Nonmechanical Systems

The dulfersitz (fig. 8-9) is a simple all-purpose method that should be mastered by every climber for emergency use if you have no carabiners or seat harness. Face the anchor and step into the dulfersitz by straddling the rope. Bring it from behind around one hip, up across your chest, over the opposite shoulder, then down your back to be held by the braking hand on the same side as the wrapped hip. The other hand is your guiding hand to hold the rope above you to help stay upright.

The dulfersitz has a number of drawbacks compared with mechanical rappel systems. It can un wrap from your leg, especially on high-angle rappels, though it helps to keep the wrapped leg slightly lower than the other. Stay under careful control and try to pad your body, because rope friction around your hip and across the shoulder will be painful, especially on steep rappels. Turn your collar up to protect your neck. If you're wearing a pack, the dulfersitz is even more awkward. The dulfersitz is used in modern climbing only when there is no reasonable alternative or for short, easy rappels to save the trouble of putting a seat harness back on.

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