling station is more heavily strained, 4) in order for the climbers not to dislodge rocks down on each other, both climbers must be in the same horizontal plane, and when rappelling in rugged terrain only one of them can rappel down an ideal rappelling route; 5) If one of them is injured during rappelling (e.g. by falling rock) and falls unconscious, both will fall instead of one. In order to prevent this each of them must have self-belay prusiks prepared.

Simultaneous rappelling

Simultaneous rappelling

Simultaneous rappelling from a tower

Sometimes it happens that after ascending a rock tower you may discover that there is no belay anchor at its summit, or that it is as rusty as a shipwreck. What do you do now? The solution is simultaneous rappelling. It is carried out in such a manner that the rope is thrown over the summit of the tower. The climbers rappel downward, each down a different side of the tower. They therefore will not see one each other, and often cannot hear each other. For this reason it is necessary that they agree at the top of the cliff prior to rappelling on the amount of time that will have passed from the moment they begin rappelling until they unclip from the rope on the ground. Nonetheless, if there are some fixed points near the piton (e.g. protection in a rock near the ground, boulders, trees, etc.) it is a good idea to fix the rope there before unclipping from the rope, and then go find out whether your partner has also finished his rappelling all right. The safety of the entire manoeuvre is significantly increased by using self-belaying prusiks.

In the event that the rope team has an odd number of members, for example three (members A, B, C), they can proceed in the following manner: A and B rappel as if they were only two, C waits at the summit and coordinates their rappelling, yelling out commands between A and B from the summit. After they have finished rappelling to the ground, A remains fastened to the rope, B can unclip and somewhere in the terrain adopt a position in such a manner that both A and C can hear his calls. At the summit, C inserts a rappel device on the strand of rope which B had previously held and rappels down it. A holds him. When C is on the ground, B gives the order that they can unclip from the rope.

The rope must be led across the summit of the rock in such a manner that there is no risk of it slipping off the summit, but at the same time so that the friction between it and the surface of the rock is as small as possible. If this friction is too great, the rope will not be able to be pulled down.

Simultaneous rappelling from a tower

Simultaneous rappelling from a tower

This content is preview from e-book.

Title Part 3Mountaineering Methodology – Part 3 – Belaying and Rappelling

ISBN 978-80-87715-09-3

MMPublishing, 2013

Available for download from Apple iTunes (in the Books section).

For example U.S. store – link

Another countries – look on the page Download

See layout.

Another possibility is Google Play. This version is a simplified (as PDF).

Title Part 3 GPMountaineering Methodology – Part 3 – Belaying and Rappelling

ISBN 978-80-87715-14-7

MMPublishing, 2014

Available for download from Google Play.