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Rob.hack


May 12, 2012, 3:38 AM
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Equalette variation knots
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I was reading through this article on a variation of the standard equalette, it included the photo below.



There are two types of knot shown in the photograph that I have not come across before. Clove hitches tied with a bight and overhand knots on three pieces of cord.

Would anyone care to comment on the suitability of either of the knots?

Have any strength tests been conducted on either knot?

Were they both to prove adequate, I could see the system being a viable alternative to the traditional equalette, providing an easily accessed power point in which following climbers could clip into and a quicker and more easily adjustable method of tying one side of the equalette into a single piece of protection than tying a overhand on a bight or figure eight on a bight.

Thanks in advance.

Rob


acorneau


May 12, 2012, 6:48 AM
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Re: [Rob.hack] Equalette variation knots [In reply to]
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If you search for the "Triplette" you'll see the same overhand knots and the clove hitch with a bight isn't anything new.

I've used a short Triplette off and on for a couple of years and it works just fine.

Don't know of any tests on the knots but I would be interested to see what the holding power of the overhand is when loaded as if only on one bolt.


Partner rgold


May 12, 2012, 7:27 AM
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I'm biased at the outset, because I think cordelettes are actually special-purpose gear and so are are way, way overused. I'm even more biased against tricked-out slingage that is really only appropriate for two-point anchors (the three-point configurations produce guaranteed unequal loading that in many cases will be worse than traditional cordelettes and rope-only rigging).

Of course, in Europe, many climbs, even formerly trad routes like the NE Face of the Piz Badile (climbed in 1937), now sport bolts at every belay anchor, so a special-purpose gadget for clipping them is more universally applicable. This country is heading that way, but we haven't gotten there yet.

Now that it is clear where I'm coming from, two remarks.

1. There is little reason to believe there would be any problem with the clove hitches, assuming, of course, that they are properly snugged. However, it is easy enough and sensible to clip the loop tails of the clove hitches in as well to protect total failure in case of slippage.

2. I think the knots in the picture are figure-eights, not overhand knots. It is possible that these might be worse than overhand knots in case they have to perform after the failure of a piece, since they might then be in ring-loading EDK mode, and figure-8's in that configuration have been known to roll catastrophically. In view of that, the ends depicted are too short, and there probably should be back-up barrel knots, which would increase the bulk of the contraption even more. However, note that the knotting question is addressed further on in the article by using a sewn version.


Rob.hack


May 12, 2012, 8:23 AM
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Thank you both for your replies.

You are right, rgold, the knot used in the picture is in fact a figure eight, not an overhand.

Of course one must bear in mind the potential dangers of the EDK and measures to minimise them.

Backing up the clove hitches by clipping the tails through the carabiners into which they are tied is a good suggestion, I had not thought if it myself. In addition to backing up the system it can make the rigging neater and less cumbersome.

What do you see as the limitations of cordelette resulting from it's specialised nature? Excuse the question, but when you say cordelette, are you referring to the material that the rigging is made from or the system of a pre-tied loop used to form the anchor matrix? (If you could reference a previous forum post I would be happy to read it).

I am interested in how the addition of a third strand might influence the ease at which an EDK might roll. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks


(This post was edited by Rob.hack on May 12, 2012, 8:46 AM)


JimTitt


May 12, 2012, 8:50 AM
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What rgold is implying (and I completely agree with) is that they have taken 7m of cord and knotted it in such a way as to make it virtually useless for anything but how it is shown being used. On the other hand you could cut it in half and make two useful slings which can be used in a wide variety of ways depending on the circumstances including building a belay or even holding ones trousers up.
Why anyone feels it nescessary to equalise and provide a central point off two Kong bolts which hold a good 45kN each is a bit confusing anyway!


socalclimber


May 12, 2012, 8:52 AM
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Re: [rgold] Equalette variation knots [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
I'm biased at the outset, because I think cordelettes are actually special-purpose gear and so are are way, way overused. I'm even more biased against tricked-out slingage that is really only appropriate for two-point anchors (the three-point configurations produce guaranteed unequal loading that in many cases will be worse than traditional cordelettes and rope-only rigging).

Of course, in Europe, many climbs, even formerly trad routes like the NE Face of the Piz Badile (climbed in 1937), now sport bolts at every belay anchor, so a special-purpose gadget for clipping them is more universally applicable. This country is heading that way, but we haven't gotten there yet.

