Cordelette knots


Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
Tim Neumann wrote: what i do not get is why the guy in the video sais it's important to close the system with an overhand knot. imo the system seems pretty closed already since all the strands are tied off in the big masterpoint overhand (or figure 8). from what it looks like to me the overhand in the ends does not do anything. (
knotting the loose ends prevents them from slipping through the masterpoint knot.
Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90
Seth Jones wrote: knotting the loose ends prevents them from slipping through the masterpoint knot.
I think the question was based on the assumption this wouldn't happen. Aka the knot is "stable" and the ends wont slip enough to untie when loaded.

Most likely this was included in the presentation because there wasn't any specific evidence to support the above assumption, and better safe than sorry.
Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
Brian L. wrote: ...better safe than sorry.
I think that's what it comes down to. It's barely an inconvenience to throw a quick overhand in the tails and it lessens the risk of the masterpoint failing, however small that risk is to begin with.
Matt G · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 160
ROC wrote:Flat overhand. Quick. Easily tied and untied. You don't always need or want your cord in a loop.
+1 for the flat overhand!
Tim Neumann · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 40
Brian L. wrote: Most likely this was included in the presentation because there wasn't any specific evidence to support the above assumption, and better safe than sorry.
that's what I figured. I wasn't sure if I'm missing anything here. thanks for the response.
Ernest W · · Camarillo, CA · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 0

I like the adjustable aspect of the "no knot" method. Has anybody tested it with 5mm Titan cord? Wondering if there's any slippage concern.

Tim Neumann · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 40
Ernest W wrote:I like the adjustable aspect of the "no knot" method. Has anybody tested it with 5mm Titan cord? Wondering if there's any slippage concern.
not sure what titan cord is but i'm using 5.5mm aramid cord made by beal. works like a charm.
Gregarious Poodle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

The old video seems to have been taken off of YouTube so I made one myself. Please see link below:

Michael C · · New Jersey · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 340

If I'm tying your typical 3 piece trad anchor with a figure-8 master point then I'll use a flat overhand with long tails.  Otherwise, I tend to use the Flemish bend since it's easier to untie. 

Ed Schaefer · · Centennial, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 35

Use a double or triple fisherman's if you want your knot to become welded and your cordalette stuck in a permanent loop, which will need to be retired earlier as this will weaken the cord at the knot faster over time than re-tying it on the regular.

Otherwise keep your cordalette un-knotted when on your harness and tie a simple flat overhand (or flemish bend aka figure 8 follow through DO NOT USE A FLAT 8) when you need it to be in a loop. This second method also makes it easier to use it as an equalette if you need to set up your anchor that way for any reason. Also keeping your cordalette un-knotted means it is easily ready for you to use in a self rescue situation, while it is not nearly as versatile when it has been permanently tied into a loop.

The latter is what I have found to be the best over time from lots of partners, AMGA certified guides, and many hours of anchor building and rock rescue courses, training, and practice.

Gabe Cisneros · · Baltimore, md · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Instead of making a loop of any kind, tie a small figure 8 on each end. 

You can do everything you ever wanted to do with a cord, without ever having to untie them.

I think this is from Chris' book, maybe Mark. 

Bryce Sawin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0
Wblack wrote: Clove hitch is cool but it's not a knot. I don't see it as acceptable as a main part of and anchor. If a climber wants to clove hitch into and anchor I'm fine with that but I'm not building an anchor with a clove hitch. Triple fishermans for me and I never untie it. Untying a cordelette is a great tool, and a properly tied flat overhand is a perfectly acceptable knot for this. And people don't need to be afraid of the clove hitch. See link below. guidetricksforclimbers.com/...

On rock in years past we called that rabbit ears with use mainly  to secure gear and temporary securement until belay finalization. In trees it's used with 1/2 hitches. Better a 1/2 with timber, i never had a 1/2 with a timber cut itself apart as I have with the other.

