/ ANOTHER figure 8/knot thread

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Kevin Woods - on 18 Dec 2012
Yeah, yeah... ;)

Anyway, is a doubled figure 8 knot, that works itself undone, still weight bearing if it becomes undone through the first hole. And the second? I started climbing on indoor walls a few years ago so the fig 8 plus stopper is ingrained. But I see some here think this is overkill. Does the fig 8 have inherent redundancy if it becomes undone?

I searched, not really a clue what to search for though.
Ben Sharp - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Kevin Woods: One benefit of the stopper knot is that you can't really tie it properly unless you've finished rethreading your fig 8. If you're used to looking at a fig 8 with a stopper on it, it'll be pretty obvious visually if there is no stopper there. So if, as people seem to think possible, you stopped tying your fig 8 half way through, even if you missed the foot of extra rope dangling down by your feet, you'd notice there was no stopper knot.
tk421 on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Kevin Woods:
It can bear some weight, I've had myself tugged across the ground to test it. Try it yourself.
jkarran - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Kevin Woods:

Try it somewhere safe.
jk
Neil Williams - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:

"So if, as people seem to think possible, you stopped tying your fig 8 half way through, even if you missed the foot of extra rope dangling down by your feet, you'd notice there was no stopper knot."

When using a Fig 8 (fortunately), I once came down from a route indoors having fallen off, started to untie by removing the stopper knot, then was encouraged to have another go. I then forgot I'd done this and started climbing without replacing the stopper.

So "not necessarily".

Neil
Monk - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Kevin Woods:
> Yeah, yeah... ;)
>
> Anyway, is a doubled figure 8 knot, that works itself undone, still weight bearing if it becomes undone through the first hole. And the second? I started climbing on indoor walls a few years ago so the fig 8 plus stopper is ingrained. But I see some here think this is overkill. Does the fig 8 have inherent redundancy if it becomes undone?
>
> I searched, not really a clue what to search for though.

I don't think that there is much redundancy in a figure of 8, but it is very difficult for one to come undone in any way other than by being untied. The stopper is not essential, whereas a bowline can work undone quite easily without a stopper (and stoppers can come undone too).
beardy mike - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> So if, as people seem to think possible, you stopped tying your fig 8 half way through,

Yes it's more than possible. Lynn Hill did it whilst climbing in France at a sport crag and took a large ground fall because of it. Don't be complacent enough to think that you are too good to do it too. ANYBODY can make a mistake. Hence the arguments that an unfinished knot is not a knot. Arguably a screwed up bowline with a stopper is safer than an eight mistied without the stopper(quite how you'd achieve that is another story). At the end of the day a double stopper style knot is fully load bearing on it's own without the 8 or bowline.
beardy mike - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Monk: Yes but it is possible to not finish it or mistie it. Having watched hundreds of people struggle to tie rethreaded 8's, I have no doubt at all that left to their own devices beginners could cock it up quite easily. I'm not saying bowlines are easier, but there is always room for human error.
Monk - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Monk) Yes but it is possible to not finish it or mistie it. Having watched hundreds of people struggle to tie rethreaded 8's, I have no doubt at all that left to their own devices beginners could cock it up quite easily. I'm not saying bowlines are easier, but there is always room for human error.

Very true. No knot is very good if it isn't tied properly. There are arguments for both styles here: one school of thought says that a mistied Fig8 is often strong enough to be safe(e.g. extra loops included), but the other is that a mistied bowline just falls apart, so it is obviously wrong.

I've not read any of teh other threads, so apologies if I'm going over old ground.

(I use both knots, by the way - bowline for sport, fig8 for trad so I don't really have a position in this)
Bulls Crack - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Monk:

The obvious solution is to tie in with a bowline but include figure of 8 above it and then get your partner and AN other to check both for stepping onto the wall.
Jamie B - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> is a doubled figure 8 knot, that works itself undone, still weight bearing if it becomes undone through the first hole. And the second?

Sometimes, based on some very informal testing we did at the Ice Factor a few years ago.

Basically, with no stopper and the tail only passed through 2 of the 3 "passes" that constitute the knot, the knot held a fall every single time. To our surprise, even when the tail had only gone through one "pass", it frequently (more than half of the time) tightened to a point that it would take a climber's weight.

Whether you choose to extrapolate this to suggest that the Fo8 is more "forgiving" is up to you, but I don't think it alters the truth that it would be better to finish your knot, whatever you use!
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knudeNoggin - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
> [...]
>
> Yes it's more than possible. Lynn Hill did it whilst climbing in France ...

Not according to Lynn's book, _Climbing Free_ (p.4): she had merely reeved the rope through her harness and then was distracted by someone and never tied ANY knot; and she intended to tie a bowline, her usual. --similar issue with John Long (Lynn's long-ago boyfriend) recently.


To the OP : this so-called "incomplete fig.8" stands to the fig.8 about the same way a bowline stands to the Yosemite bowline --it's just that most people don't know or recognize those "incomplete fig.8" knots as valid knots in their own right. (They can be found in Ashley's Book of Knots, #1043 & #1045.) Oh, I say "they" for it matters how one forms the fig.8 vis-a-vis which end is the live end (loaded) and which the tail --something that is nearly NEVER specified explicitly, and often left unindicated by words or graphics (e.g., both ends opposite the knot eye running out of the image). In one case, the untucked-from-fig.8 tail will lie within the knot's main tightening loop parallel with the eye legs; in the other, it will not, assuming the form of a half-hitch embedded in the knot. These knots have been called "(single) bowlines on a bight".

Consider the "directional fig.8" which is intended as a mid-line eyeknot to be loaded in a particular direction (and not in the opposite) --that's an "incomplete fig.8".


*kN*

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