Knot passing knots - discuss

Ian Ball

Well-known member
I use an alpine butterfly and a double fisherman's in the loop. I find this gives the shortest knot to pass and can be undone afterwards yet with the double fisherman's it feels strong ;-)
 

Steve Clark

Active member
Having passed one for the first time for real at the weekend in Boxhead, I found the double fisherman isolated by an alpine and accompanied by a pair of ledges for my feet perfectly acceptable!

If I was doing it, I like the look of fig 8 on the bight with the bottom rope triple threaded trough. Looks clean and obvious what it is.
 

paul

Moderator

I prefer the Capuchin Knot.
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
If damaged rope section, two alpine butterflies so it makes a kind of I∞ setup with the damaged bit tied off in the outer loop and the inner loop good rope to clip into as I pass

If joining 2 ropes, a double fishermans or fig 8 bight as the knot is shorter and therfore easier to step off the chest ascender back onto stop when descending, but a long enough tail on the downhill side to leave a dangling fig 8 to clip into and on the uphill tail a stopper knot. There may be better methods but I'm not very keen to try anything new and fancy (for me) when dangling

for SRT practice just an alpine butterfly. Don't have to do knot passes or even ascending-to-descending changeovers very often in real life (although needed it about 2 weeks ago) so occasional practice is good for me
 

pwhole

Well-known member
A long time ago when I hadn't done much rigging, I abseiled down a pitch of about 30m (I think the bottom pitch in Leviathan in JH) following the rigger, to find the rope about 10m short from the floor, terminating at a figure-8 knot with a steel krab in it, and a 15m rope in a small bag hanging from it. When I shouted down and asked him what the f*** was going on he shouted 'Practise!'. He'd rigged another pull-through rope from the krab for himself, and pulled that down with him and was just lying on the floor laughing.

I had about five more people behind me waiting too, so that was a sweaty five minutes doing it for the first time. I suspect I tied a rethreaded figure-8 in. Some may guess who might do such a thing to me ;)
 

Loki

Member
I use an alpine butterfly and a double fisherman's in the loop. I find this gives the shortest knot to pass and can be undone afterwards yet with the double fisherman's it feels strong ;-)
Omg why have I never thought of that. Requires tying df then the butterfly I assume. Way easier to untie than triple threaded fig 8 or df. Bravo.
 

aricooperdavis

Moderator
If I was doing it, I like the look of fig 8 on the bight with the bottom rope triple threaded trough. Looks clean and obvious what it is.
This is my preference because it's so fast and easy to tie.

I think I've only actually done this (not at a bolt) on expedition on new pitches when we didn't know how much rope we'd need. This exped had an informal "standard" for packing rope bags to ensure that nobody abseiled off the end of a rope and to facilitate joining ropes, which involved tying a fig-8-on-a-bight at the end of the rope then a fig-8 just before the end to catch in your descender if you accidentally descend too far.

Because the fig-8-on-a-bight was pre-tied it's super easy to just untie the fig-8 then rethread the fig-8-on-a-bight with the new rope and add a stopper knot.
 

wellyjen

Active member
I use an alpine butterfly and a double fisherman's in the loop. I find this gives the shortest knot to pass and can be undone afterwards yet with the double fisherman's it feels strong ;-)
This is very clever. I used to use double fishermans, but had to dedicate the entire following evening to sitting on the sofa painstakingly working the knot loose. Have also used the rethreaded figure of eight on the bight, but this one looks quicker, as the butterfly is fast and the double fishermans is the two stopper knots you'd still want on the rethreaded figure eight. Shorter in length too.
 

Ian Ball

Well-known member
It seems that the method I use is quite popular, I learnt of it from this forum back in 07! Thumbs up UkC.

I don't like the capuchin as I feel it uses a lot of rope, however I would say that arriving at a rope to discover it is too short and tying one on the end I may change my mind on what to use dependant on how wet it is and what is already in the rope, a fig 8 already in the same diameter rope I would rethread. Different diameters I would take the time to put in the alpine butterfly and double fishermans.

There is a suggestions that if you only ever buy the same diameter rope then you bypass that problem but I have different sizes so need to consider it.

Here's a question, if you arrived at the last pitch and were short by 3m on a 10.5mm rope and you had an 5m 8mm line with you, what woud you do?



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Double fishermen's are pigs to undo. hence why some people choose to put a reef knot in the middle. this however, makes the whole "knot" assembly longer and a bit harder to pass.
The above "alpine butterfly with a double fish in the loop" is secure, easier to undo and includes a safety loop to clip in to .
 
Free hanging knot pass: simple double fisherman’s every time. Never had an issue undoing later but tended towards ‘chunky’ rope rather than ‘string’. Have used in indoor training situations and ‘live’ on a couple of notable instances: in France, Pot Deux, Vercors when we were slightly short of the bottom on a single 200m rope and in Spain, Pyrenees BU56 just below the -800m camp. No idea why we needed a knot pass here but at least we found out that someone (not me, cash for details) had left their top jammer/foot loops on the surface. How would you get out of that one?
 

mikem

Well-known member
Paul's link is to the 2007 discussion & Ian got the photo of knot from there (it's not very clear in new format). Some comments have also been added to that thread.

I have seen some cavers end the rope with a stopper knot on the bight...
 
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Ian Ball

Well-known member
Is a stopper knot on a bight the Capuchin knot?

Damian, who knows his onions, uses the Capuchin in the end as joining to it popular. I find it a bit disconcerting, a knot with a hole larger enough to thread the rope through just feels a bit risky.
In the same way abseiling on 9mm for the first time felt risky if you're used to 11 mm.
 
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mikem

Well-known member
Actually, yes we do mean the same thing, although a true capuchin has more than 2 wraps (AKA barrel knot). I find it comes undone in the bag too easily when using stiffer ropes.
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
...had left their top jammer/foot loops on the surface. How would you get out of that one?
Worst case scenario, you're on your own no spare equipment, not even a spare krab.
Use the end of the rope with a Blake's hitch and tie a loop instead of hand ascender and foot loop. If rebelays so you couldn't take the end with you all the way to the top you might have to cut the bottom off the rope by bashing it with a rock. Desperate times!
 

mikem

Well-known member
You could use another section of the rope to cut through with friction, as loose rocks may also not be handy! (If you cut a section off the end & remove the core then it makes a very effective prussik)
 
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