28. Rappelling with Crampons & Ice Tools

In this video we discuss rappelling with crampons and ice tools.

– When rappelling with crampons and ice tools, make sure your feet are out in front of you and your ice tools are out of the way to avoid getting tangled with the rope.

– Try to make precise and deliberate steps to avoid the crampon points touching the rope.

– For stowing ice tools, we recommend using ice clippers on your harness. Clip the head of the ice tools into an ice clipper (or onto a carabiner if you don’t have ice clippers). Make sure the picks are pointed backwards, so they don’t stab anything important.

– It is best to use a “third hand backup” any time you are rappelling, but especially when you are dealing with lots of equipment clipped to you, as well as potentially icy ropes.  

– Consider extending your rappel set-up in alpine terrain, since it keeps the device away from layers and allows for a more reliable placement of a backup hitch.

Proper rappel technique is covered in our video’s on “Cleaning a Top Rope Anchor & Rappelling with a Back-Up” and “Retreating from a Route”. Please review those videos before graduating to any of these advanced techniques.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.