Rich's Instructional Videos

If you love adventure – whether you are a canyoneer, rock climber, mountaineer, caver or rescue technician – and want to learn some new skills and techniques – grab your gear and a rope (and maybe some popcorn) and follow along. When you are ready to learn even more, check out our courses.

Dedicated to Luca Chiarabini

When you meet somone who knew Luca, you meet someone who loved him. His personality was infectious. Luca was a student in 2002/2003. He later told me he was reorganizing his life so he could travel the world exploring canyons, and that he did. When I resigned from the American Canyoneering Association in 2016 it was Luca who inspired and supported me to start making instructional videos. It would not have been possible without him. Thank you, Luca. The canyoneering community misses you.

Additional support for these videos was provided by Dean Kirchner, Shannon Long, Dig Wilson, Johnnie Yang and numerous other patrons. Thank you all for the blessings.

"I don't even climb, but I dig rope stuff and recovery/emergency kit hardware. You sir, are an addictive, glowing, rope sensei. Your calm voice delivering vertical sorcery of the good kind just has my head shaking. Amazing stuff!"

"I first want to say I love your videos and thank you so much for showing the nuances in rope rigging! Very informative to see visual demonstrations of things I have heard and read about before."

Intro to the instructional video series on my YouTube channel — Learn the ART of RopeWork for climbing, rappelling, rigging and rescue. ART is an acronym for Anchors, Rigging, Techniques.

Twin rope systems involve two  strands of rope that are secured independently. While someone is rappelling on one rope, someone else can be rigging on the other rope. This allows us to move our group much more efficiently.

Static blocks allow us to set the length of our rappel rope. This is especially important when rappelling into water. Once you understand the concept, you can use them to solve a number of other types of problems.

Memorizing some rules might serve you well when you are just getting started, but ultimately you will encounter situations where the ability to discern when one technique or system is appropriate and when it is not will be critical.

The simplest way to rig webbing around a single point anchor, such as a tree, is a single-strand wrap with the tails connected using a rethreaded overhand bend (aka ring bend or water knot). It is always appropriate … except when it isn’t.

When the anchor is back from the edge, we often have a safe staging area to start our rappel. But rope pull can be a bitch. Extend the anchor to the edge and rope pull becomes easier, but the rappel start can be a bitch. Courtesy rigging may provide the solution.

When someone gets something jammed in their rappel device, the problem can be solved by getting their weight off the device. If the rappeller is unable to self-rescue, lifts and shifts may provide a quick and simple way for a partner to assist.

The munter-mule-overhand is the ubiquitous releasable contingency rigging system. All it requires is one HMS carabiner. If you work or play on rope, the MMO needs to be in your toolbox.

This one is just for fun. Filmed with some students during a course in Hong Kong.

Bruce Lee would be proud.

Clipping short is a very simple technique that can be used in a variety of situations, including passing a knot while ascending, transitioning from ascend to rappel, passing over and overhanging lip at the top of an ascent, and more.

There are people who say the flat overhand (aka EDK) is dangerous. Others use it all the time without worry. So, is it safe? In what applications is it appropriate? Let’s take a look.

This has been the most popular video on my channel, currently more than 160K views. Perhaps because the VT Prusik is such a simple, yet versatile tool. If you don’t already have one, you will soon once you see all the things you can do with it.

Available here in the online shop.

Filmed on site in Jasper Alberta with my buddy, Joe Storms. It is a must-watch if your canyon explorations include swiftwater.

Acronyms such as EARNEST exist as mnemonics for anchor construction or evaluation of existing anchors. It is not always possible to address each item perfectly, so we sometimes need to prioritize some items over others. But how do we make these decisions?

Simple, but useful pieces of hardware. We all use them, but does everyone understand how to recognize the difference between the good, the bad and the ugly?

I like simple, multi-purpose gear. The canyon cordelette (aka Poor Man’s Jag) is an example. It wad designed with one application in mind, but users have discovered many other uses for it.

I now refer to it as the CRT HauLine. It is available here in the online shop.

Glue-in bolts represent an investment in long-term anchors. They are ideal in many applications and can be much stronger than mechanical bolts. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the correct ways to rig and use them.

There are times when it makes sense to rig the tail of the rope to the anchor and toss or take the bulk of the rope to the bottom. Is it still possible to rig for contingencies?

So the heaviest person in your group weighs 220 pounds. Easy math, right? As long as the anchor will hold at least 220 pounds you will be good to go. Is it really that simple or should you be taking some other variables into account?

The overhand may be the simplest of all knots. But it comes in a few different flavors — overhand knot on a bight, rethreaded overhand knot, rethreaded overhand bend, flat overhand knot (sometimes used as a bend). Let’s take a look at some of the nuances so we know when each variation is appropriate and when it isn’t.