How to Put Two Wraps in a Figure Eight Descender

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How to Put Two Wraps in a Figure Eight Descender
Unlike the figure eight device, tube style descenders cannot add wraps to add friction when carrying extra weight. (PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Rappelling, or abseiling, is a popular recreational activity around the world, but it also has several practical applications. The figure eight is amongst the most common and versatile of the devices used in rappelling by both amateurs and professionals. When rescuing someone stranded in vertical terrain or lowering a heavy object in a tandem industrial abseil, however, a figure eight descender may not be able to apply enough friction to the lowering system to be safe and effective. In these cases, it is possible to put an additional wrap into the system to improve the functioning of the device.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Static rope
  • Locking carabiner

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Pull a bight (loop of rope) of rope through the primary, or larger, hole of the figure eight descender.

  2. 2

    Fit the loop of the bight around the back of the neck of the figure eight. This is the conventional set up for a figure eight rappel.

  3. 3

    Pull the same bight through the primary hole again, taking care not to introduce any twists into the rope.

  4. 4

    Fit the loop of the bight around the back of the neck of the figure eight. The rope should run parallel to the rope already passing through the device, seated snugly next to it.

  5. 5

    Clip a locking carabiner through the secondary (smaller) hole of the figure eight descender. This carabiner can be affixed to the person or object to be lowered, then locked before use.

Tips and warnings

  • Rappelling without first receiving training from a professional is dangerous and can result in serious injury or death.

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