Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Travel: All you need to know about rappelling

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If adventure is on your mind, sign up for a weekend getaway to the mysterious Sandhan Valley, located in a village called Samrad, around 165km from Mumbai.

The experience, organised by two-year-old city-based adventure outfit Activity Adda, will involve trekking, overnight camping, as well as rappelling.

"Sandhan Valley is also known as the Valley of Shadows because sunlight doesn't really reach it. The trek is of medium difficulty, so both beginners and pros should enjoy it. We'll be passing between two rock faces, through water systems. The highlight is rappelling down a 120-foot wall," says founder Miten Shah.

For those who haven't attempted rappelling in the past, here's a quick primer, courtesy Shah, before you embark on your big adventure.

ON: January 28 and 29, 1 pm onwards
AT: Sandhan Valley, near Bhandardara (transport from Mumbai will be provided).
CALL: 7738424076
COST: Rs 2,300

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Rappelling spots in Maharashtra

  • Duke's Nose, Khandala
  • Bekare Waterfall, Bhivpuri, near Matheran
  • Madap Waterfall, near Khopoli
  • Dodhani Waterfall, near Panvel
  • Kondana Caves Waterfall, near Karjat

NOTE: Most of these sites are ideal for rappelling only during the monsoon.

Safety measures

  • All equipment must be checked. Pay attention to the condition of ropes and make sure they're not too old.
  • Ensure the carabiners are connected securely, and that the ropes are passing through the loops smoothly.
  • Make sure that the surface you're rappelling down doesn't have any loose rocks. These could fall onto someone below you and cause injury.
  • Always wear a helmet.

Dos and Don'ts

  • Wear your harness properly. Your weight should be equally distributed once you're seated in it. If it's not, you could end up hurting your back.
  • Your positioning is important. Always place yourself perpendicular to the rock face while descending.
  • Make sure you don't bend your knees while walking.
  • Don't attempt rappelling if you suffer from heart disease or have knee or back trouble. Rappelling could aggravate the issues.

Rappelling vs Bouldering

Bouldering is a form of rock climbing undertaken without the use of ropes or harnesses. For bouldering, climbers tend to use special shoes to help secure footholds, and chalk to keep their hands dry.

Hampi in Karnataka is a popular bouldering spot, as is Plus Valley in Tamhini Ghat, near Pune.

Rappelling, meanwhile, is the process of descending a cliff or mountain with the help of ropes and a harness. Climbers use this technique when a slope is too steep to descend without protection.

from travel

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