The most common error when rappelling with a tuber is for there to be a twist in the setup. I had to endure the torrent until I could loosen the rope enough to get free. Double check to make sure the carabiner goes through the loop created by the rope AND the wire keeper loop on the ATC. My wife Katherine and I write articles on this site to share the knowledge we’ve acquired and practiced over the years. Sometimes, in the rush of getting over the edge of the cliff, the rappeller only clips the carabiner through either the rope or the wire keeper loop- not both. Many tubular belay devices have two different sides- one with ridges and one without. You figure why not, the more, the merrier! One piece of equipment that comes in handy to maintain greater control when performing a belay (in climbing) or a rappel is an ATC (also known as the air traffic controller). Lightweight climbers often find it difficult to rappel with tube devices, having to feed the rope through it until their body weight is able to do the job. This means more relaxation and enjoyment while rappelling for you! Both quickdraws must face opposite directions to provide optimal safety when the rope is added. I ran into another issue a couple weeks ago while going through a canyon in Zion National Park in Southern Utah. Carabiner —Metal loop (usually aluminum) with a spring-loaded gate on one side used for connecting various parts of a climbing system. Get in the habit of always screwing carabiners closed, and of checking them to make sure they are closed. They are less safe than a belay device made for rappelling such as an atc or 8 ring, but it can be done. FresKaro 2020 UIAA Certified 25KN Auto Locking Climbing Carabiner Clips,Twist Lock and Heavy Duty Carabiners for Rock Climbing, Rappelling and Locking Dogs, D Shaped 3.93 Inch, Large Size, Black 4.8 out of 5 stars 832. Currently based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Check and double check that your harness and anchor are secure and correct. The knot is the best back-up simply because it does two jobs exceedingly well: It locks under load and, unlike all other friction knots, it releases while still under load. Petzl’s version is the Petzyl Verso. If the rope points upwards when coming out of the ATC, it will twist the belay loop, which weakens the strength of the harness. Spend one extra minute before stepping over the ledge to confirm that everything is set up correctly. Weight: 6.1 oz. Over the years, companies have improved the original idea to meet different needs. The third may be another anchor that you would set using a spider sling, etc. Now shout “ROPE!” and toss the ends of the rope down the cliff face. Run the rope all the way through the quickdraws until you get to the middle mark of the rope. They are designed to stop the rope if there is a sudden jerk on the line, such as a lead fall. Attach a locking carabiner to your belay loop and clip in the Black Diamond ATC, if you haven’t done so already. The important thing is to maintain a controlled, steady pace that you are comfortable with during the descent. Step over the rope so it runs by your right side (reverse if left-handed). While the Figure 8 and Rescue 8 are iconic and were a great option for a long time they are no longer a great choice. An ATC rappel is a preferred method to descend most terrains while maintaining greater control. The most versatile ATC is the ATC Guide (or Petzl Reverso), which includes additional loops that allow you to tie off mid-rappel or connect to the wall for a direct belay. Remember that when going at your own pace may feel robotic and tense at first, but the more you rappel the easier it will become. Shop for Belay and Rappel Devices at REI - FREE SHIPPING With $50 minimum purchase. This spotter can guide you down and around any unforeseen obstacles. For rock climbing and rappelling, there is nothing more important than your rope. Dakota, of Live Rogue, walks you through one way to rappel with a personal backup. With auto lock carabiners, always ensure that the carabiner doesn’t close on the rope, harness, or wire keeper loop instead of on itself. This site is owned and operated by In Our Lovely Desert, LLC. Focuses foot position over the toes for more precise placements. Next. Because most climbers use the ATC as a belay device and almost everyone has one, it frequently ends up being used as a rappel device when rappelling off of a climb or when canyoneering.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'therockulus_com-box-3','ezslot_3',126,'0','0'])); Rappelling with an ATC is not complicated; however, the repetitive and simple nature of rappelling sometimes leads people to make careless mistakes. Because there is no opening, they have to be added with a locking carabiner or a quicklink/rapide. I plan on trying them all out when I get the chance, but for now I’m content with my ATC XP! The last thing you want is to hurdle towards the ground at breakneck speed. In a pinch, you can use the old-style Dulfersitz body rappel… It weighs a meager 4.8 ounces keeping the packing weight of gear to a minimum. The Best Device For Rappelling: ATC vs Figure 8 VS Rescue 8 and More There are a lot of options going back a long way for devices used to descend a rope. It can be dually used for belaying a rock climbing partner down or used to rappel solo. Those models are the ATC XP, ATC Guide, Verso, Reverso, Smart Alpine, and Giga and