/ How do you tie into a doubled up rope?

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Otis - on 18 Sep 2013
Hi All,

To date most of my trad leading has been done on straight (ish) routes on a single 50m rope.

However, I've spotted a couple of more wandering routes I'd like to try where I can see the benefit of climbing on two ropes. I figured that climbing on my doubled up 50m rope would be a sensible way to improve - happily aknowledging that I'll need to consider route lengths (and rope length needed for belay building) carefully.

Here's the question: what is the best way for my partner to tie in to the mid point of the rope? A re-threaded figure 8 will work, but it will take an age to thread (and unthread) 25m of rope through the harness and knot. Are there any better ways? The only other way I can think is to thread the rope through the harness and then walk my partner through a very big figure 8 on a bight.

Any advice would be appreciated,

Mike.
sianabanana - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:

I have seen people larks foot themselves to the rope, ie take a bite up through the tie in points and then step through the loop.

This might be fine, i dont know the science of that and whether is bad or good.

I have always just tied a big fat figure of 8. So a re threaded figure of 8 with two strands.

It takes no longer for me to tie but does look massive!
JayPee630 - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:

Rethreaded overhand on a bight, with the tail secured with a krab to the belay loop.
deacondeacon - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis: I tend to do the 'over the head larks foot' when seconding but wouldn't feel overly confident leading on it. Seconding is annoying enough without having a massive knot on your waist. :)
SGD - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis: I do this fairly often and as the leader I tie in to the middle of the rope with a bowline on a bite. That way my 2nd can tie in to each end as normal. I also do the same thing if I'm the 2nd and the leader wants to tie into the ends.
Jonny2vests - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:

Larksfoot is quick and easy and perfectly safe. As long as you remember that it doesn't form a normal fixed loop that you can clip to. Don't do multipitch routes with it, or routes with an ab at the end.
jkarran - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:

There are lots of ways, some quicker, some more secure, few as awkward as re-threading a mid point fig8!

Larks foot: Push a bight or rope through the belay loop, pull it over your head and step through it.

Bowline: Tie a bowline on the bight and finish it as for the larks foot by stepping through the loop.

Re-threaded 8 or overhand on the bight: Tie an 8 on the bight, lass the bight through your belay loop then re-thread the 8-OTB. Gets bulky so better to use an overhand than an 8.

8 OTB and a krab: One or more for the careful/paranoid screwgates into a fig8.

jk
tlm - on 18 Sep 2013
tallsteve - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:

> Here's the question: what is the best way for my partner to tie in to the mid point of the rope?

When you mean "middle" I guess you mean the middle the rope manufacturer will have marked with ink. Treat that as your bight and just do a figure of eight, then use a crab. Yes, I know you're supposed to reduce the weak links in the chain, blah, blah, blah, but a decent crab and single F8 will be way less bulky than the double counterparts.

If you don't want to use a crab directly then use an F8 hitch. It is essential this is then backed up with a crab. Its a neat knot. At first appearance you may think it looks like a half hitch. It isn't. Its just an F8 with your tie in loop worked into the knot:
http://s5.postimg.org/h43hs9zbb/F8hitch.gif

Rick Graham on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran:

Well done to you and tim for sensible replies.

Only UKC could make a meal of this question.

Just use a (good) knot.
Justin T - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

> Larksfoot is quick and easy and perfectly safe.

Really?! Do you want to perhaps add some qualification to that advice?

I'd be happy to second on one but to potentially take a big lead lob on one half... hell no! Bowline on a bight for me, or whatever your normal tie-in knot is but with a bight.
bowls - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Justin T:

I cannot see any issue with the fall onto a Larks Foot which you have stepped through. The biggest disadvantage for me is trying to escape the system is a lot harder.
1906johns - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis: i personally choose to tie into a single half rope hats been doubled by using a retreaded figure of 8 just the same way as I'd tie into a single rope. I would certainly not suggest larks footing it at all
1906johns - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis: firstly don't tie into the belay loop ! Unless you've got a centre harness you should always tie in through the two holes that the belay loop goes through, making a new belay loop if you will.
Secondly the larks foot is the pretty much the weakest knot you can get and requires it to be well dressed to get just 40% of the rope strength

Its worth bearing in mind that Half ropes are designed to be used as a pair and 1 will never be as strong as using both

A weak knot plus a weak rope = very very weak..

