How Do You Set up a Canyoneering Rappel?
How Do You Set up a Canyoneering Rappel

This canyoning manual delivers an outline of tools that should be assessed for canyons. Also, you will find out how to set up a canyoneering rappel.

There is a massive scope of gear that you can select for canyoning fit for the budget-conscious, dirtbag canyoner to specialized gear for manuals and the serial canyoner.

So, how do you set up a canyoneering rappel? You should check the gear in the first place. After the gear is all set and done, you should think about doing a few things. Make sure to thread the rope, block the anchor and pull the rope.

Table of Contents

Essential Canyoneering Gear

#1 Harnesses

Canyoning is rather short on gear. This goes without saying! A lot of canyons apply rock jumping, swimming, and gliding down stones and logs. Because of that, you require a harness that will do the job.

Are you a dirt-bag rock climber? If that is a yes, you can utilize the ancient climbing harness that you’ve withdrawn from lead climbing.

If you decide to utilize your old climbing harness be mindful that all that comfy padding will become waterlogged. Those weak elastic straps that keep your leg loops connected to your waist loop will fast wear out so – convenient tip – tape over them to lower wear.

If you’re a neat abseiler, then you will likely have a reasonably rugged harness that will suffice. Yet, leg loops will be the first to wear out and die.

Canyoning harnesses include replaceable seat cushions created to resist the many bum slides you will experience. They will save your wetsuit from wear, and that big seat guardian is way more comfortable than those slim leg loops on a climbing harness. Many also include wearing indicators and knife holders.

Tip: Make sure to think of your safety tips at all times, to avoid falling out of your climbing harness.

#2 Footwear

Footwear for canyoning is an alienating topic. Speak to any canyoner, and they’ll all hold a separate view on what footwear to wear canyoning. There is a cult pursuit for Dunlop Volleys, yet this appears to be in the fall as the latest models are more fragile, and the rubber is not as adherent as it used to be.

On the flip side, canyoning enthusiasts like specialized canyoning footwear such as the Bastard Canyon or Adidas Terrex. Moreover, some utilize dive boots while in the canyon and trail runners for the walk.

Note: Runners, sneakers, as well as hiking boots, are not a suitable option as the grip in wet settings is rather poor. Hiking boots will likewise weigh a ton after they get soaked with moisture.

Tip: Many people use a hiking pole as a ski pole. Yet, is this a good practice?

#3 Descenders

Although you can abseil with any kind of descender, each one has its advantages and drawbacks. For instance, the Rappel Rack is preferred amongst cavers as it allows good control and heat excess when abseiling with serious loads on abseils.

Its stainless steel construction makes it also very long-lasting, which is a plus when you often abseil on dirty ropes. As a canyoning instrument, yet, there are better devices available as it is clunky, and hard to dismiss when you’re in a pool of water.

Also, it gets caught up in the brushwood when you’re wandering between canyon sections. So what should you be searching for in an abseiling apparatus for canyoning? The main point of a canyoning device is that it should be effortless to remove.

Many abseils end at the base of a cascade or in a pool of water, so you truly must be able to remove your device as fast as possible to decrease the risk of fatigue or drowning.

#4 Protective Gloves

Some people don’t utilize gloves when abseiling. Yet, when canyoning, your hands are wet all day. This suggests that your skin gets truly soft, so it tears and scratches easily.

The rope also gathers soil and mud, which not only wears out your descender but even shreds your skin.

You can always get some cheap gloves that might last you a trip or two. On the other hand, you could purchase a pair of canyoning-specific gloves that will make the freezing settings and mud quiver in fear.

Tip: Many people want to know what is tubular webbing used for in climbing. Is it only for replacing backpack straps?

A person wearing a helmet, canyoning, getting ready to start swimming.

