Field Trip 2: Belay Wt. Drop, Belay Escape, Rappel (last updated 4/6/12)


Be sure to bring the materials listed below. Mark your equipment so that you will be able to identify it when it gets mixed in with other gear. 

        • Boots (You will need sturdy boots (no tennis shoes or street shoes))
        • A day pack to hold your gear
        • Your 10 feet of practice rope
        • Belay Device
        • Hero Loop
        • 2 locking carabiners
        • 1 large, locking pear-shaped carabiner
        • 6 "general purpose" carabiners (do not need to be oval or solid gate)
        • 1 commercial seat harness
        • Helmet
        • Belay glove
        • Nylon sewn runners: one 120 cm, one 60 cm
        • Webbing 
          • (2)  9-foot runners of one color
          • (3)  5-foot runners of a second color

You will be outside for part of the day. Wear clothing appropriate for a mixed rock and snow alpine climb (No cotton jeans or sweatshirts).  Dress warmly enough to be comfortable during inactive parts of the day outside.


You will rotate between the following stations during course of the day: 

  • Knots (knots and safety line)
  • Belay (weight drop and escape)
  • Inside Rappel (for sit and spin)
  • Outside Rappel 

Belay Station (in basement )

You will setup a belay and catch four drops of the weight (belay device and munter hitch with each hand)
  • Set up a belay using proper technique to tie into the anchors.
  • Practice lowering a weight to get the feel of the forces.
  • Practice rope handling and using correct belay signals.
  • Catch a falling weight using each hand as the braking hand.
  • Execute one fallen climber tie-off and escape.  See description here.

Knots (inside)

  • Discuss the use of your personal anchor.
  • Have your harness fit and use checked by an instructor.
  • Demonstrate your ability to tie the following knots:
    •  overhand knot (fig 9-4)
    • water knot (fig. 9-7)
    • slip knot (fig. 9-21)
    • clove hitch (fig. 9-18)
    • Munter hitch on pear-shaped carabiner (fig. 9-25)
    • girth hitch (fig 9-20)
    • Prusik Hitch (fig 9-22
    • Mule Knot (Refer to Mule Knot hand out)
    • Butterfly Knot (9-17)
    • double fisherman (fig. 9-10)
    • figure 8 knot, loop (fig. 9-12)
    • figure 8 knot, rewoven (fig. 9-13)
    • single bowline on a fixed anchor (fig. 9-14)
    • double bowline (on a bight), middle person tie-in (fig. 9-15)
    • butterfly coil (fig. 9-3)
  • Safety Line:  You will prusik-tie into a line with your chest prusik sling and move down the rope.

Rappelling (inside and outside)

On all rappels use the proper rappel signals, “On Rappel” and “Off Rappel”.

Outside station (South Climbing Plaza):

  • Tie in and climb to the platform on a top rope.  Students will belay each other supervised by an instructor.
  • Do at least two “Back over” rappels. 1 using a belay device and 1 using alternate (carabiner brake).
  • On one rappel tie off mid-rappel using leg wrap.
  • Wear pack on one rappel.

Inside station:

  • Tie in and climb to the platform on a top rope.  Students will belay each other supervised by an instructor.
  • Do at least two “Sit and spin” rappels, 1 using rappel device and 1 using alternate (carabiner brake).
  • On one rappel, set up and use the Autoblock. Tie off with the leg wrap on the other.



  • You will need clothing as if on a real alpine climb.  The rappel part of this fieldtrip will be held outside regardless of the conditions.  Expect to get wet and cold while outside and pack accordingly.
  • Know the whereabouts of your pack at all times. Keep the items you’re not using in your pack.
  • Make sure instructors have signed and initialed your grade card where needed before leaving a station.