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Should I be using a stopper knot?
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HouseHippo


Sep 19, 2012, 8:59 AM
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Should I be using a stopper knot?
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Hello everyone,

I am a new climber and like to be as safe as possible while on the cliffs. What I've been using to attach myself to the rope is just a standard follow through figure 8. Now, I just came across a page on the internet which says to add a stopper knot for load bearing. What exactly does it mean by load bearing? Is that a heavy fall? If not, should I still put a stopper knot on if I'm just climbing? I still haven't grasped all of the climbing terminology so I've added a few pictures to help me explain what I'm talking about.

I currently use this to tie myself in:


Should I be using this instead?:


Thanks in advance for all of the help! Smile


sittingduck


Sep 19, 2012, 9:30 AM
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Re: [HouseHippo] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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Yes, you should use a stopper knot. Tie it so that it is as close as possible to the figure 8, and leave a tail that is at least seven times the diametre of the rope.


jae8908


Sep 19, 2012, 9:41 AM
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Re: [HouseHippo] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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a correct figure 8 will not slip. A stopper knot above an incorrectly tied figure 8 may just save your life


moose_droppings


Sep 19, 2012, 9:59 AM
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Re: [jae8908] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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jae8908 wrote:
a correct figure 8 will not slip. A stopper knot above an incorrectly tied figure 8 may just save your life

You mean a, retraced figure 8 knot, not just a, figure 8 knot.

Just being clear since it is beginners forum.


jae8908


Sep 19, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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yes, that is what I meant. Thank you


notapplicable


Sep 19, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Re: [HouseHippo] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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While a back up knot does add a bit of redundancy if you tie your knot incorrectly, they are largely superfluous. The most common way to finish a retraced figure 8 in my neck of the woods is to tuck the tail back thru the knot in one of the ways pictured below. It's a clean simple finish that doesn't add any bulk to the knot.






Interesting article on the subject where I found the pictures - http://alpineinstitute.blogspot.com/...-follow-through.html

It's mostly just a matter of aesthetics but I don't like having a second knot above my primary so I do ^that^ when tying in with a figure-8.


kennoyce


Sep 19, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Re: [HouseHippo] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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What you are using is fine, there is no reason you need a stopper knot. Personally I use the Yosemite finish like notapplicable posted.


Partner rgold


Sep 19, 2012, 12:27 PM
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Re: [HouseHippo] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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A backup knot for a figure-8 tie-in is optional, although it can't hurt. But do not use one of those extra follow-through finishes. The reason is arcane, but at least worth knowing about, and has to do with ring-loading the rope tie-in loop.

This happens if, for some reason, you attach yourself to an anchor by clipping a siing from the anchor into your tie-in loop. It also can happen if you clip your belay device to the rope loop rather than the harness belay loop, a practice with a number of advantages but one which raises the specter of ring-loading the rope loop.

The failure mode for a ring-loaded figure-8 loop is that it capsizes. The result is still a figure-8 loop, but the process eats up some of the tail, with the potential to untie the knot. It takes about 7kN to capsize a ring-loaded figure-8 loop, a number that is pretty hard to achieve short of a factor-2 fall. Practically speaking, it would seem this is good enough, although a backup knot would prevent capsizing altogether.

It is a different story for some of the follow through figure-8 finishes, which capsize at loads as low as 2.5 kN. That's a major reduction in security. Even if you never think you'd do anything to ring load the knot, I don't think it makes sense to knowingly choose to do something extra that significantly decreases a security aspect of the knot.

To watch some capsizing action, have a look at http://vimeo.com/40767916.


redlude97


Sep 19, 2012, 1:30 PM
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Re: [rgold] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
A backup knot for a figure-8 tie-in is optional, although it can't hurt. But do not use one of those extra follow-through finishes. The reason is arcane, but at least worth knowing about, and has to do with ring-loading the rope tie-in loop.

To watch some capsizing action, have a look at http://vimeo.com/40767916.
That video doesn't address the tuck with the wraparound, my understanding is that an extra wrap eliminates this issue
notapplicable wrote:



Interesting article on the subject where I found the pictures - http://alpineinstitute.blogspot.com/...-follow-through.html
Any thoughts? I switched a couple years ago based on IIRC a discussion on here on that subject which I can't seem to find again.


Partner rgold


Sep 19, 2012, 1:44 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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True, I don't know what to say about that finish, other than the thought that the extra bulk created by similar finishes makes it much easier for the knot to capsize. I don't know of any testing that settles the issue for the finish you mention one way or the other, but surely the evidence we do have suggests caution, wouldn't you say?

For those (a huge majority in North America) who don't clip their belay device to the rope loop, the issue of ring-loading is pretty academic. Nonetheless, as I said in the previous post, optional procedures that decrease any security aspect of the knot don't make much sense unless there is a very substantial offsetting pay-off. I don't see anything like that with figure-8 finishes.


kennoyce


Sep 19, 2012, 1:49 PM
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Re: [rgold] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
... optional procedures that decrease any security aspect of the knot don't make much sense unless there is a very substantial offsetting pay-off. I don't see anything like that with figure-8 finishes.

