You will be wearing a full-body industrial harness and using an industrial descender to go down. Squeezing a handle makes you down, letting go (or pulling back) makes you stop. You can control your speed to a certain extent but should you go too fast, or should the equipment fail, the back-up device will engage.
Getting your weight off the roof and into the harness is the difficult part for most people. Once you’re over the edge you are on your own. Don’t forget to stop and take in the view!
It will take between 5 and 15 minutes to get to the bottom. The squeezing motion to activate the descender requires quite a bit of force and using the same hand the entire way down can be tiring. You can stop to rest or switch hands when you need a break. In general, inexperienced rappellers tend to find themselves with tired hands at the bottom.
If you keep your feet on the concrete/glass it is easy to maintain the correct position. You won’t spin around or drift into the building. If you push off with your feet you can bounce outwards. The further out you bounce, the more difficult it is to keep from getting twisted. Once you’re within 20’ of the ground, your landing will be assisted by an Over the Edge staff member.
When you arrive on-site you will have the opportunity to practice rappelling from a lesser height by an Over the Edge professional. This will give you a chance to hang in the harness, find a comfortable position, and practice using the descender. You can practice as often as you’d like before heading to the roof. The same safety procedures are used in the training as in the long rappel so you will be familiar with them when you get there.
You’re going to be walking down the side of a building so wear good shoes. Sneakers, light hikers, climbing shoes, something with a soft sole are acceptable. No sandals, slip-on shoes, slippers, flip flops, high heels, or steel-toed boot.
Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Athletic pants, tights, and jeans are suitable. The harness goes around your legs, waist, and shoulders, so it is best to avoid anything too bulky. Costumes are encouraged!
Long hair should be tied back.
You will check-in droppable items like keys and cell phones, or jewelry that can get caught on things with a staff member on-site. You will be given a pair of leather gloves and a helmet when you arrive.
Sorry, no phones or cameras on the roof. We will have photographers on-site throughout the event taking pictures that will be available to all rappellers on our online site.
The most common complaint from participants after rappelling is that their forearm got sore during the descent. The squeezing motion required isn’t hard, but over a long time, it can get tiring. Proper technique and switching arms will make a difference, but using a squeeze ball once in a while doesn’t hurt either.
Get psyched. Tell your friends. You’re one of a few special people who will be going Over the Edge!
Unfortunately, friends of the participants will not be allowed up to the rooftop. There will be a staff photographer ensuring that each participant gets pictures of himself or herself going over the side. Friends can stay for the afterparty.
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