Drop loop haul on the PETZL MAESTRO for urgent rescue

Written By: Lance Piatt

In certain cases of extreme urgency requiring a very rapid response, the rescuer can access the victim by descending on one rope. Once the emergency has been addressed, upward evacuation can be done at a “normal” level of safety with two ropes.


Precautions prior to descent:

  • Make sure to minimize the risk of rub points or rockfall that could damage the rope.
  • Keep the end of the rope at the top anchors.

Note: the MAESTRO is not designed or certified for use on the harness like a classic descender. It is possible, though the ergonomics are not optimal. Make sure the rope is installed in the right direction; always test to verify the rope locks in the device before putting your weight on the device.

Precautions during hauling:

  • The ASAP must be installed on the haul strand to provide a backup should either rope strand fail.
  • Beware of rubbing between the moving haul strand and the fixed anchor strand. To the extent possible, the two strands of rope should follow different paths.


The rope segment between the MAESTRO and the ASAP is the weak point of this technique, because if the rope were to fail too close to one of the two devices, it is uncertain whether the fall would be arrested (the same as being too close to the end of a rope that has no stopper knot).

It is recommended to protect this section of rope in particular (e.g. with a sliding rope protector).

It is also possible to place a second ASAP on the strand above the MAESTRO, for maximum protection.

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