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Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions?
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sanarteaga


Jan 27, 2010, 6:33 PM
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Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions?
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Hey... last Jan I made an ascent of the Pulpito del Diablo (Devil's Pulpit) in Sierra del Cocuy, Colombia. The climb starts around 5000mts (16500 feet) and goes for three pitches of moderate cracks (http://www.rockclimbing.com/...l_Diablo_103231.html.

Everything went perfect we had great weather and made it to the summit.

HOWEVER, AFTER LEADING THE SECOND PITCH I LOOKED AT MY KNOT AND IT WAS REALLY LOOSE, AND THE LAST FOLLOW THROUGH "SEGMENT" WAS UNDONE!!! When my partner got to the belay his knot was also really loose and his last pass was starting to come undone aswell (but was not actually undone like mine).

The rope, an Edelweiss Ally 10.3mm, is 1 year old and was really stiff due to the low temps (i think it was between 0 and 5 Celsius, chill factor was high due to strong winds so its hard to tell the actual temp).

My partner and I always tie in using fig 8 knots with a "yosemite finish".

HAS THIS HAPPEN TO ANYONE BEFORE?
WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND TO PREVENT "STIFF" ROPES FROM COMING UNDONE IN COLD WEATHER?
DOUBLE FISHERMAN?


Rudmin


Jan 27, 2010, 6:40 PM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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Sometimes I tie my dog to an old climbing rope and let him run around in the snow at the park (can't be entirely off leash). I have had his figure 8 come undone. Of course he is dragging it all over the place. Since then, I just give it a really long tail. The knot that is.


coastal_climber


Jan 27, 2010, 7:37 PM
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Re: [Rudmin] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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I've had my knot loosen a few times. I think it happens when you tie into a rope that isn't completely dry to start with.


altelis


Jan 27, 2010, 8:04 PM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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It might just be me, but I hardly qualify 0-5 celcius as "cold". Hell, it barely qualifies as freezing.


coolcat83


Jan 27, 2010, 8:22 PM
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Re: [altelis] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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altelis wrote:
It might just be me, but I hardly qualify 0-5 celcius as "cold". Hell, it barely qualifies as freezing.

nope, it's not "cold" maybe a little chilly, but cold starts at single digits.


never had a fig 8 come undone, but i almost always do the double fisherman's backup.


potreroed


Jan 27, 2010, 8:31 PM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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Relax--that last pass through on a figure 8 is redundant, the knot will hold just fine without it.


sanarteaga


Jan 27, 2010, 9:04 PM
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Re: [potreroed] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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granted 0-5 celsius is not terribly cold (i guess here in the tropics is actually quite cold, specially for a sunny day...)

granted the 8 figure is redundant... i actually tested that myself at the gym...

Im just curious if this happens to a lot of people... and how do alpine climbers prevent it...


squierbypetzl
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Jan 27, 2010, 9:43 PM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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Tie in with another knot or back up your knot with a double fishermans knot like coolcat said. Tied correctly I canīt imagine that knot coming undone by itself.


brokesomeribs


Jan 28, 2010, 10:05 PM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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I have noticed that in VERY cold temps (Near 0F/-15C) the same thing has happened to me, although I seem to recall it only happening towards the end of the day when the ropes are starting to ice up.

Actually, I prefer using a Yosemite Follow Through instead of a double fishermans in the winter. This is where you pass the tail down through the middle of the 8. This seems to hold a little better and is less susceptible to pulling through, especially if you leave 12+ inches on the tail.


jeepnphreak


Feb 1, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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sanarteaga wrote:
Hey... last Jan I made an ascent of the Pulpito del Diablo (Devil's Pulpit) in Sierra del Cocuy, Colombia. The climb starts around 5000mts (16500 feet) and goes for three pitches of moderate cracks (http://www.rockclimbing.com/...l_Diablo_103231.html.

Everything went perfect we had great weather and made it to the summit.