The offsetting pay-off to the yosemite finish is making the knot much easier to untie after falling on it, especially if you don't dress that last tuck too well. As you mentioned, I don't know anybody who clips anything into the rope loop, and I don't plan on ever clipping anything into the rope loop, so Yosemite finish it is for me.


Partner rgold


Sep 19, 2012, 2:04 PM
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Re: [kennoyce] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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But in that case there is a knot that unties easily and doesn't capsize, the rethreaded (or retraced) bowline.




JimTitt


Sep 19, 2012, 2:40 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:
rgold wrote:
A backup knot for a figure-8 tie-in is optional, although it can't hurt. But do not use one of those extra follow-through finishes. The reason is arcane, but at least worth knowing about, and has to do with ring-loading the rope tie-in loop.

To watch some capsizing action, have a look at http://vimeo.com/40767916.
That video doesn't address the tuck with the wraparound, my understanding is that an extra wrap eliminates this issue
notapplicable wrote:

Im fairly sure I tested this variation for somebody writing a book, I know I tested the normal tuck and Ive have thought Id done the wrap version as well as my brother uses this. Have to dig into the files in the morning and see.
If I cant find it then another rope-wrenching is in order.
[image]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ejAk42p7jdY/SQngRwwdjlI/AAAAAAAAByg/OlnxdNtHSwU/s400/Yosemite+Finish+2.jpg[/image]

Interesting article on the subject where I found the pictures - http://alpineinstitute.blogspot.com/...-follow-through.html
Any thoughts? I switched a couple years ago based on IIRC a discussion on here on that subject which I can't seem to find again.


herites


Sep 19, 2012, 3:54 PM
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Re: [rgold] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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You could also tuck the end back into the double loops, like the yosemite finish on the figure eight. Backed up, no bulk above the knot and easy to untie (takes a longer time to tie though)


USnavy


Sep 19, 2012, 4:11 PM
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Re: [rgold] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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And there is an even better version of that knot, the version I use. Instead of having that bulky fishermans knot on top where it can get in the way of clipping, you take the tail and feed it back through the loops. I call it the Yosemite finish, but whatever, the name doesent really matter. The point is it is still safe but it eliminates some extra bulk.


Partner camhead


Sep 19, 2012, 5:14 PM
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Re: [kennoyce] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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kennoyce wrote:
rgold wrote:
... optional procedures that decrease any security aspect of the knot don't make much sense unless there is a very substantial offsetting pay-off. I don't see anything like that with figure-8 finishes.

The offsetting pay-off to the yosemite finish is making the knot much easier to untie after falling on it, especially if you don't dress that last tuck too well. As you mentioned, I don't know anybody who clips anything into the rope loop, and I don't plan on ever clipping anything into the rope loop, so Yosemite finish it is for me.

I actually prefer the fig8 without Yosemite finish for precisely the reason that it is hard to untie after a fall. It's a knot of Puritanical guilt; I've just fallen, I'm pumped, I can't untie the welded knot, and all that goes through my head is, "you're a shitty climber, you shouldn't have fallen but you did, and now look at what you have to do, you can't even untie your knot. don't fall again you fucking nitwit, or you may as well just give up and take up an easier hobby, like lawn darts."

Uh, yeah.


Partner camhead


Sep 19, 2012, 5:15 PM
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Re: [USnavy] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
And there is an even better version of that knot, the version I use. Instead of having that bulky fishermans knot on top where it can get in the way of clipping, you take the tail and feed it back through the loops. I call it the Yosemite finish, but whatever, the name doesent really matter. The point is it is still safe but it eliminates some extra bulk.

Wow, that's AMAZING! I can't believe that nobody in this thread mentioned the Yosemite finish before you did! Patent that shit, bro.


mikebee


Sep 19, 2012, 7:02 PM
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Re: [camhead] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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I've tried rethreaded fig 8s with both the yosemite finish and without, and from my experience, there is no difference in how hard it is to untie. I always use a perfectly dressed fig 8 though, so perhaps thats part of it. Others who don't dress their knots as well seem to report the finish helps them.

I think it's rope dependent, ultimately. The rope that I climb with most of the time, there is no benefit, with a different rope (that had a bit of sheath bunched up at the end of the rope) I found the finish actually made it harder to untie, while I have no doubt that many find the finish does help.

Oddly, I fall quite often, but I don't tend to struggle to untie my knots at all.


pfwein


Sep 19, 2012, 8:51 PM
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Re: [mikebee] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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mikebee wrote:
I've tried rethreaded fig 8s with both the yosemite finish and without, and from my experience, there is no difference in how hard it is to untie. . . .
I think it's rope dependent, ultimately . . . I found the finish actually made it harder to untie . . .
Interesting to see someone else had the same experience with the "yosemite finish," I eagerly tried it to avoid stuck knot after falling, and it seemed that it either made no difference or possibly made untying harder. I now generally tie a Fig 8 so it's about the right length with no finish; if I misjudge and have extra, I tie strangle knot finish (and have no concern whether it stays tied).


