Abseiling with Adrenaline Junkies

Abseiling in Cradock, Little Karoo, South Africa

Experience the thrill of abseiling down the face of a sheer cliff with a stunning view of the Great Fish River flowing passed picturesque Cradock. Adrenaline will flow through you as you abseil down following the instructions of an experienced abseiling guide.

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The origin of the abseil is attributed to Jean Estéril Charlet, a Chamonix guide who lived from 1840-1925. Charlet originally devised the technique of the abseil (or rappel) method of roping down during a failed solo attempt of Petit Dru in 1876. After many attempts, some of them solo, he managed to conquer the Petit Dru in 1879 in the company of two other Chamonix guides, Prosper Payot and Frédéric Folliguet, whom he hired. During that ascent, Charlet perfected the abseil.

Jean Charlet is known for the first winter ascent of Mont Blanc in 1872 with Isabella Straton. In 1871, Straton was Charlet’s client during the first ascent of the Aiguille du Moine, and, a year after the pair's winter ascent of Mont Blanc, they were married.

* Helmets are worn to protect your head from bumps and falling rocks.
* Gloves protect hands from the rope and from hits with the wall.
* Boots or other sturdy footwear with good grips.
* Knee-pads (and sometimes elbow-pads) are popular in some applications for the protection of joints during crawls or hits.
* Ropes used for descending are typically of Kernmantle rope construction, with a multi-strand core protected by an abrasion-resistant woven sheath. For most applications, low-stretch rope (typically ~2% stretch when under the load of a typical bodyweight) called static rope is used to reduce bouncing and to allow easier ascending of the rope.
* A harness is used around the waist to secure the descender.
* A descender is a device or hitch designed to allow for rope to be paid out in a controlled fashion, under load, with a minimal amount of effort by the person controlling it. The speed with which the rope is allowed to pass is controlled by increasing or decreasing the amount of friction applied to the rope by the descender; the greater the friction, the slower the rope moves. These can be either mechanical or improvised.
* Mechanical descenders include braking bars, the figure eight, the abseil rack, the "bobbin" (and its self-locking variant the "stop"), the gold tail, and the "sky genie" used by some window-washers and wildfire firefighters.
* Some improvised descenders include the Munter hitch, a carabiner wrap, the basic crossed-carabiner brake and the piton bar brake (sometimes called the carabiner and piton). There is also the older, but more uncomfortable, method of wrapping the rope around one's body for friction, as in the Dulfersitz or Geneva methods popularly used by climbers in the 1960s.


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Quick Contacts

Wayne: 083 450 7207
Hannes: 083 342 7024