We’ll provide all the safety gear you need, like your helmet, harness, and gloves. You are welcome to use your own gear (at the discretion of our guides) if you have an appropriate harness and/or helmet that fits you better than our equipment. There are many different types of rappelling devices, however, and we only use “tube-style” devices on our trips.
Closed-toed shoes are required. You may want to bring water and appropriate clothing based on the weather forecast (sunglasses, brimmed hats, rain or wind jackets, long or short pants). Phones and cameras are allowed but must be secured to your person–you may not wear a backpack while rappelling.
Reservations are encouraged for this adventure. Climbing and rappelling areas are heavily regulated by the National Park Service, so group sizes are limited in any given area. Large groups may be separated for this reason.
Rainstorms occur occasionally and are often brief enough that you can just take shelter under an overhang while the storm passes. Heavy downpours may soak ropes enough that they’re not possible to rappel on, and lightning storms require a trip cancellation.
The minimum age for this adventure is eight years old. Participants must weigh between 70 and 260 pounds. Maximum group size is 12 participants, with no more than four participants per guide. Guides will provide all belaying unless the trip leader determines otherwise. Trip locations may change depending on the weather, the presence of other climbing groups, or at the guide’s discretion. Participants with medical conditions should consult their physician, as this is a high-adrenaline adventure with a short, rope-assisted scramble to the top of the Bridge Buttress rappel site.
There’s no way around it–rappelling can be dangerous. Our rigging system incorporates guide-controlled backups for your rappel that significantly exceed safety standards for recreational mountaineering. Every guide is also extensively trained in first aid, belaying, and vertical rescue techniques.
Make sure to wear your helmet at all times. This includes during your wait at the bottom of the rappel, which is when you’re most exposed to pebbles that may fall from the clifftop. Finally, listen to your guide! The best way to have fun and avoid minor slips and scrapes while stepping over the edge is to follow their instructions. It sounds counterintuitive, but you’re much safer and in control when you lean back over the cliff and fully weight your rope than when you’re huddled on the edge and hesitating to step off.