Deciphering Descenders: A Guide to Choosing the Right Device for Your Descent

Written By: Lance Piatt

Q:What types of descenders are available and how do you know which one to choose?

Descenders come in many different forms, from the simplest wrap-around devices to more complex mechanical descenders. The type of descender you choose will depend on your particular needs and preferences.

Wrap-around descenders are the most basic type of descender, and can be made from almost any material that can provide enough friction. These descenders work by wrapping the rope around an object and then applying friction to the rope to control the descent.

Mechanical descenders are more complex devices that use moving parts to generate friction on the rope. These descenders can be more expensive than wrap-around descenders, but they offer a number of advantages, such as the ability to control the descent speed more precisely.

When choosing a descender, it is important to consider the type of rope you will be using, as well as the weight of the load you will be lowering. descenders are rated for use with specific types and sizes of rope, and they have a maximum weight capacity that should not be exceeded.

Some considerations

  1. Does it have an anti-panic feature built into the friction control handle?
  2. Will it work on most rope (type, material and diameter)?
  3. Can the device work variation of anchor positionings?  Many times  (often!) anchors and points of connection are flamboyant. Things can change in a moment and the control descent devices should be able to accommodate shifts (such as when a load shifts unexpectedly).

Peace on your Days



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