Rock Rescue: Firefighters Back Up Rappel

Written by: Jere Burrell



Time to read min

While rappelling we often use a 3rd hand backup such as an autoblock on an extended rappel. Typically this is during multi pitch rappels. But on single pitch rappels that system isn’t always practical. Even so providing an attentive firefighters backup to your rappelling partner could add some piece of mind and even security. Simply hold the brake strands from below and pull to stop their descent. Tug Tug

The Why:
✅ Ability to assist the rapellers descent

✅ Simple non technical solution

✅ Adds piece of mind with new rappers

✅ Could be a good technique if a person is injured

✅ Can be used in a multi pitch descent

Why Not:
🛑 Difficult on traversing or overhanging descents

🛑 Brake strands could dislodge rocks

🛑 Could move faster than comfortable- move slow

⚠️ There isn’t much risk with this technique. Good communication with your partner is likely the biggest consideration. Your partner should be controlling their own descent.