Clove hitching climber in the middle of the rope


Original Post
BJ Null · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 305

On multi-pitch climbs with 3 climbers, is it safe to tie in the middle climber with a clove hitch?

Karsten Duncan · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 2,550

Yes, clove hitch would work but why not do an 8 on a bight?

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25

Alpine butterfly works too.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,096
chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

This is called a cow's tail and a figure eight or clove hitch aren't the best options here.

A an alpine butterfly or overhand on a bight are better. I prefer an overhand because most climbers are familiar with this, most are not familiar with the butterfly. You can use a clove hitch or slip knot after you've tied the overhand to keep the tie-in caribiner from flipping.

If you are cragging and will not have need to untie from the rope, girth hitching with an overhand on a bight is also good option and better than the alpine girth hitch as it is hard knot, not a hitch. Tie an overhand on a long bight. Pass it through the 2 tie in points on the harness, over the head, under the feet. Slide the knot up to shorten the bight. One key benefit here is the elimination of the tie-in caribiner.

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110

Another vote for the alpine butterfly.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 80

I say get familiar with the alpine butterfly as well.

J.Kruse · · Las Cruces, NM · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 95
alpine butterfly

this is the knot you are looking for.
Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610
Chris Owen wrote:Alpine girth hitch
This. Easily adjusted, easy escape, fool proof (well....) and safe.
John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053

Bring a second rope, it get's pretty "busy" with three at a belay. Chopping a route up into such small bites is a pain too. Assuming there's good stances and room for three every 70' or so.

With two lines you can move three climbers up the wall and can double your rappel length if that's how you are getting back down. JB

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478
Chris Owen wrote:Alpine girth hitch
I use this when shortening the rope for simul climbing, fast and foolproof in that application.

If you're going to tie in with a knot on a bite and use a biner to attach to the belay loop don't think that a screwgate is foolproof. I've seen gates spin open on glaciers more than once.
doug rouse · · Denver, CO. · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 660

Butterfly knot

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

I'm a big fan of the clove hitch as an anchoring knot, but I wouldn't use it to tie in a climber. The reason is that the clove hitch might not behave well under the many varied rope motions that would be typical of a tie-in situation. The climber would have to continually check it to make sure it was fully tightened, because if it loosened at all, it could ride over the gate of the attaching carabiner, and even if that carabiner is a locker there would be a potential for failure.

Stick to the usual methods, either an alpine butterfly with one or two lockers or the step-through girth hitch.

BJ Null · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 305

Thanks guys, I like both of those options. The alpine girth is a neat trick if you are out of lockers.

Thanks!

matt c. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 155

Has anyone on here fallen on the Alpine girth hitch? Does it slid?

Marty C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 70

An inline figure 8 is a good knot to know for various anchor and or hauling scenarios.

However, its use as a mid line tie in is not a good choice.

It takes a load in only one direction; if it is loaded in the opposite direction the knot reverts to a slip knot. Not something you would want as a tie in knot.

Marty C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 70

Matt C - if you have any concerns that the alpine girth hitch might slip, you can use a bowline on a bight instead.

It is tied in a similar fashion to the alpine girth hitch in that the last step in tying the knot, you need to pass the bight over your body to complete the knot.

Tie the bowline with a double strand through your harness tie in points and after "the rabbit comes up out of the hole" pass the bight over your head to complete the knot.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90
Marty C wrote:An inline figure 8 is a good knot to know for various anchor and or hauling scenarios. However, its use as a mid line tie in is not a good choice. It takes a load in only one direction; if it is loaded in the opposite direction the knot reverts to a slip knot. Not something you would want as a tie in knot.
Are you confusing a figure 8 on a bight for the inline figure 8 (which is directional, as you pointed out)? I didn't see anyone mention the inline figure 8 before your post.
Marty C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 70

Brain - there was a post and video suggesting that you could use an inline 8 to tie into the middle of the rope.

After I pointed out that this was a less than ideal solution, the post/video was deleted by its author.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Ah, thanks. I was trying to figure out where that came from.

Thread ninja strikes again!

AaronJ · · Japan · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 178

I personally usually use the alpine butterfly knot in situations like this, because I think it's neat, but is there any reason that it is preferable over a figure eight on a bight, which is more familiar to more climbers?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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