Trip Report: Int/Adv Rappel Training

Int/Adv Rappel Training
By Mark Maier
CLIMBING 08/16/2023 NTD

Six of us got together to go over rappelling techniques beyond the basics. We used the convenient Beach Ball Crag area with a bolted anchor with good top access and a place to build a low angle anchor for "ground school" type practice. The seminar focused on three areas: Rappelling with an additional thing, like a large pack or person needing assistance; aborting a rappel and converting to rope ascension; and techniques for single strand rappels where you plan to pull the rope afterward. The experience levels were quite different, but everybody took the opportunity to try out on low angle before dropping onto the vertical rappel. The group found the rope bag rappel very easy, the large pack rappel awkward, and were surprised at how simple the rappel/ascension conversion is with guide mode ATC devices and the correct extension set up.

On the single case we had a lot of back and forth discussion of climbing versus canyoneering techniques. Climbers generally favor double line methods, canyoneers the single line methods. There was some debate about why, and how the typically different conditions of canyon descents versus mountain descents drive some of the differences in choices.