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Multi-pitch rappelling
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eclarke98


Nov 27, 2001, 1:39 PM
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Multi-pitch rappelling
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So you're at the top of a multi pictch climb and you're ready to head back down. How does the rappelling actually work? I mean do you have to leave gear (like a sling and a carabiner) at each rappel station or what? I've always wondered what you do if you have like 15 pitches to rappel down and if you have to leave a ton of gear on the rock.


talons05


Nov 27, 2001, 2:04 PM
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Usually, there are anchors at each of the belay stations. (Each pitch will have anchors for the belay) And you simply use these. If you decide to bail in the middle of a pitch, you may have to leave gear, but only on that pitch.

Does that help?

AW


paulc


Nov 27, 2001, 2:16 PM
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Personally I like the walk off the back option, but sometimes you do need to rap. If I need to leave slings for one reason or another then I use rap rings to put the rope through.

Paul


wigglestick


Nov 27, 2001, 2:17 PM
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Ok, follow me through this:
Imagine there is a route in the world which is 3 pitches high and each of the pitches are exactly 50 meters long and go perfectly straight up the rock face. For a descent the guidebook says "Rap the Route", rather than giving an alternative descent which would mean walking down the backside or whatever.

If this were the case and you were not the first person to climb this route in the recent past then there would probably be some sort of permanent anchor at each of the belays. Either a set of bolts, a big tree, some fixed pitons or other gear.

So you are at the top of the final pitch and now you have to "Rap the Route". There are 2 permanent bolts at the top of this pitch and upon inspection you determine that they are bomber (Not always the case). Usually there is also a strand of webbing running through the bolts and either a metal rap ring or some other beefy metal screwlink. If there is not this equipment and these are regular bolts, not Rap Hangers, then you may have leave a sling and a biner or a rap ring of your own (Read the American Triangle thread in the Dr. Piton forum for some additional information).

Since you need to rappel 50 meters to the next belay station below you, 2 50 meter ropes are required. Hopefully you were aware of this before you left the car and brought an extra or else you are kind of hosed. Thread one end of the rope through the rap rings or whatever else happens to be there (not a good idea to run the rope over bare webbing, it can melt through). Now tie the ends of each rope together with a overhand figure-8 know. There are a couple knots to use, this is the one I use.
Coil each rope carefully, tie another knot in the other end to keep you from rapelling off the ends of the rope, and throw. Note which side of the anchor the knot is on for future use. You should have the ropes looped through the anchor. Now put both ropes through your rappel device. Now rappell down to the next anchor and anchor yourself in and remove the rope from your belay device while your partner comes down using the same method. Once you are both anchored in and off the ropes then pull the ropes down (You did remember which side the knot is on so that you know which rope to pull). It is usually a good idea to tie some part of the rope to the anchor so that you don't accidentally drop them both, cause then you are really hosed. Thread the ropes through the next anchor and repeat twice more until you are on terra firma.
This explanation works only for the situation described above. If the anchors are not absolutely bomber, the belay stations are not directly above each other or the route is severely overhanging then it will not apply. Luckily, somebody is sure to have figured out how to get down years ago and this information is printed in the guidebook. Follow their advice. Now if you had to bail mid route due to weather, injury, or some other circumstance than you would have to rely on your experience to get you down and you may have to leave a bunch of gear.
Hope it makes sense. PM me if you have any questions.
Be safe.


talons05


Nov 27, 2001, 2:39 PM
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good job wiggle

AW


Partner rrrADAM


Nov 27, 2001, 2:45 PM
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If you need to do multiple raps...

Rap to the next set of anchors as described above. Anchor yourself to the anchors, BOTH. Before pulling the rope to set up your next rap, make sure to untie the rap knot at the end of your rope, then tie a loop into a bite of rope, clip this loop into your anchor, this is so the rope doesn't get accidently get dropped when pulling from the above rap, this would be bad, and better safe than sorry.

I use overhand knots to join two ropes.


rrrADAM


eclarke98


Nov 28, 2001, 11:06 AM
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Thanks for all the great info. I'm not planning to go climb a multi-pitch route anytime soon, but I was just curious about it.


larryclimb


Nov 28, 2001, 6:56 PM
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After you have repelled down one pitch, and are ready to pull the rope tread one end through the anchors and pull the rope down. When the rope falls you are through the anchors and ready to repell.


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