Single Rope Technique

Note!! Again, this step has the potential of being confusing when you are in the tree. If you have never done this before, find someone who has experience and get their help!! The following instructions are for your information only and not intended as a substitute for an experienced teacher!!!

To descend on a single rope, the ascending devices need to be changed for some type of descending device. The easiestplace to set this up is from a comfortable limb. Ideally, the limb would be just below the limb you intend to use as a descent anchor. Tie yourself to the trunk of the tree using your safety line. Remove the ascenders.

At this point you need to think about how you are going to get the rope down from the anchor after you descend. For this there are two options: 1) tie your throw line to either the carabiner or the knot in order to pull your rope down after you descend.

2) Double the rope and drape the center point over the limb with the two ends hanging on either side of the limb. Be sure to check that both ends of the rope are on the ground! Attach your descending device to both strands of the doubled rope, just as you would if it were a single rope, and rappel down. Note - Some rappel devices (specifically the Grigri) will not handle a doubled rope. Rappelling on a doubled rope has the added advantage of providing more friction. Friction is good in rappelling!

Regardless of whether you descend on a single or doubled rope, if you are not absolutely sure that the end(s) of the rope are on the ground, tie a big, gnarly knot on the end(s) to keep you from descending right off into the void.

Next, attach the descending device to either the single rope or to the doubled rope. Get yourself set to rappel - holding the rope(s) below the descending device to secure yourself. The hand that holds the rope below the descending device is your brake hand and must not be removed from the rope when your weight is on the rope. Remove the safety line with your free hand and rappel down. Go slowly to avoid burning your hand and/or wear gloves.

This can also be done from the hanging position by pulling some slack into the rope between your top and bottom ascenders and attaching the descending device between them. Push the foot ascender up until slightly more than a hand-width of rope remains between it and the descending device. With your brake h andiirmly onjthisiiand -wi dth of rope, stand on the foot ascenders. With your free hand, remove the top ascender. Sit back in your harness... you should be hanging on your descending device, secured by your hand holding the rope immediately below the descending device. Remove the bottom ascender. Descend.

If your brake hand is too close to your bottom ascender when you set up for your descent, you may not be able to remove the ascender from the rope. If this happens, you will have to reattach the top ascender and go through the sequence again, making sure to leave enough room between your hand and the bottom ascender for the ascender's cam to release its grip on the rope.

NOTE: Again, because of the "running" attachment to the rope, rappelling has very real dangers for beginners. Practice this on the ground with an experienced climber before taking it up a tree. And have someone give you a safety backup your first time rappelling from a tree. This is done with the person on the ground simply holding on to the tail of the rope and pulling down hard if the rappeller loses control of the descent. This will act as a brake and stop the rappeller's downward progress.

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  • mirabella
    How to get a rope down from a tree?
    9 years ago
  • osman massawa
    What is doubled rope technique?
    9 years ago
  • neftalem tewelde
    How to decend a single rope slowly?
    9 years ago
  • Gundolpho
    How to retrieve a rope after descent?
    9 years ago

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