Getting Down

Descending is done again, on either a single or a double rope. The single rope technique involves a switch from mechanical ascenders to a descending device. The double rope technique does not. As noted previously, there is real risk in switching from ascent to descent using the single rope technique. You should NOT try this for the first time alone ! I explain it here merely to discuss the sequence of the steps involved.

Have enough rope to make it to the ground?

Test to be sure you have enough rope length to reach the ground.

If you are on a single rope, release the end of the rope. If it makes it to the ground you are okay to descend.

If you are on a double rope, hold the free end of the hauling part of the rope in your hand. That is the end of the rope that is not currently involved in anchoring you to the tree. If the loop reaches the ground you are okay to descend.

If your rope fails the test for whichever climbing style you are using, you will have to do a multi-anchor descent. This simply means that you will have to set a lower anchor on the way down.

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