Quick rappel on a ridge climb - Petzl Netherlands

Quick rappel on a ridge climb

Speed and efficiency are often key to a successful ridge climb. A short descent that interrupts progression needs to be negotiated quickly. Therefore, lowering one of the team members optimizes rope installation and limits the risk of the rope snagging or tangling, or of rock fall.


  • Carefully read the Instructions for Use used in this technical advice before consulting the advice itself. You must have already read and understood the information in the Instructions for Use to be able to understand this supplementary information.
  • Mastering these techniques requires specific training. Work with a professional to confirm your ability to perform these techniques safely and independently before attempting them unsupervised.
  • We provide examples of techniques related to your activity. There may be others that we do not describe here.
At anchor

1. Preparation at the belay station

The team members anchor themselves and then untie from the rope, running the rope through the rappel ring. The first team member to descend ties in again.

Preparation at the belay station

Without a rappel ring:

A cord must not be used as a directional point for lowering. The station must be temporarily reinforced with an additional anchor above, which is removed before the final rappel.

Without a rappel ring.
Without a rappel ring.

2. Lowering the first team member

The descending team member chooses the best route and establishes the landing area.

He can also bring down the free end of the rope.

  • Less risk of a bad throw and loss of time.
  • The belayer must manage two moving rope strands at the same time.
The leader is lowered.

3. The second team member descends on rappel

The first member down anchors into the lower station, remains tied into the rope and ensures the free end is well positioned.

The second team member descends on rappel.