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Abseiling & rapp jumping

© Jennifer Stern© Jennifer SternAbseiling is the art of descending on a rope with some sort of friction device. You wear a standard climbing harness and are attached to at least one, more often two, climbing ropes. Commercial abseils are usually done in some pretty place with lovely scenery and are often quite high. Many abseils are over waterfalls, and some are combined with kloofing or canyoning trips.

It’s really pretty simple. You start off by backing over the edge of a cliff and then, once your weight is totally supported by the rope, you walk backwards down the cliff face, keeping your feet against the rock. If you’re feeling a bit more confident, you can push away from the rock, jumping away from the cliff and coming back to push off yet again. Of course, once you hit an overhang you’ll just be hanging out in the air – slowly descending.

Rapp jumping is a tad more scary. Instead of having the rope attached to your tummy and walking or jumping down backwards, the rope is attached to your back and you run or jump down facing the ground. It’s also a bit more uncomfortable – work out the physics and anatomy.

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