” The Alamodome is not for the faint of heart, at least when rappelling from the ceiling to the artificial turf, 180 feet below.
But nine rappelling instructors from the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Ky., did just that multiple times around midnight, Jan. 2, as part of their practice preparation for a very big event Jan. 5.
That big event is the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game, where about 90 of the nation’s top-ranked high school football players will compete in the annual East-West game, Jan. 5.
Before the game begins at 1 p.m. EST, the plan is for four of the Soldiers to rappel; four to be on belay control, holding the end of the rope to prevent a free fall or too rapid a descent; and one rappel master, who will harness the Soldiers and ensure the ropes are securely fastened to the ceiling support structure.
The four will rappel simultaneously. They’ll be wearing camera helmets to video their head-down “Australian style” descent and one of them will be carrying the football game ball to deliver to the referees at the start of the game.
Watching them will be some 40,000 spectators, as well as many more on television. “