Double figure 8 (Bunny Ears) for an anchor


Original Post
Nicholas Gillman · · Las Vegas · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 301

I was reading this interview with Peter Croft and he talks about using the rope with the double 8 as his anchor in lieu of cordelette.

Just wondering if some people could fill in the gaps for me.

I'm guessing that your either belaying directly off your loop and redirecting through the shelf made by the ears OR just belaying directly off this shelf?

Also in looking at other images of the knot (before looking it up I was only really familiar with the two "ear" version) it seems like you can split out a third loop , which looks to me like it's the leftover tail loop from making initial two loops but just utilizing it as a loop rather than folding it back on itself to complete the two loop version. Is that correct? I practiced it on my anchor board but it seemed like even properly dressed there was a lot of play , which seemed if one of the pieces blew out the looseness would sort of "unfurl" the other loops.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500

I use this knot extensively for anchoring on bolts. Yes, you use the shelf.

I'll use it for gear as well if there are two bomber pieces and then I'll just clip the third to one of the first two directly rather than mucking about with using the three loop version (which I don't care for).

I can't remember how to make the third loop offhand, but I do remember I'm not a fan as it feels less secure than the two loop.

Nicholas Gillman · · Las Vegas · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 301
John Wilder wrote:I use this knot extensively for anchoring on bolts. Yes, you use the shelf. I'll use it for gear as well if there are two bomber pieces and then I'll just clip the third to one of the first two directly rather than mucking about with using the three loop version (which I don't care for). I can't remember how to make the third loop offhand, but I do remember I'm not a fan as it feels less secure than the two loop.
Thanks John. I like the clipping of the idea of third piece rather than fiddling around with the 3 loop version . I went ahead and tried it with some thinner cord (thinner than I would ever wanna climb on haha) just to see if it would bind better once dressed it still feels pretty sloppy to me , again assuming I'm using the proper method to pull out that 3rd loop , thanks again for the input
cmqr9001 Black · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

So do you just clove hitch the free hanging strand to the third piece?

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500
Christian Black wrote:So do you just clove hitch the free hanging strand to the third piece?
Generally no. You could, though- although unless it was bomber, I wouldn't bother. I generally clip the third piece directly to one of the first two loops.
t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0
Nicholas Gillman wrote: Also in looking at other images of the knot (before looking it up I was only really familiar with the two "ear" version) it seems like you can split out a third loop , which looks to me like it's the leftover tail loop from making initial two loops but just utilizing it as a loop rather than folding it back on itself to complete the two loop version. Is that correct? I practiced it on my anchor board but it seemed like even properly dressed there was a lot of play , which seemed if one of the pieces blew out the looseness would sort of "unfurl" the other loops.
To make a triple fig 8, wrap the bight (which you normally flip over the knot) over the standing end and up through the loop that form your bunny ears. (You're essentially retracing half of the knot with the bight.)

I've never seen anything about using the bight as a third loop in the way you described. I feel like it would only be problematic if it unclipped or if the rope was cut.
Michael C · · New Jersey · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 190

The double loop figure 8 is commonly used to equalize two anchor points. If the two loops are used together at a master point however, they are not redundant due to the configuration of the knot - AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Manual.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500
Michael C wrote:The double loop figure 8 is commonly used to equalize two anchor points. If the two loops are used together at a master point however, they are not redundant due to the configuration of the knot - AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Manual.
Chasing redundancy with the rope as your anchor material is not high on most climbers priority lists.
Jayson Nissen · · Corvallis, OR · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 213

Is the AMGA guide saying that the knot is not redundant because if one of the loops were cut the knot could come untied?

This scenario seems very unlikely to me. Is there something else that I am missing?

Derek Doucet · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 53
Jayson Nissen wrote:Is the AMGA guide saying that the knot is not redundant because if one of the loops were cut the knot could come untied? This scenario seems very unlikely to me. Is there something else that I am missing?
Yes. There's a strand of rope in the knot that, if cut, compromises both of the loops. I consider this irrelevant the vast majority of the time for an attended anchor when I'm standing there belaying up my second or belaying my partner on the next lead and have eyes on the system the whole time.

