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Bats


Jan 26, 2011, 9:19 PM
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No knots!
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I was out with a new climbing partner, and we had done a couple pitches, and then it was time for the rappel. I am used to my regular partner and I prepared the rappel, I put knots at the ends of the rope before I rapped down. My new partner said he don't like knots in his rope. I said it was a safety precaution and I have been doing it for awhile. So I had to pick the rope back up and untied the end knots. What is your thought?


rocknice2


Jan 26, 2011, 9:29 PM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Bats wrote:
I was out with a new climbing partner, and we had done a couple pitches, and then it was time for the rappel. I am used to my regular partner and I prepared the rappel, I put knots at the ends of the rope before I rapped down. My new partner said he don't like knots in his rope. I said it was a safety precaution and I have been doing it for awhile. So I had to pick the rope back up and untied the end knots. What is your thought?

There was no need to haul the rope back up. Just risking getting it stuck.
I like knots for rap but there are situations where knots are real hassle.

What was the reason he didn't want a knot?


climbingaggie03


Jan 26, 2011, 10:19 PM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Like most things in climbing, whether or not I tie knots in the rope depends on the situation.

Things that usually encourage me to tie knots are: uncertainty on whether or not the ends of my rope are down to the ground, whether or not my rope reaches the next rap station, where the next rap station is, if there are roofs, strong winds, or a haul bag that might make me lose control of my rap, or if I'm generally sketched about the rap.

Things that encourage me to not tie knots are: if there's a high probability of snags due to low angle or bushes/boulders, or if I have multiple raps that I need to do quickly (I know it doesn't take too long to tie and untie a couple of knots, but if you have 15 raps to do and a storm moving in, I'd think that it could add 5 minutes to your descent which could be the difference between being on the wall when the lightning starts, and being on the ground)

I think it's generally good practice to tie knots in the rope but it's good to be aware of the disadvantages and not tie knots when it's more of a hindrance than a help


mikebee


Jan 27, 2011, 2:51 AM
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Re: [climbingaggie03] No knots! [In reply to]
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climbingaggie has hit the nail on the head perfectly. Knots in the end are a tool, in the right conditions, they'll safe your life, in the wrong conditions, they'll potentially cause you a massive epic with approaching bad weather.

Consider their use on their merits each time you rap.


bearbreeder


Jan 27, 2011, 3:35 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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i always tie knots on multi unless i forget ...

if there's high winds ill just saddlebag it ... safer that way


climbingtrash


Jan 27, 2011, 5:36 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Same for me...it just depends on the situation. But when I'm doing long multi-rappels I really like to use an Auto Block...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqBTV16dpN0

A little "eye candy" in this vid for ya Bats.Cool


justroberto


Jan 27, 2011, 8:11 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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I assume this was out at Erock. People object to tying knots when it's particularly windy, there are lots of rope-eating cracks, and/or it will be hard to free a stuck rope. Since the last two are never the case out there (traversing the low-angle slab on rappel is easy), and the wind is rarely strong enough to blow the rope too far to the side, I'd say your partner was being overly dogmatic.

If you want to rap with knots, tell him that there's no chance the rope will get stuck, but if it does, you'll take care of it.


justroberto


Jan 27, 2011, 8:24 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Also, once you've already dropped the rope with knots in the end, what's done is done. It was a silly exercise for him to ask you to bring the rope back up and untie it. What route were you on? Double ropes or a single 70m?


notapplicable


Jan 27, 2011, 8:37 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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I don't knot the ends as a general rule. I do so when I feel the situation calls for it, which is about 30% of the time. My partners are always free to knot the ends (or ask me to do so) on any given rappel.

If you thought the ends needed to be secured with a stopper knot, there is no way in hell you should have removed them because a new partner objected to the practice for what ever reason. You should have rapped first and untied the knots for his rappel after you were secure.

I feel like one major cornerstone of a partnership is a willingness to respect the safety preference of the other person, so long as they don't compromise your own. Their obligation is to do the same for you. There is almost always a middle ground somewhere and it usually involves erring on the side of more caution, rather than less.


notapplicable


Jan 27, 2011, 8:39 AM
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Re: [justroberto] No knots! [In reply to]
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justroberto wrote:
Also, once you've already dropped the rope with knots in the end, what's done is done. It was a silly exercise for him to ask you to bring the rope back up and untie it. What route were you on? Double ropes or a single 70m?

