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Land Adventures -- Abseiling and Caving
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Abseiling and Caving: 31 listings
Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures
Garden Route, WC
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Wild Five
South Coast, KZN
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Buffalo Gorge
Middelburg, MPU
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Four Rivers Rafting and Adventures
Drakensberg - Central, KZN
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Eden Adventures
Garden Route, WC
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Khamkiri Private Game Reserve
Augrabies Falls, NC
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Induna Adventures
Hazyview, MPU
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Buffalo Adventures
Northern Natal, KZN
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Abseil Africa
Cape Town, WC
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Bergwoning Adventures
Eastern Free State, FS
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Sudwala Caves
Schagen, MPU
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R.E.A.L. Adventures
Northern Free State, FS
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Dome Bookings
Northern Free State, FS
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Lalapanzi Adventure Centre
Kei Mouth, EC
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Peak High Mountaineering
Pietermaritzburg, KZN
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Parys River Rafting
Northern Free State, FS
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Choose Life Adventures
Brits, NWP
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Koeifontein Farm
Eastern Free State, FS
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Wild Cave Adventures
West Rand, GAU
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The Zingela Safari & River Company
Northern Natal, KZN
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Adventure's Edge Dive and Outdoor Centre
Garden Route, WC
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De Bos
Breede River Valley, WC
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SEAL Adventures
Garden Route, WC
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Hobbiton-on-Hogsback
Amatole, EC
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Spirit of Adventure
Hillcrest, KZN
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City Rock Indoor Rock Climbing
Cape Town, WC
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Cango Caves
Klein Karoo, WC
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X Tribe Adventures
Johannesburg, GAU
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Sacred Caves & Earth Mysteries
Cape Town, WC
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Mabalingwe Nature Reserve
UnkownAreaCity, MPU
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Quantum Adventures
Cape Peninsula, WC
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The sport of abseiling is an exciting one and nothing beats the thrill of standing on the edge of the cliff knowing you’re about to step off the edge and decent the cliff or rock face on the end of a fixed rope.

Also known as rappelling, abbing, jumping, rapping, roping down, roping, seiling and snapling, abseiling has grown in popularity since extreme sports became a tourist business.

While the only pitfall is the walk to the top or the climb out, many tour operators provide transport so that you can enjoy the decent without having to worry about what comes before or after.

While we often think the speed of the decent shows our prowess we must never forget to stop along the way and enjoy the view – they are usually magnificent.

A word on Abseiling and Caving:
  'At the beginning [of the session] I was worried about the drop but that was the best bit, it was the thought of walking back up the steps that finally stopped me after 8 jumps !!'. Anon  


Equipment:

All of the activity operators will provide you with the equipment necessary for a safe and exciting decent.

The critical equipment needs are a well fitting helmet to protect the head from falling rocks. Gloves to protect the hands from rope burns and rock cuts and the harnesses, ropes etc critical for the sport of abseiling.

You need to ensure you have adequate footwear with a good grip and if you want thorough protection knee-pads to protect you from slipping against the rocks.
Abseiling Adventure: Photo courtesy of Wild 5
Abseiling Adventure:
Photo courtesy of Wild 5


Safety:

Safety is a critical issue in abseling and it is important to select an operator who is pedantic over safety issues. Never abseil without a trained guide present and ensure the guide has descended that particular cliff or rock face before.

Before your decent you need to ensure that your rope is properly anchored, the buckles are secure and the belay is in place.

Check that all carabiner gates are closed and that all descending equipment is assembled correctly.

Finally check that your helmet is firmly secure to provide safety but a clear visual line of surrounding terrain and make sure gloves are worn.

If it is your first time listen to your guide and trust his guidance. There are many techniques that feel unnatural but which provide you with a more fulfilling decent.


Interesting Facts:

Jean Charlet is known for the first winter ascent of Mont Blanc in 1872 with Isabella Straton.

In 1871, Miss Isabella Straton was Charlet’s client during the first ascent of the Aiguille du Moine, and a year after Charlet’s and Straton’s winter ascent of Mont Blanc, the two were married.

The story goes that it was at the top of Mont Blanc, in trying to warm his client, that the future conqueror of the Petit Dru also warmed her heart.
Abseiling Adventure: Photo courtesy of Wild 5
Abseiling Adventure:
Photo courtesy of Wild 5


History:

The origin of the abseil is attributed,[1] to Jean Estéril Charlet, a Chamonix guide who lived from 1840-1925.

Charlet originally devised the technique of the abseil (or rappel) method of roping down during a failed solo attempt of Petit Dru in 1876.

This was the first known use of a rope to abseil. After many attempts, some of them solo, he managed to conquer the Petit Dru in 1879 in the company of two other Chamonix guides, Prosper Payot and Frédéric Folliguet, whom he hired (a rather paradoxical move for a guide).

During that ascent, Charlet perfected the abseil.


Links:

  • South African Mountaineering Development and Training Programme


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    Gallery
    Maletsunyane Falls abseil: Courtesy Steve Pike - Wavescape.co.za
    Maletsunyane Falls abseil
    Courtesy Steve Pike - Wavescape.co.za
    Mountain Climbing - the final sumit: Credit: Ernest Roper
    Mountain Climbing - the final sumit
    Credit: Ernest Roper
     
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