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?
Being in m y eighth decad, my climbing has slowed way down, but i still occasionally rappel when necessary to retrieve paleontological or archaeological material from exposed cliff faces (there are a lot of those on the Channel Islands (USA).
Right now I am instructing successors, because I won't be doing this forever.
Some years ago (fifty, more or less, I was involved in archaeological projects at Canyon de Chelly which (sob! oh the agony...) often required climbing and rappelling on low grade sandstone. I routinely carried at least sixty feet of climbing rope (and often more - up to six hundred feet) for various projects.
The rap rig was minimalist - the rope and my tender body - the old fashioned body rappel has its advantages - extremely light weight an easy to assume
Ahh My favorite place so far to rappel would have to be at a 162ft sinkhole in Alabama. One way in, One way out. We had all the right gear and we were very proficient in using it all. Just a random giant hole in the middle of nowhere. Was a great little adventure!
WOW! That's an amazing experience and photo! Is there a cave at the bottom or does it just end at the floor of the sinkhole? How long did it take to get out? I assumed you jumar back up the rope? Pardon the questions but this piqued my curiosity!
Thank you and love the questions! There is no cave at the bottom, just a floor, no where to go. But there are lizards and frogs down there that look like they don’t see light often. To get back out it took probably 15-20 mins of jumar’ing back up. At the top there are anchors in place, but of course we also set a backup around a nearby tree. For most of the rappel you are floating away from the wall, but towards the top is when you encounter possible difficulties jumar’ing our. With you pulling down on the rope it’s being pushed against rock requiring a little climbing to get out. Smooth rock, nothing to possibly cut it, we also covered some roots and stuff so the rope was not sliding against anything sharp.
Faced with situations that generally dwarf anything technical climbers encounter, cavers have perfected techniques that really facilitate descending/ascending a vertical rope. There is a sinkhole in Mexico (Sotano de las Golandrinas) that is a cool 1000 foot descent and climb