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Ski Mountaineering: Knots

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello everyone,

I'm bored in the off-season and have found a website that shows how to tie knots: [url=https://www.animatedknots.com/][/url]. They have a section on there which covers climbing knots but does anyone know if they're of any use for ski mountaineering? I think the Alpine Butterfly is used on a rope when travelling on a glacier but does anyone else have any advice?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Figure of 8 covers a lot of bases. Alpine butterfly IIRC is a little better for roping up on a glacier because it doesn’t tighten up under pressure like an 8, but the 8 works
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For glacier travel you need figure of 8 or butterfly (as Arno says)
overhand knot for tying off chest loops so you don't strangle yourself if you fall in a crevasse
French prussic for taking the load off the chest loops by attaching the rope to the harness
Italian or munter hitch is useful for assuring skiers on a line

Assuming you hold the fall you need to fix up a belay with some pulleys and autoblocks or prussics and haul the stricken skier out

All in all it sucks any joy out of skiing due to the mega faff and extra weight so I very rarely ski tour on glaciers
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A bowline is a boating knot but often useful in real life - eg setting up a tow rope for a car, as it doesn't pull too tight to undo (provided there's no load on it - it needs slack to undo a bowline).
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what Arno and davidof said.

Bowlines are bloody useful but not really for climbing as they can fail under sideways pull which is why climbers use (double) figure of eight to make loops.

clove hitch is good for converting a belay hitch (Italian / Munter) into a tie off
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Mountaineering knots (in German)


http://youtube.com/v/7TOR3cYJuYk


http://youtube.com/v/K3DaWveLMAc
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@pam w, I still use a bowline for a lot of climbing situations, trying to undo a fig 8 on thin icy ropes with freezing fingers is no fun.
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Quote:

Bowlines are bloody useful but not really for climbing as they can fail under sideways pull which is why climbers use (double) figure of eight to make loops.

Many climbers still use bowlines to tie on the rope. It has the distinct advantage that it can be tied with one hand. However it is also easy to get wrong. The double figure of eight can be very easily checked visually. It is more important witht he bowline that you tie a couple half hitches in the dead end otherwise it can work loose and leave you untied.

The knotts I use for climbing are: a double figure of eight to tie on the rope, an italian hitch to bring up the second, an overhand knot to join the two ropes for an abseil, clove hitch. Though I always carry some string with me if I need some prussic loops I've never actually used one in anger. My philosophy is to only use a small selection of knots and make sure you never make a mistake
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@DB, thanks, those are helpful videos.
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johnE wrote:
Quote:

Bowlines are bloody useful but not really for climbing as they can fail under sideways pull which is why climbers use (double) figure of eight to make loops.

Many climbers still use bowlines to tie on the rope. It has the distinct advantage that it can be tied with one hand. However it is also easy to get wrong. The double figure of eight can be very easily checked visually. It is more important witht he bowline that you tie a couple half hitches in the dead end otherwise it can work loose and leave you untied.

The knotts I use for climbing are: a double figure of eight to tie on the rope, an italian hitch to bring up the second, an overhand knot to join the two ropes for an abseil, clove hitch. Though I always carry some string with me if I need some prussic loops I've never actually used one in anger. My philosophy is to only use a small selection of knots and make sure you never make a mistake


this pretty much sums up what knots i use also keep it simple
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@johnE,
Quote:

Though I always carry some string with me if I need some prussic loops I've never actually used one in anger.


I see that you are old school and don't back up your abseils then?
That's how I learned too but it seems that good practice these days is to have an autoblock made from a prussik when abseiling - stops an uncontrolled fall if you let go of the rope due to rock fall or idiocy!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
BTW, one useful technique my guide used this summer when climbing three on a rope is to have the middle climber tie on with a prussik. Means that you can adjust his/her position on the rope (gaps between climbers) very quickly and without untieing.
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@jedster, Yes, I am a bit old school, but stopped using classical abseils and now use a harness and belay device.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@jedster, I usually use a prussik when abbing, especially in winter. The only time I don't is on simple single pitch abs on a uniform rock face.
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+1 for prusik when ab-ing: I use a short sling from my harness so my ATK is at chest/face height and have a French prusik on the control rope from my leg loop. This gives plenty of distance between the prusik & device so there's no risk of jamming
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@johnE,
Quote:
Though I always carry some string with me if I need some prussic loops

In glaciated terrain one should also carry short and long (foot loop) prusik for self rescue in the event of a crevasse fall.

These can also come in a bit handy for self rescue whilst rappelling… Skullie Toofy Grin

Towards the end of the Bugs to Rogers Pass traverse there’s a 2 pitch ab. from the Deville Nevee to Glacier Circle. To save weight we weren’t carrying abseil devices (wrong decision) so planned to rap. using Italian (Munter) Hitches which have the tendency to twist the rope.

Inevitably half way down the second pitch I got into an awful tangle, so had to hang off a short prusik from my harness (with pack & skis on my back); untangle & re-tie the munter-hitch (not easy under stress plus the weight of the rope below); step into the long prusik to transfer the load from the harness prusik onto the munter-hitch; untie the short prusik and re-tie it on the control rope as the backup; untie the foot-loop prusik ….. then finish the descent.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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I was a caver before a climber so I don't get out much without a mechanical ascender or two.
Petzel sell kits which, being Petzl, have mechanical bits designed to make it easier to do crevasse rescue.

The bowline is common in caving, or if you have to tie onto something and you don't have a harness. Otherwise a figure-of-eight is standard.

The Alpine Butterfly is if you need to rig something where the angle between the anchors is
significant (you don't want to load the tails of a figure of eight like that).

I use the double fisherman's to join ropes, the blood knot to join tapes.

Simple is good.
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@philwig, Is the blood knot the same as a tape knot. I've never used a tape knot since sown tapes came on the market - what 40 years ago.

Does anyone carry pulleys to use in crevasse rescue? I suspect a roller krab might be more use else where.
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Quote:
Does anyone carry pulleys to use in crevasse rescue?
yep - pulley; micro traxion & tibloc as in Philwig's link to Petzl kit above
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@DB, what's that first knot he's using to fix himself in position called?
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@justabod, a clove hitch to tie onto the bolt then an Italian hitch to bring the second up
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Thanks.
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Being able to do a one handed clove hitch is very useful in tricky terrain esp in high wind.


http://youtube.com/v/mrUUbwGKVFo
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@johnE,
Quote:


@jedster, Yes, I am a bit old school, but stopped using classical abseils and now use a harness and belay device.


Not quite what I meant - you use the prussik to back up the belay device. @geoffers, explains one option
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The Alpine Butterfly is used more for tying into the middle of the rope. This is because the lop sits to the side of the knot and the pull remains in line with the length of the rope.
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