Friction modes and tie-offs for the PIRANA - Petzl USA

Friction modes and tie-offs for the PIRANA

Rappelling on a single strand of rope requires knowing how to adjust the descender friction, depending on the situation. When stopping on rappel, a tie-off frees up your hands.


  • Read the technical notice before viewing the following techniques.
  • It is important to fully understand the information provided in the technical notice before using this complementary information
  • Mastering these techniques requires training.
  • Consult a professional before attempting to perform these techniques on your own.

Adjusting friction on the PIRANA

The PIRANA is designed to facilitate friction adjustment during the descent.

Adjusting friction on the PIRANA.
Adjusting friction on the PIRANA.

Tying off the PIRANA

There are several types of tie-off, the choice of which depends on the situation (rappelling with feet supported, or free-hanging), and/or on the maneuvers to be performed:

1. Temporary stop

You must keep a hand on the brake-side rope.

Temporary stop.
Temporary stop.

2. Long duration tie-off

Here are two tie-offs that allow both hands to be free, with maximum security. The second tie-off is not recommended for free-hanging rappels because it can be difficult to undo, which is problematic on a waterfall rappel. Always keep your body weight on the rope.

Long duration tie-off.
Long duration tie-off.