Now that it is clear where I'm coming from, two remarks.

1. There is little reason to believe there would be any problem with the clove hitches, assuming, of course, that they are properly snugged. However, it is easy enough and sensible to clip the loop tails of the clove hitches in as well to protect total failure in case of slippage.

2. I think the knots in the picture are figure-eights, not overhand knots. It is possible that these might be worse than overhand knots in case they have to perform after the failure of a piece, since they might then be in ring-loading EDK mode, and figure-8's in that configuration have been known to roll catastrophically. In view of that, the ends depicted are too short, and there probably should be back-up barrel knots, which would increase the bulk of the contraption even more. However, note that the knotting question is addressed further on in the article by using a sewn version.

I largely agree with you, with one exception, I don't think cordelettes are "special purpose". I've used them for years. With that said, I've also used the rope for rigging anchors at belays for years as well. Each have their place and are effective.

Your initial point I agree with 100%. This whole new equalette thing bugs me to no end. It's overly complicated, takes for ever to rig, and ultimately serves no better safety margin than the traditional methods climbers have been using safely for decades.

The biggest "benefit" I see with this method is that it complicates things way more than they need to be. That's not a good idea on a long multi pitch route with day light burning.

I see zero benefit in any of this other than to waste time. The last place you want to be is 6 pitches up an 8 pitch route, wasting time at the belay stations cause you're rigging some "trick" anchor. With a good partner, I can be in and out of a belay station in under ten minutes, and in many case less.

Simple, clean, easy to inspect. That's the safest way to go.


Rob.hack


May 12, 2012, 9:00 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] Equalette variation knots [In reply to]
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Thanks for your input.

Sorry, I believe I have not been clear.

My proposed potential use of this variation of the equalette is for building anchors using traditional, not in-situ, protection.

The cord would be kept, pre-tied on my harness whilst not in use. This is the method with which I transport and use an equalette currently and have encountered no problems with doing so.

I currently use an regular equalette when I deem it the most viable form of rigging. However, for the sake of belay management, the existence of a power point that is easily accessed whilst the matrix is weighted would, in many circumstances, be of an advantage.

I completely agree that complication in an anchor set-up is disadvantage but I feel that there is no harm in thoroughly discussing all costs and all benefits of any system, regardless.

I am trying to assess what limitations this variation may have over the traditional form of the equalette, as well as sate my curiosity Smile

Currently the lack of a viable knot that will be used to secure the system in a safe yet neat manner makes me believe I will be unlikely to use it.

As nobody has voiced any concerns regarding a clove hitch being tied on a bight I believe that to be something that I might look into more and possibly include in my anchor building repertoire.


(This post was edited by Rob.hack on May 12, 2012, 9:27 AM)


socalclimber


May 12, 2012, 9:29 AM
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Re: [Rob.hack] Equalette variation knots [In reply to]
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Well, I appreciate your points. I do believe though that rgold and I have addressed the over all issues with the equalette. Trick setups won't make things more efficient. Skill will make things efficient.

I also think that pre-rig anchors are a bit of a myth. On pure trad routes where the belays are basically what ever gear you have on you, using either the rope, or a simple cordelette is all you need. Pre-rigging is a myth because you are likely going to have to take time to adjust it to fit the situation. You might as well just use the basics, you'll be in and out of there much faster.

Those are my thoughts. If others choose to hash out all the "issues" of this knott or that knott, be my guest. It still won't address the main issue, use the right tool for the job.

The equalette ain't the right tool.


Rob.hack


May 12, 2012, 9:41 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Equalette variation knots [In reply to]
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Thanks.

I see your point about the misuse of the term 'pre-made', partially assembled might have been a better choice of words.

I see no need to discuss the various merits of either the equalette or other rigging methods here, I believe enough floorspace to have been given to those topics already. Discuscing the issues of the two knots was my initial intention.


(This post was edited by Rob.hack on May 12, 2012, 10:11 AM)


socalclimber


May 12, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Fair enough!


Partner rgold


May 12, 2012, 1:27 PM
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Well then Rob, since your mind is made up, then as far as the other knots are concerned, I'd tie overhand knots and back them up with barrel hitches (half of a double fisherman's). A little on the bulky side, but I wouldn't worry at all about rolling under those circumstances.


patto


May 12, 2012, 2:00 PM
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Never use a clove hitch which has a loose trailing end. They can easily slip under high loads. I use clove hitches at every anchor but I use the climbing rope so there are no loose ends.


