Tying Prusiks and Abseiling


Abseiling is an important skill to have, especially as you need to be able to abseil when going sea cliff climbing as getting to the crag requires abbing in. Abseiling requires a piece of prusik cord (usually of diameter 4-5mm) of length approximately 1.2-1.5m. Usually you can purchase prusik cord in bulk (i.e. you chose the length you want to purchase) and you can then cut it yourself. This is best done by keeping the bit you want to cut really stiff and wrapping a bit of tape around it before cutting through the cord with a knife. Then simply seal the core with a lighter. Below is a good video to illustrate this (here they’ve used a piece of rope but the principle is the same)



Tying a double fisherman’s

A double fisherman’s knot is a knot you’ll most definitely want to use to tie your now cut ends of prusik cord together. A double fisherman’s is easiest learnt when someone shows you how to do one so below is handy video on how to tie one.


Always make sure you keep enough tail hanging out of your double fisherman’s (a good 5-7cm) at either end and make sure you do at least three loops on either end of the knot. Make sure the two ends align (the way he did them in the video) as this is crucial.



In order to abseil you will need to have set up a static line, you will need a belay device on a carabiner and some prusik cord on a carabiner. There are two ways to abseil down a rope though one of the two methods does require an additional sling on a carabiner. I will go through both ways of abseiling. 

The first method involves threading your belay device through the rope and attaching it via a carabiner to your belay loop. You then wrap the prusik around the rope, below the belay device and then clip the two loops of the prusik to a carabiner that you then clip to your legloop. Below is a good instructional video on how to do this.


The second method requires you to wrap a sling (60cm) through your belay loop (using for example a basket hitch or a larksfoot is also fine) and attaching a carabiner to the sling with your belay device attached to it. Here the belay device is also threaded through the static rope only now it sits further above you due to the sling. Then you wrap the prusik around the rope and clip it to a carabiner that you clip also onto your belay loop. Below is a good video to illustrate this.



Note: Always remember that abseiling can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is only a guideline and if you’ve never abseiled before it is vital that someone shows you how to as opposed to using only these videos. See this more as a refresher.