I personally choose to tie into a single half rope hats been doubled by using a retreaded figure of 8 just the same way as I'd tie into a single rope. I would certainly not suggest larks footing it at all
Jonny2vests - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Justin T:
> (In reply to Jonny2vests)
>
> [...]
>
> Really?! Do you want to perhaps add some qualification to that advice?
>
> I'd be happy to second on one but to potentially take a big lead lob on one half... hell no! Bowline on a bight for me, or whatever your normal tie-in knot is but with a bight.

Yes, the OP was talking about his partner tying in to follow. I'd never lead on one either, and besides, you'd have to be daft to not lead using the ends.
Carolyn - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

Yup. I think we need to be clear that many of these methods aren't suitable as a method for the leader to tie on, but assuming the leader is tying on to the two ends, and we're talking about how his second ties into the middle (which was certainly how I read the original post) then there are many strong enough options.

Personally, I'd probably use a fig 8 in the end of the rope and a screwgate krab for speed, but I'd also be happy with many of the other options suggested.
JimboWizbo - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis: We regularly climb on one half rope doubled up. The second always ties a figure 8 in the middle of the rope, attached to their belay loop on the bight with a screwgate.
BnB - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo: I'd use either of:

Bulky FO8 rethreaded at the mid-point

Rethreaded overhand knot at the mid-point locking the tail off with a screwgate to the belay loop. Standard alpine procedure for tying in between the ends.

I would tend to favour the latter.
dl_wraith - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis: I recentl had to do the same thing for the first time on half ropes and did so with a rethreaded figure 8. On the half rope the bulk isn't too bad, actually.

Despite my own inexperience I think I'd be happier on the rethreaded overhand than I would on a lark's foot but I'd always try for the figure 8 first.

[Yeah, yeah, I know - I'm a gym bred pansy. :)]
Lukeva - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis: Larks foot; easy, simple, quick and safe. That is for single pitch cragging, never used it for MP routes
Otis - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:

Thanks to everyone for their comments - a few useful ideas to try there. I think the re-threaded overhand or bowline with the dead end clipped back to the harness feels like the #1 idea, but I'll try a few options to build up the repertoire.

Cheers,

Mike.
colina - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:
ok loads of ways I guess ,I favour taking about a metre of slack from the middle then tyin fig 8 and carabiner the bight onto harness.with having the metre of slack it gives a bit of flexibility for the second when hes climbin .hard to explain I guess but it works well and safe.imo
wivanov - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:

I've researched this in the past. Being from the States, it was part of the reason for me joining this forum: I figured you Brits would know how to do this since DRT is more common for you.

After reading about it, mostly I just tie a bowline on a bight in the middle.

But, here's some references I had found.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=530268&v=1#x7127584
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=456202
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=287842
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=228500
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=222093
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=195529

There's another knot I've seen people use: Tie an overhand on a bight in the middle of the rope. Leave the bight about 70cm long. Thread the bight through your harness. Insert the bight through the overhand knot. Tie a half double fisherman's on the live rope(s). It's shown tied in a single strand (not a bight) in Fig 9 here: http://climbaz.com/chouinard72/graphics/page27.JPG
Jonny2vests - on 19 Sep 2013
In reply to Otis:
> (In reply to Otis)
>
> Thanks to everyone for their comments - a few useful ideas to try there. I think the re-threaded overhand or bowline with the dead end clipped back to the harness feels like the #1 idea

Really? You might as well just clip in to a Fo8 on the bight.