I'd say it was a bit more than silly. Kind of a dick move IMO.


markc


Jan 27, 2011, 8:43 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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My default is to not tie backup knots, but I'll defer to my partner unless conditions make knots a really bad idea. If that guy was so against backup knots, he can damn well haul the rope back up himself.


areyoumydude


Jan 27, 2011, 9:05 AM
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Re: [climbingtrash] No knots! [In reply to]
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climbingtrash wrote:
A little "eye candy" in this vid for ya Bats.Cool

I saw no candy for my eyez. Mad


TarHeelEMT


Jan 27, 2011, 9:19 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] No knots! [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
I feel like one major cornerstone of a partnership is a willingness to respect the safety preference of the other person, so long as they don't compromise your own. Their obligation is to do the same for you. There is almost always a middle ground somewhere and it usually involves erring on the side of more caution, rather than less.

I agree.


Partner j_ung


Jan 27, 2011, 9:36 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Bats wrote:
I was out with a new climbing partner, and we had done a couple pitches, and then it was time for the rappel. I am used to my regular partner and I prepared the rappel, I put knots at the ends of the rope before I rapped down. My new partner said he don't like knots in his rope. I said it was a safety precaution and I have been doing it for awhile. So I had to pick the rope back up and untied the end knots. What is your thought?

I rarely tie knots in the ends, but I would never ask you to compromise on it, let alone ask you to pull the ropes back up and untie them. What kind of BS is that?


summerprophet


Jan 27, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Whenever you say you "always" do something, there is a high likelyhood you are going to find yourself in a situation where you are better off changing your tactics.

I regularly tie knots in the end of the rope, although some areas (Yosemite, Bugaboos) tend to have features which just love to eat up a rope end sized knot.

Whenever there are no knots in the end of the rope, I announce it outloud, much in the same way I announce "pull red" or "pull yellow" to remind everyone which rope to pull on double rope rappels.

That being said, it is just my opinion. If you want knots for each and every rappel, that is your call, after all you are trusting your life to the system, not anyone else on here.


Bats


Jan 27, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Re: [justroberto] No knots! [In reply to]
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Rob,
It just got in the habit of doing it that with my regular partner and I have. Even though the 70m would have been on the ground. Its all those Rock'n'Ice articles on rappel accidents and I am just use to it. I've just never heard of anyone having objections on it before. But of course it was a new climbing partner.
Bats


(This post was edited by Bats on Jan 27, 2011, 10:52 AM)


Bats


Jan 27, 2011, 10:51 AM
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Re: [climbingtrash] No knots! [In reply to]
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Okay Trash...not really eye candy, but thanks for the thought. Auto-blocks are always good as well. I like that Canadian guy, Mike Barter, he know's his stuff. I like the guy in his video that does the autoblock, now that's eyecandy.Cool
Now here is the next debate: is it better to use auto-block above rappel device(atc) or below it.Tongue


Bats


Jan 27, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Re: [justroberto] No knots! [In reply to]
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Rob,
I am almost embarrased to say what route, because you will fall down laughing if I told you. I can tell you that it was super wet,slippery, and oh yeah, slimey. It's a super easy 5.6, but with the wet conditions, if felt more like a 5.9.


sspssp


Jan 27, 2011, 11:11 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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I don't tie knot in the end, although I would certainly never pull a rope back up just to untie them.

I can see why some say "depends". Is it windy and daylight or is it calm and at night. However, if I was going to start tying them, I would switch to "always". Only occasionally tying a knot sounds, to me anyway, like a recipe to forget to untie it before pulling the rope.

In situations where I want to take more care (night, rain, unfamaliar etc.), my partner and I have a different approach. After threading the rope, the rope is tied off to the anchor so the first one down can rap a single line while the other person uses the other strand to belay from the top. Makes rope management easier on the person going first (only has to untangle one strand and no monkeying around to have to hang) and no possibility of rapping off the end. The second can't rap off the ends since both strands will be with the other climber and attached to the lower anchor.

Doesn't save you from rapping off the end on a sunny day, but neither does the "depends" posters above.

I have had too many bad experiences with knots in the ends of the rope.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Jan 27, 2011, 11:13 AM)


justroberto


Jan 27, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Nah, I climb that one as often as possible - it's great fun. There's virtually no way to get a stuck rope on that one.

