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Rappelling off quick-links?


Original Post
Kyle Bishop · · Nevada City, CA · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 751

I'm developing a cliff at a spot where mussy hooks are the norm (The Emeralds). I'd love to get some of ClimbTech's mussies, but they're sold out until December and I'm likely gone from the area until March (woohoo El Potrero Chico!)

Instead of shelling out for a bunch of rappel rings, or crushing my wallet for a bunch of dracos, I was thinking of just putting up the quick links as a temporary solution until the mussies are back. This isn't a super commonly travelled area like the Alabama Hills or Red Rock, so I figure a shoulder season of people rapping off quick links should be fine. I'd post a warning on MP noting that there are only quick-links for now.

Is this an acceptable/safe compromise? Should I just hold off on posting anything about the routes until I'm back in March?

- Kyle

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

It's fine. People can function for a few months without mussys. 

Thanks for all the hard work! 

Drewsky · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 1,090

Doubled 3/8" quicklinks on bolts or single links on chains are safe enough for rappelling/lowering, but problematic because being stationary all wear is focused on one spot. It's actually better to use a link/ring combo because the rings rotate and tend to distribute the wear more favorably. Good steel rings can be had for little more than the cost of a quicklink. I believe ClimbTech sells them as well as quicklinks in both plated and stainless steel.

As you've said, level of use has great bearing on the issue, as do environmental factors, IE using cheaper plated steel links and rings vs. stainless steel hardware designed for lowering. You're likely aware of this, but using quicklinks and/or rappel rings at an area predominantly used by sport climbers engenders two main problems: they add a step to the lowering process (threading the anchor) that, while it shouldn't be unsafe, proves otherwise fairly often; they wear out really quickly because people also toprope and lower through them as opposed to simply rappelling. 


Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 849

If you want some cheap "rings", get some fat chain(3/8" or 1/2"), and cut off single chain links. These work well enough to use as a final link in low traffic areas or as a cheap temporary solution. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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