Ski Rappelling: How to Prepare and Plan for a Rappel

Four vital parts of the ski rappelling process you need to remember.

These activities should be done by trained skiers under supervision.

Ski rappelling is a great way to get down the face of a mountain with efficiency and speed. However, there are a few things to know and keep in mind before your next rappel. Professional heli-ski guide Dale Marcoux, who has over 20 years of experience, explains the rappelling process and how you can best prepare for making it down to the base of a mountain safely and securely.


The first thing you need to do is research the area to know what you are rappelling into and understand what to expect before committing to a terrain. Find out how long the rappel will be and how much rope you’ll need to get to the area you want to access. This step is a must to properly plan your course.


Once you are well-informed of the area you’re going into, you’ll want to ensure that you have all the right gear. Aside from rappelling rope, anchors and the right clothing, you’ll also need a harness, rappel device and other key items. Our Pro Tips Ski Rappelling Safety: Gear You Need article, breaks down all the necessary equipment required to embark down the mountainside.


When taking part in such technical activities as ski rappelling, it always helps to have a partner. If you are a beginner or less experienced, it’s recommended to hire a guide to help navigate the area. These guides are experts familiar with the location’s nuances and are there to help.


It’s essential to have a comprehensive backup plan before your ski rappel begins. Plan out all future scenarios in case things go awry when on the mountain. A contingency plan can be crucial in case you lose contact with or get separated from one or more members of your group. Of course, a communication device is always an important and helpful item to have with you too.

It’s also always beneficial to have avalanche training when partaking in any snow sport or activity such as ski rappelling. This could allow you to be that much more alert and aware of your surroundings as you enjoy your time outdoors on the mountain.