11-15-2005, 12:09 AM
Don't do it. I've been trying to convince everyone in my canyoneering groups that this is the wrong way to tie ropes together for a rappel, but no one ever listens. Fig 8 knots are great for your harness on a sport climb. They are good if tying off to a fixed anchor, but don't use them when tying ropes together. Use an overhand.
Shane, can you back me up on this one?
11-15-2005, 11:09 AM
I'm not Shane and I'll back you up, clarify, and expound. The problem with using a figure 8 to tie ropes together is when it is done as an overhand figure-eight (ie the tailing ends are together and pointing the same direction, and you tie the figure eight with both ropes at the same time-- much as you would tie an overhand, only looping it around back.) This knot has been proven to "roll" repeatedly when tied poorly, with stiff ropes, etc. If backed up with a close overhand knot, even this knot would be an acceptable choice, because the overhand would prevent rolling.
However, the 8 isn't always bad. Tieing two ropes together with an "inline" figure-eight does not have this problem and is a safe way to attach two ropes. By inline figure-eight I mean tieing an 8 in one rope and threading it through with the other rope, so the tailing ends point in opposite directions. This knot can be backed up with fisherman knots on each side.
The advantage of using an overhand knot (AKA European Death Knot) is that it is flat on one side, assymetrical, small, and the least likely to get stuck while pulling and jam in cracks due to these factors. Its also lightning fast to tie. However, the EDK overhand can be really tough to untie after its been weighted or shocked. Standard practice calls for backing up your overhand knot with another overhand knot right next to it, but some people eliminate this safety measure. Tails should always be left long (3 feet?), to accomodate a little bit of slippage/tightening.
The double-fisherman's knot is the old standard and remains a bombproof way to attach two ropes of any dimension, but it can be hard to untie. If knot size isn't a problem, tieing a square knot or an inline figure 8 in the middle of your double-fisherman's partially alleviates this problem.
I vary between the EDK, inline figure 8, and double-fisherman's depending on the situation. EDK for sticky pulls, something else for everything else.
The link you posted, http://www.needlesports.com/advice/abseilknots.htm
explains the difference between these knots better than I can and has nice pictures.
11-30-2005, 11:17 PM
AAAaaaa... yeah.... what he/they said :getiton:
Personally I just use an overhand with 2' tails. The overhand (EDK) is simple to tie and simple to inspect.. Just make certain you properly dress the knot.... As for all the other stuff there is an old indian saying... guys who don't know how to tie knots tie lots of them.
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