Bryce Sawin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

Technically neither is a bowline by some books. It's easier to untie than figure 8 after falls but I think it's rated reduction is about the same as clove hitch. Maybe why 8 knot replaced it. Bowline break with crane load was just below bowline forming loop attached to hook. Timber on trunk below didn't break.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

One thing that hasn't really been mentioned is that whatever method you use, you need to be able to do it almost one handed. Not all stances are big enough and flat enough for you to  get fully hands free. Hence you either need to clove into a piece and hang while you set the cordelette up, or be able to shuffle from one hand to the other probably with a shoulder or your faceed press against the rock. For this reason, I find the two fig 8's on the tails clipped to the first piece easy to work with. It also means you can't drop the cordelette if you stumble or the wind blows. The no knot formation looks great on 3 pieces next to each other in a line, where you pull the SAME length of cord through all 3 carabiners, but for trad anchors the pieces will be scattered all over the place. This means keeping the tails even approximately the same length, or even stopping one from disappearing up and over its carabiner difficult without multiple adjustments, or starting by guessing the offset in tail length you need. Maybe I'm just incompetent, but have a go with three piece above you in a vertical line.

The no-knot method is great if you find the cordelette regularly too long. But unless we are talking bolts (in which case not need for a cordelette) I more often find the thing too short. This means that you need all the length you can get, and will be fighting to tie the master point. This is harder to do with the no-knot method as you will be pulling and fighting, and those little tails can easily disappear into the knot.

Finally, if you use the two fig 8s on the tails formation, but don't clip the 8s into a carabiner, you have the same system as shown in the video, so kind of a win-win thing.

OAW King · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 35

Don't tie your cordalette ends together. Its a waste of cord and truly limits your options of how you use the cord in many situations from anchoring to transferring tension to ascending a line to hauling etc...

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
OAW King wrote:

Don't tie your cordalette ends together. Its a waste of cord and truly limits your options of how you use the cord in many situations from anchoring to transferring tension to ascending a line to hauling etc...

Unless I'm working with bolts, I'll usually just build the anchor with the rope. If I'm on bolts, I'll probably use a quad, so for me the best option is to keep mine in a loop. I think more important than not tying the ends together would be tying the ends together with a knot that is easy to untie like the flemish bend or flat overhand. I cringe any time I see cordalettes tied in a loop with a double fishermans

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,244

My favorite for keeping the cordelette in a loop: the flat fisherman. Cannot capsize, but can be untied by sliding the distal knot off the proximal tail. 

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,497
eli poss wrote:

. I cringe any time I see cordalettes tied in a loop with a double fishermans

<blush>... and I have mildly regretted the times I have had to untie that DF</blush>

Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50

Tie each end into a small (2") loop with doubled overhand and set this permanent knot. Clip both ends to your top piece of gear when you want your cordelette in a loop, clip them to separate (the farthest apart) pieces of gear and pull up bights in the middle for other pieces- same as standard- when you need more length.

Rusty · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 0

The old traditional Water Knot for joining webbing turned out to be more of a Death Knot than the euro simple overhand! One of Chouinard's (Great Pacific Iron Works) campaigns, long, long, ago was to get people to join webbing with a double fisherman's knot.......and he was totally right! A Water Knot in webbing is incredibly hard to tighten and tends to loosen up without warning........though it does look very neat, which is probably why folks are fooled.

And.......if, like me, you are not about to commit to a rapell on a simple Euro-Overhand-On-The-End knot (EDK)......BUT you want the incredible advantage of having a joining knot that will hardly ever hang up on edges........then just tie a second overhand knot beyond the first one. This looks much more reassuring, cannot now come undone, and will not interfere with the knot's ability to slide over obstructions. If this seems paranoid you can recollect the immortal (?) words of one of the most venerated euro climbers of all times.....Lionel Terray: "Tous les chefs se son tues en rapell"!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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