One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A piece of metal around which a rope is passed, which makes use of friction to slow descent during abseiling.
- ‘At the top of the gorge (which we would have been hard pushed to find at all on our own) we were shown the following method of clipping into a figure of eight descendeur without chancing dropping it.’
- ‘Our tents are filled with clothes, down jackets, sleeping bags, woollen gloves and socks, snow boots, and tonnes of packed cream - sun-block, moisturiser, lip balm and cleanser - as well as the routine climbing paraphernalia of ropes, crampons, harnesses, descendeurs and carabiners.’
- ‘After threading the rope through a rusting Karabiner attached to a wire hawser wrapped around a rock beneath the Bolster Stone, Hugh abseiled off, after clipping me onto the rope via a ‘figure of eight’ descendeur.’
- ‘You practice abseiling down the rope, using a special device called a STOP - different to a climbing descendeur, it gives much more control over your descent.’
- ‘As for the climbing gear, I saw nothing in the photos that resembled a descendeur or karabiner.’
1950s: from French, literally ‘descender’.
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