HOWEVER, AFTER LEADING THE SECOND PITCH I LOOKED AT MY KNOT AND IT WAS REALLY LOOSE, AND THE LAST FOLLOW THROUGH "SEGMENT" WAS UNDONE!!! When my partner got to the belay his knot was also really loose and his last pass was starting to come undone aswell (but was not actually undone like mine).

The rope, an Edelweiss Ally 10.3mm, is 1 year old and was really stiff due to the low temps (i think it was between 0 and 5 Celsius, chill factor was high due to strong winds so its hard to tell the actual temp).

My partner and I always tie in using fig 8 knots with a "yosemite finish".

HAS THIS HAPPEN TO ANYONE BEFORE?
WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND TO PREVENT "STIFF" ROPES FROM COMING UNDONE IN COLD WEATHER?
DOUBLE FISHERMAN?

just tie the knot tighter with a fishermmans back up. I have never had a fig8 untie with that set up.

Oh and ha ha ha ha last time it was a hot as 5*c I was climbing in a t-shirt ...


shockabuku


Feb 1, 2010, 8:54 PM
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Re: [coolcat83] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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coolcat83 wrote:
altelis wrote:
It might just be me, but I hardly qualify 0-5 celcius as "cold". Hell, it barely qualifies as freezing.

nope, it's not "cold" maybe a little chilly, but cold starts at single digits.


never had a fig 8 come undone, but i almost always do the double fisherman's backup.

How are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 not single digits?Crazy


coolcat83


Feb 1, 2010, 8:57 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
coolcat83 wrote:
altelis wrote:
It might just be me, but I hardly qualify 0-5 celcius as "cold". Hell, it barely qualifies as freezing.

nope, it's not "cold" maybe a little chilly, but cold starts at single digits.


never had a fig 8 come undone, but i almost always do the double fisherman's backup.

How are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 not single digits?Crazy


good catch i must have not been thinking and mentally comverting C to F, single digit farenheit is cold


shockabuku


Feb 1, 2010, 8:58 PM
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Re: [coolcat83] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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coolcat83 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
coolcat83 wrote:
altelis wrote:
It might just be me, but I hardly qualify 0-5 celcius as "cold". Hell, it barely qualifies as freezing.

nope, it's not "cold" maybe a little chilly, but cold starts at single digits.


never had a fig 8 come undone, but i almost always do the double fisherman's backup.

How are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 not single digits?Crazy


good catch i must have not been thinking and mentally comverting C to F, single digit farenheit is cold

Sounds about right.


secretninja


Feb 1, 2010, 9:21 PM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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Troll?

I've been ice climbing 2-3 times a week this fall/winter and nary a once did any of my or my partners 8's loosen. And we have used old ropes, new ropes, thin ropes (8.2 halfs) and fat ropes (10mm). Thats without the finish. If anything, cold=contraction=tightening.

And wet ropes freeze and become next to impossible to get undone.

MY hypothesis: loose knots.
Solution: Put your back into it, popeye!


curt


Feb 1, 2010, 9:52 PM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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A fisherman's back-up isn't normally required with a figure 8, but it would certainly solve the problem you describe.

Curt


mikebee


Feb 1, 2010, 11:54 PM
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Re: [secretninja] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
MY hypothesis: loose knots.
Solution: Put your back into it, popeye!

Thats what I was about to suggest.
OP, once you tie your fig 8, grab both ends of it, and pull it quite tight. This will hold the know tight enough that it won't be able to cyclically untie itself.


scotty1974


Feb 2, 2010, 10:50 AM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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Nope, never come undone while ice climbing etc. Plus I back it up as well w/ the fishermans.