#5 Lanyards and Leashes

Lanyards and leashes exist to link your body to an anchor. This keeps you safe whilst equipping ropes, assessing up for an abseil, awaiting your turn in an uncovered area, or stopping your pack from the harness on tough abseils. Leashes and lanyards can be as easy as a 1.2m sling through to expert modifiable lanyards.

You should bear in mind that more often than not, leashes are not able to soak any power. This suggests that if you fall onto one of these, they may crack. So, always remember not to ascend beyond your anchor.

Tip: You should know how to deal with cold canyoning as that can save you on your next venture.

#6 Carabiners

Your main biner is the one for usage along with the descender. Particular descenders such as the Petzl Pirana exist to stay bound to a particular matching crab so that you can’t drop it by accident.

Typically, an “HMS” carabiner, which is oversized is a suitable option. Some individuals also want to utilize a large D-shaped carabiner.

Slight D-shaped lockable crabs are ideal for usage on the end of the lanyard or leash. It is a suitable thought to take a couple of extra locking crabs for emergency usage. Oval-shaped lockable biners are excellent with Prusik spirals and pulleys.

You should know that sand can block your carabiners. Because of this, remember to inspect them and scrub out any dirt after you’ve visited a sandy canyon. Furthermore, detour the use of carabiners with magnetic traps. Why is that? These will draw iron particles and jam up fast enough.

#7 Helmets

A helmet is unquestionably necessary. There is a high danger of loose rock tumbling, and the tricky essence of canyons suggests it is easy to fall and hit your head.

When purchasing a protective helmet, get the one specifically for rock climbing and mountaineering. Bike helmets are not able to resist the effect of a falling rock. Moreover, falling rock can readily go into the ventilation gaps.

The helmet should have sufficient adjustment to house a cap, and most helmets today have a tiny hook at the back to let a ponytail in. When jumping into the water, try to hold the helmet down with your hand. That way, you don’t suffocate yourself when you strike the water.

Tip: Know that your mountaineering boots should fit just fine. They shouldn’t be too small or too big, per se.

#8 Ropes

It is too hot to climb? In that case, canyoning is an ideal alternative. You could probably pass with a couple of canyons before your rope gets worn out.

You should think about acquiring a canyoning expert rope if you are about to canyon frequently. If you do decide to utilize your old climbing rope, cut it down to size for short 10-15m drops.

The stretchier the rope, the more it will scratch and unravel as the abseiler packs and off-loads the rope during the drop. Because of this, climbing ropes are not so great for canyoning.

Canyoneering Rappel and Descent Systems

Most of the fatal canyoneering misfortunes have occurred in coexistence with roped descent systems, aka rappelling. There are practically two methods for rappelling.

An unfitting mix of these systems has been a major element in multiple rappelling accidents. The systems are essentially different. Yet, they can overlay in many cases, primarily with a mix of climbers and canyoneers.

Combining the two systems can be beneficial but must be done safely. This is the unwritten rule!

Climbing Method / Two Rope System

The most common rappel system. It involves two lengths of rope going through the anchor and to the ground. The rappel device is affixed to both lengths of rope.  

Canyoneering Method / Blocked System

This system concerns connecting one length of rope to the anchor with a BLOCK so that it can be reclaimed. The rappel device is attached to the rappel spot.

How Do You Set up a Canyoneering Rappel?

Canyoning is not the same as rock climbing. Some skills are movable, but the methods are very different. How do you set up a canyoneering rappel? Let’s see:

  • review the gear – confirm the gear is in good condition.
  • thread the rope – put just enough rope down the rock until it touches the ground.
  • block the anchor – tie a knot in the rope and clip a carabiner via the bight.
  • pull the rope – lastly, pull the rope to retrieve it.

Note: Many people wonder if a GriGri can fail? That may not be quite possible. Perhaps it can happen on rare occasions.

What Is the Best Canyoneering Rappel Device?

The best and most popular rappel devices in everyday canyoneering are the Petzl Pirana, CRITR2, the SQWUREL, the ATS, and more.

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