If your partner asks you not to tie a knot in the future, ask him why he objects. There is almost never a case on the backside where he could come up with a valid reason to prevent you from tying knots at the end of your rope. Him not "liking" to isn't a good one. As many other people have said, do what you feel comfortable doing and ask him to respect that.


justroberto


Jan 27, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Re: [sspssp] No knots! [In reply to]
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sspssp wrote:
In situations where I want to take more care (night, rain, unfamaliar etc.), my partner and I have a different approach. After threading the rope, the rope is tied off to the anchor so the first one down can rap a single line while the other person uses the other strand to belay from the top. Makes rope management easier on the person going first (only has to untangle one strand and no monkeying around to have to hang) and no possibility of rapping off the end. The second can't rap off the ends since both strands will be with the other climber and attached to the lower anchor.
I don't understand this method on so many different levels. It's impossible in your description to "belay" the rappeller on a full length rappel, it would waste a lot of time, in the rain I'd want two strands, not one, to rap with, and I definitely would feel better doing a standard rap than trying to figure out which side my p tied to the anchor and blindly trusting his setup.

You guys may be comfortable with it, but I sure as shit wouldn't recommend it to someone else. Maybe I'm just not understanding the setup.


(This post was edited by justroberto on Jan 27, 2011, 1:15 PM)


Partner rgold


Jan 27, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Re: [summerprophet] No knots! [In reply to]
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I agree with those who feel that a partner's safety concerns should be accommodated unless there seems to be some really strong contraindication. Knots are usually a judgment call and, in most situations, there are good arguments for using them and for not using them.

But, pulling up knotted ropes and unknotting them is really dumb, and suggests the partner insisting on this is gripped by rigid perspectives that are out of touch with the realities of the sport. I think that would be my last date with this person.

If knots are called for, the party should try to think clearly about whether (1) lowering the first person down, or (2) having them rappel single-strand with a belay from the other strand aren't better ideas. Lowering is a better option in high winds, but has a potentially bad drawback if communication is difficult.

Having the rappeller take flaked ropes down with them is also an option for high winds, but I think an inferior one. Those flakes tangle really easily, and if they have to be dumped to untangle them the winds will have their way...

Personally, I don't tie knots in the ends most of the time. Once exception, which I don't do much, is for simul-rapping, where knots are almost mandatory.

Here is way of dealing with knots that hasn't, I think, been mentioned. Knot the ends, and then clip both ropes just above the knots to the harness. (If simul-rapping, each rappeller does this with their strand.) This keeps the ends with the rappeller, since the knots won't pass through the biner or biners, but leaves the ropes at least somewhat free to untwist as the rappel proceeds. Since the rappeller has the knots, the prospect of them getting caught somewhere and causing problems on the descent is eliminated. (The typical bad scenario is getting the knots jammed below the spot where the rappel ends.)

Actually tying the ropes to your harness traps twists at the end and is not a good system. If the ropes don't untwist by themselves, it is fairly easy to help them along with this system.

The rope is tossed as usual and so hangs down and then doubles back to the rappeller. Sometimes, this seems to me to actually work better than throwing the entire rope, although that is a totally subjective impression---it's not as if I ever went back up and tried tossing the entire rope for comparison.

When I do this, I grab the ropes coming from the anchor and from the harness and coil them together, i.e. coil in unison what will become the hanging bight when the ropes are thrown. Again, it is my totally subjective sense that this reduces tangling. It is also twice as fast as coiling the two ropes separately as is usually the case.

The only real drawback to the system is that you can't tell when you are starting the rappel whether the ropes reach. As the rappeller gets nearer to their objective, the ropes are easily dumped (the knots are still there) to see if they do reach, but of course this is not as good as knowing from the outset that things are ok.

If you are forgetful (either naturally or because of---ahem---advanced age) you can tie two knots in the rope that should be pulled and one knot in the other rope and then you don't have to remember which rope to pull. And don't forget that the whole system heads very nastily south if you forget to untie the knots in the rope that is being pulled up to the anchor!


shimanilami


Jan 27, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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One bit of advice: let your partner know either way.

I climbed with someone who didn't realize I'd tied knots and he started pulling the rope before taking them out. I was able to use the other end to lead climb up to untie the knot, so no big deal, but things could have turned out much worse.


climbingtrash


Jan 28, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Re: [Bats] No knots! [In reply to]
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Bats wrote:
Okay Trash...not really eye candy, but thanks for the thought. Auto-blocks are always good as well. I like that Canadian guy, Mike Barter, he know's his stuff.I like the guy in his video that does the autoblock, now that's eyecandy.Cool
Now here is the next debate: is it better to use auto-block above rappel device(atc) or below it.Tongue

^^That's the exact "Eye Candy" I was referring to.^^

Auto block always goes on the brakes below the device...Always.Cool


Bats


Jan 28, 2011, 2:48 PM
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Re: [climbingtrash] No knots! [In reply to]
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That's the same guy?

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