Actually, if you want to go with bowline, you can make it failsafe in a similar way to the larksfoot method. You tie the bowline with enough of a loop to step through, then you work slack out again. Its a bit of a faff, hence why I usually just use a larksfoot.
mikebarter387 - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis: This knot used to hook in the second person will work Fisherman's bow on a bite.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpHOvDJlXlQ
M0nkey - on 03 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:

I always just tie a fig8 on a bight then clip to harness with a screwgate.
Paul Hy - on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis: the old addage KISS, keep it simple stupid, must apply here. The more complicated you make it the more likely you are to f*ck it up. Two ways i have used are as Deacon says above , Larks foot, or overhand knot and screwgate to harness. Job done.
Choss on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to Paul Hy:

Agreed. Always Clipped to crab, but Used bight figure 8. Safety overkill
PM on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis: Cut rope at mid point, tie in as normal.
Sarah G on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:
alpine butterfly, Krab.

Done.

Sx
Jonny2vests - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Sarah G:

Why an alpine butterfly?
GrahamD - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:

Personally, I prefer to lead tied into the middle (bowline). When I've tried the other way round and tied into the ends, I've always ended up with twists in the rope
Siward on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests: Alpine Butterfly's are just satisfying knots
David Coley - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:
Good video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzIP4IUnqvI

of one way to do it: bowline on a bight step through.
althesin on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:
I like a slim knot and the sense of living on the wild side, with a clove hitch on a screwgate
.
Sarah G on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
relatively easy to undo after loading. Adjustable.

Sx
Sarah G on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
I use them for rigging up top rops and releasable abseil anchors too.

Sx
David Coley - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:
Go on, try the bowline on a bight:
1. very small knot: smaller than the pair of fig8's on the other end of the rope.
2. you tie into the normal attachment points, not the belay loop.
3. fine for leading
4. unlike a girth hitch through the tie-in points it doesn't compress and is therefore comfortable even when there is a large distance between the leg loops and the waist. (e.g. Women with high waists)
5. I think it is the recommended method used in countries where doubling up a 100m rope is common (although I have failed to find a reference to a German Alpine Club-type document confirming its recommendation).
6. I looks neat and will impress those around you. :)
Mark F - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:

I tie in with a bowline on the bight then clip the loop to my harness with a small screwgate. Much quicker than re-threading a fig 8 on the bight and less bulky.
Muel - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:

Very simple. Fig 8 on a bight, then attach in with a screwgate to my belay loop. If it's secure enough to belay on, then it's secure enough to second a snug rope.
Billy the fish - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Muel:
> (In reply to Otis)
>
> Very simple. Fig 8 on a bight, then attach in with a screwgate to my belay loop. If it's secure enough to belay on, then it's secure enough to second a snug rope.

Makes sense to me.
Sarah G on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Paul Hy:
> (In reply to Otis) the old addage KISS, keep it simple stupid, must apply here. The more complicated you make it the more likely you are to f*ck it up. Two ways i have used are as Deacon says above , Larks foot, or overhand knot and screwgate to harness. Job done.

Didn't the Lark's foot used to called the Chris Tan Death Knot?

Sx

Offwidth - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Sarah G:

Yep, he still leads on it and so do I sometimes where I might be reaching a belay on rope stretch (gives over a foot extra and ease of adjustment). However I do lead off the ends on anything hard for me. I can't see an obvious serious problem with the larks foot as the rope doesnt seem to move much when loaded but would love to see drop test results from a rig.
Offwidth - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

This is for single pitch protectable routes of course. I'd be especially interested in test results on a FF2 on a larks foot to harness even though I wouldnt risk that.
David Coley - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:

In case it helps, I've put some images of tying into the middle of the rope here:
http://people.bath.ac.uk/dac33/high/16Knots2.htm

they are just before the end of section 3.
andrewmcleod - on 23 Oct 2013
Out of interest, probably a silly question and strictly speaking off-topic, but are there any routes at Stanage where a single 50m half rope, doubled up, isn't long enough? Will be up for my first visit to grit soon, probably with two seconders (second and third?) in tow, and one rope sounds like less hassle (albeit possible rope colour confusion - 'take on blue, no the other blue!')
Rick Graham on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> Will be up for my first visit to grit soon,

Enjoy.

