Abseil, or rappel in AmE, means “to descend using a rope”. Is there a word for “ascend using a rope”?

  • The obvious one is 'climb', is there a reason for not wanting to use that? Jul 3, 2020 at 8:42
  • 1
    @KillingTime - By the same logic, why not just say “climb down” instead of “Abseil”?
    – Adam
    Jul 3, 2020 at 8:44
  • 1
    You could use 'climb down' but with abseiling you're using gravity to drop down the rope, you can't use gravity to move up the rope so the activity is different. Jul 3, 2020 at 8:57
  • Climbing up/down doesn’t necessarily imply using a rope.
    – Adam
    Jul 3, 2020 at 8:59
  • 1
    It's just called ascending. You use ascenders
    – Phil Sweet
    Jul 3, 2020 at 9:43

1 Answer 1


Abseil is of German origin (infinitive: abseilen). The German antonym would be aufseilen. Since aufseil has not made it into the English corpus, use ascend which is also the translation that fits best for aufseilen. The device used for this action is called an ascender - as has been pointed out in the comments already.

  • What about bungee jumping and springy ropes in general? Are you ascending or merely rebounding?
    – user205876
    Dec 20, 2020 at 1:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.