Throwing down the rope

After the rappel rope is looped at its midpoint through an anchor, it's time to get the rope ready to toss down the rappel route.

Beginning from the rappel sling, coil each half of the rope separately into two butterfly coils. You'll end up with four butterfly coils, two on each side of the anchor. Throw the coils out and down the route, one at a time. Start on one side of the anchor by tossing the coil nearest the anchor, then the rope-end coil. Repeat for the other half of the rope (fig. 8-15). This sequence reduces rope snags and tangling. Before tossing, have another climber hold onto the rope near the anchor to make sure your tosses won't cause the rope to pull through the anchor. (Commercial rope bags are available which make it easier to carry ropes and to keep them clean and tangle-free, and rope-tossing is usually easier if you are using a rope bag.)

You won't always end up with a perfect toss, with the rope hanging straight down the rappel route. If you end up with tangles, hangups, or bunching, it's usually best to pull it back up, recoil, and toss again. But sometimes it's just as well to work with what you've got. For instance, in a high wind, you're not likely to get a perfect toss. So just rappel down to the first problem, recoil the strands below that point, toss again, and continue the rappel.

Shout "Rope!" before you throw the rope down a rappel route. Some climbers shout the word two times, to give anyone below a little time to respond or to watch out for the rope. Others shout just once, but wait for a moment for any response. Be sure you're attached to an anchor as you stand at the edge of the route to toss the rope.

People Throw Down Rope
Fig. 8-15. Throwing down the rope

Continue reading here: Rappel Technique

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  • bo
    How to throw rapel rope?
    10 years ago
  • tanja
    How do you coil up a rappel rope?
    10 years ago
  • italia
    How to throw rappel ropes?
    10 years ago
  • laura
    How to wrap a climbing rope so you can throw it for rappel?
    10 years ago