Rappelling Introduction & Practice for Sunday in Moab

Rappelling Introduction & Practice 

in preparation for going to Moab tomorrow, Sunday.

This afternoon is for those who came to the Canyoneering Intro Night Tuesday and others who already have some experience.

These activities are always dependent on the weather. If, a day or 2 before the event the forecast is 30% or more chance of rain we may need to alter plans. So, please, always be flexible.


Meet at Devils Kitchen parking lot inside east entrance to CNM at 2 PM and plan to be out 2-1/2 to 3 hours. If there is not parking space there, park in the picnic area parking lot and walk down to the Devils Canyon trailhead parking lot, from where we will depart.

We will only be about a 5 minute walk from the cars. The terrain will begin very gentle and progress to steeper and more challenging rappels throughout the afternoon.

We will be doing an introduction to basic rappelling. If all goes well I hope each person has an opportunity to do at least 2 or 3 rappels and use different rappel devices while doing the raps.

It will be very nice to have more experienced rappellers &/or canyoneers here to help make this go smoothly. For those with experience, I know Laney wants to do some self-rescue skills practice, possibly with prussiks &/or mechanical ascenders.

Please come prepared to push your comfort zone and be aware that you will not be asked to do anything that is not protected by solid, secure anchors and a belay to control your rate of descent should that be needed.


• Harness, rappel device & 2+ locking carabiners  

 HELMET REQUIRED (it can be a bike, boating or other helmet your first 1/2 dozen times out but after that you should buy a dedicated climbing-type helmet) 

• Leather, fake leather or rubber-faced cotton gloves (optional but suggested)

• Closed toe shoes (no canyoneering or rappelling in WSA with sandals, flip flops or those 5-toe foot coverings). Running-type shoe is probably best but light hiking boots will also do OK.

Rope if you have one (for our purposes today we can use static canyoneering rope or dynamic rock climbing rope. If you have any rope between 8mm - 11mm please bring that)

PLEASE READ the information at the links below so terminology and sequence of events make sense to you when introduced.

• Essential Rappelling Equipment

• How to rappel with an ATC (ATC stands for Air Traffic Controller, a name from the rock climbing world where a climbing leader may fall and be referred to as air traffic)

• How to rappel video (and demo of using a Figure-8 rappel device)

• Which rappel device is best (read a wealth of opinions) And this web site, www.bogley.com is a great canyoneering resource for lots of topics & discussions

• How to choose and fit a harness or try this article on harness selection

Then after you have decided you like this rappelling and think you want to give actual canyoneering a try,PLEASE read the Canyoneering Primer BEFORE YOU GO for the 1st time.

Before you go canyoneering for the 1st time, please also read this Canyoneering Gear Guide

Here is a good general read on canyon ethics and more

WHERE to GET GEAR if you do not own it (do not buy until you see and try some):

• Borrow from a friend

• Rent from CMU outdoor recreation program   

• Call Doug and let me know you have exhausted other means. Myself and others have some spare gear to loan.


As much as we all like to use our smart phones, MeetUp.com has not figured out how to present the whole RSVP process on a smart phone. There are a few questions I need to ask like your contact information and emergency contact person plus a couple of other questions. Unfortunately, you can only see them to reply to them when you RSVP on a computer, not on a smart phone. So, inconvenient as it may be, PLEASE RSVP on a COMPUTER so you can respond to those questions.

Tell in your RSVP what gear you are bringing.


Doug Van Etten  [masked]


^^**##  Acknowledgement of Risk ##**^^

Please read the document at this link. On the hidden questions type "I accept" if you agree to these terms and wish to participate in this event as a part of this meetup group.

We need you to RESPOND to ALL the questions each and EVERY TIME hidden questions are posted.

Please do not assume 'oh Doug has my phone # or email address or emergency contact information'. I may have it, but we need it all in one place in the event some other organizer for the event needs that information. This information is only visible to organizers of the event; it is not out in the public domain.

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  • Doug Van E.

    Bring materials to pad the rock where the rope goes over the edge so we are careful to not do damage to fragile, wet sandstone by letting rope cut into the edge. If you are signed up for today and Sunday, choose to not come today, please do not show up on Sunday. The idea of having Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday is that it is a progression. If you break the progression by not rappelling today it has defeated the purpose of our organizational plan.

    March 1, 2014

    • Bill K.

      I have carpet squares to pad the rock. At least six of them.

      March 1, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    OK so here is text right off of Wunderground weather web site "Rain showers this morning with some sunshine during the afternoon hours. High 56F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 40%." With that and the 7 AM blue sky I see, lets go for it today. If it rains once we are there, plan to go to the rock gym. Do not attempt to make a weather decision about our location by what is going on where ever else you are in the Grand Valley at 1:30 PM -- just show up. Bring warm clothes since the high humidity will make it feel cooler than it really is.

    March 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm looking for a ride up on Sunday, and back on Sunday, gas-share of course.
    ron email [masked]

    February 26, 2014

    • Doug Van E.

      There is no need to line up rides at this time. We will all be carpooling from Starvin Arvins Sundaay morning so who rides in which cars may be determined by who wants to do what activities in the Park &/or in Moab.

      February 26, 2014

  • Bill K.

    I have an extra A-16 harness and figure 8 I can bring. I can also bring some carpet squares for rope protection if needed.

    February 26, 2014

  • mel

    I would love to go! Does anyone have any gear I couldd borrow?

    February 24, 2014

    • Wes

      We'll have gear for you to try out/borrow.

      February 24, 2014

    • mel


      February 25, 2014

  • Courtney B.

    Darryl and I will be there!!

    February 23, 2014

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