Mega Juls. The downside with the Grigri is the higher price, as well as the risk of complacency with an assisted braking device. For a sport that was considered a... Bouldering and top roping are the two most accessible forms of climbing to try as a beginner, and are the most common ways to climb at indoor gyms. For more instruction and information on the art of rappelling. Locking off an ATC Description. From rappelling to camping, from cabins to paramotor, we have the outdoors covered! Your friend mentions they own a travel trailer, and that if possible, they’d... We all love the outdoors! If rappelling using both strands of the rope, thread both strands through. Here are many of it’s standout features that make this a must have ATC: Each of these features were engineered with the purpose of creating improved control during the rappel. Keep that in mind if you rely solely on an ATC as a rappel device. Climbing, Canyoneering, Rappelling, etc. Outdoor Troop also participates in affiliate programs with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. But to successfully rappel with an ATC it is important to know what an ATC is and how to use the right techniques to lower oneself in a controlled manner. Pinch the rope and thread it through one of the slots of the ATC until the rope aligns with the wire keeper loop on the ATC. Maintain control by keeping the right hand close to the hip with slight movements up and down to control the speed of the descent based off personal experience. Do you prefer to rappel from a double strand, eg a rope run through a ring at the halfway point with two strands going through an ATC guide? Another plus is the fact that the Black Diamond ATC is a simplistic piece of equipment that has no moving parts like other recommended descenders. Now examine that the rope is not running over any sharp or obtrusive edges that may cut into the rope as you rappel. With an ATC, there’s an extra half inch or so which reduces the risk of the belay getting stuck. The autoblock knot, an easy-to-tie friction knot or hitch that is tied around a climbing rope with a thin length of cord, is used as a safety back-up knot when you’re rappelling. Curbside Pickup Available NOW! This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The more advanced the device, the higher the price- though any of them are relatively affordable. Pull your brake hand (downhill/right hand) behind your back to stop, or swing it out away from your body to reduce the friction and go faster. Turn your head downward to check for any upcoming obstacles to overcome in the descent. Prior to adding the rope it is highly recommended to look over the rope and check for any abrasions, strings, knots etc. For those of you who don’t know what a figure 8 descender is, it’s a small belay device used as climbing equipment for controlling a rope during climbing. Outdoor Troop is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If there are any twists in the system- the belay loop or the rope and atc, unclip the carabiner and redo it. Holding the rope in your right (downhill) hand, pull it behind your back to stop. Anyone can rappel with an ATC when properly trained and practiced. At this point one strand of rope should go up to the anchor. Check out a useful skill to switch for rappel to ascend with the Black Diamond Guide ATC. Some of the best designed belay tubes are the popular ATC (Air Traffic Controller) devices made by Black Diamond Equipment. I've tried to write the go-to info for all the Rappelling enthusiasts out there. Black Diamond originally developed the ATC back in 1993. Always seek the instruction of a certified climbing or mountaineering guide. Canyoneering Safety Tips. Here's how: Detach your autoblock from below your ATC. May be oval, pear- … This may turn out okay with a screwgate carabiner, but if an auto lock carabiner doesn’t lock, it also doesn’t close. Slide the loop into the top of the Black Diamond ATC Guide Belay Device (see on Amazon) along one side of the middle divide on the device. This Tech Tip is about using the ATC … Over the past few years, it seems that every climbing company has come out with a new belay device that is supposed to be the best ever. The most versatile ATC is the ATC Guide (or Petzl Reverso), which includes additional loops that allow you to tie off mid-rappel or connect to the wall for a direct belay. With the rappel rope anchored in at the top, grasp the rope and make a small loop. The ATC empowers the user to control the speed of descent from slow to fast with ease, and can be used to completely stop the descent in either a rappel or climb. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Shoppers should recognize that none of the active assisted locking devices can rappel a doubled rope, nor can the passive ClickUp+, Black Diamond ATC Pilot, or Mammut Smart 2.0. Checking Rappel Gear. While there have been a few tweaks and improvements over the past 30 years since its development, the basic idea has remained unchanged. Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Please welcome Nick Sealy as a contributor to ITS Tactical. Climbing Belay– Just because a Figure Eight can be used as a belay for climbing doesn’t mean it should be. The Black Diamond ATC Guide Belay Device (see on Amazon) is recommended for most rappelling. This will be the break and is supported by the ATC. The Black Diamond ATC Guide is a tough belay device and provides the best value for multi-pitch climbing. The shadows are growing long across the desert as you rappel off the neo-classic Birdland (5.7+) in Red Rock, Nevada, after a successful ascent. This device utilities a large surface area in contact with a climbing rope to provide sufficient friction along with proper technique to be used as a belay device or for rappelling.A figure 8 (sometimes just referred to as an 8) is used in conjunction with a climbing harness and locking carabiner to keep a climber safe and control their descent or one's own descent (when rappelling) The ATC was developed back in the 90s, between 1990 and 1991, to be precise. The rope should come through the slot of the ATC from the top (left), follow the wire keeper loop around the carabiner, and come out the right side of the slot. (If you use an alternative type of anchor tether to a PAS, some steps here will change slightly.) The other main innovation in the original ATC came from the sharpness of the angles of the ends of the device, which creates additional friction. As mentioned above, this can be reversed to decrease the friction of the rappel. The speed of your rappel depends on several things, including the weight of the rappeller, the diameter of the rope, and the diameter opening of the ATC. Descent can also be completely stopped when the right technique is applied with the brake hand. However, other than those similarities, bouldering... Hello! The Black Diamond ATC Sport is identical to the ATC XP, but with only one slot. Is Canyoning Dangerous? The most common I see around is the Black Diamond ATC XP, where one side of the slots has ridges, which provide additional friction. I love the great outdoors. There is just one way to lock off an ATC. You will pay more for bigger brand names like Black Diamond and Petzl, or get them for cheaper from brands like Cypher. The Black Diamond ATC is a durable, tried and tested product that will improve the likelihood of a safer rappel when used correctly. Now place the rope through the opposite end of the bolt hangers on the quickdraws. If you like rock climbing, rappelling, and canyoneering, this is the place for you! The downside with using an ATC for canyoneering is that the don’t perform as well when the rappeller has to be agile and twist around certain obstacles. The different variations of ATC’s, from the base to the ATC Guide or Petzl Reverso cost between $10 and $30. At the end of the day knowing how to rappel with an ATC will lead to grander rappel adventures, descending heights and reaching destinations that previously were inaccessible. Start to rappel, use the brake hand to feed the rope through the ATC. The other strand of the rope should be over the friction mode on the ATC and lead down. Take a locking carabiner and clip it into both loops. Or do you prefer to Figure-8-on-a-bight + Carabiner at the halfway point so it can't pass through the ring, rappel down a single strand using a GriGri/Fig8/ATC and pull the knotted side when you reach the ground? You will probably be fine rappelling with a twist in the system, but there is always a higher risk of failure when different stresses are added. It is designed to improve belay safety for the climber by allowing the belayer to manage their duties with minimal physical effort. The Black Diamond ATC Guide Belay Device (see on Amazon) was made to provide the greatest support in most rappels and help you to maintain significant control. One piece of added gear needed here and for many rappels is a personal anchor system (PAS), attached to your harness by a girth hitch tied through both harness tie-in points. $24.99. They range in price from $30 to $200, and all essentially accomplish the same purpose. Here’s Why It Shouldn’t Be-. With your right hand, grab the loose rope leading to the ground. The ATC corrected the problem of the system getting locked up because the plate ran directly into the carabiner, locking the rope. Once completed with the rappel the final step will be to untie the stopper knots on the rope. Check your locking carabiner, the knots, and hitches to make sure that everything is secure prior to the descent. If the right hand is raised slightly up the rope will begin to run freely allowing you to descend. Never ever let go of the rope with the break hand. The Black Diamond ATC Guide Belay Device(see on Amazon) is recommended for most rappelling. Nowadays, there are simply better devices out there that are specifically designed for the rigors of climbing! This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies at no cost to you.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'therockulus_com-banner-1','ezslot_5',130,'0','0'])); Husband, Father, Wild Animal. Fortunately, I had an extra 8 ring in my pack that I’d planned on using as an 8 block for the shorter rappels and I was able to use it instead. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom. Get yourself an ATC or a Grigri. How much does an ATC cost? The different variations of ATC’s, from the base to the ATC Guide or Petzl Reverso cost between $10 and $30. What is the Best Rappel Device for Canyoning? Additionally, the rappel will flow much smoother if the ATC is angled horizontal or downwards because it applies the friction of the ATC as intended. Rock Climbing: In a rock climbing application, steel rappel rings are often added to the bottom of fixed chain anchors. To add more friction, you can use two locking carabiners instead of just one. They also get mucked up easier with mud and debris often found in canyons. It is recommended to have a partner check everything as well. How Does an ATC Work? The Black Diamond ATC is a simple, versatile tool for belaying and rappelling. An ATC allows for smoother control than the previous belay options, which led to better air traffic!eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'therockulus_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_1',128,'0','0'])); The traditional tuber has two slots, with identical sides. What is the Best Rappel Device for Climbing? Petzl GriGri. An ATC is the most popular belay device for climbing, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. link to Can My Motorhome Pull a Travel Trailer? Clip a locking carabiner through both the wire keeper loop and the rope, maintaining the downhill end of the rope on the right side. Clip the carabiner into the belay loop on your harness, and make sure it locks. The brake hand will provide manual control of descent and is responsible for using the rappel rope and ATC correctly. They are intended to be used with the ridged side on the right (downhill); however, you can flip it over which will decrease the friction and increase the speed of descent. Each one of us at Outdoor Troop is an outdoor enthusiast in one area or another. It is highly recommended to have a spotter as your rappel buddy on the ground. An ATC is used to feed rappel or climbing rope through in a controlled manner. Scenario: you're rappelling down a cliff when you realize your rope doesn't reach the bottom, so you'll have to ascend back up. Increase the speed by moving your brake hand out away from your body and letting the rope slide through your hand (we recommend gloves so you don’t get rope burn). Even though the ease of setup for a rappel is simple it must be done correctly to avoid any gear malfunction or potential injury. When controlling the speed of descent the Black Diamond ATC provides excellent control allowing the user to increase or decrease speed. When we came up to the first rappel, I discovered that the 11mm rope was too thick to fit through my ATC! Characteristics such as rope material and specific length are all crucial. Whether you finished a climb up a beautiful cliff wall or the journey started at the top, one of the most exhilarating ways down is with a rappel. Your essential climbing gear is also your rappel gear, with a few additions. When looking at how to rappel with an ATC device, it can also be useful to have a basic understanding of the underlying technology which allows for a controlled rappelling descent. The mechanics of an ATC are actually fairly simple but ingenious at the same time. Have a question? If you plan on doing some multi-pitch rock climbing, then there’s some added risk that you may need to rappel both lines and an active device won’t work. There are a handful of really common errors that are easily caught and corrected with a double check of the system. Rappelling with the right gear, training, and experience will create a safer and more controlled environment in the descent. To break as you descend lower the right hand below the waist while holding the rope, it will stop the rope from running through the ATC. Always carry the following items for rappelling: Descent-control device, like an ATC, with a guide-mode option; 1 meter of 5mm or 6mm cordelette to use as a "third hand" Personal anchor system for clipping in at stations; An extra prusik (1-1.5 meter cord) for rope ascent; 2-4 shoulder slings (leg loops) Cordelette (to replace tat) Rope Size: 8.9 mm - 11.0 mm. Ladies, if you’re using the same sports bra you rely on for your yoga sessions as you do for running, the latter activity is going to be very uncomfortable. As a formality tell your spotter “Off Rappel.” A rappel has now officially been completed. With the right belay device, a small, weak climber can easily arrest the fall of a much heavier partner. Before rappelling with an ATC, be sure you understand how to control the speed of your rappel. It is amazing what a second pair of eyes can see. A Guide to Choosing the Right Sports Bra for Running. If I could explore canyons and cliffs every day, I would. How To Start Rock Climbing: Learn The Ropes! An ATC is one of the best choices, although an 8 ring works very well too. Whether you finished your climb or hiked and rappelled down you will find tips, tutorials, and additional resources to help you. Pull on one end of the rappel rope until the other end passes all the way through the quickdraws at the top and falls down to the base of the cliff. Lock off your ATC (If you don't remember how, go back to the rappelling chapter and visit the Stopping on Rappel section). I won’t be using the Oka, or anything with tie-off capabilities while waterfall rappelling anymore! The rope should come from the anchor on the left (top) side, through the slot in the ATC, follow the wire keeper loop around the carabiner, and come back out the other side of the ATC slot going to the right (downhill). An ATC or Air Traffic Controller is a type of belay and rappel device manufactured by Black Diamond Equipment. Grab both strands of the rope and double it over. Found on rock climbing shoes for more advanced climbers. Take care that these errors don’t happen, especially when it’s dark, wet, or cold. It is a tubular device, which gives