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Y-hang

Mark Wright

Active member
In an industrial environment the IRATA syllabus recommends Bunny Knots when anchors are close together and either a Fig. 8 or Fig. 9 (slightly easier to untie after loading) in conjunction with an Alpine Butterly.
 

mikem

Well-known member
If you have a rub point on the knot itself then bunny ears could totally fail, but if that's the case you wouldn't be using it!
 

Babyhagrid

Well-known member
Bunny ears are a right pain to untie after being loaded by a large group. Bowlines on the bight and alpines are much nicer to undo afterwards. And bowlines don't require lots of dressing to appease people like Bunny ears do.
 

Badlad

Administrator
Staff member
Referring to the OP and the use of two alpines for the Y. You may want to leave your last section of traverse line slack or slightly looped. This, so that you can easy reach it and clip in when you have prussiked up to the Y hang knot. You can often pull yourself up with it. In this case it is worth remembering that an alpine is intended for three way loading where the loop and both ends are loaded tight. This is fine if your traverse line is tight all the way, but if it is slack then use a fig8/9 for the first bolt of the Y. I hope that makes sense.

I do dislike seeing alpines that are only loaded in two directions and slack in the third. It's not unsafe, no ones going to die, but it isn't the best choice of knot for the situation. You do see some rigging where alpines are used for everything. Good chat, cheers.
 

Mark Wright

Active member
If you have a rub point on the knot itself then bunny ears could totally fail, but if that's the case you wouldn't be using it!
In an industrial environment it would generally be considered as poor rigging if any type of knot could rub an abrasive surface during use.
Bunny ears are a right pain to untie after being loaded by a large group. Bowlines on the bight and alpines are much nicer to undo afterwards. And bowlines don't require lots of dressing to appease people like Bunny ears do.
Most knots are a pain to untie after being loaded by a large group. When we de-rigged the Berger in 2012, after over 200 people had been down and back up the ropes, we had to cut a large number of the knot loops from a whole range of knot types.

I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to dressing and setting knots. With the common loop of the Bunny Knot always positioned at the top it is always easy to identify the knot when it’s loaded.

When Bowlines aren’t properly dressed and set they often deform into something totally unrecognisable.
 

hannahb

Active member
Referring to the OP and the use of two alpines for the Y. You may want to leave your last section of traverse line slack or slightly looped. This, so that you can easy reach it and clip in when you have prussiked up to the Y hang knot. You can often pull yourself up with it. In this case it is worth remembering that an alpine is intended for three way loading where the loop and both ends are loaded tight. This is fine if your traverse line is tight all the way, but if it is slack then use a fig8/9 for the first bolt of the Y. I hope that makes sense.

I do dislike seeing alpines that are only loaded in two directions and slack in the third. It's not unsafe, no ones going to die, but it isn't the best choice of knot for the situation. You do see some rigging where alpines are used for everything.

I find the slightly slack loop makes it harder for me to get off the y-hang. I find a tight traverse line or a one-bolt re-belay before the y-hang better, but not the in between version. However several people have said they like the little loop.

I agree about alpine butterflies.
 

topcat

Active member
Bunny ears are a right pain to untie after being loaded by a large group. Bowlines on the bight and alpines are much nicer to undo afterwards. And bowlines don't require lots of dressing to appease people like Bunny ears do.
I can't agree. Alpines used on Y hangs are the hardest of all to undo, so much so that I consider it last resort/special circumstances only. Easiest to undo is bowline bunny followed by fusion.
 

rm128

Active member
Alpines used on Y hangs are the hardest of all to undo, so much so that I consider it last resort/special circumstances only. Easiest to undo is bowline bunny followed by fusion.
In my experience, a badly dressed Alpine is a right pain to untie. I guess that's true of all knots, but it seems particularly bad with Alpines.
 

