/ Tying into the middle of rope (sans krab)
The knot used was described a figure 9. I've found plenty of links/pictures of a figure 9 knot, but none of them describe how to tie in with it. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?
This is just a larks foot.
Tie a bowline on bight pass a big loop over your head to tie off very neatly.
Or, easier, tie in with conventional B o B + stopper.
What's wrong with a simple figure 8 on a small bight? That's how I always did it.
It's basically and normal fig 8 but with doubled ropes, which makes a fairly big knot but bomber and you don't need anything else but the rope.
I used to just use a figure of eight to tie into bolts on a traverse in a cave but my mates have educated me...
Use an alpine butterfly - it can be tied without access to the ends of the rope and takes the load much better than a figure of eight. Attached with a karabiner or D-ring etc. Why wouldn't you want to be able to escape the system?
this seemed too simple a method so I questioned if this was suitable for steeper climbing (i.e. seconding on middle of rope) and was told that it is fine for this use.
Ah the 'Chris Tan death knot' :)
I always tie in, in this manner to second routes when climbing on a folded half rope and it's never done me any harm.
You do get funny looks at times when you're skipping the rope over your head though.
I use this 100% of the time when on glaciers with more than one person. I've also occasionally used it for (very) easy rock routes on moving together ground. I wouldn't want to use it on anything more than this, ie not on technical rock pitches. This may just be me as I have no real evidence to suggest it won't perform. The main advantage of using this way of tying in as that it's very easy and quick to adjust the length of the rope between climbers - without untying them from the rope) - which is a great advantage on a glacier. It's also something you might do a dozen or so times a day, so having a quick and easy system is a distinct bonus. However, it's not something I'd use outside the Alps.
Agreed: both for tying round the waist, and for clipping into a krab/harness. The force on the main rope runs straight through the centre of the knot, which is itself highly absorbent of shock, i.e. it is the strongest of all such knots, apparently (i.e. the opposite of a 'cutter' knot). Also a beautiful knot to tie (quite tricky until you have the knack.)
How do you use the alpine butterfly without a Krab?
> This is just a larks foot.
As Jon says, nothing wrong with that. As long as you remember you don't have a useable loop (ie, you can't belay from it or use it to anchor yourself with. It's also not good if you need to do anything more complex than untying at the top of the pitch such as ab, Picture the scene, you get to some ab station, clip in with a sling, then realise the sling impedes untying the larks foot because you need to go over your head with the rope.
The title of the thread states without a krab.
(With a krab, my choice is alpine butterfly)
Several choices, some easier to escape than others which can make a difference if you're untying in an awkward spot before scrambling off:
Larksfoot the rope onto the belay loop by pulling a bight through then stepping through it. <no loop formed, cumbersome to untie, looks nasty loaded on one strand so maybe best reserved for seconding>
Bowline started on two strands then finish as for the larksfoot working the surplus back through the knot until it's snug. <neat, strong, really awkward to escape>
Fig8, Overhand or Bowline on the bight tied using two strands where you'd normally use one. <familiar, easy to untie, bulky>
Use a krab or two. Not the best solution but adequate for top roping where you're aware of the risks. <quick, easy, accidental unclipping>
I've seen a video of mike barter doing the same thing, seemed solid to me...Used it once climbing but the knot is pretty huge.
Fishermen on the bight looks to be another way:
Wasn't sure about this girth hitching the belay loop, just tried it out*. Didn't slip at all under body weight.
* At which point my flatmate took a photo of me hanging from a doorframe in my harness, presumably to post on facebook under the title "shit I have to deal with living with a climber"
Yes, the knot size isn't great but cope-able, I have always found it fine anyway, usually its use when climbing as a 3 say and its just to get the 2nd up before the 3rd starts climbing so in theory, no chance of a leader type fall. It was shown to me a long, long time ago and i've used it ever since because it is easy to remember and tie, it is a 'proper' knot in that it has been retreaded so has some shock absorbing abilities and it can be tied with your eyes shut, as long as the belay loop and the loop that ends the knot are clipped together, you'll be safe even if you medded up the rethreading.. Just that last crab to finish it, vital IMO. Like clipping off from taking coils sort of. I like it, glad you do too!
I've heard of the clove hitch method and tried it myself to see with my own eyes. Not climbed like that but yea, it seemed fine. I just don't like being unable to escape the system <easily>
So back to my OP, does anyone know how to tie the knot I'm describing?
The name may not be 100% correct although I presume it'll be called something like "a fig 9, rethreaded fig 9, Fig 9 OAB", as it was a Guide that showed it me, and it had the look of a fig 9/fig 8.
It didn't need fully retracing like the fig 8 and bowline variations described by other posters, so used less rope, and less space on your harness. A slightly niche application, hence me not needing it since I was shown it 3 years ago and forgetting it.
I've been playing with a bit of tat but just seem to be making increasingly intricate and pretty slip knots.
Over hand to create an isolation loop and then a re-threaded overhand through the harness for the tie in.
> How do you use the alpine butterfly without a Krab?
You put the whole loop round the waist i.e. with no harness. That was always how the Alpine Butterfly was used for over a century, before the advent of modern climbing harnesses.
But...I'm not sure how you use that to tie into the middle of the rope.
(Could use blanchie14c's described method replacing the overhand with Fo9 but that thing would be massive.)
PS. It was always the recommended knot for tying into the middle of a rope in a rope of three.
You could use a Fig9 on the bight (basically a fig8 OTB with an extra twist IIRC - I never use it) to tie in as you would were you tying back to the harness while making a belay without krabs/clovehitches. Basically pass the bight through the belay loop then tie a Fi8 (or 9) trapping the belay loop in the knot. You then clip the remaining bight to the belay loop for security. Can't really see anything wrong with that (it's my default belay equalising tool).
Ah, of course, cheers Gordon.
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