Equipment Use & Care


Climbing tips: care of climbing equipment

Try to avoid standing on any of the equipment, especially ropes, as grit gets trodden into the fibers.

Avoid dragging rope through dust or mud.

Use rope pads or edge rollers whenever a rope runs over a sharp edge.

Never use abseil or climbing ropes or any other equipment for any other use, other than what they have been designed for. eg. Never tow a car with the rope.

Do not leave nylon goods exposed to direct sunlight for longer than is necessary.

As a standard rule, do not allow one item of nylon gear to run over the same spot of another nylon item, as this can cause high friction and heat. Always use metal against nylon.

When abseiling and using more than one rope for any part of the operation try to use different coloured ropes for easy identification.

Never allow karabiners to be “cross-loaded” over the edge of rocks or other hard edges.

Never try to place too many ropes or slings into a karabiner, as this causes pressure on the wrong portion of the device.

Ropes, harnesses and slings should be washed when dirty. Wash is Nikwax Techwash in lukewarm water in a basin , rinse and dry in a shady area. Ropes can be placed in a cotton bag and washed in a washing machine on low heat and Techwash in the soap container of the machine. Spin dry and then hang the rope up in a shady but warm area.

Never get any oil/petrol chemicals on or near to climbing ropes, slings etc. All oil based chemicals will affect the strength of nylon safety items.

Instructing Abseil and Climbing beginners and group management

*Helmets must be worn at all times.

*A separate safety rope is usually used when asbeiling.

*The abseil / climb is supervised directly by the supervisor/Instructor

* Improvised chest harnesses should be used for small children or people with ill-defined hips.

*If dealing with small children, consider using a thinner abseil rope, as small people do not have enough weight to make the rope run through the abseil device.

*Heavy people can be abseiled on a doubled 11mm rope, which causes more friction for these heavy individuals.

* Have a demarcated “holding area” where clients wait before abseiling or climbing.

* Have them then proceed to the “take off area” at the actual abseil or climb.

*Brief them properly about what they will do and what is expected off them once they are finished.

*It is recommended that groups which are instructed or supervised should have a qualified MDT supervisor or instructor in-charge of safety and skill.


Gavin Raubenheimer

Gavin is the owner & operator of Peak High Mountaineering. He is a certified Mountaineering Instructor (M.I.A.) endorsed by the Mountain Development Trust of SA. He is a NQF National Mountaineering (level 7), Cultural and Nature Guide (level 4). Gavin is a past President of the KwaZulu-Natal Section of the Mountain Club of SA. He has been involved in mountain rescue since 1992 and since 2005 has been the Convener of Mountain Rescue in the province. Want Gavin and his team at Peak High to guide you on a hike? Put yourself in the hands of the certified and experienced experts in mountain hiking, guiding and climbing. See Gavin's Google + profile