Sunday, November 13, 2011

My first rappel!

13 November 2011

Today I rappelled for the first time, woohoo!    \(^o^)/
Photo: UP Aventuras
I went with a local adventure outing company called "UP Aventuras", which two of my friends are involved with.  They were very professional and gave thorough explanations of the equipment and the body mechanics of rappelling before we set off, again at the site, and then a guide went down with each of us in tandem.

Here are the photos, starting with a 20 minute hike up a short but steep hill in Parque da Gruta.

I was already happy to sit down for a moment!
Enough climbing, now we are going down again to the pool at the base of the waterfall.
There is the base of the waterfall and the pool.
 we are now at our destination.  Time for everyone to start getting nervous.
 Hey, it's wet down here!  Taking a little shower with my new friends from Cachoeira do Sul.
 We are going to come down from WHERE?  See that tree at the top left?  OMG.
 The guides from UP Aventuras preparing the equipment.
An on-site demonstration with detailed instructions.
 Some of the plants on the rocks by the waterfall looked exactly like seaweed.
 The first one to try, what a brave woman.
And there she goes!
The next volunteer, halfway down.
Just above their heads is the rock overhang, where it is necessary to let go with your feet and dangle - preferably without hitting your head on the rock overhang when the rope swings forward again.
In this photo, you can see how the guide on the ground holds the rope also.  If the rappeller slips, the guide on the ground can pull to put tension on the rope and this will safely stop the movement.
 Getting all dressed up.
This will be the next fashion trend, I'm sure. Where did I put that matching Gucci handbag?
The harness looks so sexxeh from the back too (yeah, right).
But wait, there's still MORE equipment to put on.  Gloves and helmet complete my ensemble.
 I'm at the top of the waterfall, a nice view from up there.
 Uhhhh... I am allowing someone to tie me to a tree... O.o
Hey, I'm really doing this!  Coooooooool!
Photo: UP Aventuras
Here is a video of me rappelling down.  I was being veeeeerrrry slow and careful.  I was surprised that it wasn't nearly as scary as it looked (nor as hard as climbing up the hill was).  My attention was so totally focused on what my hands and feet were doing that there was no room for anything else in my mind.
(Update: I've edited the video so it's much shorter.)

Mission accomplished!
Photo: UP Aventuras
A friend from school came along on the trip too.  Here he is getting ready.

 And here is a video of my friend also rappelling down.  He was the only one in the group who had rappelled before, so of course he made it look easy!

Now that I'm down at the bottom, I go back to taking photos of everything as I always do.  Here is the waterfall - the trunk of the tree at the top is really interesting.

I'm not sure whether it's a good thing to have an audience watching when you are coming down a wall butt-first...  I'm sure there are now some photos of me that I'd really rather not see.
The guide with the waterfall in the background.
Another one coming down the rock face.
Such a big smile when he made it down!

The guides gave everyone the chance to come down a second time, which most did.  Wheeeee!

It is now some hours after arriving home, and I am sooooooooooo sore, not only from the excess tension in my arms during the rappel, but also from the hike, which was short but intense, and clambering back and forth across the slippery and uneven rocks around the pool at the base of the falls to take photos.

The latter was my big mistake, as walking around on the rocks I slightly twisted my ankle many times, which eventually added up to one big ouchie. One of these days I'll learn to take care of old injuries better...sigh.  Icing and elevating the foot right now.


  1. Conhecí a Mary nessa expedição muito bacana , fizemos rapel na gruta do índio !!! Foi um dia inesquecível para cada um de nós que estava lá com certeza .... um grande abraço Mary continue sendo essa pessoa feliz que é ! até mais

  2. Abraços a você também!!!