Best Place to Learn Rappeling (2010)

Rappel Gully

If you've never walked down a vertical rock face, Rappel Gully is the place to learn. The 75-foot climbing route on the Headwall in Camelback Mountain's Echo Canyon is steep, especially at the top, yet isn't too high to intimidate most beginners. Best of all, the anchor for the rappel is what climbers call "bomb-proof." When you set up ropes for a rappel, it's considered poor form to have the whole setup — and its climber — come spilling down the mountain because of a poor anchor. The anchor at the top of Rappel Gully is a massive eyebolt set deep into the rock and secured with concrete. It's not going anywhere. And it's hard to mess up the rope work here — you simply feed one end of the rope through the circle of metal and you're ready to go. That first step off the edge is always the most unnerving for beginners, who often aren't sure if they're going to survive. Another great perk: The west-facing Rappel Gully is in the shade all morning.


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