Table of Contents

Editorial ---

Features ---
The Grim Swim

Hole Sweet Hole

Alternative Anchoring

Wet Canyons
of Colorado

Gear ---
Beyond Helmets
and Harnesses

Technique ---
Double Coil

Book Reviews ---
Kelsey Plateau, 4th ed.

Van Tilburg & Annerino

History ---
The Black Book


News and Safety




The Canyoneering Double Coil
by Tom Jones

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First time I did Pine Creek, I coiled up the wet, sandy rope after the first rappel. Walked 30 feet. Uncoiled the rope. Rapped again. Coiled the rope. Walked 30 feet. Uncoiled the rope. Rapped.

At this point, it seemed like coiling the rope was not the smart thing to do, so I didn't. Instead, I kind of stacked it up around my head and stumbled through the sand and rocks a couple hundred feet. Hmmmm. No rappel. So I coiled it. Walked. Uncoiled, rapped, coiled, walked... Not only was it annoying to coil so much rope for such short rappels, but it was taking a toll on my tender hands.

There must be a better way! Rope bags kind of work, but the 200 foot 8mm static cords I carry don't want to stack into the bag very easily.

The better way for a lot of canyons is the Canyoneering Double Coil.

Coiling the rope in halves has many advantages. You can use half the rope for the many short rappels, and coil half as much rope. Dealing with half as much spaghetti at a time leads to many fewer snarls. The coiled rope is very easy to carry, and two people can coil the rope at the same time. When executing a longer rappel, you already have the center of the rope in your hand, making the set up easier and faster. And it looks cool and different.

Here's how to double coil the rope:

1. Start by lap coiling the rope from one end. You can use fairly short loops. (Lap coiling is coiling back and forth in the hand, which avoids putting a twist in the rope like a circular coil).

Start the coil at one end

2. Coil until you have about half the rope in your hand, then finish off the first half by wrapping the center strand around the head three or four times, ...

... then poke the loop through the head, flip it up over the top, and pull snug.

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