canyon exploring with Michele Angileri


Ultralight ropes canyoning technique

a multimedia book by Michele Angileri
  1. Table of contents (free access)
  2. Introduction (free access)
  3. Ultralight ropes
  4. Canyoning gear
  5. Descender
  6. Rope managing
  7. Anchors
  8. Into a pool
  9. Advanced techniques
  10. Wear of ropes
  11. Updates (free access)


This multimedia book shows and explains how to go through canyons (explored or unexplored ones) rappelling on 6 mm ropes made of high tenacity fibers. These "ultralight ropes" give big advantages over traditional nylon ropes. Regarding the weight and volume:

  1. a dry ultralight rope weighs half than a dry traditional rope
  2. ultralight rope's water absorption is about 30% than traditional rope: wet ultralight rope weighs 40% that a wet traditional rope
  3. the space needed in backpack for ultralight rope is 40% than traditional rope of the same length

A remarkable feature of ultralight ropes is their great cut and abrasion resistance compared to traditional ropes. The small diameter and the materials they are made with, however, pose some restrictions on the use. With ultralight ropes:

  1. some things can be done exactly as with traditional ropes
  2. other things must be done in a different way
  3. some things people do with traditional ropes must not be done with ultralight ropes
  4. there are things you can do only by ultralight ropes

Therefore, canyoning with ultralight ropes requires the adoption of a new set of techniques. Thanks to these, ultralight ropes become a very powerful tool, because:

  1. there’s no need for placing anchors in a carefully thought point: so you can use natural anchors where you could not with traditional ropes
  2. rappelling in the jet or into a whirling pool doesn’t require setting a contingency anchor and rope at water’s surface
  3. it is always possible reversing the direction while rappelling, and ascending rope
  4. all ultralight rope techniques are individual techniques: the cooperation of two canyoneers is almost never required
  5. you can rappel even in presence of rope-rock contacts that would damage a traditional rope
  6. rope retrieving is much easier than with traditional ropes: you can retrieve ultralight rope where traditional rope would get stuck

The birth of this multimedia book

This book is born in canyons. Since 2004 I am testing, debugging and improving ultralight ropes techniques with my friend and mate Andrea Pucci. Since 2004 we are using only ultralight ropes in our canyoning trips, in every kind of situation. Thanks to ultralight ropes it was much easier for us to do our explorations of italian canyons: we might not have been able to do them with ordinary nylon ropes.

This book is addressed to skilled canyoneers, or people who are familiar with ropes, harnesses and mountain environment. However, in the book you find even basic things on canyons and canyoning, so even people with no experience in canyoning will find useful notions and hints.

But you should keep in mind ultralight rope techniques are experimental techniques: no international commission certifies them, no manufacturer certifies its gear for being used with ultralight ropes. That's why the ideal reader of this multimedia book is a skilled canyoneer/mountaineer rather than a beginner.


Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.

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