badger

Active member
If one, or both of the anchors are so marginal that you are worried they won't take more than half the load, you probably wouldn't want to use them anyway. I'm usually more concerned with positioning the Y so the rope is going to miss any rub points. If that loads one side, more than the other, that is fine by me. If the more heavily loaded side were to fail, the load would transfer to the other with a minimal shock to the anchor, rope, or caver, which is the primary purpose of a Y hang.
Two butterfly knots, close together would work fine, but be harder to adjust, if you need to feed rope through both knots to get the hang to your satisfaction. A fusion knot, in particular is much easier to adjust than other bunny ears style knots. Bowline on the bight was easier still, but they are frowned upon now.
Frowned upon by whom?
 

wellyjen

Well-known member
Frowned upon by whom?
https://www.peakinstruction.com/blog/testing-a-method-of-failure-with-a-bowline-on-the-bight-knot/ and https://www.peakinstruction.com/blog/2nd-round-of-testing-on-the-bowline-on-the-bight-knot/
Originally publicised by the French national federation, but don't have their link. Don't know of any instances of some one actually decking out from this, but since other knots are available that don't have the risk, this was enough for me to remove it from my repertoire and use bunny ears and fusions instead. Especially since I regularly cave and rig for mixed experience level groups, who can't be relied on to clip in to both loops if told to.
 
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Fulk

Well-known member
Given the number of references to knots being difficult to untie, I wonder how many cavers possess a marlinspike.
 

alanw

Well-known member
I wonder how many cavers possess a marlinspike.
I used to carry a knife just like this when I was very young (10 or 11 perhaps). How things have changed!. It fell out of my jeans pocket one day and I was never able to find it. I found a replacement not so long ago
marlinspike.jpg
 

JoshW

Well-known member
https://www.peakinstruction.com/blog/testing-a-method-of-failure-with-a-bowline-on-the-bight-knot/ and https://www.peakinstruction.com/blog/2nd-round-of-testing-on-the-bowline-on-the-bight-knot/
Originally publicised by the French national federation, but don't have their link. Don't know of any instances of some one actually decking out from this, but since other knots are available that don't have the risk, this was enough for me to remove it from my repertoire and use bunny ears and fusions instead. Especially since I regularly cave and rig for mixed experience level groups, who can't be relied on to clip in to both loops if told to.
Only way you can deck is if the only place you’re clipped into is this one loop, no second cowstails, no jammers, no descenders AND it actually slips.

Can be mitigated with groups with a ‘king crab’, and if anything actually makes life waaaay easier for non-novices as well.

There are limits to all knots, and so all should be frowned upon in different ways…
 

wellyjen

Well-known member
Only way you can deck is if the only place you’re clipped into is this one loop, no second cowstails, no jammers, no descenders AND it actually slips.

Can be mitigated with groups with a ‘king crab’, and if anything actually makes life waaaay easier for non-novices as well.

There are limits to all knots, and so all should be frowned upon in different ways…
Having a rebelay below will limit the drop to a couple of metres too. All these reduce the risk, but don't eliminate it. I used bowline on the bight for decades and still would with an expert team, but a fusion is almost identical in speed to tie adjust and dress, with just another turn in the rope to make. Easier to use another knot that doesn't have the risk at all than be explaining to a coroner why you tied it and some one else hit the ground.
 

Cantclimbtom

Well-known member
Could we all just agree to use a bunny knot on any not too wide Y hangs and an alpine butterfly or two (maybe even an 8 at the start) on a few anchors leading up to the drop.

Then we all get to go home happy without any inconvenient decking-out incidents. If the bunny is a 🤬 to undo we can shove it in the tackle bag when de-rigging the drop and deal with it later.

Or am I overthinking this?
 

Babyhagrid

Well-known member
Given the number of references to knots being difficult to untie, I wonder how many cavers possess a marlinspike.
I usually untie all knots when I'm back at a hut or home. With a bucket of water and usually a teaspoon
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Could we all just agree to use a bunny knot on any not too wide Y hangs and an alpine butterfly or two (maybe even an 8 at the start) on a few anchors leading up to the drop.

I think I would prefer to continue to make the choice at the time, based on the nature of the approach, the position of the Y-hang, the reliability of the hangers, the characteristics of the rope being used, and the experience of the team with me.
 
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