Never had a problem with a doubled 50m, but always tie into the two ends.

More options for tying in and extending separate well spread belays and not sliding off the end of the rope if the belayer is inattentive.
Its their problem how to tie on, plenty of advice above.
andrewmcleod - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:

Thanks :)

Tying into the middle is presumably still required if you are going up as a three though?
Otis - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to David Coley:
> (In reply to Otis)
>
> In case it helps, I've put some images of tying into the middle of the rope here:
> http://people.bath.ac.uk/dac33/high/16Knots2.htm
>
> they are just before the end of section 3.

Thanks very much for posting David - some great info there on a whole plethora of topics!

pog100 - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

Yes, we use this method all the time when climbing with a group/club, to bring up two seconds and tying in the middle really isn't hard.

50m doubled is usually OK at Stanage, it depends on how and where you construct your belay. If you have to go far back, with a rope length back to two points and back to your harness, you can consume quite a lot of rope. Stanage is pretty good for suitable belay points only a few metres back though, so most of the time you are fine.

60m is probably better, but if you can't make a belay and have two crag lengths left it really isn't a problem at place like Stanage with all single pitches and lots of descent routes.
mikebarter387 - on 27 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:

In this video is the only acceptable method Fishermans on a bite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpHOvDJlXlQ
andrewmcleod - on 27 Oct 2013
In reply to mikebarter387:

Yes, but that video also has the caption 'bite of rope' :P
David Coley - on 27 Oct 2013
In reply to mikebarter387:

What's wrong with a bowline on a bight?
mikebarter387 - on 16 Nov 2013
In reply to David Coley:
Isn't it obvious or at least it is to me. I wouldn't be recomending anything that can work so loose so easily. Especially for someone just starting out
David Coley - on 16 Nov 2013
In reply to mikebarter387:
> (In reply to David Coley)
> Isn't it obvious or at least it is to me. I wouldn't be recomending anything that can work so loose so easily. Especially for someone just starting out

Mike, I not sure I see how a bowline on a bight might work loose? Its in the middle of the rope. Even if it flips, it just turns into a kind of complex lark's foot.

Just to check, I'm taking about a real bowline on a bight, not a normal bowline tied with the rope doubled up - that would not be a good idea! The knot I'm talking about is shown just before the start of section 4 on this web page: http://people.bath.ac.uk/dac33/high/16Knots2.htm


Jamie B - on 16 Nov 2013
In reply to Otis:

Rethreaded overhand on the bight is the technique used by 99% of guides and instructrors for tying onto the middle.
David Coley - on 16 Nov 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Otis)
>
> Rethreaded overhand on the bight is the technique used by 99% of guides and instructrors for tying onto the middle.

Jamie,
But its not as nice looking as a bowline on a bight. :)
I'm guessing a link to a picture might be useful for the person who asked the original question, if you happen to have a URL to hand.

wivanov - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Otis:

When I first started climbing in '72, I had heard that people led on 300 foot double ropes. Supposedly, the advantage was with no knot in the middle there was no problem pulling down your rope after abseiling. They had to tie in the middle somehow. Over time, the 300 foot ropes fell into disfavor.... Guess they were too hard to coil. But, I can't believe that the knowledge of how those folks tied into the middle was lost.

Anyway, after a lot of research, I started tying with the bowline on a bight. Didn't like stepping through the loop, though. Some claim escaping the belay is a problem but I didn't see escaping the belay as a major problem since tying in the middle of a 60m rope was for a short pitch anyways.

After a while, I switched to a normal bowline tied with the loop and just clipped the end of the loop back to my harness. Not very satisfactory, either.

Now I just use a rethreaded overhand or an overhand with a half fisherman's finish (tie an overhand in the bight, thread your harness with the bight, insert the bight through the overhand, tie a half fisherman's around the standing part of the rope)

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