Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Share your favorite place to rappel!

Hi there, I hope you all are having a great day! I was curious to know what everyone's favorite place to rappel is and why?

Stay true, Stay wild!
Labels (1)
16 Replies

It seems that you regard rappeling as a fun activity, something to be pursued or its own thrills, quite apart from climbing.

On the contrry, rappeling is a very intricate, involved technique with plenty of haards.  In Yosemite,, about as many climbers have died rappeling as have perished doing lead climbs.

Spericially appealing because no great physical skills or fitness is required (just grasp the rope irmly!), plenty can go wrong when the anchor fails, the rope is not gripped, the rappeler is hit by a falling object, the ropes are tangled, etc. etc.

I like any location with a secure anchor (usually a large, healthy tree), a clean face with no likely falling rocks, and no better way home.

One more thing, be sure you have the means to ascend the rope back to the top, should that be necessary...



Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@@hikermor, oh, you're here too.


As I like to say, "It’s okay to have "fun" in the wilderness, just don't PLAY in the wilderness!" The distinction being that play is a mindless, carefree (even careless) activity in which things can go wrong for inattention. Fun can be a mindful, careful, even difficult activity. If you enjoy it, or even if only the results are pleasing, that can be fun too.

I happen to enjoy canyoneering, when/while I'm backpacking for weeks at a time, usually SOLO! However, every climber knows the dangerous part is always the SECOND half of the climb (going back, down-climbing, rappelling). Statistically, the climbing activity most prone to accidents is rappelling, primarily due to not tieing a stopper knot at the end of your rope/s and bad anchoring practices.

As a wilderness survivalist, I read survival stories every year and I've personally interviewed dozens of survivors, one that leaps to mind is David Cicotello, he watched as his brother fell to his death on a rappel and was stranded on a cliff face until rescue.

So believe me when I say I am meticulous and methodical with every thought and move when going vertical. Rappelling can be fun, but It's SERIOUS fun!

And yes, there's an old addage in climbing, "Never do anything that can't be undone." Don't climb up a route that you can't climb down, and don't rappel down a rope you can't climb up!"

Even with the ultralight rig & rope I always keep in the emergency kit of my backpack, I have two Petzel Tibloc ll ascenders. SUPER lightweight and compact! (and I have/knowother backup options).

@SurvivalGal, lordy!  How much does you pack weigh?!  Do you carry a second pack for all your emergency stuff?, let's see, and I'm sure I'm missing some, burners, rappelling rope, fishing gear, first aid stuff, beacons, radios.. (for sure no venom extractor kit, lol)

Please post a lay out of what's in your pack!

Don't read this wrong, I'm impressed!

REI Member Since 1979

@@Philreedshikes LOL! "... for sure no venom extractor...)

Funny you should ask, it seems like people have ALWAYS wanted to know what was in my dance bag, or purse, or pack! (or luggage). Usually because I'm always coming up with some cool stuff or way to do things.

I haven't weighed it, but food and water are ALWAYS the heavier components (especially the food!). But a number of the videos I shot a few weeks ago show some of the stuff I have. In fact, I just HAPPEN to have my ultralight rig in front of me now:

1 Petzel Altitude ultralight climbing harness,

2 Petzel Tibloc ll hand ascenders,

2 Metolius short slings,

3 Petzel locking oval carabiners,

1 Black Diamond belay 'binder,

1 Sqwurel ll belay device,

1 Trango 'D' 'biner

1 small "autoblock" I made myself,

1 small/short bungee (I made to tend my ascending rig)

and the TINIEST ever backup belay device by CMI (resembles a link from a chain!!).

All weighing less than a pound, I think.


It has been awhile, but I always savored the multiple rappels from the south summit of Seneca Rocks, WV after completing a multipitch climb up the south face.

aka "Boonerelli"

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@John  I used to love climbing at seneca rocks! mainly back in the late 80's however.  There used to be a campground across the street from that old store/climbing store. 

When I drove past there in the 2000's everything had changed! and there is that new visitor center complex.

but great memories.  I never was any good at rock climbing, but boy, I had great times!

Nothing like it for boosting one's confidence and self esteem.

Then I broke my shoulder in a ski accident, which all but ended my rock climbing (and golf back-swing, lol)

The 'gendarme' Seneca Rocks, WVThe 'gendarme' Seneca Rocks, WV


REI Member Since 1979

I still think backpacking is basically a 'gate-way' drug to mountaineering.

And when your finished with mountaineering, you can always 'com down' (get it?) to backpacking once again.

and of course, rappelling is a sub-section of rock climbing/mountaineering/canyoneering.

REI Member Since 1979

I remember that old campground. I stayed a night at Seneca Shadows last week. Seneca has changed a lot. When I climbed there in the late 70's the little community was called "Mouth of Seneca" but was later changed to "Seneca Rocks." I am glad I had the opportunity to climb there before all the commercialization. I am also sorry to read about your shoulder break. And not to be outdone, here is an OLD photo of me the first time I summited The Gendarme.On the Summit of the GendarmeOn the Summit of the Gendarme

aka "Boonerelli"

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@John Out-fricken-standing! lol

REI Member Since 1979