How to Rappel: Master Climbing Skills

rappelling class

How to Rappel: Master Climbing Skills

Are you looking to take your rock climbing to the next level? Before transitioning from climbing the ropes indoors to real rock outside, there are several skills that you’ll want to be proficient in if you’re planning on tying into the sharp end at your local crag.

One of the basics of outdoor climbing is rappelling. Don’t already have a mentor, no problem if you’re looking to cover the basics of proper rappelling near you, the instructors and knowledgeable staff at Vertical Rock have got you covered.

What is Rappelling?


Rappelling is a skill involved in many adventure activities, its emphasis found predominantly in canyoneering. In climbing, rappelling is a common way for climbers to descend the rock after completing a climb. While some routes have a walk-off descent where the climber tops out the route and can then hike off without the aid of ropes, others require a descent with ropes where the climber fixes themselves to the rope using a rappel device (commonly an ATC) and scales down the rock face/mountain. It’s a multi-step process that needs to be dialed in because there’s a lot of room for error. Improperly setting up a rappel could likely lead to a disaster on the wall.

What We Will Teach You: An Emphasis on Safety


Maybe you’re a fan of the Sharp End Podcast or a nerd big into risk mitigation in the backcountry and religiously wait for the release American Alpine Club’s yearly ‘Accidents in North America’ hard copy to arrive but if not, you might not be aware that rappel accidents are one of the top causes of rock climbing injuries (although in recent years, we’ve seen an increase of anchor failures and accidents un-roped on third and fourth class terrain…but back to the topic at hand). Remember this golden rule: complacency kills.

Why is Learning to Rappel an Essential Climbing Skill for Outdoor Rock Climbing?


Learning to rappel safely is a crucial skill that budding outdoor climbers should master. And with most things climbing related, it’s important to practice and master technical skills safely on the ground before trying things on the wall. Our instructors will show you how to properly set up and back up a rappel. We’ll also cover safety protocol when going in direct to an anchor and system checks. Because you’ll be unweighting the rope, it’s vital to learn to double check your safety. For these reasons, we recommend taking a class from qualified instructors rather than reviewing skills with a friend in a casual setting.

Sign Up Today and Learn How to Rock Climb at Vertical Rock


Interested in taking a rock-climbing class at our gym? Sign up for one of our climbing classes. Have more questions, stop by the gym, and get the 4-1-1.