I do think it's a potential concern if one uses the 2-loop eight for the master point of a top rope anchor which will be unattended for an extended period of time and subject to potentially significant abrasion through repeated use. There are better options in that case.
cdec · · SLC, UT · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 175

An option to the shelf is to tie an overhand on a bight just below the figure right knot and use that to belay from.
It is not redundant nor is the rope you led the pitch on.

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 392
Derek Doucet wrote: Yes. There's a strand of rope in the knot that, if cut, compromises
Same is true of the rope loop where you tied into your harness. Much ado about nothing.
wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 392
John Wilder wrote:I use this knot extensively for anchoring on bolts.
What's the advantage of the double figure 8 over, say, clove hitching the rope to build an anchor or any other method of using the rope? For example, the method posted by RGold multiple times, or any method on UKC or multipitchclimbing.com?

Is it easier? More adjustable?
t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I've seen a lot of different comments about redundancy of bunny ears but never any real definitive data on whether it actually is or is not.

The strand doesn't slip under body weight on 7mm accessory cord. Not sure about a fall though.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500
wivanoff wrote: What's the advantage of the double figure 8 over, say, clove hitching the rope to build an anchor or any other method of using the rope? For example, the method posted by RGold multiple times, or any method on UKC or multipitchclimbing.com? Is it easier? More adjustable?
Why muck about with any kind of system when you can tie one knot, clip to two carabiners and be done with it? It takes me all of 10 seconds to hang the carabiners, tie the knot, clip, and be off belay and my anchor is done to boot.

Rgold's rope method is slick, but meant for three piece gear anchors that aren't right next to each bother like a pair of bolts are.
Derek Doucet · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 53

Wivanof said "Same is true of the rope loop where you tied into your harness. Much ado about nothing."

Agreed in the vast majority of situations. I use this knot tons. I was just replying to the question posed up thread about the reason for the often raised redundancy concern.

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 392
John Wilder wrote: Why muck about with any kind of system when you can tie one knot, clip to two carabiners and be done with it? It takes me all of 10 seconds to hang the carabiners, tie the knot, clip, and be off belay and my anchor is done to boot. Rgold's rope method is slick, but meant for three piece gear anchors that aren't right next to each bother like a pair of bolts are.
So the advantage for you is time? Do you adjust anything after tying the knot? Or do you get everything perfect in 10 seconds?

I usually clove 1st piece, loop, clove 2nd piece, clove my harness. Sometimes I make the loop long enough to tie a masterpoint. Most times I belay off my harness.
20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128

I use the double figure eight on big walls where the second is jugging and I am hauling. Otherwise, I've used this method for free climbs occasionally. To equalize a third or fourth piece, grab the strand running down to the second, pull it up and clove the third piece or tie a second double figure eight for a third and fourth piece. You can only belay off two pieces though, so chose the lower two.

Keep in mind this anchor is only suitable if you are swapping leads. If you intend to lead the next pitch, you're going to have to rebuild the anchor, or untie and switch ends.

John Wilder wrote: Generally no.
For what it's worth, that's exactly how Beth Rodden does it. Anyway, that's the method I use and it's always worked fine. Personal preference I would say.
yukonjack · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

http://www.ropelab.com.au/figure-of-8-bunny-ears/

http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/techtips/figure-eight-on-a-bight-variations/

Michael C · · New Jersey · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 190
John Wilder wrote: Chasing redundancy with the rope as your anchor material is not high on most climbers priority lists.
Fair enough. But the information is still worth sharing and considering.
John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500
wivanoff wrote: So the advantage for you is time? Do you adjust anything after tying the knot? Or do you get everything perfect in 10 seconds? I usually clove 1st piece, loop, clove 2nd piece, clove my harness. Sometimes I make the loop long enough to tie a masterpoint. Most times I belay off my harness.
For two bolts, it takes 10 seconds max. No adjustments necessary unless the bolts are way off plane with each other. If that's the case, I use a different method. Bunny ears are for fast anchoring two bolts/pieces that are very close together.

Why would you clove to your harness after cloving the bolts? Or make a master point? Both seem like a waste of rope.

Also, 20kn, wouldn't you belay off the higher pieces for comfort? And I know you can use a clove or a second bunny ears. I usually don't, though, as the bunny ears eats up alot of rope...
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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