Rob. Seriously. Equalettes are a waste of time. John Long's latest book unfortunately has been a disservice to the climbing community.


tequilaboom


May 13, 2012, 12:29 PM
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Do you know of a better book that discusses anchors? I'm curious and would like to read it if you can suggest something.

Thanks!


JimTitt


May 14, 2012, 2:45 AM
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Rob.hack wrote:
Thanks.

I see your point about the misuse of the term 'pre-made', partially assembled might have been a better choice of words.

I see no need to discuss the various merits of either the equalette or other rigging methods here, I believe enough floorspace to have been given to those topics already. Discuscing the issues of the two knots was my initial intention.

So youŽd trust our opinion on one thing but not another, how peculiar.


patto


May 14, 2012, 5:38 AM
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tequilaboom wrote:
Do you know of a better book that discusses anchors? I'm curious and would like to read it if you can suggest something.

Not off hand. I John Long's book is fairly good as far as I have seen. But I never really learnt from books.

My issue is that John over complicated things finding a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. All the while dismissing a problem that does exist (though is still quite rare).


LostinMaine


May 14, 2012, 10:26 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
Rob.hack wrote:
Thanks.

I see your point about the misuse of the term 'pre-made', partially assembled might have been a better choice of words.

I see no need to discuss the various merits of either the equalette or other rigging methods here, I believe enough floorspace to have been given to those topics already. Discuscing the issues of the two knots was my initial intention.

So youŽd trust our opinion on one thing but not another, how peculiar.

Though I've stated my thoughts previously in favor of redundancy rather than equalization, if I recall correctly, there is a likelihood to get marginally better equalization with a cord rather than a sling. Using 7mm cord as depicted seems a logical use for those hell-bent on equalization. Additionally, one criticism of the standard equalette was there there is no true powerpoint. If one is determined to use an equalette and create a power point, the rigging in the OP seems to provide a solution.

So, as the knots have been addressed up-thread as OK with a few precautions, the rigging in question would be sound (though perhaps overly complicated, perhaps no better in loading than a cordelette, and very site-specific for clean protection).

Maybe the thread already opined what Rob was hoping to find?


majid_sabet


May 14, 2012, 10:45 AM
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IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .


LostinMaine


May 14, 2012, 12:57 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .

Except that this way you can clip two strands without needing to create a sliding X, thus minimizing the formation of a binding clutch effect.

FWIW, I have used the modified equalette as depicted in the OP as a TR anchor (but without the cloves on the bolts). It worked just fine and held repeated falls without the overhand (or Fig. 8) knots thinking about capsizing or releasing, but I prefer two slings because there is nothing special to carry and no need for equalization.


majid_sabet


May 14, 2012, 1:06 PM
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LostinMaine wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .

Except that this way you can clip two strands without needing to create a sliding X, thus minimizing the formation of a binding clutch effect.

FWIW, I have used the modified equalette as depicted in the OP as a TR anchor (but without the cloves on the bolts). It worked just fine and held repeated falls without the overhand (or Fig. 8) knots thinking about capsizing or releasing, but I prefer two slings because there is nothing special to carry and no need for equalization.

I am totally against all these Micky mouse Jerry rigged experimental anchors that serves nothing other than creating cluster fuck of confusion especially for n00bs

Run the cord thru the bolt, build a good fig-8 master point with 20kn rating and you are safe and done.

Climbing anchors are been proven over 60 years and the simpler they are, the safer you are. All these complex added knot does nothing but wreaking the overall system and you wouldn't know till you really take fall.



All these cordoshit multiply with CH and then 30 pages of reply on why this way or that way.


Partner rgold


May 14, 2012, 1:50 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .

Not that I'm a fan or anything, but that third stand is essential for security in case one of the anchor points fails. And the clove hitches at the bolts make for simple deployment when the bolts aren't at the same level. Given the fixed positions of the knots, the clove hitches are necessary.


shockabuku


May 14, 2012, 2:12 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .

Except that this way you can clip two strands without needing to create a sliding X, thus minimizing the formation of a binding clutch effect.

