Abseiling in the natural environment
If you're caving, or you've climbed up a rock, abseiling is often the easiest way back down. It's also a sport in itself, and people sometimes abseil down tall buildings.
Abseiling involves lowering yourself down natural rock formations, buildings or other outdoor structures, rather than purpose-built structures.
Abseiling is the process of sliding down a rope under controlled conditions. It has long been used in rock climbing, caving, and mountaineering to descend slopes or cliffs that are too steep to walk down. In recent years, however, abseiling has become a popular sport in its own right.
You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: AALA, Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure. These endorsements are not applicable in Northern Ireland, where you should ask your local Outdoor Activities Adviser to recommend an approved provider.
The activity instructor must hold one of the following qualifications.
- A Mountain Training UK (MTUK) Climbing Qualification, SPA or higher (not CWA).
- A Girlguiding Climbing and Abseiling Training Scheme Level 2 award . This may be used at specific sites only. Please see the Girlguiding climbing website for more details.
If you are unfamiliar with abseiling qualifications, consult your Outdoor Activities Adviser or contact [email protected] to ensure the instructor's qualification is suitable.
The instructor must ensure:
- helmets are worn
- the safety rope and the abseil rope are secured to different anchor points
- access permission has been gained if appropriate, and any seasonal restrictions are observed
- rock formations with recognised archaeological, geological or wildlife interests are avoided.
The British Mountaineering Council provides environmental guidelines which must be followed.
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