What to Expect

This is not your typical rock climbing rappel! You will be wearing a full-body industrial harness and using an industrial descender to go down. You can control your speed to a certain extent. Should you go too fast the back-up device will engage, and you will stop.

Getting your weight off the roof and into the harness is the most difficult part of the rappel for most people. You will have an opportunity to practice your technique during training, and an OTE Technician will guide you through these first few steps. Once you're over the edge, you will have a radio to communicate with your OTE Technician.

It will take between 5 and 15 minutes to get to the bottom. Rappelling can take more effort than some people expect, and you may find that your hands or arms get tired. You can stop to rest or switch hands if you need a break. If you keep your feet on the building, it is easy to maintain the correct position. You won't spin around or drift into the building. You can maintain the correct position by sitting up in your harness as if you were sitting in a swing. An Over The Edge staff member at the bottom of the rope will help keep you from spinning. Once you're within 20 feet of the ground, your landing will be assisted by the Over The Edge staff.

Participant safety is the top priority at all Over the Edge events. Every OTE site is set up as an industrial work site with adherence to all national and state OSHA laws.

Training begins in the staging area, where participants get into their gear and are provided the equipment they will need to rappel. An OTE technician will adjust harnesses and other equipment to fit each individual, and teach the participants about the correct way to wear their gear.

In the training area, OTE technicians train participants how to use the descender and back-up device, the two pieces of equipment they will need to use during their rappel. The descender used is a 'Petzl I'D'. A 'Petzl ASAP' is used as the back-up device. They will discuss how to properly operate the I'D as well as what causes the back-up device to engage and how to correctly release the ASAP. After demonstration by an OTE technician, each participant has the opportunity to simulate the actual rappel before going Over The Edge?

Training takes approximately 20-30 minutes, and once complete,
participants head over to the main rappel.  An OTE Technician will get each participant attached to the ropes, and their gear and equipment will get a final check to ensure that everything is correctly positioned prior to committing to the mainline. Once the final safety check is complete, the OTE Technician will assist each participant in beginning their descent.

There are eyes on our participants at all times, from the OTE Technicians assisting at the top and monitoring the rappel, to our ropes volunteers below, who provide a fireman's belay during the rappel to assist people with getting off rope at the bottom. Ropes volunteers are members of the Toledo Toledo Fire & Rescue Department.

If a rappeller is unable to complete the rappel on their own, due to fright, fatigue, etc., ropes can be lowered from the top. This also allows OTE to facilitate rappels for people who may not have the strength or ability to work the descent device.
Unlike recreational rappelling, if you release your hands during your rappel, you will simply stop. Feel free to do this during your rappel, and take some time to enjoy the view!

You are going to be walking down the side of a building so wear supportive shoes. Well-fitting sneakers, light hiking boots, or other soft soled shoes are recommended. No sandals, slip-on shoes, slippers, flip flops, high heels, or steel toed boots will be allowed. Comfortable long pants (yoga pants, athletics pants) or shorts are recommended. Long or short sleeve t-shirts are best. (You will receive an Over the Edge for Victory t-shirt in your rappeller gift bag when you arrive!) The harness goes around your legs, waist, and shoulders, so it is best to avoid anything too bulky. Shirts should be comfortable and without draw cords. Hair should be tied back. You will be given a pair of leather gloves and a helmet when you arrive.

You will be required to leave droppable items like keys and cell phones, or jewelry that can get caught on things, in the staging area. TVC volunteers will be stationed in the staging area to ensure that your personal items are secure at all times. 

Many people choose to wear costumes for their rappel. All costumes will need to meet the same standards as listed above. Capes will have to be approved by the Site Safety Supervisor for the main rappel. If you have a question about what alterations your costume will need, please email pictures of your costume prior to the event to  Kimberly Newman, Special Events Manager at knewman@thevictorycenter.org


Sorry, no phones, cameras or recording devices are allowed on the roof. The Victory Center will provide GoPro helmet cameras with approved mounting equipment to any rappeller who has raised $1,500 or more.


Unfortunately, the roof is a restricted access area. Friends and family will not be allowed up to the roof top. The Victory Center has partnered with Kurt Nielsen Photography ensuring that each participant gets a picture of himself or herself going Over the Edge. Friends and family will be able to view your descent and cheer you on in the landing area. There will be food trucks on site and fun activities for spectators to enjoy.