FWIW, I have used the modified equalette as depicted in the OP as a TR anchor (but without the cloves on the bolts). It worked just fine and held repeated falls without the overhand (or Fig. 8) knots thinking about capsizing or releasing, but I prefer two slings because there is nothing special to carry and no need for equalization.

I am totally against all these Micky mouse Jerry rigged experimental anchors that serves nothing other than creating cluster fuck of confusion especially for n00bs

Run the cord thru the bolt, build a good fig-8 master point with 20kn rating and you are safe and done.

Climbing anchors are been proven over 60 years and the simpler they are, the safer you are. All these complex added knot does nothing but wreaking the overall system and you wouldn't know till you really take fall.



All these cordoshit multiply with CH and then 30 pages of reply on why this way or that way.

That stuff I bolded up there^ doesn't sound like a very good idea.


majid_sabet


May 14, 2012, 2:38 PM
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rgold wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .

Not that I'm a fan or anything, but that third stand is essential for security in case one of the anchor points fails. And the clove hitches at the bolts make for simple deployment when the bolts aren't at the same level. Given the fixed positions of the knots, the clove hitches are necessary.

so you are saying CH is a good choice for anchor knots when many researches recommends that CH do slip when higher forces are applied ?


majid_sabet


May 14, 2012, 2:39 PM
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shockabuku wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .

Except that this way you can clip two strands without needing to create a sliding X, thus minimizing the formation of a binding clutch effect.

FWIW, I have used the modified equalette as depicted in the OP as a TR anchor (but without the cloves on the bolts). It worked just fine and held repeated falls without the overhand (or Fig. 8) knots thinking about capsizing or releasing, but I prefer two slings because there is nothing special to carry and no need for equalization.

I am totally against all these Micky mouse Jerry rigged experimental anchors that serves nothing other than creating cluster fuck of confusion especially for n00bs

Run the cord thru the bolt, build a good fig-8 master point with 20kn rating and you are safe and done.

Climbing anchors are been proven over 60 years and the simpler they are, the safer you are. All these complex added knot does nothing but wreaking the overall system and you wouldn't know till you really take fall.



All these cordoshit multiply with CH and then 30 pages of reply on why this way or that way.

That stuff I bolded up there^ doesn't sound like a very good idea.

not directly but via biner


LostinMaine


May 14, 2012, 4:27 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
LostinMaine wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
IMO, anytime an anchor has an extra strand of cord hanging by itself at the master point and its not doing anything ( biner is not clipped to it in X configuration), it make the anchor inefficient. Not to mention the two CH at the bolts .

Except that this way you can clip two strands without needing to create a sliding X, thus minimizing the formation of a binding clutch effect.

FWIW, I have used the modified equalette as depicted in the OP as a TR anchor (but without the cloves on the bolts). It worked just fine and held repeated falls without the overhand (or Fig. 8) knots thinking about capsizing or releasing, but I prefer two slings because there is nothing special to carry and no need for equalization.

I am totally against all these Micky mouse Jerry rigged experimental anchors that serves nothing other than creating cluster fuck of confusion especially for n00bs

As am I. However, our distaste for extravagant rigging does not negate the original question. Are the knots sound? Sure (with some caveats).


Partner rgold


May 14, 2012, 5:59 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
so you are saying CH is a good choice for anchor knots when many researches recommends that CH do slip when higher forces are applied ?

There is little credible evidence that cloves hitches slip under climbing loads. Some of it seems to be rumors about tests that no one can produce.

Jim Ewing did produce slippage in a UIAA drop test when the clove hitch was on the faliing weight, i.e. in the equivalent of tying in with a clove hitch. He didn't get significant slippage when the clove hitch was tied to the anchor Other than that, every other test I know of found that clove hitches do not slip significantly, and this agrees with a vast body of experience, especially in Europe, where the knot is absolutely standard.

Mal Daly did some drop tests on clove hitches in webbing and found they were fine as well.

In any case, all you have to do is clip the loops of that Equalette thingy in and you are backed up against slippage, and if it turns out that there is some slip, you get the benefit of energy absorbtion from it.

Look, I don't like the thing for reasons I already stated, but the clove hitches and that third strand are not the problem.

Edit I do recall some tests that suggested that clove hitches are more prone to slip in static climbing ropes, so the Equalette modification under discussion here should probably only be tied with 7mm nylon.


(This post was edited by rgold on May 14, 2012, 6:04 PM)

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