Retraced bowline with "yos finish" (or strangle knot finish) seems like a good sport climbing tie in; I could never quite get comfortable with double bowline as many point out that a "finish" is absolutely essential, yet in my experience, a strangle knot finish may often come untied. Perhaps if you really take care in tying it and crank it down, it's good, but that's something I'd prefer not to have to worry about in a tie-in knot.


bearbreeder


Sep 20, 2012, 5:37 AM
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the yos finish is harder to untie IMO ...


desertwanderer81


Sep 20, 2012, 8:32 AM
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Re: [HouseHippo] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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Long story short, tie a stopper knot if you want or don't, it doesn't really matter. Make sure there is at least 4" of tail on your knot and you'll be fine.

A thorough check before climbing and good routine is much more effective than a dozen backups.


ncrockclimber


Sep 20, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Re: [rgold] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
But in that case there is a knot that unties easily and doesn't capsize, the rethreaded (or retraced) bowline.

[img]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/66/2/107476602_medium_5a7402.jpg[/img]

After reading that folks like rgold, jim titt and Mal Daly use the rethreaded bowline, I gave it a try. As advertised, the knot unties easy. However, after being weighted and holding a fall or two, the knot appeared to have shifted. I am not saying that it inverted or started to come untied, but it did not look as "neat" as an eight that has had similar stresses placed on it.

Has anyone else noticed this? How does your rethreaded bowline look after you have weighted / unweighted it a few times?


JimTitt


Sep 20, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Re: [ncrockclimber] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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ncrockclimber wrote:
rgold wrote:
But in that case there is a knot that unties easily and doesn't capsize, the rethreaded (or retraced) bowline.

[img]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/66/2/107476602_medium_5a7402.jpg[/img]

After reading that folks like rgold, jim titt and Mal Daly use the rethreaded bowline, I gave it a try. As advertised, the knot unties easy. However, after being weighted and holding a fall or two, the knot appeared to have shifted. I am not saying that it inverted or started to come untied, but it did not look as "neat" as an eight that has had similar stresses placed on it.

Has anyone else noticed this? How does your rethreaded bowline look after you have weighted / unweighted it a few times?

Well it does tighten up a bit unevenly since only one strand is really being loaded, Ive some photos somewhere of it under load right up to breaking somewhere on my other computer if I ever get the beast to start up (its been annoying me which is a pain since it does my invoicing as well!).
Its very stable though, I use it for pulling single strands of Dyneema to death.


sittingduck


Sep 20, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Re: [re_members] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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What do you guys think is the correct answer to a beginner climber asking if she should use a stopper knot on her figure 8 tie in?

"Use a rethreaded bowline" or "Yes, use a stopper knot!"?


ncrockclimber


Sep 20, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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Thanks, Jim. That was the exact description I was looking for: "tighten up a bit unevenly." Hearing that you have noticed this too, and that it is not necessarily a sign that I have tied the knot incorrectly, makes me feel much better.

edit to add - If you get a chance, I would not mind seeing the pics you have of the knot after loading.


(This post was edited by ncrockclimber on Sep 20, 2012, 1:02 PM)


kennoyce


Sep 20, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Re: [sittingduck] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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sittingduck wrote:
What do you guys think is the correct answer to a beginner climber asking if she should use a stopper knot on her figure 8 tie in?

"Use a rethreaded bowline" or "Yes, use a stopper knot!"?

Neither


HouseHippo


Sep 21, 2012, 3:37 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone!


knudenoggin


Sep 25, 2012, 9:00 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Should I be using a stopper knot? [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
Interesting article on the subject where I found the pictures - http://alpineinstitute.blogspot.com/...-follow-through.html
Interesting in that the 2nd & 3rd videos show an >>asymmetric<<
dressing of the knot, in contrast to the first. For this, and various
other often ignored aspects of knot geometry, one should be
skeptical of "tests" that show <you name it> and give no insight
as to such details.

As for the so-called (by rockclimbers) "re-threaded bowline"
(aka "bowline on a bight", as far as the end result goes,
vs. the method of tying ...),
it strikes me as odd to want to trace the bowline,
rather than (e.g.) taking the 2nd pass of the tail up through
the "rabbit hole" again and repeating that part; then, one has
a 4 diameters through the central nipping loop (turn of the
mainline around these rabbit-paths). That knot isn't all so
tight, but coming untied now requires the tail working out of
the two tucks, and then doing so for those of the base bowline
--with a lot of tail flopping around prior such catastrophe.
There are some better things to to with the 2nd pass.
(One could simply run the rabbit out of the hole and then
just tie off with a strangle knot (the "half a dbl.fish" thing).
Which gets rid of the strange-tightened-shape issues, btw.

*kN*


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