Rock Climbing, Abseiling & Canyoning

Abseiling: Table Mountain to Waitomo Here’s 10 of the World’s Best Drops

Around the world in 10 great abseils

Abseiling is a great sport to get involved with because, unless you live in Holland, there’s nearly always a drop nearby that you can go and practice on.

But when you’ve abseiled your local crag and everything else you can think of nearby, it’s time to look further afield. There’s nothing that gets the blood pumping like travelling to a new country to do something you love and abseiling is no exception.

Across the world there are tonnes of great spots just begging to be climbed down so here are ten that you’ve got to check out – from abseiling in Cape Town to abseiling in New Zealand, it’s all here.

1) Table Mountain – Cape Town, South Africa


Table Mountain is one of the world’s most popular abseiling spots and it’s easy to see why. This imposing rock towers 1,085m (3560 ft) above sea level, offering stunning views over Cape Town to the South Atlantic Ocean.

Thousands of tourists flock every year to the mountain to make the descent of the world’s longest commercial abseil, 112 meters down the cliffs that ring the top of the mountain. With a thrill like that and scenery like this it’s easy to see why Table Mountain deserves a spot on your abseiling bucket list:

Photo: – courtesy of Brendon Wainwright

2) The Lost World – Waitomo, New Zealand


Abseiling into the Lost World is like a scene out of a movie. Making the hundred metre (328 ft) descent through a massive crack in the ground, birds fly beneath your feet and you hear the roar of the Mangapu river far below as you are slowly surrounded by mist.

Abseiling The Lost World in Waitomo is both a beautiful and exhilarating experience that takes a leisurely 30 minutes, allowing you to soak up the atmosphere of this incredible place.

Abseiling tours are run by Waitomo Adventures and if you take their Epic Tour you can also do a spot of underground abseiling and explore another of the world’s most beautiful spots, the famous Waitomo glow worm caves.

3) The Stratosphere Hotel – Las Vegas, USA

Photo: wikipedia org

Standing 1,149 ft (350.2 m) tall, the Stratosphere Hotel Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States and luckily for all you abseiling fans it’s also home to Skyjump, the world’s highest commercial decelerator descent.

Decelerators are ingenious devices that manage the speed of your abseil for you, meaning that all you have to do is jump out and enjoy the view. At Skyjump the whole experience takes less than 20 seconds making this one of the fastest descents you’re likely to experience as the Las Vegas skyline shoots past at around 50 ft per second. If you’re looking for an extra twist try abseiling at night when the lights from the Strip will make your jump footage look even more epic:

4) El Capitan – California, USA


El Capitan has long been an icon of both the BASE jumping and climbing world, so it was only a matter of time before it also took it’s place in the abseiling hall of fame.

In 2013 the 3,000ft rock formation, set in California’s Yosemite National Park, became the longest free abseil in America as an experienced team used a single rope to descend the half mile drop.

The descent required an advanced abseiling technique with a good deal of prep and took between 15 to 20 minutes for each team member, but if you’ve got the right toys and enough time spent on the mountain then you could give it a shot too. Just remember when you’re packing your GoPro to bring your game face too.

5) Snowdonia National Park – Snowdonia, Wales


It won’t surprise you to know that, crowned by the 1,085 metre (3,560 ft) peak of Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park in Wales is already a magnet for abseilers with plenty of stunning spots to abseil off. What will surprise you though is that some of the best abseiling in the park isn’t on the mountains, but under them.


Adventure company Go Below lead guided tours of an old mining complex deep beneath the mountains of Snowdonia; so deep in fact that, at 396 meters (1,300 ft) down, it’s the lowest commercially accessible spot in the UK.

A day trip with Go Below features epic underground abseiling, a descender freefall and the world’s longest underground zipline. This is one abseil fix you definitely shouldn’t miss.

6) Namtok Than Rattana – Khao Yai National Park, Thailand


If abseiling down plain old rock is starting to bore you how about abseiling down a waterfall instead? In fact while you’re at it why not try dropping five back to back?

Khao Yai is one of the biggest national parks in Thailand covering more than 2000 square kilometres of tropical forests and grasslands filled with tonnes of wildlife and some of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls.

Taking a trip with Sarika Adventure Point, you’ll get to abseil down five different waterfalls in the park. Highlights include the 70m Song Pee Nong waterfall and the split level Two Heavens waterfall which has to be completed in two separate abseils, before using kayaks to explore the river beyond. As far as abseiling in an exotic paradise goes, it doesn’t get much better than this.


7) Titlisgletscher – Engelberg, Switzerland


I you want to try something truly different, how about abseiling into an icy crevasse?

If the thought of exploring a giant glacier from the inside hasn’t given you cold feet, then you should head to the Titlis Glacier Park, 3,000m above sea level in the Swiss Alps, where you can plunge down into the heart of the Titlisgletscher.


Running from June through to September, the resort’s experienced guides will take you on a tour across the glacier, cresting the top of the 3239m (10626ft) Gross-Titlis before roping you up for a very cold abseil into the glacier itself.

If this isn’t enough to get your rope based fix then there’s also a spot of via ferrata at nearby Berghaus Jochpass to enjoy.

8) Son Doong – Vietnam


It takes 36 hours of hiking through dense, uninhabited jungle to get there but it’ll all seem worth it when you abseil into the world’s largest cave.

Deep in the heart of Quang Binh province in Vietnam, ­Son Doong has been grabbing the world’s attention since 2009 when a team from the British Cave Research Association confirmed it was the largest cave in the world. Measuring 5.5 miles long 200 metres (660 ft) wide and 150 metres (490 ft) high, the cave is packed full of crazy geological features and even has it’s own lake, river and a mini rainforest inside nicknamed ‘The Garden of Edam’.


Abseiling adventurers can book a trip to Son Doong with tour company Oxalis who will escort you to the cave where you can make a once in a lifetime abseil, dropping 80m (260ft) down into the cave’s entrance below.

9) Moab – Utah, USA


Moab features some of the craziest rock scenery in the world. Shaped by wind and water the Utah landscape is a mess of stunning rock arches and twisting, multicoloured canyons.


This natural playground draws outdoor adventurers from all over the world for a sport know as canyoneering where you scramble, climb and abseil your way through the rocky wonderland.

Canyoneering and climbing are so popular in Utah that you can find plenty of anchored abseil points at the American state’s top canyon drops, making it both an accessible and inspiring place to abseil.

10) Hotel Presidente – La Paz, Bolivia


Ever wanted to Aussie rappel while dressed as one of your favourite superhero? Then La Paz is the place for you.

The Bolivian city is the home of Urban Rush, an abseiling outfit who will happily chuck you face first off the 17th floor of the Hotel Presidente, dressed in a superhero onesie of your choice.

The view alone is worth it but also the last 20 meters of this 50m (164ft) descent are done in hands free free fall for the ultimate rap jumping experience. The best bit? This all costs just £15. Yep we can hear all you wannabe Bruce Waynes booking tickets already.

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