Abseiling

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**Overview of Abseiling**
– Description:
– Technique used for descending steep or dangerous cliffs/slopes.
– Commonly used by climbers, mountaineers, cavers, canyoners, and rope access technicians.
– History:
– Mentioned in the late 1400s with descenders in the early 1600s.
– Term ‘rappel’ attributed to mountaineer Roger Frison-Roche in 1944.
– Equipment:
– Ropes can be static or dynamic.
– Anchors constructed from various materials like trees, boulders, ice, or rock features.
– Styles/Techniques:
– Includes Australian rappel, tandem abseiling, simul-rappelling, counterbalance abseiling, and classical methods like Dülfersitz.
– Safety:
– About 25% of climbing deaths occur during abseiling.
– Inadequate safety backups and failing anchors are common causes of accidents.

**Applications of Abseiling**
– Used in climbing, canyoning, mountaineering, caving, and adventure racing.
– Industrial applications for maintenance, cleaning, or construction.
– Military applications for tactical insertion and troop deployment.
– Wide range of uses from recreational to commercial and emergency situations.

**Safety Concerns and Risks**
– Abseiling can be dangerous, especially for unsupervised or inexperienced individuals.
– Inadequate safety backups and failing anchors are common causes of accidents.
– Rappelling off the ends of ropes is a leading cause of accidents.
– German mountaineer Pit Schubert highlights risks associated with abseiling.

**Environmental Impact**
– Some areas prohibit abseiling due to potential environmental damage.
– Conflicts with climbers heading upwards and endangers people on the ground.
– Locations may discourage abseiling to protect the environment.
– Environmental impact is a key consideration in abseiling regulations.

**Additional Resources and References**
– References and footnotes provide insights into abseiling risks, equipment, and historical origins.
– External links offer media related to abseiling, definitions, and further information on techniques.
– Resources like ‘The Complete Guide to Climbing and Mountaineering’ by Pete Hill (2008) provide comprehensive information on abseiling.

Abseiling (Wikipedia)

Abseiling (/ˈæbsl/ AB-sayl or /ˈɑːpzl/ AHP-zyle; from German abseilen 'to rope down'), also known as rappelling (/ˈræpɛl/ RAP-pell or /rəˈpɛl/ rə-PELL; from French rappeler 'to recall, to pull through'), is the controlled descent of a steep slope, such as a rock face, by moving down a rope. When abseiling, the person descending controls their own movement down the rope, in contrast to lowering off, in which the rope attached to the person descending is paid out by their belayer.

A time-lapse panorama of a rock climber abseiling off a climb
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