Next Previous

Rappel Safeties

Many people have noticed that rappelling can be dangerous. If the rappeller loses control, the resulting splat may be non habit forming. For this reason, some people have attempted to develop a safety device that will stop the rappeller. Personally, I don't think anyone has succeeded in developing a truly safe alternative, and a few years ago I posted an internet comment outlining a number of objections. Since then, I've added more, e.g., hanging unconcious in a harnes can be fatal as well. There are a lot of people, however, that still use rappel safeties of some form or another. I've listed two mechanical ones here.


Image ID Device Description Acquired Weight Height Width Thickness Std. volume
Charlton Lever Cam 1604 Charlton Lever Cam Handled cam /w smooth, grooved face for Gibbs ascender Gary Storrick, 2008 102 43 156 15 103
IMO Extension Arm, Version B 3744 Inner Mountain Outfitters Extension Arm, Version A Drilled Al strip for attaching to QR pin Gibbs ascender Ken Kramer, 2022 96 178 25 10 43
IMO Extension Arm, Version B 625
Inner Mountain Outfitters Extension Arm, Version B Drilled Al strip for attaching to QR pin Gibbs ascender
  • Inner Mountain Outfitters, 1987
  • Bob Thrun Collection, 2017
97 178 25 10 45
Safety Rappel Cam 671 Safety Rappel Cam Modified Gibbs Ascender per Don Davison design, rappel safety, noncommercial Gary Storrick 409 103 78 57 458
Spelean Shunt  --- Spelean Shunt  Field improvised from carabiner and Gibbs Ascender  --- 245  105 78 57  467