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Ice
abseiling in safety
- Introduction
- At the belay
- Abseil and next belay
- Summary
The abseil

First tie a Marchand (often referred to as Kleimheist) onto the two ropes using a kevlar cord (this in turn is tied together using a Double Fisherman's knot). Clip the kevlar cord to the harness' belay loop using a screwgate carabiner. To keep the Double Fisherman's knot close to the carabiner and to stop it from rotating use some tape or tie a clove hitch.

To insert the descender first pull some rope through the Marchand to have some slack.

Clip the descender to a loop in the daisy chain with another screwgate carabiner. Make sure that the descender is positioned some distance away from the harness and Marchand, ideally at chest height but not above the head.

Next unclip from the belay and begin abseiling.

- Keep in contact with the rock on overhanging abseils by clipping into quickdraws.

- Use descenders which keep the ropes separate and do not kink. The self-arresting belay plate and belay plate/tubes used for the actual climb are highly recommended.

- The Fig-8 descender is not recommended as this tends to kink the ropes, does not keep them separate and in general performs less well as a belaying device (see test).

-While the first climber rappels, the second can prepare for the abseil by tying a Marchand knot onto the two ropes.


At the next belay

At the next belay make safe by clipping the daisychain into the belay anchor. Remove the descender and fix the ropes to the belay, leaving some slack for the second. This can either be done tying them to a carabiner or, simpler still, leaving the ropes attached to your Marchand.
Fixing the ropes to the belay is an added security for the person abseiling and prevents them from swaying away.

While the second climber is rappelling save time by preparing for the next abseil. Untie the safety knot from the rope that needs to be pulled down and thread it through the abseil anchor from below (as explained above).

Retie the safety knot and untie the safety knot from the other rope so that this can be pulled through.

Once the partner has arrived and has made safe, pull the ropes down together. Do not let them go as they can easily tangle, knot or get caught.

As soon as the double overhand knot reaches the belay throw the first rope down and continue pulling until the upper rope falls through.

It is not necessary to tie a safety knot in this rope if the width of the belay anchor is smaller than the overhand knot. Once at the next belay, pull down the rope without the safety knot.

abseiling - the self-locking Marchand clipped into a screwgate carabiner. A clove hitch keeps the Double Fisherman's knot close to the carabiner
abseiling - the Double Fisherman's knot used for the kevlar cord
abseiling - the correct position of the descender clipped to the daisy chain and the Marchand knot. This must be beneath the descender and must not touch it, otherwise it does not lock properly.
abseiling - tuck the unused daisy chain into the leg loop so that it does not get caught
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