You just probably need to set your knot a bit better. Sometimes I can't even get my knot undone!! This is with all sizes, flexibilities and temperature ratings.


kennoyce


Feb 2, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
My partner and I always tie in using fig 8 knots with a "yosemite finish".

your problem is the yosemite finish. This finish automatically makes the knot looser and easier to come undone.


skinner


Feb 2, 2010, 11:39 AM
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Re: [scotty1974] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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I find the stiff/frozen ropes more of a problem at temps just slightly below freezing, because there is a greater likelihood of the rope contacting running water then when it's -30°. The tails of the rope tend to become stiff because the water is always running down the rope to the ends where it hits the knot(s) and freezes.

Frozen figure-8's can be both hard to tighten or undo, but I would hope that you would notice before your knot reached the point of being life threatening.

I hate using F-8's in these conditions and usually resort to an Alpine Butterfly instead, which I find way easier to undo whether frozen, weighted or both. I just leave a long tail and finish it off with (what you are all referring to as a double fisherman's) a half-fisherman/barrel knot.

The added bonus of an Alpine Butterfly, is that when you are in extreme cold temps you can tie it wearing bulky mitts which you otherwise risk frostbite and increase your chances of damage to your fingers each time you remove your mitts.

Try tying a follow-through figure-8 with double mitts and a frozen rope Wink


zeke_sf


Feb 2, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Re: [potreroed] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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potreroed wrote:
Relax--that last pass through on a figure 8 is redundant, the knot will hold just fine without it.

That's what I figured.

I've had the knot coming undone before. I'd say it was related to the rope being stiff and I hadn't tied a backup. My leg bumping into the rope pushed it back through the 8, leaving a single strand at one point of the knot. I imagine that in cold conditions the rope is a bit stiffer than normal, so that same problem could be related to the OP's experience.


zeke_sf


Feb 2, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Re: [zeke_sf] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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zeke_sf wrote:
potreroed wrote:
Relax--that last pass through on a figure 8 is redundant, the knot will hold just fine without it.

That's what I figured.

I've had the knot coming undone before. I'd say it was related to the rope being stiff and I hadn't tied a backup. My leg bumping into the rope pushed it back through the 8, leaving a single strand at one point of the knot. I imagine that in cold conditions the rope is a bit stiffer than normal, so that same problem could be related to the OP's experience.

Oh, yes, and this was in warm conditions. However, I may have used the yosemite follow-thru somebody was describing as a rope loosener above.;


erolls


Feb 2, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Re: [zeke_sf] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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When I tie a yos finish I leave enough of a loop in the last pass to get a finger underneath. But, you must properly dress and tighten the entire knot after making last pass or it will remain loose.

Cheers-E


zeke_sf


Feb 2, 2010, 4:44 PM
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Re: [erolls] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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erolls wrote:
When I tie a yos finish I leave enough of a loop in the last pass to get a finger underneath. But, you must properly dress and tighten the entire knot after making last pass or it will remain loose.

Cheers-E

Again, I am knot sure if I did a follow through or knot. Thinking about it, I would say knot because that is adding an extra part of the not that would have to come through before it then goes through yet again. Stiff, slick rope is my main bet for this type of occurrence. The rope I used was definitely newer, still slick, so the not was knot as "sticky", and it had the hardness of the knot yet broken-in sheath.


midwestpaul


Feb 3, 2010, 7:18 AM
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Re: [zeke_sf] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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I think erolls has it on the head when he says you must properly dress the figure eight. Just curious if the knot was well dressed (ie no strands crossing over eachother) when this happened? Interesting for me because at work we make a big hoopla about dressing for this very reason.


Gmburns2000


Feb 3, 2010, 7:49 AM
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Re: [sanarteaga] Figure 8 knot comes undone in cold conditions? [In reply to]
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OK, I'm hoping BEC can come in here and discuss, but apparently a yosemite finish can untie a figure 8. I'm not sure how it can happen, but apparently BEC had someone show him that it can be done, and apparently it is the yosemite finish that does this.

Personally, I've always been a bit suspicious of a yosemite finish, so I've always gone with a figure 9, but I can't say any more than that other than I know someone who I trust who has seen it happen.

I'd love to hear someone else's perspective on this.

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