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A slightly improved figure 8 contingency rigging

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Tricam, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Emblem


    I’ve tried to post a link to explain what I mean by that, but it keeps getting put into moderator purgatory, I think because I’m new. So, just Google “risk of Yosemite bowline”, and you’ll see what I mean.

    (I used to use exactly the setup described by Jeff, because it’s so slick. And honestly, I never had issues. But, now that I know of the potential failure mode, I no longer use the Yosemite finish in a bowline.)
  2. Magnus Tveit

    Magnus Tveit

    Going back to the contingency 8. About one year ago I needed to lower someone on a rap but my 8 was trapped under the rope. The anchor was a chockstone meaning the webbing came out right on the ground (sandstone). I was able to pull the pull strand to flip on the 8 blocks and then release and lower. I started doing some "testing" (I don't like the term testing, makes me sound too smart) on different set-ups and learned 2 things. (These are for for the typical 8 block)

    1. When I get to an anchor (kinda while I'm checking the webbing) I make sure there aren't twists in the webbing so when I thread the rope through the quicklink, my 8 block will stay on top of the rope. Then I make sure I feed the rope through from the top side on the quicklink to the bottom, thus making the rappel strand on the bottom and the 8 block on the top (I really hope this makes sense). This means that when I need to lower, the rappel strand isn't going to get in my way.

    2. When setting the 8 block I found a lot of people do it differently. Everyone puts the first bight through the same but some do the second one differently. I make sure that the second bight comes from the pull cord side. The second bight is the one you remove when lowering so when you take it from the pull cord side it won't be under load while lowering. I have seen people take the second bight from the rappel strand making it incredibly hard to lower because the bight is under load. I have tried to lower with this and you need to feed the slack through the whole knot to lower. I was doing this on a very low-angle rappel (one in which you could walk off) so there want much force on the knot. I feel like this might not be releasable under full load. Making sure you put the bight through from the pull cord side should fix the problem mentioned in number 3.

    I will be trying these other 8 block methods though to test these, they seem quite cool.
  3. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

    Too many fig8 blocks floating around out there - everyone seems to have their own personal spin on it, so I find it a socially unacceptable technique for mixed company.

    MMO 4EVER!

    Seriously, can't we find a "one block fits most" and herd some cats?
    Kuenn, Rapterman and ratagonia like this.
  4. Rapterman


    The German Donkey is awesome!
  5. Canyon Cal

    Canyon Cal

    I'm thinking a Stone knot around the tree, followed by the MMO (on a separate biner, of course). Easy to tie, easy to untie.
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