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Topic - The Bowline Connoisseurs Thread

jwa - on 14 Dec 2012
There is to be no hating on the bowline in this thread. It is for those who aren't afraid of the deadly bowline to talk about the merits of the particular deadly bowline that they use.

Personally I use a standard bowline as shown in Rock Climbing by Libby Peter, the animated knots website or this recent link from the BMC:

The only difference is that I thread upwards so that the tail after the stopper can be neatly tucked down my waist loop.

What variation do you use and why? Personally I don't see any reason to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

I was curious about how deadly the deadly bowline was so tied in to a short length without a stopper knot and loaded it in a similar way to what might happen when lowering off a climb indoors (where these accidents seem to happen). The knot just tightened up on itself and didn't seem to be going anywhere. I tried again with a loosely tied knot and a very short tail but the same thing happened. The only way I could get the deadly bowline to fail was by repeatedly loading and significantly unloading it, but this took about half a dozen repetitions. By significantly unloading it I mean almost pushing the rope back into the knot from above. I would always put a stopper on my bowline but my thinking is that maybe people that have had accidents have tied something spectacularly wrong rather than there being an inherent danger of tying a bowline without a stopper. Any thoughts on that?
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