The Beal Escaper may challenge your sensibilities. The Escaper is clever design that allows a descending party to rig their rappel as a retrievable single line. Not only can you ditch the weight and bulk of the second rope, but in many cases the Escaper will allow you to carry a shorter, and thus, lighter rope because you will have eliminated the need to double your line through the anchor.
How does it work? Just thread the included length of dry-treated rope through the anchor and into a Dyneema "finger cuff", then tie your rappel line into the end-loop on the Escaper. You’ll descend your rappel line while (hopefully) keeping constant tension on the system. When you reach the bottom of your rappel, give a few tugs to tension and release the system and the rope will inch out of the finger-cuff. This allows you to retrieve your rope and the Escaper as one. Happy escaping!
Perfect back-up if you miscalculate the size of a rappel.
The worlds most terrifying device. I've tested a few times with a backup and it's worked. But I haven't built up the courage to use it in real life. That being said, I have had it in my pack a few times when I wasn't 100% sure if a 30m rope would cut it. It's nice to have something of such minimal weight that can double your rappel length if you really need it. I do worry about it getting snagged on the way down when pulling it though, as it's a lot of extra material to get caught.
Comment on this review:
How does rain affect it?
How does the length of your rope affect retrieval?
How does it hold up if ascending the rope (the rope gets stuck)?
Hey Randy, thanks for reaching out. I will answer these questions to the best of my knowledge but I recommend reaching out to beal directly for the most accurate answers. Rain should not affect it too much but I would be cautious. Rope length should not affect the retrieval if the rope is a static rope and if the rope is not going around obstacles. If using a dynamic rope, you may find it difficult to retrieve since you have to pull some of the elasticity out of the rope before you are able to properly engage the escaper mechanism properly. Lastly, I would not recommend ascending the rope when attached to an escaper, it is important that there is no way to get your rope stuck.
Answer this question:
Is there a minimum diameter rope that the Escaper works with?
Hi Marc, not really. You tie your own rope to the loop at the bottom. The rope that snugs in the finger-lock is part of the Escaper itself.
Did you guys put this up on April 1st? It seems a bit like the magical Eleven rope from the Lord of the Rings. For real?
Gandalf brought this and a single rap cord to Moria which is why he was able to escape without a trace. With a traditional setup, Frodo would have noticed the anchor he left behind which would have really thrown the whole story line off. It's for real though. Think of all the fears you'll be able to conquer with how much weight you'll be saving.