it more area and steeper angles for creating friction and stopping power than a Sticht plate belay device. Another common error is when the carabiner fails to lock. Black Diamond named it the “Air Traffic Controller” as a tongue-in-cheek reference to falling climbers. You cannot use this when rappelling both strands of the rope, but it works great for climbing. In your haste to beat darkness (and avoid the resulting expensive ticket at the park gate), you forgot to grab the rack off the ledge before you started the rappel. are all inherently dangerous activities. This is very similar to the golf term “FORE!” when you hit a ball close to other golfers. Now clip the locking carabiner into the belay loop on your harness (click here to learn how to pick the right harness). Mule Hitch Method. “Multiple friction modes for belay and rappel, Machined windows through device for weight savings, Guide mode works with one or two climbers ascending or descending, Auto-block release hole enlarged to accept a small carabiner, Durable cable holds its shape and resists getting caught between ropes”. How much does an ATC cost? Tie a Mule Hitch above the ATC. Double check that the carabiner goes through the rope AND the wire keeper loop on the ATC and that it is locked. This will allow you to use your feet to slowly walk or hop down the wall. Not only is it affordable but it has been crafted to withstand significant amounts of stress while supporting the load during a rappel. You won’t regret it! DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING. Nick is a member of the Park County Search and Rescue Team as a Wilderness EMT and member of the Technical Rescue Team. The ATC, also known as a ‘tuber’ is probably the most common belay device that people use for climbing. Style: Brake Assist. Once feet reach the ground pull the rappel rope out of the ATC. Connect two quickdraws, one to each bolt hanger. It is a practical, sleek device and easy to set up. The original one works very well with rock climbing rocks measuring 10mm or more in diameter, while the XP variant is better suited for canyoneering or ice climbing. With multiple hardware pieces and various types of rope and webbing, this periodically happens to everyone. Your left hand will be the guide hand and will hold on the other end of the rope that has been secured to the anchors. If the carabiner doesn’t lock, you could come unclipped from the rope mid-rappel and take a nasty fall. There are two distinct versions available, namely the original device and the ATC-XP. Slowly release the brake strand until the Mule Hitch slides down against the ATC … Yelling “Rope!” warns rappelling partners, climbers, or other bystanders in the area aware that a rappel rope is coming over the edge and to move accordingly. Commit to learning how to rappel with an ATC and enjoy the thrill of the rappel. Slide it through the ATC and clip the loop that you slid through the ATC with your locking carabiner. The original ATC works well with rock climbing ropes 10mm and larger, while the Black Diamond ATC-XP better handles the smaller ropes used for ice climbing and canyoneering. It can be dually used for belaying a rock climbing partner down or used to rappel solo. The ATC empowers the user to control the speed of descent from slow to fast with ease, and can be used to completely stop the descent in either a rappel or climb. Midway down the rappel, you realize your blunder. Lean back into the rope and simply let it slide through your hands to move. Many climbing gyms have guests use the Petzl Grigri, one of the premier assisted braking devices. For now, I dream about it during the week and go hard on the weekends. You can let the rope slide through your hand and around your side to go slowly. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Like the well-known phrase ‘Practice makes perfect’ continue to stretch deep and find the strength to overcome great feats and build on skills already learned. While Black Diamond created the original ATC, and maintains the ownership of the name, everyone pretty much refers to any tubular belay device as an ATC. The ATC loop and the rope loop should be sitting side-by-side, they should not be crossing over one another. The top of the ATC device will have the friction modes and the bottom will have the ATC loop facing down. Do not cut corners and seek expert training and advice when learning how to rappel. The best days are when my wife and baby daughter come along...still trying to figure out canyoneering with her though! If you are on social media, you’ve probably seen photos of people, from old highschool friends to A-list celebrities, participating in the sport of rock climbing. The Black Diamond ATC – Guide Belay Device (see on Amazon) provides optimal support and control in a descent. This is especially prone to happen when rappelling on both strands of the rope, because you can’t see the wire loop as easily. Use your autoblock to tie a friction hitch (either a Bachmann or a Klemheist) above the ATC. A friend of mine brought an 11mm rope I’d never used before (my canyoneering rope of choice is 8mm). Not only is it affordable but it has been crafted to withstand significant amounts of stress wh… Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews There was a problem completing your request. I’m Jake Harmer and this is the place I go when I’m not in the mountains/deserts (or tethered to my cubicle).